UC Press to Abandon Poetry

You see, the UC higher education system isn’t just about doubling its tuition over the past 6 years and abandoning its mission to serve a broad cross-section of California residents. Now it’s also about publisher-speak gobbledygook and turning its back on the arts:

It’s not just the expected cuts that motivated the suspension of New California Poetry. Director Alison Mudditt, whose appointment was announced in December, told The Times that the shifting marketplace for books and publishing are of even greater concern. “The far bigger challenges are the structural ones to our industry and markets which (not unlike the newspaper industry!) require us to rethink and retool to remain a vibrant and relevant voice in the digital age,” she wrote in an email. “I’ve only been here six months, and much of my focus has been on developing strategies to meet these challenges.”

One would think that “remaining vibrant and relevant” would include continuing to publish important new poets that no for-profit press will ever touch. But I fear what it means to Alison Mudditt are pop scholarly monographs with garish covers.

Alas, I’m sure there are plenty of people working at UC Press and associated with the New California Poetry series who find this verbiage just as nonsensical and infuriating as I do. Really, it’s impressive that with the sad state California has been in for the last decade, UC Press held out as long as it did.

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