Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Via Silliman et al

Jilly Dybka, great source of news on things poetry, has closed her blog for now. This comes as no surprise, given recent health problems and expressions of blogging-ennui. All my best wishes for her. Here are a few articles that grabbed my attention and held them through, culled from Silliman, George Murray & other sources:

  • Remember the vanity press? How quaint that sounds. Here's why...
  • Is poetry dying? Bah, humbug, I say. But despite National Poetry Month and other campaigns, the NEA finds that poetry readership has declined to its lowest point in 16 years.

One thing I've often wondered: how does Silliman get all his article links? And what never ceases to astound me: how does he keep up with it all?


Stephen Morrissey said...

Hey Brian,

Great links. However, I don't really understand why Judith Fitzgerald would write about Erin Moure... the article seems more about JF than Moure. And then all the ridiculous chatter, as you call it, ayt the end... So called "Vanity publishing" is very interesting, the internet has changed so much in publishing, in poetry publishing, and we will all need to adjust to these changes. The old paradigm of the small press and poetry readings, etc., is gone. And the article on "the end of verse" is also fascinating, it's not poetry that is dying, it's the book of poetry that someone buys that is dying. Poetry has revisioned itself on the internet, thus my work at www.coraclepress.com, where the chapbooks get more readers in a week than a print publication gets in its entire existence. This is all a fascinating discussion in which I hope more poets are engaged.

Best wishes,

Stephen Morrissey

Brian Campbell said...

Hi Stephen,
You've pointed out the fatal flaw that characterizes the worst kind of reviewing and criticism -- where it seems the spotlight is more on the critic than the author, and where the writing itself seems covered up by both. I don't know if the "old paradigm", as you call it, was ever really "here". It is wonderful, though, to get a beautiful book published by a good press. Today awards seem more important than presses, yet both are devalued by proliferation. As for internet readership... visit stats may seem impressive, but actual readers few -- and I wonder how much of that so-called readership is just cursory scannership!

Stephen Morrissey said...


All of this has some truth to it, but I suspect we need a bigger forum to discuss this. Maybe the League could have a forum on Internet vs. Hard copy publishing. Back in the day... we wrote because we loved to write and hang out in a community of writers/poets. Now it seems ambition rules, you have to win an award to have any validity (awards are a career builder), and with readership for poetry declining (as it says in one of the articles) maybe someone scanning a selection of poems on the internet and a few serious readers are the equivalent of a hard copy book...

Best wishes,