Originally published in the winter 2018 issue of Michigan Quarterly Review, Hicok’s essay caused a stir on social media when republished online by the Utne Reader early this month.
Though emotionally I’m crushed that I’m disappearing as a poet, ethically I find it necessary and don’t know how to put the two together.
Of the 13 Pulitzer Prizes in poetry awarded since 2008, nine went to white writers, six of whom were men.
So why does Hicok, in the face of the available evidence, believe that white poets are disappearing?
Ultimately, I think Bob Hicok is right that poets of color are leading the conversation in American poetry right now.