Dear Emily Post-Avant,

I know Dispatches once described The Yale Younger Poets Award as “the oldest national award in the United States, making it the grandpa of the by-now deeply institutionalized system of corporate and government-funded You Got Talent poetry shows, which have pretty much overwhelmed the entire contemporary poetic landscape, mashing it into a scheme-ridden, bloodthirsty, Cultural Real-Estate grifter sort of thang.”

Well, I recently learned that none other than Rae Armantrout will be the 2020 Yale Younger Poets Award judge!

Go Bulldogs!

–New Sentencing in New Haven


Dear New Sentencing in New Haven,

When you say “Go Bulldogs!” do you mean the Yale Bulldogs, or the Gonzaga Bulldogs? I live in Spokane, so just wondering. Our Zags are currently ranked #1 in the nation. Which is to say, cuddle muffin, that there are Bulldogs and then there are Bulldogs

As for this venerable Yale Younger Poets Award, why do you seem so surprised? I’ve said it before: The Structure of the Field will do what it does. And what it does is now unquestioned and omnipresent, like air. It Authorizes, Classifies, Administers, Disciplines, and Pacifies. It has invaded and now inhabits the body of the poetic “Avant.” The “Avant” likes it that way; it suits their collective-careerist outlook to a T; they are sanctioned members of the Parliament, entitled to all the perks. They don’t just win Prizes, my sweet Jackie Spicer, they dispense them.

Yes, it is the new Order of Things. Or it is almost “like a new knowledge of reality,” as a famous citizen of New Haven once put it.

Incidentally, mon amour, did you know that one of the major centers of IWW activity in the first couple decades of the 20th century was Spokane? They came close to taking over the town, in 1917. The City bosses had to declare Martial Law.

North American poetry really needs an IWW.

–Emily Post-Avant