Sunday, December 23, 2007

Who Talks About Himself This Way?

Since he has a habit of deleting egregiously self-flattering posts from his blog, I thought I'd copy it here:

In terms of publication history, the sore point of the last few years was the reluctance of any of the major British poetry publishers to read, or consider, publishing my collections here in England, where I reside. The response was shamefully dismissive, particularly from Bloodaxe (Astley sent me a brief little email saying he didn't like my poetry that much) and Salt (which said they'd never publish me). I suspect some energetic future literary historian will have something to say about the curious small-mindedness of shutting out someone as internationally dynamic and engaged as Todd Swift - but in the meantime, it just seemed spiteful, or petty. The irony was, I was misread by both the UK traditionalists, and the experimenters, equally - neither group quite hearing my complex shifting play between high and low registers, and various sometimes-comic, often-serious, rhetorics. It's been a painful thing for me to accept, especially given the extraordinary commitment I showed, from 2004-2007, to British poetry, with my Oxfam poetry series and CDs.

Boohoo. It's safe to say, I think, that most poets think more highly of their work than other people do, but in some cases, the gap is conspicuously wider.


Alex Boyd said...

Cut the guy some slack, Z. We all have our "They shouldn't have sneered at me," moments.

Brian Campbell said...

Actually I'M the greatest poet alive today. But nobody seems to recognize it. Waaaah...

(Maybe because I don't refer to myself in the third person...)