• Poetry Nowadays

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in WBN News & Events     Comments 2 comments

    Do you like poetry? I mean, really, really like it to the point that you give it more than a cursory glance every few months? And if so, what percentage of your reading material is poetry? I find it amazing that “creative writing” is so commonly divided into “prose or poetry,” and yet I read poetry maybe 5% of the time. Poetry is something I seek out when I want my reading material to evoke a more immediate and visceral response. I know you can find those moments in most well-written books, but poetry is a concentration of powerful images. If I want to feel macabre, I read Baudelaire or Poe. If I want melancholy, I read Keats. (You see, I need more reading material other than the melancholy musings of long-dead white guys.)

    Funny how poetry is integral to the foundations of literary history, and yet it’s treated like the awkward step-sister of prose. Poetry doesn’t get its own “New York Times Best Sellers” list, nor do renowned poets get as much press as novelists–even the more popular spoken verse and slam poets. Sadly, I find that most of the poets I know of died fifty-plus years ago, or they contributed to a website called All Poetry, a large online poetry community. About ten years ago, it was a fairly small website with a few amazing poets, but then its popularity exploded and it became difficult to sift the good stuff from the bad, to put it gently. Since then, I haven’t found a good forum to share my work, poetry or prose. Has the internet just gotten too big? Honestly, I haven’t been on many writing websites other than WriteByNight or terribleminds in a couple years. However, Reddit’s writing forums will occasionally feature lively discussions on everything from craft to literary criticism. Gotta put my mad Googling skills to use and take advantage of the introverted writer’s best friend: the Internet.


    In addition to writing for WriteByNight’s blog, Jenna Cooper writes for BE Mag and a blog called FemThreads. Aside from writing, Jenna served as an AmeriCorps Member from 2008-2010 and will start her M.S. in Information Studies in Fall 2012. She graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in English from the University of Texas.

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    Christopher Savage

    I find a similar phenomenon affecting my reading habits, though I do enjoy poetry both as a reader and a writer. I find good contemporary poetry is somewhat hard to find because of the deluge of information the internet can deliver and assemble. Your mentioning of the All Poetry problem is a case in point. I do think it takes some healthy interest and searching (via the internet, most likely) on the audience’s part to find good media. Check out: http://www.birdsllc.com/, an independent, partially-based-in-Austin poetry publishing collective, for instance. They do a good job, plus they’re local. It’s funny, using… Read more »


    Thanks for the link!

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