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The editor of an important anthology recently wrote me that a certain
writer was "not after all actively pursuing a career as a poet" and therefore
not eligible for inclusion. Perhaps that statement should not have
been puzzling to me in an age of specialization, an age in which there are
no overlapping classes with membership-only null ones. No wonder then
that there are few readers for a contemporary poetry so narrowly defined-
much of it written in a private code decipherable only by those
initiated via M.F.A. programs. At best the work of the brilliant maverick
may be merely tolerated as a rather harmless intrusion into the realm of
Serious Literature.

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