Let’s Talk Poetry, Shall We?

September 5, 2012 | 2

Willard Spiegelman’s provocative essay in the VQR’s recent State of American Poetry issue, “Has Poetry Changed?” incited quite a few responses. One of the better rejoinders came from William Childress, whose response, “Is Free Verse Killing Poetry,” raises some excellent points. “Poetry needs readers, not writers,” writes Childress. “But how many poets read any poetry but their own?”

works on special projects for The Millions. He lives in Baltimore and he frequents dive bars. His interests can be followed on his Tumblr, Nick Recommends and Twitter, @nemoran3.


  1. If Mr Childress’s rejoinder is one of the better ones, I’d hate to see the others. It’s a poorly argued bit of invective. Note the part where, shortly after claiming that beat poetry would have been considered fascist in another time, he also states that beat poetry is anarchic.

    The quotes you’ve selected here are good points, I suppose, but they’ve also been said again and again. I’m at a loss to understand why this piece is being given so much attention.

Add Your Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.