Monday, September 12, 2011

Poetry Post-9/11

Hello neglecterinos!

If all goes well, reviews from me will start popping up at the Contemporary Poetry Review any day now.

I thought I would need to shutter the blog in respect of their publishing schedule and a new, grueling pace of work.

Since, however, they publish on a traditional-publishing model, I think it's best I get back to the blog for some unadulterated poetry commentary.

First I think we might as well start off acknowledging our new calendar. Conveniently we have the 9/11 attacks to encourage us to look at "the new millennium" as an actual turning point and not simply a calendrical one.

We live in a world of blogs, smartphones, viral videos, and a bunch of other junk that it's pointless to say and makes me look like a bit of a fuddy-duddy.

I'm not, however. But most poetry publishers are.

A search on Amazon tells me that the most popular books in poetry are all e-book editions. Even the books that are popular in hard-copy have audio and e-books available.

But those are all published by "the big guys" and the problem with "big guy" publishing is that the poems are generally tepid at best and more like lukewarm sugar-coated kitty litter in practice.

What of the small presses (even the big ones)?

A search on Red Hen Press gives me lots of books to buy but none to download, either to read or listen to.

I don't see any electronic versions on Graywolf Press's site either.

The micro-presses I'm most familiar with don't offer such things.

Now, I would love to be wrong.

I would like, you my readers, to say "this! This small press publishes e-books and audio-books along with their traditional books."

Because if I can't find that then we have witnessed another gaping hole in the quest to deliver great poetry to the people (and specifically the American people): there's no outlet above the "mere blogosphere" yet below the giant publishing houses to deliver quality work.


Recording studios do this all the time--every band with a recording has a way to buy that music electronically.

Why don't we do this with poetry?

In a world where skyscrapers can be knocked out of the sky, why are small presses still holding on to hard-copy books?

Anyway, that's what's on my mind this morning.

I've changed this blog a dozen times since I started writing. We'll see where this new iteration takes us.

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