The Pulitzer push

3 Sections by Vijay Seshadri, the 2014 poetry winner, went from 11 copies to 81 copies (353 copies sold to date).

There is more here.


118 votes gets you a Hugo nomination, at least last year -

But one can be reasonably confident that a Hugo nominee has larger sales than a poet.

(Which is one explanation why one GMU professor had his own mechanical printing press in the late 1980s - at that scale, why not?)

The seemingly idyllic campus of George Mason University truely hides many untold secrets. It is spin chilling to contemplate what has happened, and what still may go on in the university's deepest recesses. What other secrets of the deep will emerge?

Not too many - most of GMU is a normal academic community.

Though a former Soviet biowar expert might disagree -

'MANASSAS, Va.---George Mason University announced today the creation of a Center for Biodefense to address issues related to the broad array of challenges to national and international security posed by the threats of biological terrorism and the proliferation of biological weapons.

Kenneth Alibek, former first deputy chief of the civilian branch of the Soviet Union's Offensive Biological Weapons Program, and Charles Bailey, former commander for Research at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, serve as executive administrators of the center.'

Honestly, the man formerly known as Kanat Alibekov would likely still fit in perfectly at GMU's Enterprise Hall, where the Econ Dept. is also found - 'Alibek has used his notoriety to promote "Dr. Ken Alibek's Immune System Support Formula," a dietary supplement sold over the Internet. The concoction of vitamins, minerals, and a proprietary bacterial mix — a month's supply of which cost $59.95 plus tax and shipping — will purportedly “bolster the immune system”.'

In fairness to Dr. Alibek, I'm personally confident that he is much too educated to believe that the highest stage of science involves self-experimentation. Mainly because he is not an economist - GMU's imported offensive biowarfare expert's professional expertise was developed in a much more rigorous environment.

Who says GMU doesn't know how to buy the best talent available on the open market?

Though he did leave in 2006 - 'Alibek resigned as executive director of GMU’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases in September 2006, despite his position as a tenured and distinguished professor. A University spokeswoman confirmed his resignation, but declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his departure. According to a 2007 Los Angeles Times article, “Alibek said the college administration had grown displeased with his company's role in sharing grant-funded research. The university, he said, requested that he dismantle or leave AFG Biosolutions. He chose to resign from George Mason.”'

Admittedly, the fact that he gave up a tenured position couled be seen as proof that he wasn't made of the sterner stuff that characterizes such Artlington Campus faculty as Henry Manne. Or proof that AFG Biosolutions was more lucrative - it isn't as if GMU pays all that much. Which is why some professors are so eager to secure external employment.

Keep digging. I'm entranced.

You're an old GMU alum aren't you? What spine tingling tales do you have?

The name for this kind of thing is called "academia."

I think the idea is that he isn't feeding himself by selling his extensive biowarfare knowledge to the highest bidder.

353 copies is pretty good in poetry. I have a nationally known colleague who has moved that many himself, but then he assigns it to his students. Luckily for them the bookstore buys them back.

Of course modern English language poetry, as opposed to song lyric, is so decadent and self indulgent that actual readers are completely irrelevant, it is really just about awarding each other prizes.

Sounds like something no one wants to really read. Unless forced to.

I pity these students.

I gave up trying to write poetry when I realized I didn't much care for it.

I wonder if songwriting is to poetry as directing big budget Summer blockbusters is to directing to small budget Summer blockbusters.

Songwriting is to poetry as directing big-budget Summer blockbusters is to your unloved YouTube channel.

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