The prospect of reviewing a ‘Survival Manual for Live Poets’ was daunting enough, but became positively intimidating when I came across its author’s views on critics. Critics, he says, are like leeches and there’s only one way to deal with leeches: ‘take a small stick and insert it into the ... anus of the leech, pulling the leech back over the stick like a condom, impaling it, inside-out, like a shiskabab, ready to heat’.
Ouch. Well, as Edwin Wilson frequently reminds throughout his treatise, one must risk suffering and pain for Art, Truth and Poetry. Besides, he has cunningly slipped into the book a number of challenges to ABR, which should be answered with at least a brief review. So here goes.