Monthly Archives: September 2013
The fall calendar has been rapidly filling with poetry readings, classes, and publications.
Here in Rochester, the second Fringe Festival begins this weekend. A group of poets, led by Wanda Schubmehl, will be reading the work generated from her latest project–a poetry chain gang. Participating poets responded to one poem from another participating poet. The poem generated was then be passed along to another poet. None of us (yes, I am a participant!) saw any other poem than the one given to each of us until the project was completed. The reading will be this Saturday, September 21 at Writers & Books, 740 University Ave., Rochester, NY. We’ll start at 4:00 pm, so arrive early for the best seat! This is a free reading. As a result of Wanda’s efforts, FootHills Publishing will also produce a chapbook with all of our poems.
Please head over to Conte Online where my poem “14th. St., Buffalo, NY” appears. I am grateful to the editors for including my work and for asking me to record the poem being read in my voice, something I have not previously done. Let me know what you think. http://www.conteonline.net/issue0901/
There are several poetry readings this week featuring local poets. Tonight, Karla Linn Merrifield and Catherine Faurot (a fellow Bennington alum) will be reading at Writers & Books for the Genesee Reading Series, 7:30 pm.
Thursday, Just Poets will hold a reading from their annual anthology, Le Mot Juste, at the Pittsford Library (second floor) at 7:00 pm. An open mic will follow.
Saturday, Patricia Roth Schwartz will be reading at Books, Etc. in Macedon at 2:00 pm. Pat has asked a few of her friends (I am among them) to read a couple of poems as well.
I’d also like to point you to a list of the top 25 writers of faith compiled by the editors of Image. Here’s a link http://imagejournal.org/page/blog/the-iimagei-top-25-contemporary-writers-of-faith-list. Post a comment if you agree/disagree with their selections.
As the fall 2013 reading period opens, I want to address the issue of online literary journals and the merits of having work published by them.
The most obvious benefit is the size of the potential audience. While print publications are, for the most part, quite limited in their press runs, online publications have the possibility of readership limited only by the scope of the Web. This potentiality is heavily augmented by the reach of social media: Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, blogs, RSS feeds, etc., where the Word of the Web spreads more quickly than the word of mouth ever could.
Another important consideration is the development of relationships with other poets, publishers, and editors outside of your immediate environs that can lead to further publication opportunities, invitations to read, and invitations to attend and/or lead workshops.
Then there is the Google factor. When a reader comes upon your work online, that reader is able to search the Internet for more of your work, an expanded bio, and your general reputation within the larger community of poetry.
Will your work be perceived as lesser in status by appearing online versus in print? The answer to that question differs with each reader. We all have that one friend or family member who refuses to enter the digital age but is that one person your target audience? Who is in your target audience? Could those individuals who might appreciate your work the most be the same people who spend their days connected to their technology simply because of its portability?
A friend says to you, “Hey, I just read the most awesome conceptual poem.” You ask, “So, can you lend me the mag?” She says, “No. But I can show it to you on my smart phone.” That poem is available for the reading anywhere there’s wireless, immediately.
An often-heard argument against online lit mags is their quality compared to print. I find this argument to be less valid as time progresses and as the quality of successful lit mags increases with each publication cycle. What matters and is key, is the reputation of the publication, whether in print or online.
Arguably, print publication is still far more desired for the purposes of academia, but even there the gap is closing.
Granted, online publication is never going to be the same as holding that perfect-bound journal in your hands. It is, however, the path of our words, at least until an electro-magnetic pulse shuts down everyone’s electricity.
I would be interested to read your feedback.