Bill Knott is at his dyspeptic best in two recent posts (here and here), but the second is a good deal less funny and a good deal sadder. Recalling Jessica Smith’s post about the cruelty of many comments posted to Ron Silliman’s blog (not Silliman’s fault, I’m sure everyone agrees), Knott lists a number of nasty, cruel, arrogant and/or pointless statements from reviews of his first three books. I speak, as Perpetual Birders know, as a fan of Knott’s poetry, a fact that leads me to wonder about the streak of meanness he has inspired from very early on. All of the remarks Knott quotes betray an undercurrent of almost hysterical fear. Of what? I suspect it comes down to the fact that Knott is the Real Thing, and most of his attackers (to put it mildly) are not–i.e., they are not Knott!
Joseph Hutchison, Colorado Poet Laureate 2014-2018, has published 17 books, including a translation of flash fictions by Mexican author Miguel Lupián, and co-edited two anthologies. He lives in the mountains southwest of Denver, Colorado, the city where he was born. He teaches at the University of Denver's University College, where he currently directs two programs: Arts & Culture and Global Affairs.