Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z
Award-winning poet Debra Weinstein has written a first novel that’s a scathing exposé of “poe-biz,” the insider politics that ultimately decide who’s who in contemporary American poetry. Weinstein is snarky without being shallow, and cynical about the machinations behind grants, fellowships, awards and publication without being in the least cynical about poetry. It’s a remarkable distinction, deftly made. The novel details a young and hopeful poet’s internship with one of the literary world’s divas and is, by turns, tragic and hilarious. For those of us who’ve survived a writing program or two, it’s a delightful must-read. For those who wonder what’s happened to American poetry, it will provide thought-provoking criticisms of the way the academy has taken over as the arbiter of poetry’s quality.