time_shark (time_shark) wrote,

Athena Andreadis on "The Green Reich" (a signal boost)

I've posted two entries now on the appearance of a poem by S.A. Kelly titled "The Green Reich" in the newest issue of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's official publication Star*Line, here and here, explaining why I think it was an extremely poor choice for showcasing. Jeannie Bergmann, a poet I respect and admire (and who has won a Rhysling Award for a piece that appeared in Mythic Delirium), disagrees strongly with my take, here and in comments, and objects to writer/editor/poet Rose Lemberg's assertions that the poem relates to personal conflict Kelly has had with her and others.

Athena Andreadis (helivoy) asked to read the poem this morning, and then posted this comment in response, which I am highlighting with her permission...

To set up the discussion parameters, I am a friend of both Rose and Jeannie, I've read (and really like) their poetry and have contributed two essays and a poem to Rose's venue, Stone Telling. I also know that both are highly learned, politically liberal, intellectually rigorous and very aware of context and nuances.

I have now read Scott Kelly's Green Reich, and must say that I cannot fathom how it cleared the slush pile. Satire, whether polished steel or rusty iron, still needs to be sharp, not this soupy-cement mix of mouldy clichés. Less important, but still relevant, the jibes in the poem are clearly calibrated to hit individuals -- which makes it rather different from Animal Farm.

Orthodoxies are suffocating, especially in small groups of intense people and purposes. Yet surely publication of bad poetry that is controversial for secondary reasons is not the method of choice for a venue to thrive or maintain its reputation.

... which is a much clearer way of articulating the points I've been trying to make.


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