Addendum to the Last Post (Pieces of You)

Turns out the Mets could handle a bad poet after all: David Wright hit two home runs in the first two innings, and Miguel couldn’t get through the third, giving up 8 runs and securing his 10th loss of the season.  If only his slider broke with the confidence of his lines…

Anyway, I ended up reading several reviews of Jewel’s book just now.  A guilty pleasure, I guess.  And I thought it worth mentioning that there’s one common criticism of celebrity poets that I don’t agree with at all.

A lot of people have complained that books like A Night Without Armor steal slots at the publishing houses from legitimate poets, and even worse, that they steal readers themselves.  I don’t think that’s at all the case.  I don’t think the set of people who would publish or read Alan Shapiro are the same set that are instead publishing and/or reading Billy Corgan.  That should be obvious.  The audience is an entirely different demographic, and so the publishers are filling an entirely different niche.  The bad books of poetry aren’t doing any harm to real poetry sales — and in fact, there are probably boatloads of people who drift over to the island of verse from the wreckage that is Jewel Kilcher.  And we’re all the better for it.

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