"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
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Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Poets of the Blogosphere

Have you noticed how rarely poetry figures in the literary "blogosphere"? I am working on this but in the meantime do visit the Rack Press blog where you will learn that the new series of Rack Press poets is being launched in London on 15th January 2008. You are all invited to that annual poetryfest in the cold early weeks of January, cold even in Bloomsbury (cold also in the Radnor Hills at Rack Press HQ but we are rugged folk). Watch this space for further details.


Jim Murdoch said...

I agree with you totally. And when poetry does appear in blogs their authors tend to drop them off without a packed lunch or anything and leave them to fend for themselves.

Back in the seventies, when I first started to see my poetry in print, there existed a magazine with the unimaginative title of Poetry Information which did what it said on the tin. It didn't publish poetry, it published reviews of poetry books and magazines, lists of small press magazines and - most importantly - articles about poetry, the kinds of dissections I hadn't seen since school only they were looking at modern verse not My Last Duchess.

The blogosphere needs more poets who are willing to open up and explain why their work is the way it is, what techniques they've used. Of course, for some this will show up a marked lack of technique but a poem should be a poem not simply because I say it's one. At least that's my opinion.

Younger poets who are used to dumping their feelings on paper and calling it poetry would benefit no end if there was more of this.

Nicholas Murray said...

Thank you, Jim, I will think about that. I have myself quoted a few classic poems here in the past but without much comment (I liked the metaphor of the packed lunch!).

Ms Baroque said...

A couple of blogs I know of do just this. Rob Mackenzie's "Surroundings" is at www.robmack.blogspot.com

Jane Holland's "Raw Light" is at www.rawlight.blogspot.com

My blog is more diffuse than that, as I'm just not given to dissecting my own technique - indeed, I'm not sure this kind of solipsism would not harm my own technique. But I do write about poetry, poets, literary news, and just life - the kinds of things I also write poems about.

I'm not really sure a poet is the best person to talk about his or her own technique. Often, I'd say, if one is really writing at full throttle, things just happen and technical decisions are made at a level too deep to analyse. But a critic can analyse a poem's technical underpinnings; that is in fact the critic's job.

I definitely agree we could do with more good criticism. And Jim, I also think there are just as many bad, self-indulgent older poets as there are younger ones!

George Szirtes writes a good blog.

The young poetry promoter Tom Chivers has recently started blogging at www.thisisyogic.wordpress.com

Salt Publishing runs about three blogs, and Pen Pusher magazine - which publishes poetry as well as fiction, reviews etc - runs a blog.

Ian Patterson has a relatively infrequent blog, at www.ianpatterson.typepad.com

The poet, sometime editor and critic David Wheatley blogs at www.georgiasam.blogspot.com

I agree that the literary blogosphere has proportionately little poetry in it, but there is some good stuff out there...