Monday, August 27, 2007


Call me easily impressed, but I'll be perfectly honest and say I'm thrilled that MTV--yes, MTV--has appointed a Poet Laureate: John Ashbery. (Melena Ryzik reports for the New York Times.)

Here's the deal:
  • Excerpts of his poems will appear in 18 short promotional spots--like commercials for verse--on the channel and its Web site (, which will also feature the full text of the poems). In another first, mtvU will help sponsor a poetry contest for college students. The winner, chosen by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, will have a book published next year by HarperCollins as part of the National Poetry Series.

Ashbery agreed to the post, saying, "'It seemed like it would be a chance to broaden the audience for poetry.'"

Really, I could cry. (No irony whatsoever intended.)