Some reasons to love on-line poetry sites

I feel lucky to be living in the age of on line poetry sites and blogs that regularly feature poetry.

These sites include fabulous magazines such as Antiphon and the newly established Hinterland, as well as daily or weekly poem sites such as the long established Ink Sweat and Tears (which also features reviews) Abigail Morley’s Poetry Shed and Josephine Corcoran’s andotherpoems – I’m lucky enough to have a poem on the excellent site today which you can read by clicking this link.

All of the above have been thoughtfully designed, well laid out and organised by people who invest their time to conceive, set up, run and maintain them.

I am aware of the huge amount of effort involved in reading and responding to submissions and none of the people who run the sites are motivated by profit but instead by a genuine wish  to share the poetry they enjoy and to support the poets who submit to them.

The medium seems ideally suited to the brevity of poetry and the reader has the chance to scroll through poems or lists of poems and stop when something attracts the eye. Also, biographies and links are often posted with the poems enabling readers to find out more if they wish.

There is the potential to expand the audience for poetry via social media posts, and to perhaps brighten or make more interesting the day of followers or subscribers who might receive pleasant and or stimulating surprises in their otherwise potentially dull inboxes.

Instant feedback is another benefit. Admiration for a poem can often be expressed in comments or ‘likes,’ and links quickly made with other social media. I’m sure innovations and interesting new ways of delivering poetry such as John Challis’ e-mail poetry project IN will flourish in the years to come.

Poets submitting to online sites and journals also enjoy the generally quicker turnaround times between submission and publishing. There is also very often friendly and professional e-mail correspondence with editors. One further benefit of these sites is hat they may be more democratic and perhaps less elitist
than some of the larger print magazines, taking work from both ‘unknown’ and ‘established’ poets.

I enjoy print magazines; long may they thrive and attract subscribers. Some, such as Magma, have a good online presence. But for the reasons I’ve mentioned above, the sharing of poetry via the internet is an exciting and life enhancing aspect of the contemporary poetry scene for readers and writers alike.

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