THE ALL-TIME AMERICAN WRITERS TOURNAMENT
(Pictured: Donna Tartt.)
With only 64 slots to fill, the question isn’t so much who to include, but who gets shortchanged. Genre writers? Playwrights? Poets? Populists? Postmodernists? Writers of color? White males? Early American writers of whom few Americans today have ever heard?
Some writers or category of writers inevitably will get screwed.
Going in, we’re open to all. We’re not academics. We feel no loyalty to a mysterious “canon.” What interests us most are American writers AS writers: individuals; personalities. Talents and personas. We seek to choose those writers who, based on their works and their biographies, can best engage general readers and the greater American public. (If such thing be possible.)
Which writers “on the bubble” should make the cut?
O. Henry? Pearl Buck? Thornton Wilder? Philip K. Dick? John Updike? John Dos Passos? Harper Lee? Langston Hughes?
Which accomplished writers guaranteed entry should be seeded highest?
Walt Whitman? Toni Morrison? Herman Melville? Saul Bellow?
What do we do with Bob Dylan?!
WE WANT ARGUMENTS!
We seek justifications and arguments. We’ll accept no griping after-the-fact, but we will post all arguments and complaints while the seedings are made, and during the tournament itself.
We’ll be allowing ourselves a one-week grace period, after each particular seed is announced, to change our mind.
If you have a favorite– or most hated– American writer, make a case for or against that person, one word to 250, and we’ll post it here.
American culture, who’s recognized by it, is determined in part by lobbying. Noise making. We hope to hear some!
(Contact us at newpoplit AT gmail.com.)