So many blogs, so little time.
Interesting but extremely distracting. I’m not terribly keen on personal Poetry Blogs, ie blogs containing nothing but the blogger’s own work. Perhaps it’s brave to post early drafts of work on the internet – I’m certainly not brave enough to do that, in fact I struggle to show early drafts to anyone and tend to take later drafts of poems to workshops, for example. But I’ve yet to find a really good personal poetry blog, in fact I’ve stopped looking, although I like exploring different layouts and I sometimes browse for design inspiration. I have my own poetry blog, And Other Poems, but this is intended for other people’s work, not my own (although I have posted one of my poems there).
I enjoy reading Helena Nelson’s blog. She’s a publisher and a poet and her post To Blog or Not to Blog? was great. Not only a good read but it also contains many links to blogs by poets which look fascinating. Some I’m already familiar with but Helena mentions others which I will now explore.
“Should poets blog?” Helena asks, “Does it help them to be successful, to get their poems read?” She goes on to say that poets have varied motivations for blogging, not all of them promotional. I like her honesty and the way that she openly expresses her interest in why people do things. Elsewhere she’s written about reasons for people subscribing to HappenStance, the small press she owns. It makes me a tad nervous to think that Helena might have speculated about why I subscribed. Just in case she chances upon this post, I’ll say that I subscribe to many magazines and small presses because I’m interested in reading poetry that’s being published right now and that I’m researching the markets for my own work (which I’m busily drafting when I’m not being distracted by the internet).
I would, by the way, without hesitation, recommend anyone interested in reading and writing poetry to subscribe to HappenStance, it’s fantastic value. Pamphlets I’ve bought, and loved, so far, include Richie McCaffery’s Spinning Plates and Fiona Moore’s The Only Reason for Time.
When you first subscribe, a parcel of goodies – booklets, poem cards, articles about running a small press etc. – arrives in the post and it feels like Christmas. Click through to the website from her blogpost if you’re interested.
And since I’ve mentioned Fiona Moore I should say that her blog, Displacement, is also worth investigating. Here’s a link to her excellent piece about assembling her first poetry pamphlet From poems to pamphlet: putting a poetry pamphlet together.
There are many more blogs I could mention but two recent posts by poets I’ve found interesting are Colin Will’s Magazine poems and collection poems, in which he considers the differences between types of poems and the reasons for submitting them to magazines or for not including them in a collection – very helpful if you’re at the stage of starting to assemble poems that might, you hope, become a manuscript to submit for publication, and, finally, I’d like to flag up this post by Graham Clifford, On putting yourself out there, in which he talks about the, sometimes, awfulness of self-promotion and its necessity.
That’s all for now and I haven’t even mentioned NaPoWriMo – more about that later!