Wednesday, May 26, 2004

This week's New Yorker has a Talk of the Town piece on bloggers with book contracts, a periodic source of fascination/jealousy/hysteria online and off. I guess it's because that's the primary way the print media's been able to understand the blogging phenomenon--as raw material, apprenticeship for novel- or memoir-writing (for autobiographical or gossip blogs) or for columned punditry (for political bloggers). It's hard for me to imagine a poetry/poetics blog having that kind of relationship to print, perhaps simply because there isn't any incentive for poetry publisher to go trolling for talent in that way, or perhaps because poetry blogs seem more ends in themselves rather than straining to emerge as something else.

Well, the piece isn't really particularly interesting except for this last comment by the agent scouting bloggers:

"Anyway, I've started working wiht a couple of graduates of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. It's very exciting. They're interesting witers--with training, and degrees to show for it."

Take that, you untrained bloggers.

There's also an awestruck profile of Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama that should strike terror into the hearts of the right; this guy is good. At one point, an Illinois congresswoman goes into a meeting with George W. Bush sporting a campaign button:

On her way out, she said, President Bush noticed her "OBAMA" button. "He jumped back, almost literally...And I knew what he was thinking. So I reassured him it was Obama, with a 'b'. And I explained who he was. The President said, 'Well, I don't know him.' So I just said, 'You will.'"

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