Tupelo Press and Ann Rabinowitz Sell Souls to Satan
So I just got this email that seems like a perfect symbol of where poetry is at as an institution. So desperate are publishers for a return to some mythic time when poetry was a mainstream art form that (formerly) respectable presses will crap themselves at the slightest hint of mass market acknowledgment. Just a whiff of the stench of mainstream media sends them quivering away. It doesn't matter if such acknowledgment comes from the most despicable source of American "journalism." It doesn't matter if the editors themselves would never watch the program pimping their book. The slightest nod from corporate-sponsored bobble heads equals "a coup" for poetry--and those are their words, not mine.
So Fox News is trying to bring a highbrow touch to their nut-job pandering, faith-based news by trotting out a real live poet! Hmmm ... let's see, what type of contemporary poetry would be acceptable? I know (Gretchen Carlson scratches head) ... something Christmasy! Let's see, a book of Haiku about Rudolf? Santa sonnets? Maybe a book about the birth of baby Jesus?
Well, they couldn't find any contemporary poets writing those poems, so they got the next best thing--a book about the Virgin Mary! That's right, Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" has invited poet Anna Rabinowitz to come on their show and talk about her new tome, The Wanton Sublime. I wonder if Gretchen will be able to restrain herself from asking what it's like for a Jew to write about Jesus's mom.
Tupelo Press, breathless with joy, dashes off an email that reads like a press release, informing us of the news, citing blurbs, and concluding with this statement:
"What a coup for Anna, for poetry."
Uh, Yeah. Poetry is big time now, baby ... Fox News big! Maybe Laura Bush will invite Ms. Rabinowitz to the White House to give a reading! Then we'll know that poetry is truly right with the world.