Huffington Post Arts – But Not the Literary Arts?

Demonic Future Poets Learn to Shut Up

So The New Yorker publishes poetry, which falls within the domain of the Literary Arts.  (I didn’t claim it was always good poetry…)

And today, my friend Ben Evans tells me he has now signed on to write about the arts on Huffington Post.  Ariana Huffington posted  a big note announcing how HuffPo is all-inclusive with their New ARTS section, but she forgot to mention (I think) “sans the literary arts.” Or am I missing it?

What’s it take to get a poem or two featured there? Or in any hip venue like Gawker, Jezebel or L Magazine? Poets have been known to speak in prose there, true, but what’s so scary about an occasional poem?  Or is prose the only perfect medium by which we can communicate?  Because we all know that prose is the perfect medium for clear communication.  No?

What say you?

Ariana Huffington / HuffPo Founder

“It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.” — William Carlos Williams

Ars Poetica Art Poetics Poetry Publishing

AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

11 Comments Leave a comment

  1. The WCW quote is spot on, Amy, as is what you say. Poetry has the force of truth-telling to it. It cannot be co-opted or owned by profit-driven corporations. This is not my agenda for poetry. It eludes agendas with its pursuit of the mystery in order to be with it and not bag it for consumption. Media are always afraid of offending their captive audiences. They must control the message in order to predict safe outcomes and profits; that is, they need to continue to deliver us to their advertisers. I think that HuffPo is up to changing this approach. Let’s see. You have certainly thrown down the gauntlet. Three cheers for the third alternative, or satyagraha, truthforce.

  2. If there’s not a separate section for “Books” (a la NYTimes), then there’s no defense for excluding literature from something that claims to have comprehensive coverage of the “Arts.” But I have to say that there’s a difference between arguing that HuffPo should *publish* poems and arguing that your friend Ben (or someone much like him!) should *review* poetry alongside reviews/discussions of dance, visual art, and so forth. Which is more important to you? Which can HuffPo do a better job of? I answer your question with a question (or two)!

  3. Perhaps
    the word itself
    is too hot for
    the fearless Huff?

    O, little did we know
    we handled fearlessly
    such wicked isotopes
    as words!

    ..cannot stop lol…

  4. I agree with Evie. And add this (and by the way, I consider Ben Evans a wonder and marvel. It’s clear from his work with Fogged Clarity he is onto something good).

    Reviews ARE separate from the art itself, even if there is an art to reviewing. We don’t expect plays or novels published in journals & co. devoted to arts and reviews. We can HOPE poetry finds a home there, as it is one of the few art forms (along w/photography and videos) which fit, but its inclusion or exclusion is not implicit or faulty. Thanks for the news of Ben Evans, however, and Huffington and many congratulations on your (Amy) various interviews and projects of late.

  5. sadly, part of it may be a not unreasonable fear of opening the faucet at all. most calls for submission that do not charge a reading fee are cracking the tap of an apparently bottomless barrel of shit that must be sifted through in order to find the (few) gems. this has been my experience with calls for submission to a print anthology as well as calls for the online zine if, in addition, they do not have an experienced poetry editor available, the results could simply be embarrassing for the publication and infuriating to those who take poetry seriously and work at learning their craft. one big backfire.

    • I’ve acted as a literary editor, and I know of what you speak. This is what I was thinking. It can be really draining.

  6. Ah..good point on the bottomless barrel, especially since
    that venue might draw a few additional barrels of aspiring
    non-poets as well. There are tens of thousands of chapbooks
    alone being touted.

  7. Anybody worth the fluff round their Y-junction knows that the next presidential inauguration poem should be something by Anthony MADRID.
    Worse than the move-makers refusal to back poetry on its own terms is when, let’s say, a prime minister commissions, or lays his hands on, some piece written by a simpleton for simpletons, then uses it for whatever poetry-in-the-media one-off circus he’s promoting.

  8. I am a writer first and foremost. I haven’t written a new piece for HP lately, but my last two articles concerned the work of author and poet James Lasdun and the poetry of Michael Tyrell. I am speaking with Robert Wrigley next month and intend to write an article on his new collection for HP. I realize I am late to the party here.

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