Thursday, January 10, 2008

Some Well-Deserved Recognition

I was over at the Vehicule Press blog last night and found there a link to this lengthy overview of Carmine Starnino's work by Bill Coyle. It's very interesting to see an American's perspective on Carmine's writing, since objectivity about it is a preciously rare commodity this side of the border. It should be noted that Coyle is associated with the New Formalist movement (he makes his aesthetic biases pretty plain in the piece), which means anyone reading the piece in the States might be tempted to lump Carmine in with that school, much as critics here have done. That would be unfortunate, since New Formalism, like any school or loose group of poets, harbours more than its fair share of negligible writers, and Carmine's the last person to praise a poem simply because it scans and rhymes (as Coyle observes in talking about Carmine's essay on AM Klein), and his tastes extend well beyond the stereotypes that his detractors routinely try to pin on him. Regardless, this is a perceptive, well-written essay.

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