Cerberus by Mikko S. Antonen

Poetry is a serious business. Unfortunately, the “business” part may be the only serious part of it nowadays. But it’s so serious—everything about it except the word—that watchdogs are necessary to keep truth on check. Underdog come to save poetry. That this has become a necessity, of sorts—and it appears important enough to the people at Foetry as not to be taken lightly—that serious issues on the state of contemporary poetry must be considered. Foetry writes:

One of the most common ways American poets publish a book is through open competition at some of the best-known presses. Many publishers require an entry fee, usually $20 to $25 per manuscript. With hundreds or even thousands of entries, a lot of money is involved.

And then it’s a fair competition, right? Wrong.

Over and over again, judges often select their own students and friends, even when manuscripts are read “blind.”

Should it be true—and what the hell, why not?—it is one of the most disappointing developments in modern poetry. Should we be content that at least something is developing? The rest still remains hidden truth in the interior of a conch shell in the depths of the Aegean.