The answer [to why page poetry has been in decline since the 1970s] is that the work of poets entangled in academia and its publish-or-perish credo has become so insular and cryptic, so divorced from broader society, that they have alienated a generation from their brand of poetry.
Thank goodness for the poetry slam! Poetry slams let writers know that droning a series of oblique literary allusions in a monotone voice does not make you a refined poet - it makes you an insufferable bore. Art does not have to be painful and difficult. That impulse is just the toxic residue of puritanism at work again. Poetry should be enjoyable. Once poets embrace this, they will earn back the privileged placement in the bookstores and in the wider public sphere.
- Chris Gilpin, from "The Living Language of Spoken Word" in the first issue of Poetry is Dead.
And speaking of slam poetry in the wider public sphere, it's quite something to see hundreds of people debate and interpret a poem, as they are currently doing over at CBC.ca.