[a:Linda Gregg|248368|Linda Gregg|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1451533066p2/248368.jpg] won the William Carlos Williams Award for Poetry in 2009. I am not aware of any other notable poet who has won this medal. But when I read all the glowing remarks about Selected Poems
by Mary Ruefle, and I discovered that the collection also had won what I believed to be a coveted award, my interest in Ruefle became obsessive and a new study was on. My literary addiction cannot be helped. I am always searching for the next [a:Jack Gilbert|82593|Jack Gilbert|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1222366375p2/82593.jpg] or [a:Wallace Stevens|42920|Wallace Stevens|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1208891582p2/42920.jpg], and even amenable to reading a poet similar to [a:Raymond Carver|7363|Raymond Carver|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/authors/1201118985p2/7363.jpg]’s lyrical prose, or the basically unknown and now-dead [a:Casey Finch|231870|Casey Finch|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] who would have been a great one had he lived. Add my listening to Mary Ruefle speak on two different podcasts over the past summer of 2016 and a robust interest was stimulated for reading all her work. Here I believed I had discovered perhaps another great poet to add to my small but withering collection. Unfortunately, however, her poems became an exacting bore on me, and her bland (and wrong) words crawled across and down the page and numbered too many. Being a teacher of writing she should know this better than anyone. There are better words available if she would only listen and gaze at their beautiful faces. But the straw that finally broke my back was one of her so-called award-winning poems titled The Cart
found on page 51. It begins, The empty grocery cart is beginning to roll across the empty parking lot. It’s beginning to act like Marlon Brando might if no one were watching…
And that was it for me. I would much rather spend what is left of my remaining life talking about bad fruit, or even our own dying on the vine, than to suffer through one more page of what, because of it, makes so many of us hate all poetry. It is wrong to heap praise on mediocrity.