Nancy C. Hanger
Tips For Writing a Great Play
How Can I Help My Child Become a Writer In the Age of Nintendo and Carmen San Diego?
Effective Writing For the Workplace
Spotlight On...Snakeskin Poetry Webzine
Product Review: The Desktop Writing Workshop
Reader Poll: Online or On-line?
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Spotlight On.....Snakeskin Poetry Webzine
This month's Spotlight is on Britain's Snakeskin Poetry Webzine,
"We felt that the Web had room for an independent poetry magazine - not linked to any institution, not devoted to one kind of writing. While the editorial team themselves are most interested in using rhyme and metre, we enjoy all kinds of poems, and the average issue contains more free verse than strictly formal. We're based in England, but are proud of having included poets from five continents."
Simmers states that, on the other hand, Snakeskin is selective about the quality of poetry it will publish.
Snakeskin is well known for its occasional theme issues. Recent theme issues have included a Nature poem issue, an all-rhyme issue, and months devoted
Snakeskin is unlike most webzines in that it is interested in continuities with the past. The webzine maintains a link page of "Snakeskin's heroes" - great poets of the past. The publication also pays homage to a neglected poet of a century ago in its special Arthur Symons pages.
A fascinating feature in the webzine is Contributing Editor Linda Crespi's Haiku Machine and Tanka Manufacturer.
For those unacquainted with Japanese verse-forms, a haiku has three lines, of five seven and five syllables. A tanka is a five-line form. The lines are five, seven, five, seven and seven syllables long.
The girls meditate.
I believe that the girls sigh.
Spring has disappeared.
Today water droops.
Now snowflakes regret the past.
Still nobody mourns.
A merging of technology and poetry? We certainly have read much worse poetry penned by human hands.
When asked about the future of Snakeskin, Simmers responded that, in general, the webzine will continue on its present course. Simmers states that,
"Things will change, but in ways our contributors will point out for us. As the Internet becomes the main medium by which new verse reaches its public (that's starting to happen already) poetry will be transformed as surely as it was by the coming of print or the development of the little magazine."
"So far there are only hints of what's to come. Already, though, we have the sense of poets gaining confidence from addressing a world-wide audience, and responding to instant feedback from their readers."
Simmers also elaborated on the effect of the Internet on the poetry world,
"One danger looming on the horizon is the emergence of a web-writing elite whose names crop up in almost every zine you look at. The web is international, but it's a tiny bit worrying to see the same poet published in London, New Zealand, and Idaho. Keeping the zine's quality distinctive may become a real issue."
And the challenges ahead?
"Now we're an established site. (Founded in December 1995, we sometimes feel like the grandaddies of the Web) We've got to keep looking for promise among the new poets, and not just rely on our regulars and the big boys who submit everywhere. So that's our resolution. To keep it new."
The August Issue of Snakeskin Poetry Webzine will be available online after the first week in August.