Building Poetry Communities on WordPress.com

From cutting-edge ezines to collaborative projects, poets and poetry lovers are finding each other on WordPress.com.

As we’re entering the final week of National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) in the US, we want to celebrate all the wonderful poetry-centric community projects here on WordPress.com.

The sites we feature today — like many others we follow and love — make an important point. We may all write on our own, but it’s only when we join a community of other writers and readers that our voices are truly heard.


Keeping it local

Some of the tightest-knit poetry groups are bound by a shared space, where writers know not only each other’s work, but also each other’s face. Over at Poetdelphia, Philly-based poets share poems, announce readings and other events, and celebrate community members’ achievements.

Similarly, .: Poetry in Chicago is a project that aims to bring together writers from across the city’s eclectic poetry community, with posts on local slams, organizations, and more.


Sharing voices (and their quirks)

Poetry reviews — and ezines, their virtual equivalent — are always a labor of love. Over at The Open Mouse, a Scotland-based poetry journal, poet Colin Will publishes carefully selected work, like this recent diptych by Brian Johnstone.

Moving across the world, Ricochet, another literary ezine with a poetry focus, is the creation of a group of Australian bloggers. While each volume contains its fair share of poetry, the ezine’s blog also features posts about craft, like this recent one about the best soundtrack for writing.


Poets finding their niche

Some poetry sites go for a narrower focus, catering to particular niches within the broader poetry community. Good Morning Bedtime Story, for example, is a Canadian blog with a mission to create a supportive forum for writers dealing with mental health issues. You can visit their archives here.

If you’re interested in less conventional poetic forms, you’re also in luck. Over at Cease, Cows, a journal dedicated to flash fiction, the editors regularly carve out space for prose poetry.

Or, if you’ve already enjoyed dabbling in haiku, why not branch out into tanka, another Japanese form? At All Things Tanka, you’ll find all the resources you’ll ever need to explore this — and other — Japanese-inspired poetry.

Are you interested in starting a new collaborative project or group blog? Check out these ideas on how to get started. Not sure how to format poetry to display properly on your page? Here are four tips to help you make your verse shine.

 


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Ben Huberman

37 Comments

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  1. Elisa

    I think that my voice is heard, simply because I express it. Perhaps there are some who are not interested in writing and expressing for popularity nor for joining, but simply because it is what I Am. “We may all write on our own, but it’s only when we join a community of other writers and readers that our voices are truly heard.” For me, the quote is untrue and on a reactionary day, highly insulting and diminishing. Perhaps this reflects on what I define as success contrasting with how ‘society’ defines it. Community and sounding boards and the like DO help some writers to write and to have inspiration to take themes and to expound upon them. Others DO create simply from who they are, with what they’ve got.

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Hi Elisa,

      Sorry to hear that my statement about community rubbed you the wrong way — especially since I tend to agree with you.

      I’d never argue that the intrinsic value of what we say depends on it being heard by others. Sharing our work does add the ability to move and affect others, but I completely agree that it isn’t a prerequisite to fulfilling self-expression.

      Like

      • Elisa

        It wasn’t a personal thing Ben. Your image and writings always allow me an opportunity to grin, like a special surprise hidden in a pocket. I DO like environments where I can say what I really think after reading. I can tend to comment like I am thinking things through. I appreciate back and forth sharing. Thanks for being you!

        Like

  2. Symanntha Renn

    WordPress does help us poets build community! I never knew so many like-minded people were out there until I started my blog Failing at Haiku. I have some regular readers that always bring a smile to my face and encourage me to keep sharing my words.

    Like

  3. Guerino Panfile

    I write. I compose music too, but that sits in my head and in an old Mac because I have not taken the steps to share it properly. Emily Dickinson’s Two Sunsets is a suitable sentiment and the music I have composed for it is top notch, but….

    there is youtube.

    Like

  4. pmwanken

    I’ve definitely enjoyed building relationships through the poetry blog at poeticbloomings.wordpress.com — I don’t know if I’d have kept writing poetry had it not been for the encouragement of the administrators of that blog and its contributors.

    Like

  5. Po' Girl Shines

    So many poems are like short stories now. I was always heavy into poetry and song writing since I was kid. Most of them tend towards the rhyming pattern of one of my favorite poets, Dr Seuss! I was a fan of Frost and many song writers putting their poetry to music. I always believed that poetry has to rhyme to be a poem. Much like our visual arts, this is no longer the case. Have not published virtually any of my poetry, other that very short verse, online yet.

    Like

  6. xsentrik

    Hi Ben, very much appreciated :)

    Like

  7. Alan King

    Thank you so much for this post. Too bad there’s no page for D.C. Poets on WordPress (I’m too busy to start one). However, my MFA alumni association is pretty active. WordPress hosts their page and those of the Stonecoast MFA faculty and the newsletter. I’ll definitely come back to this post and check out the other writing communities. Thanks again.

    Like

  8. holdenlyric

    What a nice nod to Good Morning Bedtime Story! You are awesome.

    I do have a question concerning poetry on WordPress. As far as prose poems are concerned, whenever I write a lengthy line the formatting always gets roughed up. Is there something I can do to prevent this?

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Yes — be sure to check out the link at the bottom of the post about formatting tips for poets!

      Like

  9. nora116308

    I think that this idea of creating community for poets or poetry is really good. Nevermind if people are really famous poets or not. Everyone can write and share, others say if it is good or not. But among the people who aren’t famous poets there are many who really write good poems, and they write what they feel and want to tell through their poems. I think that that idea is good.

