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Article: Poets find inspiration and readers through blogging

Poets find inspiration and readers through blogging

During
political upheavals, media often mention the influence of writers who
blog. But poets are also tapping into this technology to find new
markets, dialogue with readers, and get the word out about their books.

Weblogs, popularly called “blogs”, often feature commentary
that reads like a diary or personal journal. Many who keep an online
diary can be personal to the point of embarrassing the reader. A blog
can be confession’s best friend. According to the Online News
Association, as of July 31, 2006, there were 50 million blogs.

Poets
and other writers are discovering that the technology can produce the
same results as a Web site. It’s relatively easy to set up a blog,
adding not only text but also photographs and even audio or video
files. Basic registration information is required. Some sites offer
free blogs.

Poets often muse about Po-Biz, as those who work
at the world of verse call the industry. The blog can be a platform for
praising a favorite poet, theorizing about crafting, and discussing
books. A poet can post news about events and readings. It’s easy to
dialogue with readers because most blogs have a “comments” link where
visitors can talk back to the writer.

Steve Mueske owns the
journal Three Candles and a small press by the same name. His blog
Never Been Good with Fractions combines news of his own readings and
happenings with a variety of general information.

“I blog
mostly,” he says, “for the sense of community with other poets. A lot
of us write in relative solitude. It’s nice to know there is a
community of like-minded spirits out there.”

Mueske says he
tries to keep the subject matter “fairly light.” He says if he wants to
talk about poetics or craft, he sends a personal message.

For
Sheryl Luna, her blog Chicana Poetics is all about process. “I wanted
to write more,” she explains. “I had been blocked for some time.” She
gained a “pleasant surprise” when she found people were reading.

Suzanne Frischkorn blogs her way to a connection with other poetry readers and writers through Litwindowpane.

For
Rachel Dacus, the experience gives her a forum for thoughts on poetry,
the state of poetry publishing and other topics. Her blog Rocket Kids
often inspires readers to comment. Dacus notes, “Some interesting
comments and discussions have been initiated because of topics I’ve
posted–conversations I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Kristy
Bowen posts writing at her blog Random Mellifluousness and Literary
Exhibitionism, calling it “part personal journal, part newsletter, part
slam book, part soapbox.” She says she’s big on documentation–“the
latent librarian in me.” She says it started out more diary-like, “just
goofing around.” But she moved more toward posting occasional drafts of
work.

All the poets say they’ve met interesting people,
sometimes in person, through their sites. Bowen says one of her MFA
instructors told her creative-writing programs “sort of took the place
of caf

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