Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Read Write Poem



Standing out from websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, is a new kind of social networking opportunity.  Read Write Poem is a web community just for poetry fans.
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Read Write Poem (www.readwritepoem.org) offers a forum for new and experienced poets to share their work, to keep updated on poetry news through the site’s blog, and to meet and communicate with fellow poets from around the world through buddy lists and community groups.
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Of the many goals of community organizers, perhaps the most important, and most immediately clear to new members, is to give readers “the tools they need to make poetry central to their daily lives.”  This is done through numerous online activities such as a  weekly community-wide poem prompt, which members use as a point of departure to create something new, and then post it on the site for others to comment on.  This week, for example, the inspirational prompt is a nighttime picture of a lit up carnival, with a ferris wheel and concession stand in the background, and a merry-go-round as the focal point.  There are also poetry workshops, which organizers believe can provide an “alternative notion” to the belief that “MFA and traditional workshops are the best and only way to learn how to write poetry and find a community of peers.”  Read Write Poem also provides an outlet for a large array of poetic styles, committing to the idea that “there is not one kind of poetry, that poetry is living and various.”
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Another great function of the site is the aim to hinder pretentiousness often associated with poetry and poets.  The site’s code of conduct helps to enforce this ideal by providing a framework for criticism and overall community conduct.  They encourage their readers to have fun with the site, just not “poke-the-skinny-kid-on-the-playground fun.”  There is a promoted sentiment of respectfulness, especially in terms of commenting on other peoples’ poetry.  This should be especially comforting for new poets who may not have developed the thick skin needed to handle severe criticism over their work.  There are more intense community groups for seasoned poets used to being thrashed by their peers however.  But subjecting work to such criticism is something that members can choose to do.
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For poets of all levels of experience, and fans of various poetic styles, Read Write Poem is a thriving, relevant, and dynamic web community to belong to.  Offering features such as personal profiles, individual tweeting capability, and webspace to digitally post work, organizers have incorporated all the technological advances necessary to ensure a successful modern web community.  All the extra online activities that are focused on developing creativity and to help understand poetry supplies members with a means of staying poetically active--which is often a need that is difficult to fulfill for the average person who is perhaps too busy to participate with local poetry communities, or who came to love poetry at a time when finding peers is almost impossible.  Read Write Poem is a real solution.
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Image embedded from www.frabelglass.com

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