The 2012 education platform released by the Republican Party of Texas last summer contains more than just a troubling attack on critical thinking skills in the classroom. Considered in a broad historical context, the GOP’s platform lays bare fundamental inconsistencies in the conservative thought that birthed it. The product of a grossly divided intellectual legacy, it represents an extraordinary cheapening of our American heritage.
Like most creative writers (especially us wayward poets), I don’t relish being told what to do. Perhaps this is why I bristle when I hear the dictum write every day. To me, writing every day doesn’t sound appetizing: it sounds like a dry piece of rye toast with no butter. It sounds Machiavellian. It sounds like a chore, replete with brooms and mops and green jars of Comet. As it is, my To Do List is already chock-full of this and that and a little more of this.
Believing as we do that Michigan is a state where literature matters, we’d love to invite you, wherever you are, to visit our fine state this month to celebrate the written word. We’re hosting a day-long symposium, called The State of the Book, and drawing a crowd of writers and readers from around the world to talk books in Ann Arbor.
“Urban poetics” takes place at the ripped seam of these intersecting discourses of inside/outside, self/other, “objective”/”subjective” realities, which adhere on the level of individual cognition, spatial orientation, sensation, and judgment, and therefore can’t be codified or defined. It can, however, be reintroduced into poetic discourse, as a bridge to begin the work of looking “outward,” in terms of praxis or politics, rather than just “inward,” in terms of theory and aesthetics, again.