Vote for me!

March 10th, 2011

Yeah, you!  I’m talking to you!

I received an email the other day from the Vermont Arts Council inviting me to nominate a candidate for Vermont Poet Laureate, and I thought, who better than me?  For all of you who agree, follow this link to help me throw my hat in the ring.  You can find everything you need to know to fill out the nomination form right here on this web site.

Poetry doesn’t need to be boring or mystifying or trivial.  It can be about more than some feeling or experience or passing fancy or perception the author had.  It doesn’t have to be a word game.  It can do more than advertise how sensitive or perceptive or humane or smart or verbally adept the author is.   It doesn’t have to come in little bite size pieces that you can read while folding toilet paper.

Poetry can engage the world on all the levels that you do.  It can make statements, tell stories about characters doing things, express points of view and arguments and ideas, contain adventure and excitement and jokes that are actually funny.  It can be so big that it takes hours and days and weeks to read.  It can be so vivid that you don’t want to watch a movie instead.

I want to wrest poetry away from the clammy fingers of the Standard MFA Workshop American Lyric that are clenching it by the throat, squeezing the life out of it.  I am sick of reading award winning poems that tell me in twenty lines or so about some tranche de vie.  Why are you telling me this?  Who cares?  Why should I care?  Why should anybody care?    I am sick of being dazzled by verbal brilliance – it hurts and it’s bad for the eyes.  I am sick of poems that dare me to understand them, like an adolescent with something to prove to himself.

Where are the poems that back an eighteen wheeler up to your head, unload, and leave you with completely rearranged furniture and a new set of tenants?  Who is writing them?  I’ll leave it to you to decide if I’m such a poet, but if you agree with me that this is something poetry needs to do and that too few poets are trying to do it, then VOTE FOR ME!

The deadline for nominations is March 25.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 10th, 2011 at 1:23 am and is filed under art, Poetry. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Vote for me!”

  1. Laureate 'Laurie' Maker Says:

    Noble Laureate-in-Waiting,

    Us, the willing servants of (your) destiny, need a couple(*) of things:

    – Your Mailing address
    – Your Publisher
    – Do you have a 2nd book? (That you know of, care about or even remember?)


    ps For those who might have difficulty putting 250 words together concerning you, may I recommend … push the button a few times and inspiration will begin to dribble.

    (* OK, 3)

  2. C. Jane Taylor Says:

    the nomination form asked for a mailing address for our poet. can you oblige svp?

  3. Seth Steinzor Says:

    Well, hello there! For my address, I think “South Burlington, Vermont” should do. I’ll email my street address to a couple of people who are friends both on and off Facebook. For obvious reasons, I don’t want to post it here. My publisher is Antrim House Books. I am working on my second book, a revisit to Purgatory provisionally titled “Goldfish Rising.” Movie rights negotiable.

  4. Upton O. Goode Says:

    I should rather think you would be better suited for poet laureate of the United States. Or, maybe they should create a special Nobel prize for poetry, and then give you their version of a lifetime achievement. Ok, Ok. I’ll go vote.

    P.S. I like the title of your new book. I cannot help but ask, the obvious play on words aside, is this any reference to the Tom Clancy book, Red Storm Rising.

  5. Seth Steinzor Says:

    Geez, I wish I had thought of that! I mean, um, of course. 😉

  6. Upton O. Goode Says:

    So, did you win?

  7. Seth Steinzor Says:

    It’s not exactly an election. A panel makes a recommendation to the Governor in July, and then the Governor announces the appointment in August or September.

  8. Upton O. Goode Says:

    Tell me you didn’t answer at 2:29 a.m.?

  9. Seth Steinzor Says:

    I didn’t answer at 2:29 a.m.

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