As the e-book has come barreling down the publishing highway, poets have
been left mostly in the dust. Why haven't poetry e-books emerged on
Kindles, Nooks, et al? Several forces are at work, the small size of
poetry book publishers being one factor, but perhaps the most
troublesome is being the pesky technical problem of not being able to
control line breaks in e-book formats. A thought-provoking article about
it appeared a year ago or so in Publishers Weekly.
"Diverging Roads: Poetry and E-Books." The problem of line breaks
shifting around when the reader of an e-book changes the font size has
been an insuperable problem for many poetry book publishers and poets.
few, however, have boldly gone where most poets don't want to go and
allowed the e-book to change the line breaks. Diane Lockward's wonderful
e-chapbook , Twelve for the Record,
(Amazon-Kindle edition) is one of the poetry e-book groundbreakers.
But while the article said that Graywolf Press and Coffee House press
had planned to have poetry e-books out by Fall of 2011, they have yet to
produce them. Where are the poetry houses in this new e-publishing
field? Way back in the stretch it seems. Time to gain some ground?