Jessica blogged about rust belt poets, so my grading is going to be put on hold for a few minutes. I think you know you're a rust belt poet when you find yourself only looking at the Midwest on that clickable AWP job list map. When your friends are applying for jobs in Florida and Seattle, and you say, "My dream job is in Ohio, preferably in a post-industrial city with lots of old smokestacks and freight tracks." Or at least that's when I had a moment of reckoning. Hell, I was born in California. My parents are from New York and Colorado. But my ancestors, way back, are from Ohio. Maybe that's why I feel at home here. Well, that and living in the Midwest for 90% of my life.
I'm in love with the landscape of the midwest, with the hard work, the rows and rows of bungalows along the highway. There's so much history here, and so much grit that even if your job doesn't require elbow grease you never really feel fancy. You never want to feel fancy. When you go looking for poetry you find it in excavators and dilapidated silos. Some people will think you are crazy. But who needs an ocean, really?
Fellow rust belt poets, give a holla on your own blogs!