A Million MFAs Are Not Enough

A Million MFAs Are Not Enough

by Charles Harper Webb (Editor)

Paperback(1st Edition)

Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, July 29


Something is rotten in the state of American poetry. With respect to audience and artistry, poetry has shot itself in many portions of its anatomy, and keeps blasting. The fact that vast numbers of poems are published every year, and a large number of Creative Writing students and graduates combine to read a few of them, does not mean that poetry is on the right track. How has the erstwhile Queen of the Arts been consigned to the tiny corner of the cultural basement where she languishes today—and how can she get out? As an acclaimed poet and veteran teacher of poetry, Charles Harper Webb knows what it takes for a poem to grab a reader's attention and hold on. As a former rock singer/guitarist and a licensed psychotherapist, he understands how to connect with an audience. A Million MFAs Are Not Enough shows—with wit and style and concrete tips that working writers can use—how poetry can return to cultural relevance again.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597097246
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 11/14/2016
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,062,513
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Charles Harper Webb’s latest book, Brain Camp, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2015. A Million MFAs Are Not Enough, a book of essays on revitalizing American poetry, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2016. Recipient of grants from the Whiting and Guggenheim foundations and winner of the Saltman Prize from Red Hen, Webb teaches Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Apples and Orangutans: Competing Values in Contemporary Poetry 1

Five Stand Up Poets 15

In Defense of Clarity 28

Depression and American Poetry: A Psychotherapeutic Approach 42

The Pleasure of Their Company: Voice and Poetry 51

The Myth of Maturity 64

A Defense of Humor in Poetry 76

How I Met the Prose Poem, and What Ensued 88

The Poem as Fitness Display 91

Back to the Narrative: Breathing New Life into a Tired Form 106

Where I Stand 122

A Musician Considers the Music of Poetry 125

How Do They Do It?: The Powerful Poems of Dorianne Laux and B. H. Fairchild 135

When Goodness Is Not a Virtue: Morality, Psychology, and Poetry 148

The Quick and the Dead: An Energy Crisis in Poetry 159

The Limits of Indeterminacy: A Defense of Less Difficult Poetry 177

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Publishing Charles Harper Webb’s essays in the Writer’s Chronicle is always a pleasure. His essays tackle big subjects in poetry: narrative, difficulty, energy. He is methodical in his criticism, and he has at heart the desire to elevate poetry out of the cultural basement to a prominent place in the public sphere.”

—Supriya Bhatnagar, editor of Writer’s Chronicle

Customer Reviews