|Article 2 - for Poetry Review Vol. 86 No. 2 Summer 1996|
Internet newsgroups ought to be great for poetry workshops. Unlike postal workshops, your fellow poets can see your work and respond within hours. Unlike face to face groups, your critics will have had time to digest your offering. From the other side of the fence, you don't have to try to think of something to say about everything. It really ought to work. But it doesn't.
The most popular poetry group is, which sees a lot of activity. Most of this consists of truly abysmal verse; most of the rest is mud-slinging. There are less hectic groups: occasionally has interesting stuff, though it's on continuous red alert against homophobic air-raids. is safer territory, but suffers from terminal doggerel syndrome. Possibly the best is , but it's a minority interest.
The worthwhile workshops are within commercial networks, rather than on the Internet itself. One of the best is on CompuServe. Here you can expect detailed comments on decent poetry. It tends mildly to the nannyish: no Rude Words, no ad hominem comments, and it's dominated by Americans. But there's something going for a place where you can post a poem and within a day or two have comments from California, Canada, Holland, France, and Brazil.
Oh yes, WWW sites. Well, speaking of Urdu, try http://www.faximum.com/AHA!POETRY for an entertaining pot-pourri of mainly Japanese forms. Since we seemed to have embarked on this multicultural tour, you might like to drop in at http://www.efn.org/~valdas/poetry.html to see just how many Lithuanian poets there are. Carry on to some discussion of Turkish poetry with examples and translations at the comprehensive or sample the exotic Afghan poetry atfor more than you ever wanted to know about ghazals, or
Let me know of any good sightings, or topics you'd liked covered via ...
Copyright © Peter Howard 1996-2004