#AWP18: Reinventing the Long Poem

One of the panels I attended at AWP this year was titled “Into the Expanse: Reinventing the Contemporary Long Poem.” I do not think it’s a coincidence that the panelists were all women, including several women of colour. It has occurred to me in the last year or so that in this poetic moment the long poem (and I’m including the lyric sequence, here, as Deborah Landau gave an excellent reasoning for during the panel) is especially suited to previously marginalized voices, given the form’s insistence on being heard, and on taking up space.

This panel was particularly interesting from an editorial standpoint, as one of the panelists, Lindsay Garbutt, discussed the pros and cons of long poems as an assistant editor of Poetry Magazine. Garbutt discussed her own experience as an editor, stating that long poems often take more work at the editorial level, but she always paid extra attention to along poem in her submission queue as they are more unusual.