Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Another Related Post to the State of Poetry Publishing Today

89º ~ feels like 99º (heat index), the rain finally fell for a bit last night, but nothing like the 2-3" they got to the north and west of us, this morning all the rain hovers just to our east, we are beginning to feel cursed (at this point, rain = lessening of the heat index, for which we all rejoice...yes, it's a WET heat and SCUBA gear would come in handy for breathing when out of doors)

So after the big discussion about poetry publishing today here and here on the Kangaroo, I had a great comment from a writer new to me, C.A. LaRue.  C.A. pointed me to a post on the Ploughshares blog written by Tasha Golden, "Why Poetry Can't Find its Public."

I highly recommend clicking and reading it before you continue on here.  Golden addresses, head-on, an issue I hear all the time: only poets read poetry, therefore poetry is dead or elitist or boxed in or limited in some way or etc.  I love that Golden bashes the myth that poetry is harmed by popularity (remember all the articles you've ever read about that dirty word, "accessibility").  Time and time again in my life as a poet, I have met non-poets who read poetry or are interested in it and want to talk about it.

Thanks again to C.A., I just read Golden's follow-up post, "Why Poetry Can't Find its Public, Part Two," and this post is the most exciting for me.  Here, Golden gives real-world examples of ways we can broaden the poetry audience.  Check out this list of DIY activities.  I know I plan to use some!

Of course, not every person who encounters a poem in the wild (aka in a public space like a coffee shop or a topic-specific, non-literary blog or art gallery or even the library for goodness sakes) is going to become a reader of poetry, but I guarantee you that there is very little chance of growing our audience if we do nothing beyond what we are already doing.  (This connects back to the idea that poets must subsidize publishers with reading fees, because they don't sell enough books to cover their expenses, which seems to me to be saying the audience is too small, no?)

So, let's all go out there and put some poetry in the world, in any way we can figure.  If you send me a picture or link of what you do, I'll be happy to post it, along with links to you and your work.  In that way, the world of poetry will keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keepsswimming, swimming, swimming (a la Dory from Finding Nemo) and eventually, good things must happen.

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