I also wonder whether the old-school mainstream hasn’t eventually realised how boring its work has been for the last 40 years and has decided to poach terminologies traditionally associated with the avant-garde. A soon-to-be-published critical work by a well-known mainstream poet and editor claims to be “a radical map of living British poets” (you can google that phrase and find out who it is). It’s a joke! None of the poets examined could be called ‘radical’ in any sense – politically, formally, historically – nor would they, I imagine, think of themselves in this way – but using a word associated with the avant-garde will give this miserable text some much-needed credibility. It’s a small sign of how bad things have got in the mainstream and how desperate they are to be taken seriously.
In the 92nd of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the English poet Jeff Hilson.