Monday, August 15, 2005


JH: I have three e-books online, Loot, Lives of Eminent Assyrians, and Apollo's Bastards. Each of these are independent poems. I've yet to put a poetry collection online, although I'm planning to soon. I like the idea of my poems drifting about cyberspace uncorralled. I notice that when I'm in a print magazine, I see a lot of poets that I don't see online. Two worlds rarely colliding, though that seems to be changing. So print magazines allow me to meet new writers. There are old hands (as old as old can be in this new world) that consistently appear in e-zines, who are only recently being joined by new names. The history of internet publishing has yet to be written - it will be interesting to see if there's an old guard (the settlers) of poets who initially published in e-zines versus the late-comers. Things go by so quickly on the Net that I think the early chronology will be muddled, which is fine with me. It should all be muddled. What do you think? And how do like seeing your poems online versus print? Do you foresee a time when the dichotomy of online and print will itself be muddled? I think that as printer technology advances, a person will be able to easily bind a book printed off the Net. Perfect bound, with a cover already picked out by the author / publisher. One will be able to create a different cover, and print marginalia as though the marginalia were put there by the author.

AHB: Muddle away, as far as I am concerned. The interesting concern is the work, not its manner of distribution. A snobbism still exists concerning self-publication. As if it were an unclean act to put forth your work yourself, that one needs some intermediary to affirm your work's value. Screw that, if you will pardon my aplomb. I've mentioned on my blog Alli Warren's chapbook. The writing is great, she's really a writer worth watching. I was tickled that she made it herself, a simple stitched book. This is absolutely a direction to consider, whether in print or online: writers taking control of production. We all know that poetry hasn't a lot of money power, but that just opens possibilities. Xerox and mimeo were important publication tools for certain writers in the 60s or so. Cheap ways to get the work out. Print publication costs ducats, and that's a natural fact. There are technologically-minded writers like Alan Sondheim, who have been online forever, who have established themselves with their online presence. I am not the complete Luddite that I take it you are, but I'm still a little uneasy with the technical matters of internet. Still, I have found the doable with internet access. I do like my printed books but gee, when I travel, I carry quite a library on my laptop. I should do like you, and use the printer more. As far as print publication, I have 3 appearances, in This 3 long ago, and in 2 broadsides published by Stephen Ellis, who I hope you have or will read. Online, there's a small scattering, not counting listservs, altho I would count them. Whatever of my work that appears online represents roughly 0% of my writing production. C'est vrai. I don't know why I'm so unpsyched to publish, but do you think I, or anyone similarly, errs in such an attitude? Whence comes confidence and why do you suppose I lack it, if that be the case? By the way, I'll be the longwinded one in this interviewing. Further, do you worry about your writing being messed with online, get into the wrong hands, so to speak? Is there any sense of losing control of it?


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