Quote

Cathy Park Hong on Delusions of Whiteness in Avant-Garde Poetry

“I would also argue that the institutions of both mainstream and avant-garde poetry accept poets of color based on how they address race. Mainstream poetry is rather pernicious in awarding quietist minority poets who assuage quasi-white liberal guilt rather than challenge it. They prefer their poets to praise rather than excoriate, to write sanitized, easily understood personal lyrics on family and ancestry rather than make sweeping institutional critiques. But the avant-gardists prefer their poets of color to be quietest as well, paying attention to poems where race—through subject and form—is incidental, preferably invisible, or at the very least, buried.”

— Cathy Park Hong, “Delusions of Whiteness in the Avant-Garde,” in Lana Turner, issue 7

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