Interactive Geographies – poetryetc
2010/03/11 § 1 Comment
A dozen years ago I was an active contributor to the poetryetc mailing list. This was its second or third incarnation and was back when mailing lists were still, if just, the main way people interacted on the web. Initiated by John Kinsella. One of the list projects was Interactive Geographies.
Interactive Geographies perhaps is representative of Kinsella’s vision for the list: he saw in listserv the possibility of creating a collaborative space where “internationalism becomes more than the mixing together of names from diverse parts of the planet, more than hybridising poets with different attitudes to form and language, with different ethical and political views; it becomes a voice in itself.” As he recognised, this was an idea often at odds with the
stubborn individualism of poets, and this tension, often fruitful, sometimes destructive, was the central dynamic that drove the list through its various incarnations. (Alison Croggon, August 2008pdf)
I doubt if much I contributed there on poetryetc was memorable poetry or comment. Mostly I remember re-writing other people’s work. I called each piece ‘reading whateverthenameofthepiecewasIwasrewriting’.
What I was interested in doing was providing a reading/writing much in the spirit of a jazz riff. I wanted, and still want to some extent, writing to be more like improvisational sharing in music. More free, less full or ego pomp and territory.
It probably annoyed people, rarely received much reaction, and no one joined in.
Although why anyone would want to look at someone else’s writing (egopomp) through my apperceptive reportage (or filtering egopomp), I had not worked out. (Nor why they should do it other than through the acceptable genre of a critlit prose piece.)
Writing is still tied to the notion of the ‘writer’ though, and will be for some time, transparent egos or not.
In this world, evidence of the “writer’s ego’ is seen as an unwanted ‘mark of the maker’, a bit like pencil marks on fine cabinetry, ruining the illusion of perfection, or epiphany.
Writer as brand of course is perfectible acceptable.