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Online poetry criticism forums?
February 3, 2009 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend any online poetry criticism forums?

Hello all. Can you recommend any forums where I can post poetry for criticism? Ideal characteristics:

1) English language poetry

2) Membership only - I'm doing a creative writing course and I think if I post something into the public domain I can't submit it for coursework.

3) Relatively high technical expertise of forum participants
posted by laumry to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Poet's Graves Workshop
posted by watercarrier at 12:19 PM on February 3, 2009


Way back when I remember Deviantart being pretty good for this sort of thing. I don't know how well 3 applies though.
posted by zephyr_words at 12:24 PM on February 3, 2009


"I'm doing a creative writing course and I think if I post something into the public domain I can't submit it for coursework."

Posting something online without "members only" protection is not the same as releasing it into the public domain.
posted by toomuchpete at 12:29 PM on February 3, 2009


It will, however, muck up your "first worldwide electronic" publication rights, should you intend to sell your stuff later.
posted by Scattercat at 12:50 PM on February 3, 2009


I don't do online workshops, but I have a good friend who says great things about the forum Eratosphere. They just moved over to a new site/server recently, I believe. Anyway, he says he has gotten some very helpful feedback there and that some known names tend to stop by and participate from time to time.
posted by theantikitty at 12:52 PM on February 3, 2009


It's been a while, but there used to be some attention to detail going on at everypoet.org.
posted by prefpara at 1:50 PM on February 3, 2009


Poetryslamming is the best I've ever seen, although it's less active than it used to be. However, you must apply for membership and members are quite harsh with their criticism on member applications. Because you can friends' lock your application posts/requests for criticism, you don't have to worry about it messing up your publications in the future.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:53 PM on February 3, 2009


The Gazebo at Alsopreview.com
posted by cymru_j at 4:49 PM on February 3, 2009


Poetry Critical used to be the bee's knees, but I haven't visited in months and am scared to even load it now (spammers, trolls, pre-teens).

Disclaimer: I am the Poetry Critical webmaster.



(Seriously. But Poetry Critical 2.0 is in development and promises to be a bit less Lord of the Flies. If anyone is interested, email me and I'll invite you the the beta in a couple months.)

posted by rafter at 5:36 PM on February 3, 2009


Dear all - thanks for the answers so far. I'll take a look at all of them.

To clarify - when I say "members only", I mean that the poems themselves cannot be seen unless you've signed in as a member (i.e., cannot be seen by the general public), rather than it just requiring you to be a member to post things onto the site.

Please keep the suggestions coming!
posted by laumry at 2:39 AM on February 4, 2009


Many of these don't fit your criteria--everypoet.org has members-only upper forums, but they're fairly inactive these days. The Gazebo, Eratosphere, and Poets' Graves are all visible to unregistered members, as are places like QED and The Fray. In fact, a lack of members-only options is part of the reason why forums failed to flourish after the advent of blogs, and after many litmags made it clear that they considered work posted online to be previously published. It seems strange, though, that material posted online would be ineligible for coursework. I would maybe talk to your teacher and ask for clarification about that.

As an aside, I would recommend that you exercise caution regarding forums that pride themselves on "harsh criticism"--this criticism is often hostile and unhelpful, and is often the result of misreading and narrow tastes. I'm not sure why poetry forums came to value ruthlessness above all else, but they did, and as a result many of them are unpleasant places that are as capable of turning people off to poetry as they are capable of helping poets along the way. Just my two cents.
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 2:16 PM on February 4, 2009


As an aside, I would recommend that you exercise caution regarding forums that pride themselves on "harsh criticism"--this criticism is often hostile and unhelpful, and is often the result of misreading and narrow tastes. I'm not sure why poetry forums came to value ruthlessness above all else, but they did, and as a result many of them are unpleasant places that are as capable of turning people off to poetry as they are capable of helping poets along the way. Just my two cents.

If you mean poetryslamming, they're only like that to people who are applying for membership. They are, in fact, very supportive to members once they're let in the golden gates. While I disagree with the knee-jerk reactions that some members have on application posts, the quality of both writing and criticism within the community is very high. I suspect that this has something to do with the harsh vetting process that members must go through--you have to be both brave and good to get in. With that in mind, I wouldn't recommend even applying if you're at a beginning stage in your writing.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:08 PM on February 4, 2009


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