Monday, January 19, 2015

a curious thing in the world of poetry.  i have years worth of BAP anthologies.  i pick them up because i like to know what is going on.  BAP [best american poetry] has a guest editor and chooses the best among the thousands [could it be millions?] of published poems in the u.s.  a crapshoot fer sure.  what makes something best?  but rather instead of focusing on the subjective merits of what constitutes the best in u.s.american poetry i am struck by the kind of publications culled from the winning batch of a year's worth of best poems.  robert creeley in 2002 was the guest editor and several of his choices were taken from online journals.  creeley was an early advocate for online publications.  but since then most guest editors cull their choices from mostly print journals.  fine.  good.  but most of the really good stuff is published online.  i read most of my poetry, except for books, and even still i have downloaded dozens of pdf books, online via journals and blogs.  WTF, BAP?!  it is like BAP is stuck in a late-20th century idea of success: print journals and then print books. BAP does look at online journals.  however, most of the journals the guest editor chooses from are print.  but we all know that is not how the world works in this modern age.  is it truly the best if you are not reading the online journals?  does it matter?  i suppose.  when i was a younger poet i wanted to be in BAP.  badly.  but most of my publications have been online.  i have a couple of print pubs and i am proud of those. nor am i talking smack for not being in BAP.  nor am i not speaking ill of print, at all!  i prefer books over most anything else.  but when it comes to showing my cards i confess that much of my reading is done online.  i am guessing yours is too.  shouldn't anthologies that call itself the best be taking its material from the dominant publications vehicle?  earlier today i googled a new zealand poet, bob orr, whom i would never have heard of nor have read his poetry if it were not for the internet.  that is what the internet is for, or one of the reasons why the internet is a good thing: it can expand our minds and give us access to people and cultures that a generation ago would have been damn near impossible to find.  the internet complicates our ideas of success.  we all can upload our art and with a click make it available to the world.  what then about BAP?  i don't know.  my favorite edition of BAP was when creeley was guest editor way back in 2002 [did i say way back in 2002?  holy shit do i feel old!]  for the great poet understood the new century.  we live digital lives and we live physical lives.  our poetry embodies this.  our best of. . .publications must embody this too.        


At 2:28 AM, Blogger C Duffy said...

Richard! damn cold here in Montreal! how is it out there? I betcha it's wonderful! I cld. just check and find out but whatthe hell..anyhow I loved this extended comment of yours about the online publication world and or versus the print one... And I am delighted you joined the new blog ...Outofthebluelike... and delighted to see your first posting there and I happen to think it's one of the slickest poems of yours I've read . Not ever but just there... what I mean to say is that it's a very sophisticated poem and looks to be going in a new direction from others of yours I have read.

Do go ahead and bring anything your heart and poet mind wishes to post there...

stay warm, stay cool
it's all gristy for the mill

of the will! hahaha Im being corny there it's late, ya dig?
Love ya,



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