From a 2/6/08 blog post by Ron Silliman:
“I am not at all certain that any MFA program should admit a student who cannot name a minimum of 100 books of contemporary poetry – published in the past 25 years – and say a little about each. And I am not sure that I would graduate any student who did not then seriously read 200 more such books over the next period of time – some schools require as few as 25 – and again could say a little about each. This would lead to far fewer students coming out of these programs with only barebones knowledge of what is being done today, far fewer students having to reinvent the wheel, and a much richer sense of what is actually possible in contemporary poetry, from slams to the new formalism, from flarf to narrative, from the prose poem to visual poetics. In both cases, before and after, I would only permit applicants and students to use trade books for one-quarter of the requirement.”
A sheepish confession: I had to look up flarf.