Blogs by poets as opposed to Poetry Blogs

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!

22 thoughts on “Blogs by poets as opposed to Poetry Blogs”

  1. Interesting piece. As a new blogger, I’m trying to find a balance between sharing information about my work and commenting on/passing on helpful links about many different aspect of poetry to anyone who might be interested. Getting the right balance is the challenge!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Sue, I couldn’t agree more, the right balance can be elusive! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and am following you so that your new posts will appear in my reader. Thanks for commenting.


  2. Great post, Josephine, full of helpful links, thanks. I couldn’t bear to share drafts on a blog either. I don’t mind linking to published poems though I’ve written a lot more stories than poems so far.


  3. I didn’t mean to offend anyone who posts drafts, however! I do think it’s brave. There ARE some impressive blogs around, of course, but the difficulty is the time it takes to locate them. I’ve found the odd dud (or ten) along the way! I’m interested that you’re writing prose and poetry and I like your blog so I’ve followed. Thanks for commenting!


  4. Yes, it is brave. For me, though, I feel my subconscious would stop processing the draft once it’s out there – as if it’s done with. Thanks for following 🙂


  5. I already subscribe to your And Other Poems, but am glad to find this blog too, and have subscribed. As well as to Fiona’s. Thanks for the links and thoughts. Good for getting the mind pondering things on a Monday morning 🙂 I already keep an eye on Helena Nelson’s blog – and enjoy her posts very much.


    1. I enjoy reading about poetry just as much as I do reading poetry itself, but I’d argue that in both cases it is hard to find something worthwhile to read. Posts like this one and the post by Poetgal above prove to be very helpful.


  6. Thanks, Emma. I really should update this post! It is one of the most popular on the site. There’s so much available on the internet, isn’t there, I’m glad you appreciate the sharing. I appreciate you taking the time to comment! 🙂


  7. I like your reasons for posting your poems, Rachel. Personally, since I’ve become ambitious (I guess) and serious (reasonably so) about my poetry, I’m reluctant to share it online unless it’s been published in print first. However, if I was to start sharing online again, I’d take control and do it myself, to be sure that I could take absolute care with the way the poem is presented. Anyway, thanks for commenting, and best wishes with your writing! – Josephine

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed this article thank you, you have given some thoughts for me to consider with my own blog lol!! I recently started a personal poetry blog, my reason being for family and friends I figured rather than having my work sit around in notebooks maybe someone would be inspired or enjoy something I wrote. If my goal is to have a piece published elsewhere I will be more selective and hold back posting, right now though it is simply a creative hobby for me and a part of myself I decided to share with those interest enough to look. 🙂


  9. This article certainly made me think. Maybe I need to be careful about how much of my work I publish on my blog, especially as I hope to put an anthology together soon…


  10. Great post, Josephine. I’ve found that my own poetry blog is a way to acquaint readers with my work who then might be interested in my books, although the process does seem somewhat self-aggrandizing for those of us not predisposed to self-promotion. Cheers, Guy.

    Liked by 1 person

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