Of the fifteen writers browbeaten by Shivani's (rather crotchety) knife, I've attempted to read:
- John Ashbery (increasingly over my head, but sometimes moving and clearly a careful, even masterful poet)
- Mary Oliver (one of her poems meant the world to me once)
- Helen Vendler (on Keats she is brilliant)
- Sharon Olds (yeah, pretty dreadful)
- Jorie Graham ("Did you want to remain completely unharmed?")
- Junot Diaz (so loud I can't hear him)
- Louise Glück (worth a look, if not a lifetime of study . . . and so perhaps not worth a look)
- Michael Cunningham (unremarkable)
- Billy Collins (embarrassing)
The rest of the writers I've either never heard of (Antonya Nelson?) or avoided for the same reason I avoid almost all contemporary American fiction and poetry: their artistic ambitions remind me too much of my own.
I wonder if Shivani is any good. . .
I must say, though, that anyone who calls Marilynne Robinson "unreadable" is either deaf to language or stupid.