23 September 2008

Are we really alone out there?

Yesterday the above copy of ACADEME arrived in my mailbox. My eyes immediately landed on "The Future of Tenure" on the front.

And I started laughing my ass off. Then I wondered how many other AAUP members were also laughing. Maybe two. Not because the future of tenure is a laughing matter. But because of Matthea Harvey's "The Future of Terror" poems, and how now our culture might now demand a "The Future of Tenure" / "The Tenure of the Future" series.

It's a strange thing, wondering if everyone else is getting the joke. Which made me remember that we're somewhat of a subculture as writers, even if at AWP we seem ubiquitous.

Sometimes it's like being in high school all over again, and a new kid shows up at school wearing a Bauhaus t-shirt, and suddenly you know you're not the only one of you in the universe.

Where do you go to find your fellow Bauhaus fans? (It's a metaphor.)

I'm amazed that I've been able to find fellow metaphorical Bauhaus fans in the blogosphere, who turned out to be really good friends--people who I hope to be in touch with a long time from now. I'm also thankful for my real-world metaphorical Bauhaus fans. You'd think that academe would be teeming with kindred spirits, but apparently not everyone likes Bauhaus. Or maybe they just moved on to different bands, and different t-shirts.

Au sujet de Matthea Harvey, and good company, there are two new reviews online at Barn Owl Review.

1 comment:

Jay Robinson said...

This is a good question. I'm not sure how to answer it, however. It seems so often nowadays that creativity is tied to academia and only academia, at least when it comes to poetry. I know when I delivered furniture for a living I found it nearly impossible to find people with similar interests. And I don't think this is a good either, to bunch together academia and creativity almost exclusively. Decades ago, it seemed plausible for poets to make their living doing something other than teaching poetry. I'm thinking of Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, etc. Certainly there are examples of contemporary poets who have made a good name for themselves while remaining distinct from the academy. And certainly there are an overwhelming number of teachers such as yourself who make the academy, through their scholarship and teaching and administrative work, better than it would be without them. But, overall, the idea of a poet selling life insurance or flipping burgers and writing poetry too feels like the unfortunate exception to the rule. Personally, I've given up quite a bit (at least financially) in order to find my fellow Bauhaus fans. I could certainly be making more money delivering furniture than I do teaching English Composition. I suppose in answering your question, though, I've really posed another one that's altogether different from what you were asking. That's what I was thinking, anyway.