Hear hear to your letter, Jenks; nicely stated.
Chris and Brian, thanks. Just to clarify, I agree that the appointment is inappropriate, and I'm not suggesting that there's not a place in the discussion for criticism of her work. But I think it reflects poorly on North Carolina's writing community that public arguments against the appointment should be directed so personally at Macon -- as in the joking comment here suggesting she might put her poems on the bulletin board at work, and the opening "who the hell..." line. Condescension only undermines one's position. There's appropriate criticism at one end of the spectrum, and petty mocking at the other, and in my opinion this editorial tends toward the latter.
How about trying to discuss the inappropriateness of the appointment, and McCrory's galling failure to draw on the North Carolina Arts Council's expertise, without being so insulting to the poet he picked? Saying that her publication history is limited to two self-printed books is one thing (yes, of course that's much too short a resume for a Poet Laureate), but calling her a "hobbyist" because (like most artists) she has a day job, is incredibly condescending. (So is dismissing the small business in Western North Carolina that printed her books. They don't present themselves as anything other than a self-publishing business, so there's nothing gained by pointing out that they're a self-publishing business. It's what they do. So what?) There are plenty of poets out there who work day jobs, who are nowhere near being qualified to be Poet Laureate, and who have self-published work that you might not like; that doesn't justify dismissing them dabblers and hobbyists. The situation is a lot like Bush's appointment of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court; she was spectacularly unqualified and shouldn't have accepted, but neither did she deserve the barrage of condescension that followed her appointment. Can we please try to argue against the appointment in a respectful way, without attacking the appointee?
Make sure you're signed up so we can inbox you the latest.
Login to choose your subscriptions!
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation