Thursday, April 13, 2006

Well, I’m glad to see things are simmering down. I appreciate everyone’s comments, for, against, about, not about, and around my article. The discussion raised a bunch of important issues.

What I’m thinking most about is the question of why all of us are out here blogging, and what the kind of relationship/community created by people in the blogosphere means for poetry. I think, too, the notion of defining a blog was raised. Is there a divide between the kinds of discursive blogs Silliman and Corey write and more diaristic ones? And, of course, where can that line be drawn. The most discursive blogger posts news about their personal lives, and on every poet’s blog that is often about daily goings-on, there are frequent posts about books, poetics, issues and ideas. Do bloggers begin blogging for a sense of community? self-promotion? an outlet for their excitement, enthusiasm, anger? I would have a hard time believing that any blogger isn’t after all of these things, and others. And, of course, it’s a way we can create a poetry community in our own image, instead of in the mold of the long tradition and the political publishing world. But, again, most of us are part of that world as well, and don’t want to divorce ourselves from it—I certainly don’t; I love participating in it. But then there’s something different going on here, something I still feel like I’m apprenticing myself to.

Something different is happening to poetry, to how and by whom it’s being read, and to our expectations as writers of what we can put in front of someone else’s face. The community is also ongoing, constant, not dependant on magazines to publish any kind of discourse. I wonder where it will be in five years.

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Anyway, I look forward to returning to doing what I like doing best, Yammering on about what I’m reading. I’m too tired tonight, but I’m reading something wonderful that I’ll go on about tomorrow.

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and I’ve done some light housekeeping to the right. I think things are a lot tidier over there now.

and to all a good night.

2 comments:

len said...

I agree that it's worthwhile to question where blogs will be in five years and what effect, if any, they will have on literature.

The fact remains that less poetry is being published per year than either fiction or non-fiction. The result of all this blogging could be insulation and isolation -- securing an audience that already exists rather than seeking one that doesn't.

Shouldn't it be a writer's responsibility to find an audience rather than waiting for one to find him or her? Poets might consider how to reach those who could care less about contemporary poetry rather than simply soapboxing from a webpage to the converted.

Slams certainly aren't the answer, but including poets in events featuring musicians and filmmakers might. We ought to start thinking outside of the box we've grown accustomed to fitting in. My fear is that blogging may only perpetuate a narrow view of what poetry is and could be.

Craig Morgan Teicher said...

It seems like the Poetry Foundation (Poetry Magazine) is using their $100 million dollars for just that purpose. Look at www.poetryfoundation.org.

The question for me always remains: is being esoteric, off the radar, not immediately accessible good or bad for poetry.