    Like

  10. Malctg - The Foureyed Poet.

    Hi Ben.I write stories in poetry form something I like to do and hope one day will get just a little recognition. Truly I enjoy my style of poetry. Best Wishes. The Foureyed Poet.

    Like

  11. hastywords

    I love my poetic community. Without all the shared voices…the friends…the commonalities found through poetry I wouldn’t have my blog.

    http://hastywords.wordpress.com/duet-partners/

    Like

  12. Charlotte Ortega

    I am a closet poet writing my musings in my note book,touching the most tender parts of what it means to be human. Thanks Ben for highlighting another great wordpress literary opportunity and thanks especially to my fellow poets for sharing their word tapestries with us so generously!

    Like

  13. 'Kego Onyido

    Thanks a lot Ben. I love the idea of sharing your voice in a community and also the idea of sometimes stepping away, and finding it alone, in the sacred silence within. I guess for me, the beauty is in navigating and accepting both. I have really enjoyed this year’s NaPoWriMo’s ‘a poem a day’ challenge, I have met such wonderful and creative souls, who simply LOVE the written-spoken word and write simply because…… Thanks again! Does anyone know of any Toronto area poetry communities on wordpress?

    Like

  14. thinking.is.free.

    This has been one of the most valuable posts to me that I have read thus far. Thank you for sharing!! Much love.

    Like

  15. blarrt

    NaPoWriMo is entering in its final week not only in the US! Greetings from Italy!
    .

    Like

  16. Victoria Welton

    I share a poem on my blog every Thursday. The link up is called Prose For Thought and I invite other bloggers to share their original prose, poems and fiction. It seems to do very well and we all comment on each others work.

    Like

  17. Andrzej Dąbrówka

    Having invented the genre of photo-poem – first in Polish (since 2009), and since 2012 also in English (see the list of 23 here: http://adabrowka.wordpress.com/english/)
    – I have to admit that I discover occasionally WordPress.com bloggers who actually create and publish photo-poems without using this name.
    We deserve to belong together in a visible way. Who can help us? And I don’t mean a working comunity, sort fo confraternity with common writing projects etc. More a club.

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      I think the best thing for you would be to make contact with those poets you encounter whose work resonates with yours: you could then guest-blog on each other’s sites, share each other’s work, and even start a group blog if you feel so inclined. You could also try to have a group of like-minded poets to use a tag like “photo-poem” in your posts so that it’s easy for everyone to find this type of poetry in the Reader.

      Like

      • Andrzej Dąbrówka

        Thanks for useful hints. As soon as my authority on this platform grows (if you know what I mean) I’ll pay visit to colleagues who make photo-poems, and we’ll organize a club.

        Like

  18. teeceecounsel

    Building a community. That’s sincerely an awesome idea. That’s family in the blogosphere. I’m all smiles!

    Like

  19. kyhzntrkthx

    Great post, Ben. Thanks a lot. I’ve made poems too, but not in english actually.

    Like

  20. y. prior

    Interesting post! And loved this: “but it’s only when we join a community of other writers and readers that our voices are truly heard.”

    Well said, well said…..

    Like

  21. Louise B. Leger

    This is what my blog is all about. Although none of these communities seem to fit me. Anyone looking for some friends on here who are also interested in poetry feel free to get at me ! :)

    Like

  22. Adriana Zanese

    If you like it, you can read a preview of my poetry book Maya’s veil on the Lulu.com site. Ciao. Adriana Zanese

    Like

  23. redjim99

    It’s a big world in here, just like out there in the real world. And any encouragement is good, feedback some people want it others don’t. I like that people can choose this. I like hunting through and finding new gems.

    Jim

    Like

  24. pndrgn99

    WordPress has provided a community for me, as a writer, and has been gentle supportive and interactive in ways that have encouraged me and supported me in growing. People take the time to correspond more often and more meaningfully than many other places I have posted. The diversity also offers writers of all bubbles readers at all levels and mentors if they choose. After a lifetime of hiding my working drawers never showing it to anyone, I have now had pieces chosen by my local community and poetry magazine two years in a row.
    I hope WordPress, as it grows, will remain as user-friendly, kind, honorable in administration, and supportive as it has been.
    My heartiest happy poetry month to WordPress and everyone who writes here.

    Alex

    Like

  25. exilsmith

    I just discovered this page today, I love that there is an interactive page for poets where they can share their voices. I am a novice at poetry, I spill my feeling on my blog without holding back.

    Like

  26. Martin

    Oddly, I’ve been missing community lately – with other writers, for certain, as well as with readers. I didn’t think I was writing for others but… if I’m not, then I should take the Emily Dickinson route, and hide my poetry away. Clearly, I am writing to be heard, and spark discussion, publishing somewhere like WordPress. The void of commentary, discussion, etc around what I’m writing either points to my (likely) lack of ability to translate thought into writing, or to the shallow nature of the Web. I’m still counting on the latter, but… meh. It may be time to take up interpretive dance… if only to completely _horrify_ everyone around me.

    Like

  27. sidmark1

    i’ve been a closet poet for a while now, primarily writing childish ditties and rhymes for my children just to see them smile :). I’ve always been scared to show any of my more serious writing, but have recently found an outlet online which I’m trying to use to it’s fullest. It’s still scary, but thanks to the community spirt and contributors in posts like this I feel like I am being looked after and guided though the do’s and don’ts of the blogging world! Thanks to everyone who contributes and helps newbies like me!

    Like

  28. kschoenk

    Since I started my bliog the WordPress community of poets have been so supportive of my work. I love getting the feedback and networking other like minded individuals. This is a great place and I look forward to what the future holds with the support I have received… :)

    Like

  29. minnealaskan

    Sometimes poetry saves me!

    Like

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