Monday, May 24, 2010

I was sorry to read that Peter Philpott is planning to run down Great Works; that magazine has been a real encouragement to me and to many others. But, of course, like a lot of presses and magazines, it's run by one person, and dependent on their energy and enthusiasms. Philpott comments that:

"contemporary avant-gardish poetry as a social/cultural institution has evolved into something that is best dealt with by younger, hipper, cooler etc etc persons and coteries (eg Openned), especially with access to academic networks and status. A 1990s hobbyist accumulation of homepages will probably put people off rather than involve them."

He may be right, but I think he's being very hard on himself and his sites; his modernpoetry.org is a excellent project - a great place for anyone who wants to gain access to innovative poetry. His statement also rather contradicts what he said recently about how poetry needs to to have a life outside of Academia. But maybe he's just accepting the inevitable. It's certainly true though newer ventures like Openned, Intercapillary Space and Gists and Piths generally involve reading series, and are collaborative in nature, which is encouraging, as I think the whole of contemporary, innovative poetry, is one big collaborative project.

Read Philpott's full blog post here.

6 comments:

Aidan Semmens said...

I agree wholeheartedly about the excellence of Great Works as a valuable provider of encouragement, exposure and good information over many years. I hope Peter can be dissuaded from any winding-down plans.

Ed Baker said...

now that Judson Crews has died

maybe he should pick up a used mimeo machine and just do what he likes to do... for us old pharts

who didn't go brain-dead sometime in the 80's

Alan Baker said...

Aidan, I hope so too.

Ed, I didn't know about Judson Crews, but looking him up, I see he was "poet, bookseller and small press publisher", which is just the type of person we need.

It strikes me that in fact, lot of presses, website and readings are run by enthusiastic amateurs. Long may it continue!

Ed Baker said...

well...

http://www.jimchandler.net/essays/crews.html

david lumsden said...

Sadness (but not disappointment) accompanies any closure or indefinite haitus in the small publishing world - a little more energy leaks out of the system - I suppose it is part of a natural lifecycle, as seems often enough - interestingly - the 'wearying and nauseating' phase of these endeavours that Peter Philpott reports.

Alan Baker said...

Hi David - I like the analogy with a natural system. Or a cycle or death and rebirth :-)

A lot of people find their jobs wearying and nauseating', but of course, we don't have the option of giving them up!