Monday, September 1, 2014
The National Book Award
This is hard to believe, and a little hard to express but true, alas, so very true, as the day is long, the renowned and once respected: “National Book Award” has become prejudice, against self-publishing. Robert Bly himself, Poet Laureate of Minnesota, who had won the award, as well as Dr. James Wright, both poets, were self-published; as was Clark A. Smith, a renowned poet in his own right, and George Sterling, considered the Poet Laureate of San Francisco, in the 1920s, and of course Mark Twain, was a self-published author at one time. And I could go on and on in this area but the point is made. How on earth can one even buy a book that they would recommend on this premise? It is like taking God out of the equation of Quantum Physics: you no longer have a good sample of what the physical universe has in it. In a like manner, you have lost a good sample of poetry out there, while limiting the public to your personal selection and biased mindset; and that to me this is bigotry. I would recommend nobody buy a book from such a scanty and scheme award winning giveaway. I have never placed my books in this arena, and have won many awards, and have no intentions to do so; and I have never taken an undeserved award I do believe, and that is what they are giving away: I am not saying their poets are bad per se, but it is not a good sample of the poetic writings out there. They should be ashamed of their selves! Let me also mention, twice the Pulitzer Prize Committee has sent me personal letters on my poetry, with favorable comments, and to see such an award as: “The National Book Award,” become so resentful to those other writers out there, is horrifying. But as Jack London has expressed, in so many words: those doing the selecting, and making the rules, are those who are most likely unworthy themselves for such awards, yet allowed to be judges and make the rules because of their poor performance in this area: but should someone became renowned without them, then they are willing to bend.
Poet Laureate, Dennis L. Siluk, Dr. h.c.