This weekend, Barren Magazine's Danielle Rose wrote on the mirage of poetry.
"I wish poets understood that the general population has no interest in what we do, so when we speak we are speaking only to each other," she tweeted. "The delusion that poetry is something powerful is a straight line to all kinds of toxic positivities that are really just us lying to ourselves."
"I don't find this defeatist," she added. "What we do does not have a large social value, so do what you think is most useful to you without regret or shame."
On Sunday, the publisher of Barren Magazine ("Writing and photography for hard truths") publicly announced her firing over this opinion. Jason D. Ramsay:
Our mission at Barren Magazine has always been to celebrate multicultural written and visual art. We exist to uplift the global arts community, and to showcase its passion and vigor through a unique aesthetic. We absolutely and firmly believe in the power of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and photography.
Please know that we have been paying close attention to the Twitter #poetry conversation, and, while we certainly can appreciate a good debate with polarizing opinions, our official stance regarding Danielle Rose's tweet from yesterday is that poetry is an extremely powerful art form. And while it may feel that we poets and writers are screaming into the void, the fact is that people are in fact listening.
After discussion regarding misalignment of the Barren Magazine vision, Danielle has agreed to part ways with us as Poetry Editor. Danielle has been an integral part of our team for the last several months, and has helped to bring forth two incredible issues. We are grateful for her contributions to Barren Magazine.
Hm. Perhaps it's time for a poetry review.
The absurd overreaction to an entirely legitimate and empowering argument (as Sir Frank Kermode said of W.H. Auden, "he never mistook the fact that he was good at something for the fact that it was important", or if you prefer Auden's own words, "Art is completely unnecessary. Like love, it is not a matter of duty.") will hopefully draw attention to more eloquent counterpoints.