Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Post Confessional Poetry? Confessional?

I've been wondering a lot about confessional poetry and its place in the poetry scene right now. On the one hand, poets like Sharon Olds and Tony Hoagland, to mention a few, used seemingly autobiographical elements in their poems all the time. People still like "life stories" and the closeness to the writer that these poems create. But, there seems to be a reaction, especially in snide comments by journal editors, that this type of poetry is on the outs. Too much stuff about abuse, cancer experiences, etc. In this case, purely experimental poetry, often much of it more like a hard puzzle than a pleasurable experience, is promoted instead. I've been writing some poems about family lately, and I wonder if they're just too familiar, stuff people have already done. I guess the only thing you can do is keep writing, keep working, and hope the presentation and style with which you infuse into the poem makes it interesting. Does anyone have any opinions on the subject?

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