2016-03-31

Now plugging: Memento

http://www.ianbadcoe.uk/2015/04/coming-round.html
Memento

This book was kindly produced by J.S.MacLean as a memento of the times that a big crowd of poets had on the now defunct CriticalPoet.com.

Three of my poems are in there, as are contributions by another 37 accomplished poets.  One of the three I provided was Coming Round which is featured on this very blog.

On-line poetry forums are a very useful resource, when they are good, for the beginning or developing poet.  I see them as occupying roughly the same position of the literary salon of former centuries.  On them you can both get feedback on your own work but, more important, you can practise critiquing the work of others.  This is vital as the ability to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a poem underpins the ability to self-critique, and thus self-edit.

To put it another way, until you've learnt to understand why somebody else's poem doesn't work, you haven't a hope of knowing whether yours does...  and also seeing other people praise the very feature you just condemned, that teaches you something of how different readers can come to the same text in very different ways.

A good forum is also a source of companionship, writing prompts and exercises.

So the demise of a good one is a sad occasion, but also a chance to look back at the good times and realise how far you've come.

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