Net Verse
  Article 1 - for Poetry Review Vol. 86 No. 1 Spring 1996



A brief surf of poetry on the World Wide Web, dropping in on some of the coolest hot-spots.

Time was, you'd load a Web page and be sure there'd be a soft grey background, readable black text, and links to other sites in nice bright blue. But no self-respecting site would be seen dead in grey this season. Strong primary backgrounds are in vogue with those pages that haven't turned black in protest at the US Communications Decency Act. The Poetry Society's page (which has reasons of its own to be concerned about what can and cannot be safely published in cyberspace) is out on the catwalk with the best of them. Some useful info here and a nice poem from Fleur Adcock, though it's a pity the links page is in eyestrain red.

Kicking the trend is the Bristol Poetry Page which uses all the resources that modern technology offers to produce a virtual exercise book. Lots of good info, though, particularly if you live around, er, Bristol.

Those in the Smoke may prefer the London Poetry Newsletter which maintains details of poetry venues and events.

Also slickly constructed is LIVING POETS, one of the best e-zines I've spotted, with some good, ecstatic stuff by Philip Wells.

If you're not satisfied with just one e-zine, try John Labovitz's list which contains hundreds, on all sorts of subjects. It's recently gained a subject index, which makes it a lot easier to find things than trying to guess from the titles what they're about.

A page that isn't on a lot of links, but ought to be, is the Shakespeare archive. Not only does this contain the Works, but it also has a search engine that finds every occurrence of a word or phrase you enter, and can bring up the plays and/or poems it occurs in. Serious scholars and those just wanting to look up their favourite quotations will find it invaluable.

E-mail me with your favourite (or unfavourite) sites via ..., or look up my own page, which has links to all the sites mentioned, and more.

Copyright © Peter Howard 1996-2004

1The Poetry Society's site is now at

2My site is now at