Poets As Challengers of Convention
FSG's Henri Cole, who lives in Boston's South End and whose new poetry collection Blackbird and Wolf was just released, disagrees with the idea of a poet laureate. Cole is quoted as saying that he "think(s) of poets as challengers of convention . . . Government is a representation of convention. So I think there's a bit of a conflict there."
Well worth a read if you have the time, although I wish that some of Boston's other poets were asked for comments--especially Robert Pinsky, who lives in Boston and was named as United States Poet Laureate in 1997, or Louise Gluck, who lives in Boston and was the US Laureate in 2003, or Frank Bidart, who teachs at Wellesley and is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Tell me what you think in the comments below--is poetry meant to be a public position, or is it more appropriate for a poet to remain in a countercultural role?