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An Occasional Word

Introduction: Finding and Reading Contemporary Poetry

We need a blog, says my dear friend Martha, about how to find good contemporary poetry. If you like poetry, as she does, how do you find out about new poets? How do you find poetry you will enjoy?
It’s a good question. Once upon a time, you could visit a bookstore and browse, but the bookstore chains stock an abysmal poetry selection, and independent bookstores are growing thin on the ground. Librarians could recommend books, but many librarians I know confess they don’t read poetry, so aren’t sure what to purchase for library poetry collections, let alone recommend.

At the same time, contemporary poetry is alive and well, and there are scores of emerging poets, as well as very fine poets who have been publishing for decades. The number of literary journals is exploding with the advent of online journals, and there are plenty of great, even encyclopedic, online resources for poetry study.

But the combination of hard copy scarcity and online plenty can be confusing, and what Martha wants is the personal touch that a blog provides.

So here is my blog. I’m thinking about Martha, who enjoys poetry; and my mom, who wants to know what happened to rhyme; and librarians who feel a little guilty about not knowing much about contemporary poetry. I’ll write about poetry I find and admire, and the poets who write it, and try to provide something that will be useful to you.

No daily blog, this. I can only read so fast. But I’ll write once or twice a month with a find, or ideas about reading and enjoying poetry. Please let me know what you think. I'm looking forward to corresponding with you.
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