Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Internet poetry - oxymoron?

It's good to google yourself once in awhile. And even to do so in several different search engines.

Today I used ask.com and was delighted to find myself quoted in a fascinating article about online poetry by Frank Wilson, book editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer (May 21, 2006). He quotes several poets from the blogosphere and elsewhere on the Internet. What he picked up from me was a sound bite: "online poetry is a participant sport" -- meaning, as I elaborated, but he didn't quote, that more people write online poetry than read it. I meant it as a comment on the comparison between print journal poetry and its online counterpart. But who really knows? We need some surveys, some studies, some investigative journalism here.

I'm glad Frank Wilson has started the ball rolling. I have a feeling eventually this ball is going to get very big. We're at the stage of trying to figure out what online poetry is by the equivalent of a blindfolded committee trying to describe an elephant. This animal of Internet poetry is probably radically different than we imagine. All depends on your yardstick and your blindfold.