Thursday, September 15, 2005


JH: I'm more than happy with my audience. The Wryting list has some of the finest poets around contributing to it, and I contribute to a variety of lists where the readers are very astute. I mention lists before I mention print and electronic journals because I get more comments from list readers than journal readers. If I had a larger audience I couldn't be much more satisfied, as that would only bring in a few more readers who are as well-rounded and perceptive (two words picked out of a gush) as the readers I already have. That being said, do I ever write specifically with readers in mind? Never - consciously, that is. Sometimes I write with my other poems in mind, guiding the lines towards references. The list readership I have allows me to write without worrying if they are going to "get" something, or, conversely, worrying that I don't have enough theoretical and stylish elements. The journal readership allows for that necessary foreign element in writing that will happen sooner or later to every author - what happens, Ovid, when people have to go out of their way to learn your language or rely on translations that, no matter how accomplished, are still translations? Coming to a unfamiliar, and uncongenial, type of poem is a lot like reading a poem in translation. What about your relation to readers, and general thoughts on poem readership?

AHB: I agree that the Wryting list as audience allows me to offer anything without expectation of either offense or huhn????. I like doing things like writing something experimental (that is, experiment with form) or posting several things written in a gust, and knowing that people won't whine that I've overposted or that I'm throwing shit onto the list. The Poetics list went prissy with that sort of attitude, so that it is just an announcement list now. The nature of lists allows for and expects a variety of means whereas journals run by the potentially more limited gauge of their editors. For a number of reasons, I don't send to journals. I am lazy or under-inspired to do so, for one. I don't like trying to parse the editorial imperative. Perhaps most importantly, I dislike seeing a small handful of isolatoes plopped into public view like that. I like a greater sense of the context of my (or anyone's) poems to be seen. I would rather a series of poems than a bunch of recent greatest hits. I wish there were more commentary on my work, in the sense of reviews. I would like to have that vantage on what I do, have done. Have you had much in depth consideration of your work by others, whether publicly or privately? Has it helped?


At 2:15 PM, Blogger phaneronoemikon said...

Silliman for sure has commented on Jeff's work here:

I've seen that.


Post a Comment

<< Home