Poetry's cruelest and guiltiest pleasure.

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Jan. 28 2002 4:54 PM

Versed Nightmare

The most hated man in American poetry is also its guiltiest pleasure.

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The world of poetry is small—two degrees of separation at most—and its little magazines teem with critics praising, for social and professional reasons, books they'll never open again. Logan may be wrong half the time, but he's right that poetry criticism needs more candor. He's right that "for every Stevens underrated, a hundred Robert Hillyers are called geniuses." I believe the world of poetry needs William Logan. And I'll continue believing it until the day he reviews me.

Eric McHenry is the author of Potscrubber Lullabies, which received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He teaches at Washburn University.

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