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Should modern newspapers publish more poetry?

Newspapers, though changed and challenged by the digital age, still offer a unique platform for community exchange and cultural expression. However, most larger newspapers only actively solicit letters to the editor from their readers—not poetry, art, short stories, or photography.

Are newspapers missing an opportunity to regularly engage in these art forms, or are these art forms meant only for specialized publications and magazines?

Furthermore, if more poetry were added to newspapers, how would it extend or shift cultural conversations? Does poetry invite a dialogue or merely distort facts with feeling? Does poetry belong in a “factual” space? And, finally, on a practical level, how might a newspaper regularly engage with poetry, for the benefit of itself and its readers?

  • This is an amazing topic! And a very topical one as well. I think putting poetry into newspapers would be a quiet but powerful step in giving people the chance to re-explore verse beyond a classroom setting. It is startling to see how far poetry has faded into the background of our world today. Often, it seems like people see poetry as a complicated, puzzling realm of writing that they can't simply read without much poetic expereince. But poetry is the roots of our written words--the foundation of where story and song found their home in our earliest ages. In a way, poetry is a cornerstone of our shared human culture--and incorperating it into the public press might be a subtle but potent reminder of this. It might help people see that poetry doesn't belong to any one group of readers, that anybody can enjoy a poem whether they are familiar with it or not. I also think it's a nice idea to have a small snippet of abstract beauty fixed between a dense forrest of headlines. – mmclaughlin102 1 year ago
  • Very eloquently said, @mmclaughlin102. I especially like your point about poetry being woven into our cultural fabric as the foundation of story and song. When reading your note, I kept thinking of a phrase, “to democratize poetry”: that is, to widen the voice, participation, and understanding of poetry. If poetry is seen as being only for specialized audiences, newspapers could have a role in widening its audience and accessibility (to re-democratize it, if you will). Thought provoking. – KatieM 1 year ago
  • In the Victorian era, many writers believed that writers and poets would replace religion and the church. While I do not think poetry will have that much power in a modern context, I believe that poetry has the potential to be highly useful in a medium such as newspapers. Poetry has the ability to invite dialogue about certain topics that are relevant today, such as colonialism in Kipling's "The White Man's Burden". As others have noted, there is this air of complexity around poetry and I strongly believe that by having poetry in the newspapers, more people will gain exposure to this style of writing and be more comfortable around it. Poetry has the ability to tell stories of personal experiences, and important historical events and encourage conversation about relevant modern topics. Without a doubt, I believe that poetry deserves a place in newspapers. – ethan 1 year ago