Even before “Can Poetry Matter?” ideologues such as Diane Wakoski and Ira Sadoff shrilly attacked Gioia, portraying New Formalism as an ignorant attack on modernism and a zombie-like extension of Reaganism. Given that the New Formalists reflected a wider range of backgrounds and ideologies than their critics, this counterattack failed miserably. It also made for particular awkwardness when used against Gioia, who grew up in a working-class family with Latino, Native American, and Italian roots—and unlike more traditional New Formalists such as Timothy Steele, Gioia embraced modernism and superbly translated modernist poets.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
… The Case for Dana Gioia. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)