One of the Contributing Editors of Dispatches from the Poetry Wars has been in touch with some of the many women who’ve recently come forward with serious allegations concerning a well-known poet in the U.S. “avant” community. Earlier this week, one of the women wrote the email below, and today has sent, exclusive to Dispatches, a fuller update about the situation, which we post here as a public service.
We would note that Wesleyan University Press, which had scheduled to publish a book by this poet, has not yet seen fit to cancel its publication plans, despite knowing of these allegations for quite some time. Indeed, those women who repeatedly reached out to the press have reported that Wesleyan UP has so far refused to speak to them on the matter. We would further note that as of today, and even though this issue has been well known by them, a number of elite poetry institutions continue to promote the work of this poet at their websites, as if the issue did not exist.
How is it possible that in virtually every other sphere of the culture, the #MeToo moment is treated with respect and urgency, while prestigious institutions of the poetry sphere (and of the “avant” wing of it, no less) are so hesitant to speak and react? Among those institutions who continue to prominently publicize the poet in question are the following, as a quick web search as of February 28th confirms: The Poetry Foundation, PennSound, Wave Books, and the Academy of American Poets.
To read the letter, go HERE