Another interesting…

Another interesting convention tidbit -- one of the panelists was talking about a student, one who was frustrated because she felt that the critical tradition in poetry was extremely male-dominated, and often inappropriate for application to her work; that there wasn't a critical mode available which suited her writing. The panelist told her to start writing critically herself -- the panelist's contention was that if you do not participate in creating/defining an appropriate critical vocabulary for your work, then you shouldn't be surprised if inappropriate critical vocabulary and ideas are misapplied to your writing.

If the poet wanted to claim that she was just a poet, and that criticism wasn't her job (as so many poets and writers today would), then the panelist would point to the fact that most of the major poets in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries were also very much involved in critical inquiry. This division, between creative writers and critics, is a recent one, and not necessarily a trend we should allow to flourish.

While I don't personally think that every writer needs to also be a critic, I do find some of the writers who do both, like Salman Rushdie, to be incredibly interesting.

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