Just like Poetry ain’t dead, though folks are constantly ringing the death knell — for Poetry and for Blogging. I would be remiss if I did not call your attention to some folks who really do generate thoughtful and critical content. First, let me point to an interview with Guy LeCharles Gonzalez over at Book View Cafe Blog:
Sue: [...] Considering Internet usage and the new opportunities it brings us, I get the feeling there are two Internets: one for consumers and what they consume; and one for the producers of what the consumers consume. I also get the feeling that contrary to what the Internet philosophers have been telling us, all people do not use both of these Internets. We were all supposed to participate in the great creative orgy, but I don’t think that’s happening. I think most people would rather consume than produce. Do you agree?
Guy: You’re absolutely right.
GROUNDSWELL, one of the better books on marketing in the digital age, introduced the “Social Technographics Ladder” a few years back that broke down how people use the Internet into overlapping categories, including Joiners, Spectators, Critics and Creators. The last update back in January, which added Conversationalists to the mix, estimated Creators at 24% while Spectators were 70%.
Creators includes “traditional” bloggers along with people who make and upload their own music and videos, and while a little higher than I’d guess, it doesn’t feel WAY off.
[Some edits below]
My current threads:
I’ve just submitted my selections to Didi Menendez for the Best of MiPOesias 2000 to 2010 anthology, from OCHO #16. Debbie Yee’s “Cinderella’s Last Will and Testament,” included in this issue, is already included in the anthology as it’s been selected for Best American Poetry 2009. That said, my selections for Best of MiPOesias are Dillon Westbrook’s long poem excerpt from “long life,” and Jaime Jacinto’s “World’s Fair.” I’d already previously nominated Jaime’s poem, “Manong’s Gift” for a Pushcart Prize; biased as I am, I believe very much that he is an exceptional poet.
Eileen Tabios has written on her blog this morning something I find myself really very much agreeing with: “…if you believe poetry is marginalized in today’s (U.S.) culture and want to know why poetry is marginalized, it’s NOT BECAUSE POETS ARE WRITING IRRELEVANTLY. It’s not because poets aren’t writing about what’s ‘important’ to write about like politics (what’s ‘important’ is subjective, yah?). It’s not because poets are writing ‘elliptically.’ It’s not because poets are writing ‘narcissistically.’ It’s not because poets are ‘writing to each other.’ It’s not because poets are flarf-in’. It’s not because they’re too ‘quiet’ or too ‘avant.’ It’s not because too many poets write ‘academically’ or got their MFAs. It’s not because poets aren’t doing their job — anyone who feels they can define a poet’s ‘job’ is generally just arrogant or looking for a way to grab attention for himself (yes, it’s usually a him). // If you believe poetry is marginalized (and that is an ‘if’), then poetry is marginalized today in large part because K-12 (Kindergarten to 12th grade) education has, in too many cases, eliminated the relevance of the arts….including any notion that a particular art form can be expanded beyond what is inherited by an artist.”
My first post just went up on the Hyphen magazine blog.
I now officially blog at four blogs:
I’d actually been stressing a little bit about blogging for Hyphen magazine, because I realized so many of my blogging concerns were not specifically Asian American. This concern never really applied to my blogging at PAWA, where I mostly post event and publication announcements, and link to online book reviews, interviews, submissions calls which would apply to Filipino American artists, and other people’s blog posts.
Additionally, I am not the only Hyphen blogger concerned with American popular culture and where Asian Americans place or find themselves within it, nor am I the only literary person there. I stressed over how to differentiate myself and my contributions. So in the spirit of poet thievery, I’ve decided to try my best to emulate Rigoberto González and his Small Press Spotlights over at the National Book Critics Circle blog. In my case, for purposes of the Hyphen blog, this would be focused on API authors on independent presses. In my first post, I feature Maiana Minahal’s Legend Sondayo.
Elsewhere in e-world, folks are ranting about how blog is killing poetry.
Let’s be totally straight about this:
Blogs are not killing poetry. Poets writing bad poetry are killing poetry.
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said this, and I agree with him. I would like to add this: Blogging is not a substitute for writing poetry and reading poetry. Blogging is not a substitute for developing effective social and marketing skills as a poet in the literary industry.
Rather than get negative about “bad poetry,” I will qualify what I believe is great poetry, the kind of poetry I find meaningful and enjoyable, which continues to be written by poets, and even blogging poets:
The poetry that tries its best to understand our place and condition in the world, spiritually, historically, culturally, politically. Poetry that seeks to connect with readers and audience, and in doing so, growing community. Poetry that grows larger than the individual I, taking on the beauty and the problem of we. Poetry that seeks to do all these things with a keen sense of music and a deep love of language.
(I copied and pasted this from my previous post on poetic greatness here.)