PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Subha Mukherji Dying and Living with De la Mare Carl Phillips Fall Colors and other poems Alex Wylie The Bureaucratic Sublime: on the secret joys of contemporary poetry Marilyn Hacker Montpeyroux Sonnets David Herman Memories of Raymond Williams
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This report is taken from PN Review 33, Volume 10 Number 1, September - October 1983.

Making News M. Schmidt
I had a telephone call from a Sunday Times reporter early in February. She told me she was doing a piece on the Poetry Sales Boom. I told her she should print it on the Fiction Page. As far as I knew, there was no Boom. She persisted: she had heard there was a Boom and that I was in part responsible. And besides, such an article would be good publicity for poetry. We talked for forty-five minutes or so, and the next day I rang her with a few second thoughts. Then-on 13 February-'Poetry and the Profit Motive' appeared. It would be wrong to call it a forgery. It was based, not on reading (goodness knows there is enough in print on the subject, and most of it would have clarified her thinking) but on hastily conducted interviews, rapidly collated. The reporter's heart was doubtless in the right place: poetry was a 'good thing', and some books no doubt have sold well over the last two or three years. All the same, I was troubled by the views that were attributed to me. I wrote a brief letter for publication.

In her piece 'Poetry and the Profit Motive' (ST 13 February), Leslie Geddes-Brown quotes me as saying 'a new generation is clearly emerging. It's as exhilarating as the Hughes, Larkin, Thom Gunn crop. James Fenton, Craig Raine, Andrew Motion and Chris Reid have a coherence in the same sense.' I did not say this. If Ms ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image