January 7, 2009

Further On Down the Road with Poets Online

I don't know quite what to think about it, but Poets Online (the site) is now in its second decade.

HOW WE STARTED

We started as a poem-sharing site in the summer of 1998 with four poets.

Taking turns at suggesting a prompt idea, we took a week to write and then e-mailed our poems to each other.

As more poets joined the group, it became an awkward mailing process,and I took on the task of creating a modest web site on a free hosting service to post responses & prompts - and POETS ONLINE was created.

By early 1999, a mailing list was created to remind people to check the latest prompt & poems and that has led to several hundred subscribers. In 2003, I bought the domain poetsonline.org, but that's been pretty much the story.

We eventually settled on a new prompt each month, but there have been more than 150 prompts on the site and many hundred of poems. (The majority are still in our archive.)

WHAT WE TRY TO DO

On the site we try to accept as many poems that respond to the current prompt in a serious way as space allows.

I don't see the site as an online poetry magazine, but more of an online workshop. We realize that we receive poems from poets of varying ages and experience. I consider many of the poems as drafts or works-in-progress. Poets can choose to have an email link with their name and I've been told that has led to some online workshopping and commenting. I hope the site continues to be a showcase for new work and a place to go for inspiration online.

I am always happy to hear from teachers and students who find the site useful for their writing, and see that more than a hundred other sites link back to us.

What's coming up for us? A new site design, but things will stay pretty much the same for us, and we hope you continue to visit.

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