Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Poetry and the Internet

People are blogging this subject all over the place this week.

Silliman writes: Yesterday, I looked at Simmons B. Buntin’s survey of poets conducted thru Terrain.Org. ... Buntin’s agenda, it is clear from his questions, is to find out how the web is changing the reading and publishing habits of active poets. Read Silliman's article on this here

At Books, Inq., Frank Wilson writes : OK, folks ... how about helping me out. I want to write about literature and the Internet. In particular I want to begin with a piece about poetry and the Internet. Feedback, suggestions, whatever - all will be appreciated. I figure if I propose this online, I'll get a better perspective with the help of those online. It's certainly worth a try. Frank posted that request on Sunday afternoon and so far has 25 great comments. Read Wilson's post and comments here.

I might write one myself. What would I say?

I would start with an intro - I am a late blooming poet who started writing poetry at 50. I began with a divorce and an online poetry course. The prof of the course, Scott Wiggerman, was very encouraging so I joined an e-mail poetry workshop and started online workshopping my pieces at The Critical Poet. I submitted a few pieces to online journals and they were published. This was very exciting!

I am now 53. I have had a few poems published in print, a few published online.I have no doubt that without the internet and the online poetry communities, I would not be writing poetry today.

It's a workshop :: I spend a lot of time workshopping my poems online, mostly through The Gazebo, The Writers Block and Blueline 30-30. If I still need help, I go searching - maybe QED or ITWS.I've read poetry from hundreds of different unknown poets. I've learned how to read poetry, how to enjoy it in all its forms and levels. I've learned how to critique.

It's a library :: I spend a lot of time reading online journals, articles on poetics, blogs, newspapers. I spend a lot of time getting to know all the poets I missed getting to know during the first 50 years of my life. I also get leads on poets, find out names, find out books, order books to read, and more and more and more.

It's a resource :: I use an online thesaurus. I use Wikipedia. I use Google. These three tools are essential. Without the internet, how could I write accurately about pool frogs? Or even know they exist - or did, 12 years ago, in the UK? Use the proper words when talking about flowers? Place sea creatures in their rightful waters? Pre-internet I had encyclopedia. I guess I would be reading them every night before bed if there were no internet.

It's a community :: I've made friends. There are places that welcome me. More experienced poets help me with my craft. I help the less experienced.

The consciousness of poetry is growing in leaps and bounds (oops that's cliche but hey, I know that now!) because we are linked, connected, sharing our knowledge, gifts and talents. Innovation is rampant.

I like that!

A few things are still needed:

1) links database for all sites that deal with poetry, keyword searchable.

2) more online poetry reviews. Maybe I'm missing it, but I haven't really found many blogs or online journals that review online poetry. Like, pick a workshop, find one of their favourite poems, and review it. Or review online poetry journals. Even a good comprehensive list would do for me. But I'd like to see them reviewed - why not?

3) A different kind of online journal - and this is something I'm thinking of hosting. It would be a journal of internet poetry but the submission guidelines would be:

We accept only previously published poetry, either in print or online, with a preference for online publication. By previously published we include the IBPC, The Guardian Shortlist, online literary journals and workshop contest winners. We do not consider personal blogs as 'previously published'

We do not accept submissions of unpublished work. However, we will on occasion make requests to poets for a piece found on one of the workshops. This would be an editorial decision. Please do not send unpublished poetry for consideration.

Submit poetry by email, one piece at a time. Please paste the entire poem in the body of the email. Do not submit attachments. These will not be read. Include with your submission a link to the web site (s) that published your poem. Or, if a print publication, the name of the publication, and publication date/issue number.

Please put "Poetry Submission" in the subject line.

Multiple submissions are fine with us.

OK - so we have this journal but we have more! We have a way for the poets to optmize their exposure online, and we have a means of introducing readership to various other online journals, contest and workshops.

Cool Huh?

It will be kind of an Anthology and an Atlas at the same time.

Isn't the internet awesome?


Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Hi Jude,

I read your blog, just haven't known what to comment. Good luck to you if you launch the online journal. I've been re-reading I.A. Richards' Practical Criticism. I think it would be good for all critters to read that one. I'd quote some lines from it, but I gotta go. Bye!

4:59 PM  

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