Thursday, August 09, 2007

Poems about poetry + other news

Ars Poetica is a new blog with an interesting idea: an anthology (at first virtual, eventually print) of poems about poetry. Forget submitting -- it's network-invitation only. But if you adore this genre of poetry, what a delicious, long read you have ahead of you. Some of the poems I sampled and liked are by Denise Duhamel, Marilyn Taylor, Robert Sward, and the blog's creator, Dan Waber. His short poem targets why I like poems about poetry and why I am in that tiny cultural minority that adores reading and writing poetry. I hope Dan won't mind my quoting this brief -- but huge -- poem:

You don't go looking for poetry finds.
You go, looking, for poetry finds.

I just love it when punctuation matters. Now, that could be a whole other web anthology: poems driven by punctuation. Okay, a very short anthology. Still.

In other but related news, Kelli Russell Agodon's blog has a series on tapping into the unconscious. It's filled with interested ideas, quotes and links. "For poetry finds" might be her theme as well. My favorite quote, in today's entry:

One novelist here (who doesn't believe in writer's block) said to treat the subconscious as a muscle and approach it as something that needs to be exercised.

Since studies have been done showing that the memory responds to daily exercise, I see no reason not to assume the unconscious mind does as well. There are even people who practice something they call "dreaming awake." I don't recommend anything verging on an occult exercise, yet the idea of staying close to dreams and as aware of the subconscious processes that power our feelings seems that it would aid creativity.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Is Lit-Blogging Following the old Print Dinosaur?

Interesting article by Sven Birkerts on whether or not literary blogging is really a new-new thing, or just a marketing venue for the old-old thing -- literature in print. He makes a case for the fact that the new literary paradigm, a wholly Web-based form of literature, has yet to take hold. Are litblogs simply grazing behind the dinosaurs, heading only down their paths and thus a mere camp follower of a doomed print culture?

Of course I read about it in the Web version of a print dinosaur, the Boston Globe. As book review sections that might carry such speculative articles on literature and its forms and formats are fast disappearing from print, perhaps literary reviews and articles, increasingly to be found only online, will lead the way for the new-new literature.

Nice article on Charles Simic's dual honors this week, appointment as U.S. Poet Laureate and Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award ($100,000). I figure with the Laureate salary ($35,000) and his AAP award, Simic can just about buy a small, old-fashioned print magazine and run it for a couple of months.