The Potential of Poetry collects seven recent essays by critically-acclaimed poet Eric Greinke that assert the value of poetry in human progress. These essays have been selected and reprinted from pieces that were originally published by a variety of literary magazines such as The Home Planet News, The Small Press Review and The Grand Valley Review. Greinke examines our basic assumptions about poetics, social stratification in the literary world, accessibility and related issues with unique insight and humor. Greinke’s prose, like his poetry, ranges from the philosophical to the satiric. (i.e. In Toward A New Eclecticism, he makes an impassioned case for tolerance, diversity and self criticism. In Explication of Life, he gives us a four page tongue-in-cheek explication of a five-word poem entitled Life.) Thought-provoking yet entertaining, this book is a small package that contains numerous big ideas. Taken together, these essays build a strong case for poetic freedom and eclecticism.
(Presa Press, 2011, 88 pages, ISBN 978-0-9831251-1-2, Trade Paperback, $11.95 USA)
“Not to spoil any sort of ending or wrap-up, but according to Mr. Greinke, the potential of poetry is limitless. One may as well limit the potential of the human species. All things are possible in poetry. Once more, a march of civilization unaccompanied by poetry is more of a trudge. This concise handbook discusses the eternal verities: how and why poetry matters. What does poetry hope to mean or accomplish? Is one style better than another? Is there a right way to understand or read a poem? The author answers these questions in plain, easy to follow and understand prose. That the book seems a lesson plan (topics for discussion on every page) is a tribute to Mr. Greinke’s experiences as an educator, editor, publisher, and of course, poet, among other things, established him, as a spokesperson for the art non-pareil. In an era of little time, respect and patience, he may be the best person to spread the non-religious good news – a people’s poet laureate.” — Phil Wagner, Iconoclast