A 2paragraphs Interview with Don Share, editor of POETRY magazine
Q: Harriet Monroe wrote that poetry is “not a miracle of direct creation, but a reciprocal relation between the artist and his public.” You’ve said that POETRY receives an astounding 120,000 poems a year, a number suggesting that most of the “public” for poetry may be made up of poets themselves. Can poetry, as music routinely does, find ways to touch the many who don’t practice it? Does it need to?
A: I don’t think that the number of submissions we get suggests that the audience for poetry is other poets. In fact, we know that most of our nearly 30,000 print readers are not poets: they’re general readers; and the millions of hits from all over the world on the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine website affirms that people everywhere and in all walks of life are as hungry for poetry as they are for music.
I suppose that unlike music, most people who read poetry don’t say a lot about it – it’s a personal, intimate thing. As a result, poetry might seem to be more subterranean than it actually is. As far as finding ways to touch those who don’t practice poetry, well, thanks to technology, that relationship Harriet described is healthier than ever – poetry is getting to people in ways she could only dream of, and the connection is stronger than ever!
–Read more 2paragraphs interviews, with poets Elizabeth Macklin, Jonathan Galassi, D. Nurkse and others.