Litblog Roundup is a bi-weekly overview of topics, trends and highlights from the literary Internet. This roundup features door-to-door poetry, books delivered quickly to your house, an obligatory reference to Pokemon Go, and more.
Don’t Forget to Back it Up
Experimental author and artist Dennis Cooper has been publishing his work on Blogger since 2002. Rather, he was publishing it there until recently when Google deleted his account, and the blog along with it. Google issued a “violation of terms” statement to Cooper, and has offered no further explanation for why his work was deleted. For most of the work on the blog, Cooper didn’t have a back-up. It’s gone. Don’t be like Cooper. Make copies of your work.
Haters Gonna Hate
It’s not so surprising that there are people in the world who hate poetry. What is surprising is that it’s the subject of a new book. “The Hatred of Poetry” is by Ben Lerner, who is the poetry editor at Harpers. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to an interview with Lerner about the new book.
We hate poetry though not just because it fails in living up to its potential for perfection, but because it makes us, as humans, feel like failures—poetry denotes humanity, and if we cannot understand it, if we cannot create it, then we wonder if a core aspect of our humanity has been taken away. And yet, as Lerner writes, our hatred of poetry only serves to signify its continuing importance. “People getting upset about poetry,” Lerner told me, “is a nagging sign of poetry’s relevance.”
Of course, not everybody hates poetry. Some devote their lives to it, and take on interesting projects. For example, one poet has taken to the streets, as the first “door to door” poet, knocking on doors and composing poetry for people at their homes.
I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to talk about Pokemon Go, one of the trendiest trends trending, in the roundup of trending things on the literary internet, but Pokemon Go isn’t exactly literary. Then I found my chance, over on The Digital Reader, in a post about a new startup that promises to deliver books to their customers within the span of one hour, while working with the local bookshops. It’s an interesting concept, which has been compared to, you guessed it, Pokemon Go.
“…bookstores love the idea, that’s for sure. At Ink@84, Betsy Tobin calls it ‘dead easy: an automated phone call asks you to double-check stock is physically there, then press a button to acknowledge. A very streamlined process. My staff person has just drawn an interesting parallel with Pokémon Go, in that people enjoy using tech to track down a product but also like the physical/social process of going out to get it.'”
The Typewriter Project
Inside a wooden shack installed at North 12th Street and Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg’s McCarren Park, anyone can sit down at a typewriter and contribute to a collaborative poem unfolding over a 100-foot paper scroll. “The Typewriter Project: The Subconscious of the City,” presented by the Poetry Society of New York in partnership with the Parks Department, is a nomadic experiment in engaging the public with writing.