Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

tear down their houses

The 21st century scene seems to be dictated from above by a rather small group of poets with institutional (i.e., financial) connections that are constantly protected by a weirdly bureaucratic fiat (i.e., MFA dogma). The result is that contemporary US poetry has become, perhaps more than ever, part of the ideological state apparatus. It’s really no surprise that the gross capitulation to those approaches that you identify as having been ‘decided on’ has quite literally sucked the vitality out of contemporary poetry. It has also contributed to a proliferation of journals that fall neatly in line with the status quo. And this—the disturbing obedience of editors to what’s been ‘decided on’—is not only bland, but it’s frightening in its conservatism. So what choice are we left with? We can get in line and smile the mealy-mouthed grin of capitulation, or we can identify our enemies and tear down their houses!

We Who Are About To Die interviews Micah Robbins