"Multiculturalism is vital to poetry because it is virtually impossible for an anglophone to imagine a world where poetry is alive, just as others cannot envision a world where it isn't." - EGContemporary English language poetry is a cautionary tale.
On June 10th, 2020, Chicago Tribune writer Jennifer Day reported: "Poetry Foundation president, board chair resign after open letter demands more in wake of Black Lives Matter protests."
The Republican dominated Poetry Foundation put out a statement in sympathy with the Black Lives Matter protests:
The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine stand in solidarity with the Black community, and denounce injustice and systemic racism.
As an organization we recognize that there is much work to be done, and we are committed to engaging in this work to eradicate institutional racism. We acknowledge that real change takes time and dedication, and we are committed to making this a priority.
We believe in the strength and power of poetry to uplift in times of despair, and to empower and amplify the voices of this time, this moment.
Letter to the Poetry Foundation from Fellows + Programmatic Partners
This sentence was of particular interest to us:
Ultimately, we dream of a world in which there are more sustainable ways for poets to support themselves that do not require them to engage with institutions that may not share their values.
Other than co-sponsoring "Poetry Out Loud", which the Foundation seeds with poems that have zero performance value, it's hard to see what interest these people have in promoting this mode of speech. The letter continues:
Ultimately, we dream of a world in which the massive wealth hoarding that underlies the Foundation’s work would be replaced by the redistribution of every cent to those whose labor amassed those funds.
An educator would put a poetry primer into the hands of every student in America. A promoter would insinuate poetry into movies, television shows, and bars from the Keys to the Aleutians. A networker would create discussions among poets, actors, songwriters, musicians, playwrights, web designers, governments, venue owners, and all other associated entities.
The mind boggles.