Can We Really Grade Poetry?

Can We Really Grade Poetry? 1

Christophe Vorlet for the Chronicle

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Christophe Vorlet for the Chronicle

Recently, for the second time in four years, I served on a search committee to hire a poet for our creative-writing program. We’ve always had a ton of applicants, ranging from the ultraqualified to the barely qualified. Those we interviewed handled themselves, as expected, quite adeptly. But one question we posed always resulted in an unsatisfactory answer: “How do you grade your students?"

Here are some of the answers we