Hi everyone. Thanks for your kind words about my PW article. The discussion it’s spurred on the blogosphere is an inspiring example of the very phenomenon the article describes.
I’ve gotten one consistent criticism, from Shanna Compton, Reb Livingston, and others,—that no woman bloggers were profiled—which I’d like to address. It’s certainly true that writing this article for PW afforded me the opportunity to portray the blogosphere as a space for dialogue on all sorts of issues between and about women and men in poetry and literary culture in general, to show that men and women are equal contributors to the blog scene. Basically I picked Silliman because you can’t tell this story without him, and Corey because, to my knowledge at the time, his blog got the most visits next to Silliman’s. That may not be true—I did not check everyone’s site meters—but it seems likely. I did try to get an interview a woman Web-journal editor, but she did not respond to my queries, and I was on a deadline. Both Silliman and Corey are very outspoken commentators on the blogosphere as well as on poetry, so they were ideal subjects for interviews. But the reasons why those two blogs are the most prominent may speak to an unequal distribution of influence in the blogosphere.
It shouldn’t be overlooked, however, that in the same issue of PW I did a profile of the poet Kay Ryan, who is, among other things, a woman, and a very extraordinary person in general. In planning our poetry coverage, which, in PW, is basically confined to one annual issue, the other editors and I were conscious of not portraying contemporary poetry as an art form still dominated by male voices.
Regarding the blogging piece, this was, of course, a very cursory survey of a very complex and subtle scene (I didn’t, for instance, say much about flarf, though I would have liked to, because I didn’t have the room); it was targeted at an audience that potentially has little investment in or knowledge of poetry, let alone the online poetry scene. Writing it, I knew I wouldn’t have the chance to dig deeply. The story is far from being all told, and I think it’s important that someone else take up the thread and do another piece in a print magazine, one which is more of an insider’s view, which is something my piece for PW couldn’t be.