Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Social Networking at Its Best
Last week, I received a friend request from another poet on Facebook. Along with that request was a message in which the poet explained how he had found me via reading yet another poet's blog. The blog post had mentioned Blood Almanac and contained a link to some sample poems. This led to the friend request on FB. Once I accepted the request, the poet asked if I'd be interested in a book swap, which I was, and also mentioned that he works on the journal Terrain.org and was wondering if I had anything I might like to submit.
I had heard the name of the journal a few times, but I hadn't yet investigated it. After the above exchange, I did, and I was glad I did. It's a wonderful online journal, combining the arts, architecture, and the environment. As explained in the guidelines: Each of Terrain.org's issues is based on a predominant theme that relates to the built and natural environments. Contributions are oriented toward that theme, though the connection does not have to be obvious. Lots of fascinating stuff to read and listen to on the site.
I have long been uneasy with themed issues, never quite sure how my work might fit and never very good at writing to an assigned theme; however, I did find a few poems I thought worked with the current theme and sent them off to my new FB friend, knowing that there was no guarantee of acceptance. Yesterday, I received the good news that two of the poems will appear in the next issue of Terrain.org. Once they appear, in March 2010, readers will also be able to listen to me read the poems, which is one of my favorite things about online journals.
So, this is online social networking at its best. By creating this blog and finally settling into a rhythm with my posts, I have gained new readers and new friends. One of those readers posted about my book on her blog and that led to the new Facebook friend. Frankly, given my geographic location and lack of funds to travel often (aside from one big blowout at AWP each year), I would not have been able to establish these connections, at least not as quickly or as many, in the "real" world of networking. Today, I'm thankful I live in the age of the internet and I'm thankful for the community I'm joining online.