'Australian poetry tends to enjoy a scrap, whether or not there’s an actual point at stake – cf. what Ali Alizadeh called the ‘abundantly unnecessary poetry wars’ – but even so Robert Wood seems to have raised eyebrows for more substantial reasons in a bizarre piece published in the Los Angeles Review of Books last week.
'Briefly, Wood manages to turn a review of Kent MacCarter’s recently released collection California Sweet, published by Five Islands Press, into a jeremiad bemoaning an apparent crisis of opportunity instigated by his own experience of rejection from ‘a nationally prominent, poetry-specific publishing house.’ Inauspicious, but it gets worse. From the sweeping and fatuous claim that ‘individual poems and reviews of poetry books are no longer in Australian newspapers’ – instantly corrected on twitter by The Australian’s poetry editor Jaya Savige – we move on to an old-fashioned cultural cringe:
But I do not know of any Australian poetry press that is a hot ticket in global, literary markets.'