A poetry blog, to many people, is a site for their own poems but my poetry blog, And Other Poems, is different because I post other people’s work and invite submissions. I suppose And Other Poems could more accurately be described as a zine or a journal but it’s blog technology I’m using and, anyway, I like the word blog. Also, there’s no editorial nor are there feature articles or photographs. As the tagline says it’s “simply a blog of poems.”
Search terms that turn up here and over at AOP often refer to “poetry blogs”, ie, “starting a poetry blog”; “how to get followers on a poetry blog” so the subject certainly interests many, for whatever reason, whether to share personal poems or the work of others, and there are an increasing number of blogs, journals and zines around on WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger. I won’t do a ‘How To..’ article although I did write a post about my first year at And Other Poems. Instead, I thought I’d list some of the things that make it all worthwhile.
Running a poetry blog, zine or journal: why you should
You learn about poetry
- The more you read, the more you learn.
- You begin to understand why you do/don’t like a poem.
- You get a feel for the kinds of things people are writing about – you might spot a trend. This is helpful if you want your own work to be original.
- You understand the difference between original and unoriginal writing.
- You recognise writing which is fresh.
- If you write poems, you try to build all of this knowledge into your own writing.
You make friends and build relationships.
It might only be a ‘virtual’ relationship through the internet but if and when you do meet you will already know so much about it each other.
- You learn about a poet’s work.
- You introduce others to work you like.
- You make rewarding, enriching contacts – you soon learn who else is running a blog, or magazine, or putting on events and is involved with collaborations or interesting projects.
- You learn to say no kindly. It’s a life skill.
Other skills you develop
- Designing layouts and formatting poems in WordPress (or Tumblr or Blogger).
- Building a following using social media.
And you are filling the internet with poetry!
- You provide poetry to read, talk about, share and perhaps buy (if you include links to publishers’ sites, which I always do, wherever possible).
Of course, there are reasons why you shouldn’t do any of this….. but I’ll save that for another post. Any more thoughts on the ups from anyone?