Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Gift with Purchase

It’s nice to see that April 1st did not go totally unobserved in the poetry world. And the focus of the rites was rather economic in nature. The Kenyon Review took advantage of the serious financial weirdness to acquire Random House, “a division of Bertelsmann AG, an international media corporation with its headquarters in a dormant volcano in Gütersloh, Germany.” And in a move that would give the-collective-rage-formerly-known-as-Foetry an aneurism, Graywolf decided that the Cave Canem Prize should really go to Tao Lin:

“I asked Komunyakka if it had occurred to him that perhaps Lin’s entry was not, in fact, unironic at all. “Yes, that did occur to me,” he said. “Some people on the Graywolf board were especially concerned about this, but I finally just said, ‘Listen, what does it matter? A good book is a good book, and this kid’s stuff actually sells.’ It’s the name of our prize--and your press--that will be on the cover of his book, which we expect he will promote with the same machine-like relentlessness that is his trademark–-which of course is how he ended up entering our contest in the first place. I said to them, ‘you want to see Cold-Pressed Organic Virgin Coconut Oil come out with that little Melville House logo on the spine instead of your wolves, be my guest. But this is the book I’m writing an introduction for.’”

I hope that there were other shenanigans afoot out there. What good is the internet if not for ad-hoc, self-relexiveness? (I mean, besides instantly shrink-wrapping sentiment, merchandise, and data with the same dispassionate even-handedness one would show to a fruit basket.)

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