Earl Gray

Earl Gray
"You can argue with me but, in the end, you'll have to face that fact that you're arguing with a squirrel." - Earl Gray

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Episode 3 - Poets Say the Funniest Things

Jonathan Hobratsch
     In answer to Jonathan Hobratsch's "On Poetry Awards: Figures and Questions":

1. What is the best nomination process for an award?


2. Who is the last judge that has awarded a poet that they have never met?

    I don't know, but I hope they had a better command of English than the person asking these questions.

2c. What is the best way to protect against biases among judges?


3. Do younger poets (under 50) win less awards because they lack name recognition, have a smaller network, or is it because it must take decades for a poet to become good enough for a major award?

    Perhaps it is their inability to distinguish when one should say "less" versus "fewer".

4. Poets rarely win an award twice or even more than one award in a year.

    From which language was this mistranslated?

5. Is one judge better than three?

    Depends.  Who is the one judge and who are the three?

6. Should specific poets have access to some sort of online electoral system in which they approve a book for an award online?

     They already have such a system in place.  It's called "Amazon.com".¹

7. What should make a judge qualified?

     A knowledge of poetry fundamentals would be a good start.²

8. How does one read all the book to make an accurate judgment?


     When did we decide this was necessary, though?

9. MFA poets outside of the legendary Iowa program are beginning to win a large chunk of the awards. Does this reflect that MFA programs are working?

     Not at teaching English grammar and syntax, certainly.

10. No contemporary poet has won the Nobel Prize. Why is this the case?

     Have you read any contemporary poetry?


¹ - Why honor failure?  Yes, I know it's a radical concept, but why not insist that poems find markets, audiences or, at the very least, readerships before being considered for an award?

² - I am well aware that this sets the bar impossibly high.


Episode 1 - Poets Say the Funniest Things

Episode 2 - Poets Say the Funniest Things

Episode 3 - Poets Say the Funniest Things

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