Wednesday, 29 October 2014
In the Ether
Recently, I had a selection of poems published in two separate reviews, the first an on-line publication, and the second a publication that has a presence both on the Internet and in print. It's probably fair to say that the latter publication is the more unusual, in that print publications per se are more difficult to fund and to maintain. The reviews in question were not chosen with any particular agenda in mind, simply that they published contemporary poetry, and that the appearance of the review looked professional.
It wasn't always the case. In 2000, I attended a writers' conference in Dorset. At the time, Interent publication, if it was discussed at all, was considered a distinctly poor relation to print-based reviews. To reinforce the fact, I had only to mention 'online submissions' to fellow attendees, and the looks of incomprehension were matched only by those of utter disdain.
Now, 'e-zines' are accepted as part of the publishing milieu, and most writers submit to these as readily as to hard-copy titles. The realisation that even a single poem published in an on-line publication would be seen instantly by tens of thousands of readers (if indeed such numbers of poetry readers actually exist!) as opposed to a few dozen print-based subscribers, provides an even greater incentive for writers to share their work through these means.
The poems mentioned formally are part of a group of poems, Maquettes for a Season of Fury, arguably a pamphlet-length collection. To date, of the sequence, a quarter have been published individually in either Internet- or print-based combinations.
So the world turns.