Thursday, November 23, 2006

Answers to questions from Poet's Letter

Q. What made you produce your poetry on a blog?
The main reason was my discouragement at the process of trying to get the poems into print. I had been circulating small collections among my friends, but these were by their nature limited by duplication costs and whether people had expressed an interest in receiving them. I thought that if I put them on the Web then maybe more people would find them.

Q. Do you get feedback and does this help with the creative process?
I don't get a lot of feedback, and what there is tends to be praise or dispraise rather than analysis. I do a lot of reworking as part of the initial drafting process, so by the time it's on the blog I consider it near-finished. A more common effect of feedback is to inspire further poems in response to comments suggesting altenative approaches.

Q. Has it opened your poetry up to people across the world?

Well, the world, including Britain! Most of my readers come from the US, I am a member of Moontown Cafe, a US-based poetry forum, and my closest contacts are with some of their poets.

Q. Has it led to you changing the way you write (in terms of frequency) or think about your poetry?
The immediacy of writing online has led to my writing very short poems: a lot of haiku, for example. In an informal context, a poem doesn't have to be big or clever to be worth writing, so I write more often. Although this isn't quite what you asked, reading other poetry on the Internet has taught me to value brevity and clarity above all; there is an awful lot of awful poetry out there! I think that before I was more willing to embrace complexity and obscurity: now that I am writing for real readers I consider this discourteous.