Tuesday, December 19, 2006

So why isn't there a big-deal poetry blog? OK, I'm done laughing. What about Ron Silliman. (What about Ron Silliman?) Last Ron mentioned his stats, a thousand people a day were reading his daily essays, and while that's about fifteen minutes' worth of Gawker readership, it's also the print run of the average small press book of poems. Granted, most of that average print run spends its natural life in the publisher's basement.

But to take the question seriously: Big-deal blogs need a constant stream of information or they reveal just how tedious a life-of-one-subject actually is. Helps to have a star or a villain to report on every day or so. Poetry bloggers don't usually have a lot of new information to provide about any particular poet. There are a couple poets I could mention who try all too desperately to provide the grist for a continuous chatter mill, but I'll do you the favor of not mentioning them.

OK, but what about the poetry industry in general? Surely there are enough poetry-ish feature stories printed in the traditional media to feed a daily poetry blog. Hmm, that's a perfect description of the short daily news items on the Poetry Foundation news site. If you know how to use Google News to search for the words poet or poem or poetry you don't need the Poetry Foundation site. I think Jim Behrle made this point about Ron Silliman's link-dump days.

A few poet-bloggers are good at building communities around their work while taking care to make that work worth looking at. They know who they are. Their communities, though, are all about them, not poetry. Which come to think of it, is how every poetry community works: Popular poet and crowd of followers. It doesn't sound like much of a deal for the followers, but it can be.

Jordan - #




I'm Jordan Davis.
I write a lot.
I mention it here.

Say hi: jordan [at] jordandavis [dot] com.

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