First let me say that I care neither for Prof. Walcott's alleged sexual indescretions nor for who has what post at Oxford (unless, of course, they are offering me a post -- in which case I accept).
I do, however, care for the framing of this whole "schools of poetry" thing. At the above link, Silliman refers to both Walcott and Padel as School of Quietude poets. Certainly I would place them in the world of oral poetry (Walcott, of course, gets a nod as a narrative poet, too).
Now, I've read Omeros. It was all right. I would recommend other narrative poems first, though in making a study of contemporary narrative/epic poetry, it's pretty invaluable. Padel came on to my radar at the same time she came on to yours -- that is, a couple of weeks ago. In reading the poems she has available on line, I am willing to say she's not a favorite of mine. Here's a bit from her "latest poem":
At night the savannah comes to claim me.
Thirty females and their calves
in search of a leader. Shaggy manes
down each nape. White bellies, white cheeks
and that dagger of kohl down the nose.
Kind of that "truncated prose without transistion" school of writing "poetry." Not that we haven't written it -- but jeez, the featured poem on your website? Oh well. Perhaps more "School of Boringtude" or, more accurately, "School of Academia" -- but more on that in a minute.
No. What really gets my goat is this quote from Silliman:
The surprise is not that the School of Quietude is ruthless in its practice of power politics. That has been its hallmark forever – beginning with a century-long pretense that it represents the whole of poetry, rather than just an anti-modernist / premodernist sliver within a far larger spectrum. No, the surprise is that the SoQ is so very bad at it.
Well of course he's surprised, as his school of avant garde is so good at it. They circle the wagons, close ranks, and defend their territory with such predictability one thinks they must be orchestrated (though they don't appear to be -- unless there's a kool-aid distributor I've missed).
The real culprit here is not School of Quietude or Avant Garde -- but academic poetry. As I have said, academic poetry creates these cancerous and mutated growths of "verse" unsupported by market economics. Even the patronage poets were subject to the whims of the market (even if the market was a noble and his guests). Academia, however, with its system of tenure and captive audiences, is about as anti-market as you can get (guess that's why everyone in college is a Marxist. . .).
This means that there are no real-world consequences for writing bad verse. As long as your work fits within a certain mold and you hobnob with the right folk, you're in like flynn. No matter that your books don't actually sell -- and therefore no one reads your work, you can get acceptance as a "poet" and fleece wannabe poets out of tuition and workshop fees. Now, this is a great system to get in on, for the established poets. It's a terrible system for poetry, however, and we've seen the 20th century take poetry from the lips of the masses to the quips of asses.
It's time we wrote not for tenure but for people.