When Taylor Swift announced the title of her next album during an acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, she spurred a reaction from a typically quiet bunch: the poets.
The album, slated to come out April 19, she said, is called “The Tortured Poets Department.” (Sans apostrophe.)
As the name caught fire on social media, questions abounded. Who were these poets? Did Ms. Swift count herself among them? Was the pop singer stealing something precious from those who write verse?
“As a tortured poet, I approve,” said Christian Wiman, the editor of Poetry magazine from 2003 to 2013. “Or is she making fun of us? I guess I kind of approve of that, too.”
Immediately after the album announcement, a post on Ms. Swift’s Instagram and X accounts revealed what appeared to be the album’s Lord Byron-esque artwork: a gray-scale photo of Ms. Swift, spread across a bed in luxurious anguish.
The title calls to mind the Robin Williams film “Dead Poets Society” — also sans apostrophe — said Adrienne Raphel, a poet and the author of “Our Dark Academia,” who noted that the film was released in 1989, Ms. Swift’s birth year.
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