Monday, October 03, 2005

This is interesting, and he is right on the mark. It's weird, I've met a slew of great poets in blogland, but there seem to be a lot of different cadres even within webspace providers. What I've seen on blogger does lean toward the more post-avant, while xangans and livejournalers less so (of course this may just be the folks I've encountered--nothing like broadsweeping inaccurate generalizations.) As for online journals, they are all over the board. There are more traditional style publications like Melic, Stirring, Blue Fifth, and Caffeine Destiny. And then there are ones like Tarpaulin Sky, Octopus, Typo,and Moria leaning the other way. And all sorts that are rather eclectic--Diagram, Drunken Boat, Aught.

And these are only a small sample of ones that I personally peruse, who knows what others are springing up even now. I think one of the benefits is that internet poetry IS decentralized. There are a whole bunch of different ways of approaching the genre, and you can find webzines represent just about every facet of it (which I would also argue of print journals on the whole.)There's no ruling aesthetic that alienates certain poetries and embraces others. If your poems are too out there for one journal, there's another out there you'll fit right into. And it's all more diverse and on a wider scale than print, largely because it's a whole lot cheaper to found a web journal than a print one. The poetry world, as it exists, no longer depends on funding from universities and other bodies that determine its direction. The gatekeepers are no longer quite as powerful simply because theings are roomier in the poetry world, no longer quite as tight and claustrophobic. Good thing, since you can't swing a stick and not hit a very talented poet these days. I think the poetry world is becoming perhaps a bit more like the visual arts world, which always seemed wider and more varied than poetry, small galleries and studios all over the country, not just in big cities and people doing all sorts of interesting things.

My tastes run all over the board when it comes to poetry, and I think wicked alice represents that. I'd say the majority of submissions do tend to be rather mainstream (Duh, which is why it's considered mainstream), and I think this probably true at most journals, unless you specifically promote yourself otherwise. And of course, some journals are better than others. If the internet poetry is that large, you're going to have a few clunkers. Mostly, readers will gravitate toward what they like.

As for my own writing, I always felt that online journals were more open to reading work by someone like me--as an English grad student/no MFA, tiny print journal credits. I barely knew any other poets, just budding scholars, let alone had any sort of connections in the po-biz arena. A nobody. And yet I found some sort of audience, some sort of reinforcement in my writing there. I imagine the same can be said of merely posting your work yourself, or critique boards, but I do like having an editor involved...who would most likely filter out the good from the mediocre, even among a single writer's work. And they tend to operate on a smaller basis, I at least felt like my work would be read an editor and not disregarded by slush pile readers. But then I'm most likely preaching to the choir here...

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