poetry critical

online poetry workshop


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The busy poets are quite  rivergood  29 May 18 2:32PM Thread Closed

why is this site so quiet. its got everything you would want.

re: The busy poets are quite  cadmium  29 May 18 3:38PM Thread Closed

some people think it's me. loke, i'm too serious about writing. i think it's the resentful guy who spams the threads with net trash.

larry's posting, and that ought to be enough... you can read his work more than once, and it's more about how he talks about things than what he talks about.

poetry is art, which means it works on several levels.

re: The busy poets are quite  Inuki  31 May 18 12:18AM Thread Closed

Rivergood, this site was created by Don Tetto back in the day as a fun project, I think he wanted to explore what he could program/develop online. We're all grateful for what he did, but he's moved onto other projects. Back in its heyday this was a great, productive place to be creative and receive meaningful critique, but because it permitted things like anonymous comments by "unknowns" and was largely unmoderated, it became easy for insidious trolls and spammers to take over as they became more persistent or sophisticated.

Most creative writing boards/forums/online communities have various safety checks that help provide security, including self-moderation by the community as well as by chosen moderators. You will see other forums/sites that require everyone to provide detailed personal information before they can leave comments or contribute poetry. You will see sites where users who exhibit bad behaviour (such as insulting or belittling other users, endlessly flooding threads with their own comments, promoting other websites or products, etc.) are given warnings or put on probation and eventually banned if they persist in breaking the rules.

Don had very minimalist ideals on moderation. He wanted to retain anonymous/unknown commenters because he felt there was a contribution from the ability to offer critique or post a piece for critique without declaring your identity and there being any bad feeling between the critiquer and the artist. It allows for increased honesty. I can say that sometimes it does work, I have seen some really great contributions by unknowns. Sadly, there is always a contingent of people who will use anonymity for the purpose of abuse (to heckle the poet or the poetry without providing constructive critique, to personally attack or dump insults on the author, to raise personal issues with them, or lobby bigoted slurs in their direction, etc.)

After the lack of moderation became a serious problem he did assign volunteer moderators. He only gave them the power to remove offensive/spammy comments from poems, to remove poems with certain offensive/spammy content, and to remove forum comments that are offensive/spammy or else lock/shut down the thread if people persist in abusing it. They lack the power to shut down people's user accounts if that person is continually poorly behaved/abusive, and they lack the power to ban IPs from accessing the site. This has left the moderators largely toothless and stuck striking down individual comments without being able to effectively stop the root cause of the people/accounts perpetuating this behaviour. Also, because they were volunteers and most if not all were existing members, they didn't have all the time in the world to respond to complaints or shut down the abuse. They've done a great job with the limited tools they have, and kudos to them, but it simply wasn't enough to stop the neverending onslaught of abuse from a few extremely abusive and narcissistic individuals, or even to stop the waves of spammy comments on poems from bots that crawl the internet trying to slap down URLs and other rubbish to get clicks for views and advertising. Since the spam continues to appear to this day, it's clear that the site doesn't have enough restrictions in place to protect against the spam.

There was one point where the abuse from trolls became so bad that Don did block a few IPs after evidence was presented to him that they were not making positive contributions, but it's just a matter of cloaking you IP # or getting on an alternate connection and the trolls were back in business.

What happened as a result of the increased trolls and spam was that the positive, regular, contributing users fled for greener pastures, and I can hardly blame them. I see this site as an experiment both in programming and a social experiment for building a community. Don had minimalist ideals, and we can see that those ideals- while a great idea- were not conducive to fostering a sustainable community because the internet is filled with people who will always take advantage and ruin things for everyone else. This is why countries have legal codes, to protect people from the harm of others, this is why businesses, organizations, schools, and websites have rules about conduct and behaviour- so they can penalize or exclude people who are abusive.

The activity has dramatically declined here over the years, and many have moved on to other things in life, or to writing poetry elsewhere. I don't blame them. This site went from a wonderful positive community with an ideal of very minimal rules and enforcement, to a beat-down victim of endless abuse, largely at the hands of the same repeat offenders (just browse this forum to see how many threads have been locked by moderators and you'll see what I mean).

