Thanks for your note. Just dipping in to highlight that I tried to make no comment about Brainerd himself: by all accounts he was an interesting and mulitalented guy, who's even better known in art circles than in poetic ones. I don't know enough about his work to form even a rudimentary opinion.
On the other hand, "Guardians of American Letters?" There's a group here in town like that, and they're just a tad creepy. Fine people as individuals, I enjoy drinking with them, but I tend to avoid their torchlight rallies. They might decide to drunkenly string *me* up, while chanting paeans to Thomas Paine!
And I'm pretty sure the 50,000 dollar donation isn't their only criteria for selection, even though that's what it says on their website. I even bet there are some honorable people involved. I just wish those honorable people would have a little chat with the people running things there about the impressions certain things on their website give.