I feel it’s only right to confess something in my first-ever blog post, (deep breath): I like to read other people’s blogs, especially poets I don’t know personally. For the past decade or so while I have been having children, writing a book of poetry and teaching here and there, I have also been religiously (and secretly) reading poetry blogs and websites. It is my lunchtime ritual—kitchen table, bowl of soup, laptop and blog. Reading other poets’ posts is my way to connect with a poetry community without ever getting out of my pajamas…or flip flops. I’m sure there are much smarter people who have written about whether us cyber voyeurs are really part of a larger community or are simply just eavesdroppers. Either way, it’s what I do, what has gotten me through years of being homebound without being totally isolated.
For a writer, who for one reason or another (say the birth of twins for instance), can’t leave the house to go to a writer’s conference or even meet up with her regularly scheduled writing group because she hasn’t gotten around to showering for a few days, a poetry blog is the best way to keep that part of her, that poetry-part, breathing. Its comforting to know that there are others out there who care as much about poetry as I do, more even, because they put their thoughts out into the world daily, weekly, monthly. They are clever and persistent. They write and publish and read, even when I’ve been too tired to do so. Someone on the other end of the computer screen has kept the candle burning and to quote Frost, “that has made all the difference”.
Yes I admit to trolling the internet looking for poets and their words in the world—they are my daily affirmation, my support group, my guilty pleasure. I’ve found out about trends and controversies, been reassured that someone is counting the number of women writers who are getting published and talked about (thank you, VIDA); but mainly, I’ve found kindred spirits (unbeknownst to them)—other writers who feel the same joys and frustrations that being a poet encompasses—the poems that get rejected, the books that get taken, and the endless empty pages waiting to be filled. This is really what our lives are made up of: words and pages and books. There are so many poets out there writing about the craft and business of poetry that the sheer force of their knowledge, insight, and research have made me a better writer.
So here are a few of my favorite poetry blogs and websites (out of thousands out there), some I turn to for sheer humor and support, others because they have smart things to say:
Julianna Baggott (http://bridgetasher.blogspot.com/): because she’s a writer and a mom, and isn’t afraid to talk about both.
Sandra Beasley (Chicks Dig Poetry) http://sbeasley.blogspot.com/: because she’s a working writer and gives good insights into the business.
C. Dale Young (The Micro Muse) http://blog-cdaleyoung.tumblr.com/: because I can barely manage to do one thing right and he does many.
Brian Brodeur’s How a Poem Happens (http://howapoemhappens.blogspot.com/): because haven’t we all asked that question at some point.
Thank you, dear reader, for listening to my confession.