Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Burdens of Office

Linda Rogers, preparing to share someone's pain


When Victoria's poet laureate Linda Rogers read this mildly critical review of her new book, she didn't want to respond. But when she realized the injustice that was being done not only to herself, but to the city she represents and the victims of the Haitian earthquake, she just had to. No one said being a poet laureate was going to be easy.

9 comments:

Kate S. said...

Extraordinary.

voxpopulism said...

People who throw out the word "hate mail" with this level of ease have obviously never received any.

Brian Palmu said...

That this is Rogers' first negative review in a long career damns the "critical" community in Canada more than it does her non-stop sermons.

Zachariah Wells said...

One might even be led to speculate, Jake, that someone who uses such hyperbolic rhetoric might be capable of writing melodramatic poems more dependent on emotional manipulation than good writing for audience impact.

Let the record show I have never reviewed a Linda Rogers collection...

voxpopulism said...

The way the rebuttal starts, it almost has to be a private squabble made public. Someone saying something to someone else.

Otherwise, Rogers is just a bully. She's using her position as Laureate in the city in question to attack a review who did nothing wrong in her review. She engaged with the work using both her initial reaction and the deduced intent of the author, she was firm and honest but not insulting, even the more embarassing stuff (its') she handled with poise and grace.

This is how the city of Victoria wants to be represented by its PL?

Dr. Ursus said...

This is really very funny. It reminds me of those moments on Jerry Springer when it turns out that one of the male deadbeats doesn't have a job and tries to explain this by blaming the economy. Jerry turns to the camera and says, "The ECONOMY." That's the feeling I get when she mentions Haiti.

Ursus

Brian Palmu said...

On the "hate mail" issue, what's NOT funny is that if Rogers were a visible minority, and if she were so inclined, she could successfully hook up with the BC "Human Rights" Commission to prosecute the reviewer under the province's (and national org's) pseudo- "hate" laws. I hardly need to outline past cases in BC.

The more poets (and others) whine about "hate" and insensitivity, the more insensitive I become.

Evie Christie said...

I hate you all so much!

AHibbs said...

We're supposed to know she is personal friends with Latimer how exactly?
"What bothers me is the inference by the writer that I judge men." I didn't read that inference! What bothers me is the inference that I use the passive voice! Delusions of grandeur! You CAN probably criticize a city's laureate without committing treason?!