The New Yorker, which I’ve now read for nearly 40 years, is surely publishing better poems now that Paul Muldoon has taken over for Alice Quinn. His selections are interesting, witty, striking, running the gamut from free verse to traditional poems. Quinn’s poems were often self-indulgent, sentimental, mannered, boring.That’s from Chasing the Blues, and that’s a fine site, by the way. I’m so happy I happened on it. I would argue there are many exceptions to the note about Quinn’s taste, but I’m not here to argue; I’m here to be glad we’re not said fools, often the very people who don’t read poetry because—we know the real reason, right? It’s too much work to worry about whether you’ll understand it. Be brave, prosey people!
This is just another sign of the magazine’s revival under David Remnick, who has returned it to the best days of Shawn and Ross, and perhaps surpassed them. Too bad this excellent, wide-ranging cultural treasure keeps improving in a climate of anti-intellectualism and short attention spans. I often hear quite well-read folks say they no longer read the New Yorker, or just glance at the cartoons. Too bad, you fools.
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Emdashes, founded in 2004, is written and drawn by Emily Gordon, Martin Schneider, Pollux, Jonathan Taylor, and Benjamin Chambers, as well as occasional guest contributors. All posts before October 2008 are by Emily Gordon.