Near the beginning of last century, Ezra Pound proclaimed that poetry should be at least as well-written as prose. Near the end of that same century, Charles Bernstein declared that poetry should be at least as interesting as TV. The start of a new century brings with it a new demand for poetry: poetry must be at least as witty, as knowing and as surprising as Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans. And, though it may not seem so at first, this silly—and disturbing, and wonderful—book offers serious lessons for and challenges to contemporary American poetry at all levels: from individual poem to overarching theory. Originally published in Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing and used with permission.


English Language and Literature