Interviewer: How politicized is poetry nowadays? How much has politicization of the academy corrupted the art form?
David Yezzi: I recently participated in an exchange with another poet in the June issue of Poetry magazine in which, to my surprise, a number of old political hobbyhorses got paraded around the paddock.
The political entrenchment of the academy has been reported in all it’s gruesomeness by my colleague Roger Kimball, editor of The New Criterion. I would only add that things are equally entrenched from an aesthetic standpoint. It’s not that masters degrees in poetry, which function as excellent cash cows for universities across the country, are completely worthless. I have one myself, and I can say that they are only almost completely worthless. They do have one serious downside however: students seeking preferment begin to write like their teachers. They then graduate with a degree that is really only useful to teach creative writing in a program much like the one from which they have just graduated. Their students learn to write like they do and so on. This has had quite a deadening effect on contemporary poetry in general, I think.
read the full interview here.