During the Nixon administration, I was a student of Roger Dickinson-Brown and Lewis Turco, in one of the first undergraduate creative writing programs in the country, at SUNY Oswego. Today, there are more than 800 such programs. College writing programs are exactly as dishonest as college football and college basketball programs. That makes Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson the LeBron James and Mary Lou Retton of poetry!
I became acquainted with Donald Hall in 2012 and had the pleasure of three visits with him at his famous Eagle Pond Farm. I attended his last reading and poetry talk in Nov. 2017 at the University of New Hampshire, as well as his funeral seven months later.
On my infinite to-do list is an examination of the place of poetry in the academy. I want to know how it came to pass that, when I told Donald that I had been a student in a creative writing program directed by Lewis Turco in the 1970s, he let out a hearty laugh and said, “Oh, Turco hates me!”
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