"Who will be most responsible if poetry regains an audience before 2030?"
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #69|
The role of teachers will figure prominently on other lists but, for our purpose, this would have to be confined to famous instructors who teach techniques, technologies, performance and forms that will appeal to non-poets. As far as I know, that list is empty.
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #52|
At the risk of stating the obvious, in this Internet Age the most influential people¹ will be those with a long and strong online presence. That some of these individuals may be unknown to you says more about the transitional state of the endeavor than its participants.
Peter John Ross
Almost everything you have learned online about poetry fundamentals or the workshop ethos in the last twenty years can be attributed directly or indirectly to PJR. He is the grandfather of successful 21st century poetry.
"Whether or not critique is constructive depends on how the author uses it, not on the manner in which it’s phrased."
If you don't know who John Boddie is then you have never encountered serious poetry critique.
Margaret Ann Griffiths
That Maz was the Critic's Choice as best poet of our time and that the first two editions of her posthumous collection were oversubscribed will not be what puts her on this list. As a mentor, commenter and, most importantly, as a role model she simply had no equal.
Any list of influential contributors to poetry's future that does not include the inventor of the slam cannot be taken seriously.
Nic's attention to presentation puts her decades ahead of anyone else in imagining the successful poetry [performances] of the future.
Chrissie twice rescued one of the world's largest poetry forums. In its day, her "Autumn Sky Poetry" was among the top three webzines; despite being on hiatus for more than a year people still deep link to its particulars. Recently, she has started a poem-a-day version, "Autumn Sky Poetry Daily". Ms. Klocek-Lim's gentle style doesn't create waves but, if influence can be measured by the loyalty an organizer inspires, Christine's name must be recognized. If the poetry world had a dozen more people as effective and level-headed as Chrissie we would not be having this discussion.
Famous blogger Seth Abramson's frequent and exhaustive analyses of PoBiz and academic practices make him the Noam Chomsky of the poetry world.
Say what you will about his mixing poetry with politics or religion but Mr. Burch's "The HyperTexts" remains the single greatest source of contemporary poetry. If nothing else, this is a tremendous convenience for those wanting to cite a great contemporary poem.
If the Print world survives it will be because of the innovative approaches pioneered or perfected by Rattle magazine's editor, Tim Green.
Whether we are talking about dinosaurs, armies or organizations, the larger an entity is the slower it moves. While "academic" efforts will continue to play a decreasing role in discussions of contemporary verse, Poetry magazine's resources ensure that it will continue to be the elephant in the room.
"Try to have your writing make sense²."
More than anyone else, Usenetter and Poetry Free-For-All moderator "GG" can be credited with putting an end to cryptocrap, to say nothing of unearned respect.
Kei Miller, Mary E. Hope, Stephen Bunch, Bob Schechter and Richard Epstein
These prolific online critiquers, along with many others, have contributed more to the revival of poetic competence than anyone else.
|Stephen Douglas Sabol (1942-2012)|
In 1974 Steve wrote the closest thing to an iconic poem in the last half century, "The Autumn Wind". Sports announcer John "The Voice of God" Facenda recited it, reminding us of the value of fine performance and production.
My apologies to the many whom I have omitted.
¹ - We needn't broaden the discussion to include squirrels and the like.
² - Mr. Gamble's original phrasing was "Try to make your writing make sense." He arrived at the final wording with the help of a fellow Usenetter.
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