Monday, March 8, 2010

24/7 RELENTLESS CAREERISM, by Jim Behrl

Ran across a very funny article on the Poetry Foundation's website. The author, Jim Behrl, hits a remarkable number of key points. The following passage in particular stood out to me, because of it's mention of "most poets in America [having] boring office jobs in which they are screwing around on the Internet most of the time," which makes me think of the some of the thoughts I mentioned on this blog while considering the potential merits of publishing online instead of in print. Here's Jim Behrl, putting it in his own words:

"How can you become the most important poet in America by tomorrow? It’s not as hard as you think. Poets used to have to pass out poetry-reading flyers by hand, one at a time, or publish poems one at a time in magazines, slowly building a career. But technology has changed all that. Now you can spam every poet in America with every new poem. Start a fan page for yourself and your books on Facebook. Blog about your every thought—they don’t even have to be astute thoughts. Most poets in America have boring office jobs in which they are screwing around on the Internet most of the time. Just mention the names of as many contemporary poets as you can in all your blog posts. You will catch all the self-googlers self-googling. Self-promotion is the only kind of promotion left. Without poetry reviewers to rely on, only you can spread the word about your product. And if you spread it suddenly, relentlessly, brutally, then you’ll have name recognition from here to Hawaii . . . and that’s all you need, because there are two kinds of poets: those you’ve heard of and those you haven’t. Almost all of us fall into the latter category, but not you! If only you take my advice."

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