Poetry’s Future/The Web and Publishing

June 5, 2006

Poetry's Future
In his New York Times Book Review essay, “A Toast to the Happy Couplet,” David Orr notes that a study by the Poetry Foundation recently found that “poetry is most often experience at private ceremonies such as weddings…with 80 percent o f nonusers and more than 90 percent of poetry users reporting that they've been exposed to poetry at one of these private occasions.” He then adds, “Although poetry is often belittled as obscure and unpopular, it's an art form we turn to when we need to bear not only the weight of our own promises of eternal fidelity, but the scrutiny of all our relatives.” He goes on.

The Web and Publishing
Motoko Rich notes that in September Only Revolution, a novel by Mark Danielewski, will have margin notes from fans. “Nearly 60 of his contributors have already received galleys of the experimental book, which they're commenting about in a private forum at Mr. Danielewski's Web site, www.onlyrevolutions.com,” writes Rich. There's no doubt in many minds that the Web will have an impact on publishing—both fiction and non-fiction—in the not too distant future. The question remains: What impact? Some writers and publishers fear the commotion the use of the Web could send through publishing, pointing out the trouble it caused for the music industry. A few are embracing its potential.

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