At least, that's what I keep hearing. Over and over.
And with all of the new reviews of American Hybrid, edited by Cole Swenson and David St. John, we can only expect to hear about these types of poetry more and more.
The first review I read was by Ron Silliman. Then I read Andrew Wessels' reaction to Silliman's review. Then I read the Rain Taxi review by Johannes Göransson. There may have been one or two more short reviews on blogs I've scanned recently as well.
What strikes me most about the reviews is how each seems to take most issue with the idea that there are only two camps and a poet has to be from one or the other. That an editor or editorial team can absolutely decidedly affix a label on a single poet based on the handful of poems from that poet's ouevre that fit their editorial slant. Want to call so-and-so a lyric poet? Sure, go ahead. Just don't include any of the narrative or political works that he/she may have written over the years.
Göransson mentions in his review the portion of Swenson's introduction that references Robert Lowell's quote that there is "cooked" and "uncooked" poetry. And on the same day I read that review, I was reading an interview with Peter Gizzi in issue #14 of jubilat, in which he says: "When I was a teenager, I began with the Beats, Rimbaud, Homer, Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Whitman, but I never read just one stream. To me the tradition is much larger than just the recent postwar 'raw and the cooked,' as Lowell broke it down. I didn't want to think of it in those terms."
And through all of the "flarf vs. conceptual", "lyric vs. narrative", "School of Quietude vs. everyone else" I must honestly say I could not care less about these types of labels. When I sit down to read a poem, I will like it or not based on any number of factors, but NOT based on what "school of thought" the poet is considered to be in. Like Gizzi, I don't want to think about poetry in those terms.
And I am getting very weary of all the fighting between groups who think their camp is better than everyone else's camp, or more authentic, or more accessible, or more valuable because it is not accessible, etc. ad nauseum.
Really, it's all beginning to sound like a bunch of Sneetches on the beaches bellyaching about who has stars upon thars.
And the editors generating all the hubbub stirring up clashes between camps are merely the Sylvester McMonkey McBeans trying to capitalize on the desires of these camps to be seen as the best on the poetry beaches.