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Last Friday’s (November 6, 2009) #FollowReader was really fun and interesting. Dominique Raccah and Guy LeCharles Gonzales were our special guests and the topic was poetry in the Digital Age.

Dominique recently publicly launched the new online poetry site, PoetrySpeaks.com. It’s an incredibly cool venture, offering something for everyone: poets, readers, and publishers alike.

We began the discussion with a simple question, “Is poetry experiencing a renaissance?” As always with #FollowReader chats, the answers were varied, and sometimes polarizing, but for the most part, there seemed to be more of us in agreement that the Internet and digital publishing options present a real opportunity for poetry to become a much more vital part of everyone’s daily lives.

Some of the many interesting tweets are featured below, but I highly encourage you all to check out the transcript of the entire chat (click here), as the conversations were quite thought-provoking, and a lot of great information was shared including a LOT of great suggestions from #followreaders about their favorite poets and poems.

On whether or not poetry is undergoing a renaissance:

do you believe poetry is enjoying a renaissance? Great question! Yes, I do. In fact, suspect all arts r enjoying new audiences  Posted by draccah

Poetry renaissance? Not yet, but I think people are more receptive to poetry than they have been in a while. Posted by glecharles

On PoetrySpeaks.com:

I’m hoping to create a space where everyone is included and I think the traditional poets will buy into it  book publishers have 2 change. At 1 point I said to someone: we’re all start-ups now; just some of us don’t know it yet Posted by draccah

I love that @poetryspeaks makes room for ‘print’, audio and vis. Room for poems anyway they’re made & experienced. Posted by TomThompsonOn what the Internet and digital tools means to poetry and poets:

The internet brings over-gentrification of many mediums. I don’t like to see it happening to poetry. Not to be pretentious.Posted by PagestoPixels

poetry seems ideal for transmedia – poem, to performance, to film/animation/to audio/music. Posted by KatMeyer

On poetry’s “marketing problem”:

Who cares what “the traditional poetry world” thinks? They haven’t done the best job of making poetry relevant.Posted by glecharles

Re: bad poetry marketing. Lib budgets 4 poetry are pretty much nonexistent. Need ’em back on shelves!Posted by hmccormack
I’d love to buy more poetry for the library, but it doesn’t circulate.Posted by lbgilbert
RT @draccah: there r real problems w poetry books (why sales r small): People r intimidated by poetry; dont know how 2 read itby lindseylochner

@draccah I think when someone reads a poem they can understand, it helps them imagine there might be others. 🙂 #followreaderPosted by littlefluffycat

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DomIs the digital age welcoming in a new poetry renaissance? That will be the topic of discussion on Friday’s #FollowReader TwitChat. Join Dominique Raccah-publisher for SourceBooks and creator of the newly-launched site PoetrySpeaks.com; along with Guy LeCharles Gonzales of LoudPoet.com, and me as we talk about what the World Wide Web might mean for the world of poetry.

Some probable topics of discussion:

  • Why PoetrySpeaks, and why now?
  • Can the web (and PoetrySpeaks.com in particular) fix the “problems” poetry has faced in the past (notably: discoverability and the intimidation factor)?
  • Has the poetry community and/or ecosystem changed since the rise of the Internet? Are poets and poetry lovers the better, or the worse for it?
  • And much, much more–As always with #followreader, one never knows quite where the conversation will take us)!

So, hope you can join us Friday, November 6th at 4pm ET. If you have a chance and want to get up to speed, you can: Learn more about PoetrySpeaks.com:

Guy-RedRocks-sq

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

Learn more about our guests:

To join the #followreader conversation on Friday, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you use (e.g. Tweetchat, Tweetdeck, Twitterific, etc.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking Dominique Raccah (@draccah) and Guy LeCharles Gonzalez (@glecharles) a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post to the discussion, type #followreader in each tweet

NOTE: You might want to experiment with TweetChat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.

Looking forward to tweeting with you on Friday!

Those who can’t make it, watch this space next week for a recap of the highlights. 

And please feel free to suggest topics for upcoming #followreader chats below.

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