Maybe, to paraphrase another PoLaur, there are canon formations to the right of me, canon formations to the left of me... Over on WOMPO there's also a negative reaction to the appointment, on various grounds: that she's not really an "outsider," that she's been in Poetry, that she wrote about going to AWP, that she teaches and that she hangs around with people who criticize "academe" [sic], that she's "divisive," and that she must know Dana Gioia or vice versa. Perhaps this means she rather nicely falls between the large cracks.
Meanwhile, I can't resist quoting in whole David Shapiro's comment on Harriet in my post about boxes, which turned into some sort of digression about what's "contemporary":
Thank you, Don, for knowing what I was once told about the Zohar from a student of Scholem,
Matti Meged: the mystical hero is always alive and dead at the same time. Sounds like... Hegel's Dante. Someone at Columbia once asked me if I "liked' Dante. I was speechless and asked back. The professor said: I think it's an ego trip. I said: Yes...but he invented the ego, plunging as Hegel writes, the real into the unreal.
John Forbes, sweet Australian poet, also alive and dead, wrote a poem in which he meets O"Hara and sees that Frank is writing though dead. "What a guy."
I was asked once by Richard Kostelanetz on a street in Soho who was my favorite poet. This was twenty years ago. I said Perhaps Wallace Stevens. He said: But Stevens is dead. I said, proleptic remark, But not for me. He's not dead for me. Nor Cezanne, nor Watteau.
Dead contemporaries was the sick label given by one encyclopedia to poets too 'early dead to be disposed.' Many are disappeared while living and writing intently.
But even Marx was intrigued: why do poems and sculptures last? Duchamp said they didn't, they often died. But Marx was thinking of the sting of Balzac, conservative, dead, and more full of analysis of late capital than so many others seemingly alive.
I had not thought death had undone so many. Kalidasa, Basho, Rimbaud (and Michael McClure once added Billy the Kid and Jean Harlow)--are they dead now? Who tried to kill Frank O"Hara ? with their shriveled arrows? Alive like Joe Hill. Frank said: You thought they killed me? what? with their shriveled arrows? Who let him in? The joking genius Djinn. Who tried to keep him out?
X Y and Z the lout(s). Who tried to kill Frank O'Hara?
He died and can write, as well.