Before announcing the death of poetry, look at the numbers. Poems circulate widely in U.S. popular culture.
Poetry connects the remembrance of war with an awareness of the ecological costs of our eating habits
Though little known today, Anne Campbell's poetry merits attention.
I like to think of John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" as the $400,000,000 poem, and not just because its first stanza has appeared on the back of the Canadian $10 bank note—a fact that, all by itself, makes McCrae's World War I-era verse one of the most widely circulated poems in history.
Thoughts on Edgar A. Guest, the Economics of American Poetry, and the Blind Spots of Modern Poetry Studies.
The January 2013 issue of PMLA has a pretty cool article ("Whitman's Children") by Bowdoin College English Professor Peter Coviello that takes as its starting point a couple of babies born after the U.S. Civil War that were named Walt—a nominal tribute that two veterans paid to Walt Whitman after receiving Whitman's care during the war.
I'm an Associate Professor of English at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where I teach and write about American poetry, especially the intersections of poetry and popular culture. My books are a monograph, Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America (Columbia UP, 2012), and a co-edited collection of essays, Poetry after Cultural Studies (U of Iowa P, 2011). I also write and maintain the blog Poetry & Popular Culture. For the Fall 2015 semester, I'll be writing and doing research in residence at the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.