Friday, December 10, 2010

Voice Alpha - "the poem ultimately belongs to the reader"

I'm pleased to have my guest post appear at Voice Alpha, an exciting new blog that's "a repository for thoughts, theories, suggestions, likes and dislikes and anything else related to the art and science of reading poetry aloud for an audience." My blog entry went live today. Thanks, Nic Sebastian, for inviting me to write on this topic. I'll be continuing to read, and also listening and reading on the companion site, Whale Sound, to poems and interviews. The Internet and its visual and audio capabilities is making this an exciting time to be a poet! I do still love print, but I have to prefer hearing a poem to reading one on the page. Maybe it's just me, but the voice is powerful, and sound is an important dimension in a poem.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Google Bookstore

It has arrived, and it will let me read e-Books bought there on my iPhone, laptop, desktop, or any device -- best of all, my new book is stored in the cloud! I can access it anywhere.

Check it out: Google Bookstore.

Also best of all (can I have two "bests? -- I think this warrants it), Google Bookstore carries Powell's Books and other Indie Bookstores. That means, "Hello, small press industry, come on into the e-Bookstore!" Some are of the opinion that this will not only increase the market for small press books, but the market for books in general, as titles will now come up on Google searches.

Life in poetry just might get a lot more interesting.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Blogrolling - Bah, Humbug!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from your favorite third-party software, Blogrolling.com. They just posted this terse little announcement:

Blogrolling Has Ceased Operation

The Blogrolling service is no longer available.
If your site is still using Blogrolling code you should see a blank space where your blogroll used to be. That is because rpc.blogrolling.com is currently serving up a blank file.
We will continue to serve this blank file for six months.

My entire, carefully accrued blogroll: GONE! Thanks, Blogrolling.com, for this lump of coal in my stocking.

If any of you want to add your blogs to my blogroll (which will now be hosted by Google, which isn't going anywhere anytime soon), please add a comment here or email and let me know. Sorry!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Poetry & art of the sacred

For centuries, until the Renaissance, pretty much all art was commissioned by religious authorities. Churches, temples, mosques, paid artists and musicians and poets to celebrate and illustrate their particular faith. Now things have pretty much reversed, and most art is produced outside of the religious  context.

Yet a healthy percentage of contemporary American poetry is based on spiritual feelings, if not overly religious ones. However, the market devoted specifically to publishing spiritual poetry is minuscule. It's much more common to see poems with spiritual undertones in academic and independent literary journals than the few journals that are focused on spiritual art.

Because I'm interested in writing and reading spiritually-based poetry, I've looked into the few litmags that focus on this subject matter. While I don't think a literary magazine should restrict itself in terms of subject matter, I think these few (and any others you can suggest) have come into being because this subject matter has been often excluded from the generality of literary publishing. Here are a few magazines that focus on contemporary spiritual poetry:

Image

Ruminate

Pilgrimage

Tiferet

And for online anthologies of spiritual poetry from all ages:

Poet Seers

Poetry Chaikhana

Undoubtedly, there are more that I don't know about. Suggestions are welcome! Maybe I'll start a page on my website if I get enough listings. But hopefully the mainstream literary journals will increasingly include overtly spiritual poetry. It does seem to be tending in that direction.