Friday, April 1, 2011

Calling All Fools

April 1, the first day of National Poetry Month, seems like a good a day as any to begin to enliven this blog with more content.  Recently, Ron Silliman announced that he was planning on changing the format of his blog, or retiring it altogether in favor of a Twitter feed, or, presumably, some other Web 2.0 application.  Silliman's blog has been a staple of the on-line poetry discourse for years, and certainly changes to it mark changes in the overall fabric of poetry on the internet.  What I fear as things shift from weblogs to Facebook and Twitter is an overall casualization of the general discourse; it is true that blogs were/are used in many instances as social networking platforms, which Facebook and other applications now do better, so it makes sense to shift those efforts there, however these applications seem particularly ill-suited for the transmission of substantial critical or expository writing.  It would be a shame for this kind of content to be entirely eclipsed by the brevity of Twitter and Facebook, so it is my intent here to pick up the baton (though it has not been explicitly passed) of generating substantial poetry content on the web.  It isn't my intent to replace the Sillimans, Huths, and others of the blogosphere as their efforts begin to wind down, but rather to reinvigorate my own contributions to online discourse, which have waned substantially over the years.  I do not have the breadth of influence or the years of many of these predecessors, but I have been engaged with poetry for a quarter of a century or so, so it stands to reason that I posses at least a small amount of worthwhile insight into the topic.

I think it would be difficult and perhaps tedious to focus exclusively on poetry all of the time, so I will also write on other topics related to art/culture/music/film/etc. as whimsy dictates.  What I will avoid is socially-related content: "I went here and did this and saw these people," since this kind of content is best handled by Facebook et. al. and I see no reason to duplicate it here.

What I believe made Silliman's Blog Silliman's Blog, in part, is consistency, so I will attempt to post something of interest here, in one form or another, daily.  We'll see how far I get.

I have amended the links at the right to include weblogs focusing poetry that have been consistently active recently and that I enjoy reading, or would enjoy reading in a perfect world.  I have also included a list of on-line poetry magazines that I read regularly or semi-regularly.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather one of sites that have been called to my attention in one way or another.  What you won't find are personal poetry websites or more quotidian blogs since, again, I think Facebook et. al. have become the primary means of distributing that kind of information.  As I discuss presses and books of poetry, I will put links to the relevant websites in the posts themselves, in order to avoid an unnecessarily unwieldy list of said sites in the link bars.

Cheers, and happy National Poetry Month.  I will be participating in NaPoWriMo from my personal poetry blog, here.

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