More on Hoagland & Rankine

Sean Singer has posted a response on his blog:


All societies have their psychopathic elements, and America is psychopathological about race. I think it is irresponsible to ignore race in a piece of writing either in terms of content, form, psychological space, point-of-view, theme, or historical perspective. In both my creative and academic work I write about race frequently, either as a triumphant view of jazz culture, or as a critique of, for example, the immense problems facing the black metropolis of Newark, New Jersey.


And here's something on Patrick Rosal's blog:


While the poem, by now, has clearly established that it is an address, for argument’s sake, let’s say the “you” in this passage momentarily becomes something else, a general rhetorical “you”, a “you” removed or expanded from the companion to include something collective. The question is Why? Why deflect and/or abstract? Why shouldn’t history pass the speaker with the same proximity as it does a nation, or even just his companion? Is this another confession of ignorance by the speaker, that he simply doesn’t have the same relationship to history as “you”, whether "you companion" or "you collective/abstract" or "you (approximately) specifically who love her complicated hair"? If so, what’s the speaker's human responsibility to establish a proximity and distance to history? Why doesn’t he get down into it?


And something from Seth Abramson's blog:


This is quite a broad claim, given that two of most the provocative poets presently writing about race, Tony Hoagland and Rodney Jones, both teach in MFA programs, and that many of our nation's most productively race-conscious authors are the products of MFA programs (e.g., Natasha Trethewey, UMass; Kevin Young, Brown; Terrance Hayes, Pittsburgh; Major Jackson, Oregon; the list is nearly endless). I don't think this sort of blanket condemnation, contradicted as it is by all of the available evidence, should go unchallenged.

Oliver de la Paz