I said in an earlier post that I think one of the downsides of blogs and blogging in general is it seems that we pay less attention to actual books. I still think that's true...as Noah Eli Gordon suggested recently at Kelly Writers House, the danger of blogs etc., is that we get caught up in the cult of personality rather than the poetry...that seems a danger no matter what the venue, but I agree on some level.
Though I do think that blogs bring attention to books that might otherwise be missed. I know people email me to say they heard of this or that book and have found it, and so on, and I know I've heard of poets and books that I wasn't aware of through other's blogs. And these books might not be reviewed in mainstream venues, so how would one necessarily find them?
On the other hand, I wonder if people are still paying attention to print journals. Or, do we assume blogs will take the place of such traditional reviewing venues... Do we need print journals?
Another, even more disconcerting aspect of blogging for this writer is that the idea of public has entered into my workspace. This is not good. My laptop is wireless so pretty much wherever I am I can be online, I can be connected. This has many benefits--but I'm not sure discussions about poetry is one of them. It makes for little distance. It flattens the process, makes visible, and while collaborative thinking/writing might be exciting, for this writer, it needs to be one part of a whole range of things, and there needs to be much more alone time. Suddenly that's difficult to achieve.