April 12, 2016

Thursday, April 15, 2010

National Poetry Month 50 State Tour: Wall of Shame

It's Tax Day.

If you pay taxes, and I know you do, demand your poetic rights!

If you live in a Wall of Shame state, wouldn't today be the *perfect* day to tell your governor you want a poet laureate of your very own?

Here it is...your poetic Wall of Shame. These are the 10 states who do not have a poet laureate. (Notice the bench in front of the Wall of Shame is empty. Vacant. No one is in the bench position. Kind of like these states and poetry.)

National Poetry Month 50 State Tour
Wall of Shame

1. Poo on Pennsylvania! You have great gifts in Gerald Stern and Sonia Sanchez, but no poet laureate. That's just plain lazy.

2. Naughty New Jersey your poetry community is thriving and you're home to the largest poetry festival in the country. So, you were burned by a bad poet laureate experience. Get over it.

3. Cankerous Connecticut, saying your poet laureate position is vacant makes it sound about as appealing as an airplane toilet.

4. Miserly Massachusetts lists its poet laureate as: Position does not exist. Like, "We can't be bothered."

5. Oh, no! Ohio, like Mass, just can't be bothered to have an official state poet.

6. Mad-brained Michigan has had one poet laureate in its history. Edgar Guest was the only worthy poet your state has ever produced? Seriously?

7. No way, Nevada. You haven't had a poet laureate since 2007. What gives?

8. Noisome New Mexico. I'm getting tired of these states with "Position does not exist." Actually, poet laureates do exist. In 40 other states. What's your problem?

9. Artless Arizona -- artless is a good word for a state that doesn't honor poetry through a poet laureate position.

10. Hapless Hawaii, just because you were the last state on board, I'm not forgiving you. Joy Harjo is a resident of your state. Give her a call, would ya?!

Thanks to Pete Levin's page for some of these great, Shakespeare inspired insults.

As long as I'm venting, I'd like to have a word with the Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets.

You'd be shocked at how many state poets laureate are not represented on these important websites. I, for one, was flabbergasted

If a poet has been deemed worthy by an entire state, that person deserves a bio on your venerated site. Discuss amongst yourselves while we get back on the road. Our National Poetry Month 50 State Tour continues.


Serena said...

Thanks so much for participating in the National Poetry Month Blog Tour. Please make sure you put your full link for this post in the Mr. Linky at my welcome post:

Also please email Susan at winabook and she will spread the word as well.

Valerie said...

Wow, I have to say I'm surprised that not all 50 states have poet laureates! I have lived in four different states so far, and according to your list half of those four (PA and MI) don't currently have poet laureates :-( .

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Serena. Mr. Linky -- check! I'll email Susan ASAP. Book launch at CityLit Festival today. Busy busy :-)

Author Amok said...

Valerie -- I was surprised too. I hope you're living in a poetry friendly state now!

Lisa Roe said...

This was fun! I found out that, not only is Marilyn L. Taylor Wisconsin's current Poet Laureate, they're on the hunt for a new one since her tenure ends December of this year.

We've had a PL since 2000 and at first, they held 4 year positions, but it seems that now they will do 2 years, which is nice because now more poets will have an opportunity to hold the post!

Author Amok said...

Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the post! I just heard from Marilyn Taylor. Look for an interview with her this week. I agree that the shorter terms are a good thing -- the more voices we hear, the better.