Forrest Gander has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for 2019, for his book Be With.

He has been a contributor to Dispatches from the Poetry Wars.

Here at Dispatches, we are very skeptical of the whole Poetry Prize Industry (PPI).

Actually, we are on record as being something like Poetry Prize Industry abolitionists.

For the PPI is a structural/ideological system of hierarchy and disciplining compliance, one now totally interwoven with the career-driven Academic habitus, into which nearly all poetry is increasingly corralled.
This PPI network, that is, combined with its ancillary back-scratching Reading Circuits, Author Marketing Agencies, and Poetry Retreat/Residency Ponzi schemes, now passes for seemingly natural stuff–and therefore all the more insidious it is to the health of the body of poetry.

Our argument is not with poets whose terrific work receives justly deserved laurels. It is with a relationship to poetry that turns it into an exchange value. Great poetry deserves to be recognized and celebrated, and Forrest Gander writes great poetry.

One can be a contributor to Dispatches from the Poetry Wars and also win the most official of Prizes. Poetry has always been impure. We heartily congratulate Forrest Gander on his Pulitzer honor.