It's quite sad given the potential for what this place once was and could've become, but Don has the total control and has for years ignored our attempts at contacting him. I'm sure he's a busy guy with lots of other things on his plate, and I can hardly blame him. It was his choice to put this site up and continue to pay to retain the domain and host the page- and credit to him for continuing to support the arts in such a way. It's just a shame that this site was never developed further to protect against the constant abuse the drove so many extremely talented people away, and from wrecking and dismantling the thriving community of poets we once had here.

re: The busy poets are quite  unknown  31 May 18 11:42AM Thread Closed

thank you for the review of this site. it's the spam that  really is the choker  

re: The busy poets are quite  cadmium  31 May 18 2:33PM Thread Closed

i think don's mistake is to have called this site 'poetry critical' instead of something like 'poetry sharing'.

don has a degree from Brown U. the site is controlled by the word 'critical'. "Brown" = literary consciousness. "critical" = finding the root of the presented literature.

being called a 'workshop' is a problem. in a workshop, in the real world of poets, crit means that you help the poet find the poem they wanted to write.

remembering don's first response to the people who started posting, don was pleased that the common people were expressing themselves. it wasn't so much beyond the fact that they expressed feelings instead of academic show-offs, it was that they were doing it here. He ought at that time to have re-expressed the goals and mores of the site: to say that it was really more a social site now, so that people could get together based on a similar experience with wording -- using words to confess their secrets, say. or, to just say happy or mean things. Not, that is, to invent poetry.

for me, i've wanted the hard-core crit of 'why, mike, did you write this?' -- that is, the gift a critic can give you of seeing your own work through someone else's eyes. i don't care if they like my poem or not, it's that they show me how the audience understands and uses my poem. i can't see that on my own.

i've been banned here several times for asking, 'why do you think this is a poem?', and responding to the insults i get from that by insulting back. i'm the one who's accused of being hateful. LOL. being an honest writer means that you're going to end up writing poetry. it's up to you to find out what poetry you're good at, and this site can help you with that. most of the posters who left were maybe trying to tell stories. they'd break their stories into funny line-break word objects and cram it onto the page as 'who's to say what poetry is?'. they could always tell you, though, how to spell or what not to write about or say in a critique. who's to say what critique is except you?

i'm 72, and i'm a strong writer and believe that writing itself is the truth of writing -- that you liberate yourself from victimization by writing yourself out of self-pity. writing and feeling you've written something real makes you real.

re: The busy poets are quite  unknown  31 May 18 2:40PM Thread Closed

Cadmium you are very generous with your 10s and you  never tear a poem apart.

re: The busy poets are quite  cadmium  31 May 18 3:01PM Thread Closed

thanks. i do, sometimes, if i feel that the author doesn't understand my initial crit. like, 'yes, i think i'll keep it the way it is', rather than, 'what are you getting at??' -- which is where real critique starts.

i give a ten because, even when i don't like the poem, i feel that my personal feelings about the poem shouldn't knock it down off the to-see list. someone else may have a more real take on the poem, and that might show me how i was wrong.

what i really hate about this site is actually the scoring, like we were in an ice dancing contest... cow contest at the county fair... it enfeebles the dialog by turning poetry into meat.

my first crit here was to ask one of the butch guys about his wording, his constructions in words. what i got back was, 'shut up, who are  you?? that was long ago, and if that guy left because i wouldn't let him have the last word and be the poetry idol winner, than i really don't think that's a loss.

re: The busy poets are quite  rivergood  31 May 18 3:42PM Thread Closed

you are very kind overlooking if someone has written  prose. you liked my last poem I was very grateful.

re: The busy poets are quite  cadmium  31 May 18 4:44PM Thread Closed

i really like poetry.

re: The busy poets are quite  cadmium  31 May 18 5:43PM Thread Closed

that is, that i'm looking for a poetry constellation first, and like anything ehich seems to look like poetry at all.

i make out the figure in the stars, but the stars have to have a certain shape to begin with. that shape is its poetry grammar. the poem's story is about the author's writing a poem. what's talked about is all just dust on an old table.the table is part of the floor, the floor is there because of the earth. those particular connections are the holders of that poem's words. another poem might be built upon the friction between river water and ocean, or between two lover's bodies.

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