Dear Chicago Reader,

I have a small beef about the July 25 Culture Club item “And Speaking of Poets….” As the founder of the organization that represents one of the 26 poets nominated for state poet laureate, I found it disappointing that Deanna Isaacs took a gossip-column attitude with the information she had and that she said the following: “If Lisel Mueller won’t bite, the buzz favors Li-Young Lee.” I would like to know what this “buzz” is based on. Though Ms. Isaacs seems to be unimpressed that “just 26 candidates” are on the Illinois Arts Council’s “not-yet-public list,” the procedure for nominating poets for this position was a very strict one, and the fact that 26 poets from Illinois managed to make the final list speaks volumes about what a vibrant poetry scene Illinois has. That Isaacs seems to be attempting to sway the review committee by only mentioning two of these poets in her paragraph makes me wonder who has been “whispering” in her ear.

C.J. Laity