Bill Knott’s Poems for Death has made Don Share’s list of … well, I’m not sure what it’s a list of! Important books Share’s read so far this year? (A shot in the dark.) Anyway, he observes that “Bill is one of the best poets in the country. I guess we’re not supposed to say so.” The latter statement refers to Knott’s penchant for referring to himself as a “failed poet,” by which I think he intends to skewer the very notion of a “successful poet” as defined by MFA programs, prize committees, positions in poetry societies, book sales, and various other forms of celebrity and/or notoriety. Share is correct in saying that Knott is one of our best, and Knott is correct in saying that he has “failed” in PoBiz. I think all this correctness calls for a toast to America’s strange and wonderful ability to bureaucratize and cash in on damn near anything. Bottom’s up!