Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Call to Poet-Bloggers

If you're a poet who blogs (or someone who blogs about poetry), I'd love to have your input on a talk I'm giving at a conference next Thursday here at the University of Toronto. The conference is on "Markets" and is being sponsored by the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies. (Full program in PDF can be found here).

I proposed my topic a long time ago, so you'll have to forgive that it's based on a rather ancient comment from the POETICS list, from about four years back, to the effect that "blogs are shops, while the list is the public square" (or, in another incarnation, "the list is the Forum, the blogs are the Boutiques"). My interest is less in the particulars of the good old Poetics list vs. blogs debate than in the commercial metaphor that's in play here, suggesting the blog as an attractive but isolating and potentially commodified space for poetics.

So my primary interests in the talk are:

--what kind of space the blog is vs. other print & electronic media for poetry (books, journals, listservs, etc.)
--what the relationship between the poetry/poetics blog and the market for poetry (and criticism) is
--whether the blog form (as I hypothesize) has provided new spaces for women and poets of color that have historically been absent in other forums for discussions of poetics

Here's where I'd love to have your help. If you have thoughts on or around any of these topics, I'd really like to incorporate them into my presentation, where I'll be showing various websites and blogs and talking about the kind of economy created among them. But it would be great to hear not just from me but from a spectrum of bloggers on this topic. So if you would be interested in putting up a post on your blog around these issues sometime in the next week, I would (with your permission, of course, and giving you proper credit) try to display some of your comments during the course of my talk.

Please feel free to participate or not participate in whatever manner you see fit; I'll be very grateful for any contributions to the discussion. If you do post something, drop me an email so I know to look for it. Thanks!

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