As you may know, I'm in the running for Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere (click here to vote for me), which is hosted by BloggingPoet.com. It's a "for fun" type of competition for the most part; but recently, a person posted this in the comments of one post:
This blog is NOT representative of good poetry.
In addition, this person is paid to write this blog. The others are not.
READ the other bloggers' websites and then make your decision on who to vote
The others are actually respected and talented poets who are doing
a lot to advance poetry both in the US and in Canada. This guy is not. Be smart,
people. Be informed.
That is, of course, not a very respectful thing for someone to say, and I admit I lost my temper over it and other remarks. In fact, I made leaps that were perhaps not there (and apologized whether they were there or not, because it's not important who is right or wrong; poetry is much more important than finger pointing). In my mind, it is one thing to say you like person A better than person B; it is something else to say person B is not respected or talented. However, I think Miss W did raise a good point; it's important to be informed.
I believe I've tried to be very informative on this blog--from poetry prompts to interviews with poets and from poetic forms to work shopping poems; however, there is always room for improvement. So, I'm going to start a new feature called Blogging Poets, which will simply highlight poets who have great blogs.
While I'll probably focus in on one blog at a time in the future, I'm going to start this feature by listing the leaders in the Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere competition, which is a thin slice of all the great poets who blog online (in the order of ranking last night):
Robert Lee Brewer: Of course, you know about this blog, but you may not know about my personal blog (http://robertleebrewer.blogspot.com), where I've been tracking my progress at writing a poem a day throughout 2010 and making other general comments, etc. Also, I have a general writing blog at http://community.writersdigest.com/profile/RobertLeeBrewer.
Sina Queyras: I admit I did not recognize her by her name at first, but I definitely knew of her great Lemon Hound blog (http://lemonhound.blogspot.com). Queyras also maintains a blog at the PoetryFoundation.org site (http://poetryfoundation.org/harriet/author/squeryas). Her blog supports Canadian poetry and issues, and her collection Expressway was released by Coach House Books.
Rob McLennan: McLennan, who is widely published, is one of those poets I've known about for years, and he maintains another great Canadian blog (http://robmclennan.blogspot.com) that benefits poets worldwide. His blog features interviews, poems, commentary, reviews, and more.
January O'Neil: You may recognize O'Neil as a Poetic Asides veteran. She maintains a fun blog at http://poetmom.blogspot.com, in which she covers poetry and mothering topics (a great combo!). Just checking last night, there were pics of T-ball and a poetry event. Plus, she uses the word "awesomeness," which gets an A+ from me.
Geof Huth: Huth's blog (http://dbqp.blogspot.com) is titled dbqp: visualizing poetics and has the tagline Visual Poetry, The Textual Imagination, and Personal Experience. Since I'm the type of person who loves to learn more about things of which I'm not familiar, this blog is one I intend to investigate even further. Huth posts very regularly, and he maintains a very visual and audio blog.
Jessie Carty: Jessie has been a friend for a while now, and she's one of those very awesome North Carolina poets. Her blog (http://jessiecarty.com) shares Jessie's poetic experiences, publishing progress, and more. Jessie is the author of Paper House (Folded Word Press), and she's currently shopping a second manuscript, I believe.
xTx: This is one blogger in this short list who I had no previous knowledge. One warning about this blog (http://www.notimetosayit.com): It is not rated PG (or even PG-13). But it does share poems daily, and it uses the word "poem" as a verb, which is a good thing in my book.
Dana Guthrie Martin: Martin's poems have been published in various publications, and she's had at least a couple collections published as chapbooks, I believe. This self-proclaimed writer, editor, communications manager and poet seems to be posting a poem a day in April at her blog (http://mygorgeoussomewhere.org). As with everyone else on this short list, you should check it out.
There are 22 poets in the running for the Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, but I just don't have the time in April to check out all of their blogs personally (will have to do that in May). I basically just made a short list of all the bloggers who'd received more than 20 votes as of last night. Here's a list of the other 14 bloggers, who I'm sure all have great blogs:
- Brad Liening
- Ron Slate
- George Szirtes
- Julie Buffaloe-Yoder
- Brandon Brown
- Sam Pink
- Rachel B. Glaser
- Jeff Lytle
- Allen Itz
- Emi Matsui
- Mather Schneider
- Shmish Whims
- Donald McNeil
- Jim DuBois
As mentioned above, I want this Blogging Poets to become a regular feature. As a result, I could use some help in identifying great poetry-related blogs. Basically, I'm looking for blogs that are mostly related to poetry (though they can be personal blogs), and that have regular posting. Please send recommendations to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: "Awesome poetry blog."
Simple as that.
Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer