I have it on good authority that the the gal we know won this last night. (Link is mildly not safe for work.)
Honestly, I had no idea poets had such interesting careers. When you hear folks being all “The average poetry book sells 38 copies,” it makes you imagine… well… not that naked people will be sitting around reading your stuff in public and declaring it awesome.
You know, not to get side-tracked by this (oh, hell, we’re about to get sidetracked), but it makes me wonder if the tensions between “genre” poetry and “literary” poetry might not be pretty much the opposite of what they are in fiction. In fiction, it’s kind of presumed that you’ll find a wider audience if your book is more “literary” than “genre” (I’m putting these words in quotes because I find them to be kind of bullshit). But poets with a strong voice who deal with a certain worldview probably do better than 38 readers because when someone says, “Whoa, what Mary Oliver said about nature blew my mind!” that reader knows he’s going to turn the page and get another poem about nature that might blow his mind.
I don’t know. It’s just a thought. And I am so excited for McClellan and completely agree that she is the emerging writer of the year. Emerging from what, though, is the troubling question…