Joyce Carol Oates defends "misunderstood" Calvin Trillin with equally bad verse

Trillin's New Yorker poem, "Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?," is racist and bad, says everyone except Oates

Published April 8, 2016 5:29PM (EDT)

Joyce Carol Oates        (AP/Katy Winn)
Joyce Carol Oates (AP/Katy Winn)

Longtime New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin's poem, "Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?," garnered considerable outrage this week from, like, everybody.

Salon's Paula Young Lee blamed "the unselfconscious centering of the white male gaze (or taste-buds) on the 'exotic' cuisine that is Chinese, the implication that China becomes relevant by virtue of being consumed by urbanites who read The New Yorker, that the world can be literally understood through a consumerist model that turns food into social media trends, the whole thing normalized through the exhausted gaze of a middle-aged man so very tired of the world catering to his whims."

And, worst of all, it's just really campy, sing-songy light verse.

One dissenting opinion, however, came from famed author Joyce Carol Oates, who tweeted the following defense:

I had a take, but this guy beat me to it:

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Calvin Trillin Joyce Carol Oates Poetry The New Yorker Twitter