Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blogging - is it worth it?

I've been exploring this morning the impact blogging has had on my life as a poet. Which has brought me to a realization that it is difficult to imagine it otherwise. For the sake of this post, I want to acknowledge that my reference to blogging includes not only my own, but the blogs of others that I read.

I could certainly write poetry without blogs. I have in the past. Certainly people were writing poetry before the advent of blogs. It seems to me that there are several areas that I could touch upon where blogs have had an impact on poetry for me personally.

There is exposure to other poets. This is a critical point for two reasons. There are other poets I may well never have made contact with were it not for blogging. Among contemporary poets, there are many extraordinary individuals writing today that I would likely not have been exposed to simply through libraries, local readings, or bookstores. This is not simply a matter of personal enjoyment of the works of others, but in some instances it includes email communication with others writing that have allowed me to network in a much broader circle then otherwise possible. And beyond enjoying the reading of poems by some of these individuals, I firmly believe that those who write MUST read.

Poetry bloggers provide fresh material on an almost daily basis. It is no substitute for reading the works of well established poets who are published, but by the same token, if I were limited to the pool of such poetry, I'd be missing a lot of very good material and in many cases newer subject matter or experimental work that I'd never find in a bookstore.

Through my own blogging, I've had people come my way just as I have been exposed to others. It is definitely a two way street with respect to networking. People have given me feedback that has been helpful.

There was a time when I was participating in two poetry groups and two additional writing groups. That was very time consuming. I've cut back in that area and have done so without sacrificing my exposure to others or their exposure to me by way of the Internet and my blogging.

Just to name a few individuals that blogging has brought me into contact with- whose work I might not have otherwise easily connected with:

  • Ivy Alvarez
  • Eileen Tobios
  • Kelly Russell Agodon
  • Jayne Pupek
  • Christine Hamm
  • Aleah Sato
  • Jilly Dybka

Those are just a few that quickly come to my mind. I don't know that any one of those I would likely have come into contact with if it weren't for blogging. Perhaps Tobios, but probably not. Still, exposure to each of these individuals and their work has been invaluable to me and the progression of my poetry writing. Clearly if someone would ask, I'd have to say the blogging experience has been worthwhile.

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