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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The House of Words (no. 23): Dave Bonta and internet publishing, 4

Dave Bonta's "Indian pipes"

MY: It also strikes me that you avoid much of the unrest and lack of satisfaction that plagues many writers once they attempt to enter the publishing world. You determine the extent of your freedoms and will what your world will be. You determine what standards measure your work. Comment?
from Dave's "Words on the Street"
series, discussed in the prior post

DB: True enough. I've never really depended on getting published to feel good about myself or my work, and now that I can reach more readers through Via Negativa than I ever could have hoped to at most of the small print journals I used to struggle to get into, I feel even less pressure than before to play the submissions game. It's not just numbers, either. I reach people who would never pick up a literary magazine at a newsstand, or even necessarily visit one online.

I do feel there's value in submitting to journals with editors who have the time and inclination to suggest improvements — which is pretty much limited to online journals, I guess. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite: I run an online journal, but almost never submit my own work to journals unless invited. But mostly that's because very few journals consider previously blogged material, and I write first and foremost to feed the blog.


  1. This is an issue that until very recently I have not considered because I also post poems on my blog, and though very few people read it, they are still, technically speaking, already "published" online.

  2. Robbi,

    Yes, one has to decide or else concentrate on journals that don't mind prior blog exposure...

  3. I do enjoy posting them, but if it is detrimental, since my poems and other work are so oddball that many don't like them, I don't want to limit my reach any more than I have to.

  4. -' I've never really depended on getting published to feel good about myself or my work' -
    This keeps your work authentic, for sure.
    Chaining your work to someone else's idea of 'copyright' is probably less good for most writers.
    Personally, I like to see poems that have become friends popping up in print and online in as many guises as I can. The joy of stumbling across favorites in different publications (on and offline) is wonderful for the reader.

  5. Robbi,

    I think you need to turn your attitude inside-out on this! Turn it around and look from the other end of the telescope. Then it doesn't look so dour...


    I'll be interested to see Dave's response!

    In the meantime, thank you for dressing some of mine in new guises. Thank you very much.

  6. Dave and Marly,

    Thanks for this set of entries. Most fascinating.

    (I am back in office after having spring breaked [or is it spring broken?] last week.)


  7. Gary,

    Thanks! Shall write you from Wales...


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.