Saturday, 30 January 2010


Present Plans, Great Wordwise & Diversely Deedful

For Great Works - I am doing a lot of refitting and updating at a technical level. The vessel is in dry dock, as it were. Having installed a search ability, I realise that some of the pages are unreadable by the search engine, as I put in when I first started no-robots statements, for no really good reason I can think of now. These early pages that still remain are also in a rather bad HTML that doesn't always display as I thought it would. So I'm redoing all of these in good XHTML, with consistent use of CSS and full accessibility (as much as the demands of matching poets' layouts allows this!). There is also a major blunder I made on the bulk of my existing XHTML pages that needs urgent correction, out of embarrassment rather than necessity I think, but it could impair access. For all this I am planning to use Dreamweaver, which I need therefore to get to grips with. This should basically partially industrialise actually making some of these corrections, but will require care also as it can give rise to pretty crap code too. So this will all take a while ...

Then to redo The Links (which should be a simpler, more batch process though via Dreamweaver). can at this point be restructured and redesigned.

Finally, to work on the next issue. My anxiety over the "all-male" issue seems to have been unwarranted - not a problem. I'm not sure therefore about the mooted all-female issue I promised to make amends, if amends aren't necessary - but I would love more contributions from female poets.

Amos Weisz's writing will figure in the next issue in any case, and I am also drawing up a volume which Great Works will publish (yes, on paper, print-on-demand) of a selection of his poems and prose. His mother is negotiating publication of his translations, including his Celan translations (which have Celan's son's approval), through a New York small press recommended by Suhrkamp Verlag.

I was expressing interest in various collaborative projects at the end of last year - I think I will have very little time for quite a while on these. I also have increased family responsibilities, which will be ongoing.

I will though write something on my considered response to, yes, the academicisation of poetry and The Journal. Also on micro-publishing - ie stuff turned out in tragically small editions, a trend I also don't feel happy with.

Diverse Deeds will almost certainly rest, possibly permanently. The formula, of an welcoming and inclusive event, combining innovative poetry with a little innovative music to encourage a sense of performance, in a relaxing and flexible venue, trying to build up an audience of both those already plugged into the innovative poetry networks and as many as possible who just thought it looked interesting (and by golly it is!), is a good one, which will prove a sure fire winner at some time. Cafe Oto, having given me crap scheduling, is no longer interested. My doubts about restarting elsewhere relate to, firstly my own sense of relief at not carrying on (and regret too!), and secondly the feeling that it really needs some bunch of cool young dudes/dudettes to get it going, certainly not a redundant granddad from Bishops Stortford.

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