the distinction between prêt-à-porter and haute couture

Jason Guriel: It occurs to me that the non-practitioners — i.e. actual readers — would love [A.E.] Stallings as well as Alexandra Oliver, Bruce Taylor, Robyn Sarah, Amanda Jernigan. These poets make it look easy, which is what makes them so readable.

Michael Lista: The poetry world is so like the fashion world that way, isn’t it? Trend-driven and often emptily stylish. The only difference is that at least fashion recognizes and makes the distinction between prêt-à-porter and haute couture, a line that for all intents and purposes is the bottom line. People buy and wear and live in the former, and only marvel curiously at the latter. Poets like Oliver and Stallings and Taylor and Sarah are prêt-à-porter; the problem is that no one but designers are buying.

- Michael Lista, in conversation with Jason Guriel about his new book The Scarborough and not being here to make friends, over at Maisonneuve. You can read the whole thing here.

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