Monday, June 1, 2009

Market for poets

The market for poets is of course not the same as the market for poetry, and a recent NY Times article looks at how poets fit into academia, as professors of poetry: Poets, Academia: A Couplet in Conflict.
The article discusses the notion that poets might be expected to be more drunken and seductive than, say, critics. But in other respects, the intersection of poetry and academia is a lot like in many other fields, in which scholars not only do scholarship, but teach.

That being said, the balance between scholarship and teaching, like the balance between discovery and stewardship, and between the ivory tower and the open marketplace, is quite different in different disciplines. But, in each discipline, the various roles that universities play in our society involve finding such balances.

I can't tell how much the non-academic market for poets and poetry has been changed since the endowment in 2003 of the Poetry Foundation (what rhymes with a hundred million dollars?). But here's a 2006 article in the Globe: Poets, Inc., which notes about Poetry magazine that "The magazine's efforts to engage a broader audience seem to be working. When Wiman took over Poetry in October 2003, the magazine's circulation was 11,000. Today it stands at roughly 29,000."

One thing to admire about the poetry biz is that there's a technical term for a bad poet: poetaster (rhymes with "do it faster").

(Contest: what should be the equivalent word for a bad economist? Econo... misser? ...messer?)

1 comment:

Imad said...

Alan Greenspan