1. “Even the art of quoting is a conservative art most of the time, in order to propel the same ideas and the same self-congratulatory importance.”
— Fady Joudah
2. “We fall into the old stuff of textuality, and almost everything becomes safe because nobody wants to talk about what is not safe in poetry. We fall back on the psychologic, the ethnic, the quota, and serve the perpetuation of the machine.”
3. “Since so much of the poetry machine is consumed in and with the mirroring and the reproduction of what is already preexistent, I don’t understand why such paranoiac conservatism is dedicated to labels. It’s a way of controlling the “other,” to label them.”
4. “For me, poetry is a form of activism. And that word enables the labelers, and also gives them a rash.”
5. “The more money you make, the more the culture already attracts you to serve it, with an aura of glitter and power, to reproduce it in even stronger ways. And you have to resist that so much if any meaningful artistic integrity is to be had.”
6. “I don’t think art is in danger of dissolution or disappearance, and we don’t trust enough in its ability and power to create critical consciousness as much as we think we do.”
7. “I have a problem with the fact that when it’s brought up, it’s not really discussed. It’s all that’s brought up. So-and-so is an Arab American or a Palestinian or Muslim or a doctor with or without borders and there’s really no meaningful entry into those hyphenations.”
8. “Having financial independence does not increase one’s chances of independent, artistic creation whatsoever. Our conditioned behavior toward mimicry for the sake of market forces is an amazing syndrome. The watchtowers guide us well.”
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