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Thanks Harriet & Hello Future

By Sina Queyras

I want to say thanks to Harriet for inviting me back. I’ve missed the ongoing discussion over here. It’s true, the blog has carried on, and I do find myself coming back to it once a week or so, but that’s usually because of a Poetry Foundation Tweet, or a ReTweet from another poet, or a link that has been shared on Facebook (yes, I’m still on Facebook, after several attempts to kick the habit, and yes, I Tweet, but that’s another post really). So yes, I come by referral now rather than a daily visit. I think that’s an important distinction, and one that might come to symbolize the end of  the era of the individual blog. The blog world has undergone some radical shifts in the past year. First Harriet stopped its group blogging and commenting, which was a shock I think to many who didn’t see it coming. Then, over the fall several other blogs stopped updating, or dwindled away. In January, here in Canada, Bookninja stopped updating. My own blog has morphed from a single author to a mulit-author blog, and will continue to morph throughout the summer and into next fall. But perhaps most shocking to the poetry community has been the end of Silliman’s blog.

We all noticed Silliman retreating, shifting from the very intimate and insightful posts to notices of readings, of poet’s passings, of video posts, and  massive lists of links. Last week he announced the demise of his blog. He’s not leaving the Internet, no, there will be Tweets, but the wrapping up of Silliman’s blog really seems to symbolize the end of an era. At the very least, the end of a moment.

I want to spend a few moments over the next month to try and sketch out what that moment was before it slips away, if it indeed has or is slipping away. I also want to spend a moment thinking of why it’s ending, or if it’s just me who thinks it’s ending, and maybe, as some have suggested, this is simply making way for new blogs to grow. Or perhaps it’s the end of the dominant blog, and instead we’ll have  many new blogs with more varied readership. Or, if it is ending, how is that happening, and why, or what’s happening next? I mean are we all moving to Twitter and Facebook? Are those sites enough to facilitate that kind of conversations the poetry world wants to have?

I also want to spend some time discussing Vida, poets and time, the
problem of praise, my struggles with the “under 40 line single poem”
as the dominant mode of poetry, poets who write novels versus writers
who write books, writers who run vs. walking, and who listen more than
talking, and…well, we’ll see how far I get and where we may be going.


Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, April 1st, 2011 by Sina Queyras.