Topic: The Lit Life
Poetry is always struggling for a new audience. Or sometimes, any audience.
Our technology nowadays offers lots of opportunities, but also some dilemmas.
Time was, the Internet flourished with many online zines. I like many poets were supported by these publications, but many have finished into the ether of space. I suspect this is for much the same reason as the cycle of print publications with the advent of desktop publication -- the new tools made it easy, so many people did it. But for some DIY publishing mavens, life circumstances took over, or the medium could not keep up with the technology.
Or, as so often happens, there were more submissions than support from contrinbutors.
At a recent poetry conference, it was suggested that many writers have come to regard editors and publishers -- whether in online or print venues -- as noisome middlemen who see submissions through a stunted filter, or who can't escape the bias of favoring friends and colleagues. Now that blogs are so easy to create, many are simply self publishing and letting their work be juried via Google.
There is, arguably, value to both. Writers can and should use the tools available to them to make their work and their names known.
But, doing this alone doesn't offer to a writer what submitting work for consideration always has -- including a chance for peer review, as well as the opportunity to be published alongside others whose work the writer respects.
Of course, the risk of rejection is always there. That, too, is part of the process and the maturation of any writer. A writer may not agree with the editor's decision or critique, if offered. But both give pause for consideration -- was my work strong enough, clear enough, as good as I could make it?
We write for ourselves, but want our work to be appreciated by others. I for one hope that those who make the time and dedication to institute and maintain publications will always be there, to see my work, to judge it on its own merits, so that writing may begin in a place of solitude but find its voice in a place of community.