At the risk of opening up the same old wormcan that caused ruckus during the summer of 2005, I'd like to excerpt Reginald Shepherd below:
"I have always intensely disliked what I call identity poetics, the use of poetry as a means to assert or claim social identity. The impulse to explain poetry as a symptom of its author's biography or its social context is pervasive these days, including among authors themselves. But that has always seemed to me a form of self-imprisonment, neglecting or even negating the possibilities poetry offers not just of being someone else, anyone and/or everyone else, but of being no one at all, of existing, however contingently, outside the shackles of identity and definition. Poetry is, among other things, a way of opening up worlds and possibilities of worlds."
If y'all remember my "Tortilla School," the skirmishes that followed, and the now micro-footnote in poetic history that was "The New Sincerity," reading Shepherd's post above may stimulate some additional thought. It may clarify what I was unable to express at the time.