On Being Started By a Blog
I wrote most of this post just before Craig posted his lament for the bloggers. But I was too busy starting up my own new blog, American Witch, to post it until now. Though it may feel to Craig and others (primarily men?) that the great age of blogging is over, it sure doesn't feel like that to someone who is so excited about having created her blog at last. I'm grateful to everyone at Harriet--from the staff to all those lively readers who kept things interesting--for my experience as a blogger here last spring, which helped give me the momentum to start American Witch. Thanks for the memories, happy new year, and please come visit at American Witch!—Annie
Dear Harrieteers, I never thought I'd say this here, but I've just posted the first few posts on my very own blog, American Witch. It's something I've been thinking about doing for many years—and then everything suddenly and smoothly clicked.
For about four decades--from the age of twelve until, in varying intensities, now--I've kept voluminous journals of my private thoughts and feelings. But increasingly now, my personal thoughts seem to be part of a general conversation, and appropriate for blogging. One of my main goals on American Witch, just as it has been on Harriet, is to reach a broad community of poetry readers. And to do that sincerely, I need to feel that the life surrounding my poetry is integrated and reflected in the poetry I love and want to share and in my thoughts about it.
So there were so many elements that needed to fall into place, into balance, within me before I felt I could blog genuinely as myself, while also contributing to the larger conversation in a focused and singular way. Poetry, of course, and life, of course, but also nature, spirit, politics, family, community, history. . .
My months of official bloggerdom on Harriet last spring were exciting, demanding, challenging, and fun. Harriet gave me practice integrating life and poetry, but the life I was integrating was always on some level the life of Harriet itself--or the life of the poetry community in which I feel that the Poetry Foundation, and Harriet, have a central role to play. I look forward to continuing to blog occasionally on Harriet. But with the new blog, I am blogging not as a member of the poetry community, but from the ever-changing community that enfolds and unfolds my individual human self. This step represents a big step for a woman who was shy and tongue-tied for the first dozen years of life; it's taken a while gradually to allow my "real" self to come out into the world.
The blog has started me, and I am ready to let it take me where it wants to go. I hope to explore the intersections between poetry, magick, and life—or more specifically poetry, nature, spirituality, art, love, culture, meaning, rhythm, cooking, politics, poetry, sex, aesthetics, poetry, peace, anger, technology, healing, archaelogy, poetry, and again, magick, and again, poetry. Somewhere in its poetic and magickal intersections, I hope to find readers who care about poetry, and to find a voice that is useful to those readers, so we can enjoy the magick of poetry together. I invite you who are reading now to be part of that exploration and that enjoyment.
Annie Finch is the author or editor of more than twenty books of poetry, plays, translation, literary essays, textbooks, and anthologies, including the poetry collections Eve (1997), Calendars (2003), and Spells: New and Selected Poems (2012), and the long poems The Encyclopedia of Scotland (1982) and Among the Goddesses: An Epic...