One of my favorite contemporary poets, Komunyakaa has some very astute things to say about modern American poetry, about what it is and what it should be.
"There's a sameness about American poetry that I don't think represents the whole people. It represents a poetry of the moment, a poetry of evasion, and I have problems with this. I believe poetry has always been political, long before poets had to deal with the page and white space .... [I]f you were to take many magazines and cut the names off poems, you would have a single collection that could be by any given poet; you could put one name on it, as if the poems were all by one person. True, a writer can say almost anything in America and have it completely overlooked, yet I think we should have more individual voices."
from "Lines of Tempered Steel: An Interview with Vincente F. Gotera," Callaloo 13:2