Friday, August 01, 2008
Stephen Vincent thoughtfully comments on my thoughts on Grenier's gallery show below, rare visitant to my comments box. my comments were not aimed at Grenier, and certainly were not grudging. I will not say that I was the only one who appreciated the hallway of poems that Grenier created at Franconia, but what I still take as a liberating effort on his part did not garner much attention at the school. but at least he is getting his turn in the limelight, and getting paid. and Grenier looks good in the pictures, just as lean and wiry as I remember him 36 years ago. Grenier's influence is large tho mostly indirect: the people he influenced influenced the many. When Silliman bio'd Grenier for In the American Tree, he neglected to mention Franconia College, where Grenier produced at least some of Sentences, at least one issue of This (in which my 1st publication), and so on. how could Mr Detail miss that? Grenier has a thereness in contemporary poetry that is treated like the most glorious of footnotes. the art world delivers on spiked glamour, with the Warhol Clock ticking. Grenier's minimalist scribbles garner chardonnay attention but his minimalist poems are given asterisks in some regulated scheme of things. if my story's correct, Grenier went from Tufts (alma pater: my father went there) to Franconia, possibly not the sweetest of career moves (the FC student population was 1/2 the size of my high school graduating class). had he hung around Harvard or MIT he would have been locked in. no I do not begrudge the art world attention he now commands, I just wish poetry were seen as just as important.