Saturday, March 25, 2006

Poetry Board Discussion

"I'm concerned that a lot of forums, at their worst, resemble not places of work, places where the literary art gets better, but rather these sorts of group therapy sessions where someone writes about a feeling and receives praise for simply having the courage to say it, seemingly regardless of whether he writes well or says something new about the subject. " ... Jono

Jona enters into a discussion on The Writers Block - one that may be of interest to some of you. The link to the thread is here.

The Guardian has a new Workshop Challenge up - pretty much open ended as far as subject matter is concerned. I'm learning that these challenges can be tricky. It's not always easy to discern what the Poet host is looking for. This month's workshop is hosted by Jane Duran. If you've never tried one, you might want to give it a go.

I've started a Poem A Day segment with Blueline. Today is Day 4 - have no poem yet but as William Stafford writes:

"A writer must write some bad poems in order to approach the good ones - finicky ways will dry up the sources."

I was getting bored of my daily writing practice, so here's to 30 bad poems - or maybe fewer, might be a gem or two in it all. Thing about APAD, there's no time for revision - it forces me to wait a month or two before making any final decisions on a poem.


No notice whatsoever on any of the 'waiting' poems sent out mid-January. Has to be good new on at least one front, a magazine produced just 45 minutes from where I live. I do receive requests to submit to online journals and I know I had decided I would put up some of my poems and support the online journal in 2006 but I'm still looking for that minimum requirement of print publication for a grant I want to apply for this fall.


I've thought I'd like to have my own Online Literary Journal. No, ha ha, not for my own poems, but to edit and publish. I've been editor of various non-literary journals for most of my life, I think it would be fun to host and edit an online poetry-only journal.

I'm so swamped right now what with work, writing, training, and my growing daughter though - something to consider for the distant future I think.



Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Always glad to see William Stafford quoted! And I agree.

As for
"a lot of forums, at their worst, resemble... group therapy sessions where someone writes about a feeling and receives praise for simply having the courage to say it"

I agree that much poetry posted online seems to be of therapeutic value. I'm all for poetry that helps a person to heal, however doggerel it may be. MySpace is the proper place for that.

As for more professional boards, I agree it's not optimal to post simple emotional regurgitation. I don't know if receiving praise is a board at its worst, though. I think it's possible a board at its worst is one that obsesses over nit-picking trivial details in a state of almost willfull obtuseness, critics trying to persuade poets to rewrite their poems the way the critics would write them, etc. This can lead to poetry by committee, where everyone sounds alike, usually a lowest common denominator, and usually following an aesthetic which is current, which means it'll be obsolete in a decade or two.

I'm also getting annoyed with some critical terms which I think are essentially meaningless; e.g. "clunky" and "OTT". I understand these terms are shorthand, but shorthand for what? I think what they represent differs from person to person. So one person's "clunky" or "OTT" may be another person's "edgy" or...

And now look how much time I've spent writing this when I could have been writing a poem!

6:41 AM  
Blogger michi said...

we have the same dream, i see - editing a poetry zine. although i have done it before, the german niederngasse, but i really really would like to edit some classy zine, like pierian springs used to be, for instance. one day ...

keep writing!

m :)

12:24 PM  

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