Monday, May 14, 2007

which is the poem?

At her blog Reb Livingston was pondering publication. What is it? She was at a conference where, she discovered, “Apparently I was the only person in the room (world?) who doesn't consider posting a poem on a blog or personal website to be the equivalent of publishing in a magazine (either online or print).” She likens the blog poem to the poem read aloud “in front of 100 people” or printing up “500 copies of a poem … and hand[ing] them out to people on the street.” Surely neither of these can be considered publication?

I left the following comment:

On one of my blogs I version poems. I've been going thru 20-yr-old poetry notebooks and taking out poems I think have potential, I post the poem on the blog, make a few comments on it, then post revisions separately and comment on them. Even though, so far as I know, I have no readership for these, I imagine readers intrigued by the disappearing comma of version 3, the exploded cliche of version 8. At least one of these versioned poems has subsequently been published. The published version differs fairly slightly (but, to me, significantly) from the last version that appeared on the blog. I don't think of the versions as published. Each version exists and is accessible. Which is the poem?

3 comments:

J Martin said...

I still follow your version-ing--not day by day--ok, sometimes day by day--but usually not, usually as an after view, looking to see what's happened across the days.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Hi Jack,

Did you see that Poetry Magazine is devoting its summer to reading work by poets they've never yet published? Their guidelines sound uncompromising in re prior publication: "Work that has appeared on-line is considered to have been previously published and should not be submitted."

It'd be nice to have work in Poetry. I'm afraid the 4 poems they currently feature on their site are not to my taste (one I couldn't even finish); that's often been the case with what Poetry's pub'd. Still, wouldn't turn aside the $10/line payment or the exposure. I think I'll try again this summer. Haven't in more than 10 years. (One poem in Poetry and you can afford the entry fees for 5-10 book contests.)

J Martin said...

Yeah, Glenn.

Thanks for reminding me about Poetry mag's summer offer. I'd been told, and well, yeah, will send, but sometimes the things they prefer befuddle me.

Keep on version-ing!

Jack