Yes, I know this video has been posted everywhere but there is so much more happening here than just some Iowa bashing.
I’m diggin the questions about the relevance of literature to low-income urban folks. The real real is this: a poem will not change the circumstances of life. Poets need to remember that a poem is a battle and not the war. You win some, you lose some. Folks listen and are moved, folks listen and are not moved. Folks read and are inspired, folks read and don’t care. And that’s just if you can actually get someone to read or listen to your work.
Back to the interview and Cisneros’ end comment of self-doubt and pressure from the community
The full interview can be found at WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show.