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An Explanation of Poetry Friday

For readers who hear talk about Poetry Friday and may not know what it is, here is an explanation.

Kelly Herold, who blogs at Big A, little a, brought Poetry Friday to the children's book blogging world. She had seen a similar tradition at some of the academic blogs.

At the end of the week  many children's book aficionados and bloggers contribute favorite poems or chat about something poetical in an event called Poetry Friday. At their own sites, people talk about both works for children and/or works for adults.  In the past I've written about rhyming picture books, posted links to poems at copyright protected sites, and rambled on about this or that tangentially related to poetry. Someone usually volunteers to round up all the posts on the subject, so that poetry aficionados can read more posts on a favorite subject. Today the round-up is at the blog A Chair, A Fireplace, and A Tea Cozy; that blogger will post something poetry-related and then she will list the others who are participating. Anyone can participate by leaving a link to one's own post, in the comment section at A Chair, A Fireplace, and A Tea Cozy.

I advise adhering to copyright fair-use restrictions; if a poem is under copyright protection (and most contemporary ones are), I can quote only a couple of lines and then link to the rest of the poem. Otherwise, I am violating copyright. It is unlikely that a publisher's attorney will come after me if I post, say, a whole poem by Mark Doty (and I so admire Mark Doty's work), but that still wouldn't make it right. If I quote an entire poem, I am possibly depriving the poet of income from that poem.

Enough with the legal stuff!  I am going to concoct a more lyrically inclined post later, but wanted to encourage all readers interested in poetry to contribute to the conversation. The more, the merrier.

P.S., if you would like to spread the word about Poetry Friday, feel free to lift this entire post. That's what it's here for. I promise I won't come after you with a cease & desist order!


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Thanks, Susan :) You're a gem.

Kelly, I so enjoy the Poetry Friday swimmin' pool!

Susan, I just NOW left a long, blabbing post on Pam's Mother Reader blog about how some us may feel a little clueless in the wonderful world of blogging, and need some hand holding to join in. I always wondered what Poetry Friday was and how to try participating, but was I too emabarassed to admit it.

I still don't get the Carnival thing either!

Thanks for bringing helping someone like me, who tends to be a little clueless about some of this stuff, more into the fold.

Barbara, you aren't clueless at all! I bumbled around when I first started blogging; I had absolutely no idea what to do with comments. I still haven't figured out how to do trackbacks. So, not to worry. And jump in to Poetry Friday. I will write a post on blog carnivals, too, soon. Basically, it's just a roundup of links.


Feel free to ask me any questons too, if you'd like. Just send me an e-mail: [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you out :)

Thanks for the straightforward explanation and for the copyright info, too! I've been wondering about that.

De nada. I really enjoy Poetry Friday, and enjoy reading poetry posts on other blogs. I have a huge literary crush on Mark Doty. I heard him read once and was quite smitten. He, of course, does not know I exist. And that's okay! Oh, and I really like Patricia Spears Jones, who wrote one of my favorite poems of all time. I'll have to look to see if any of her stuff is online. See, now I'm rambling...

It took me FOREVER to understand Carnivals. Basically, go here because that is the host; email her your favorite post from the past month, along with your name/ url. She then will post all of them together, in one round up. It's a great way to find new blogs, or the best of the best stuff.

Susan and Kelly, thanks for the very generous offer to help bring me into the modern age.

Your generosity and good spirit (Plus the same on Mother Reader) inspired me to put up a blog post.

all right! if you figure out how to do trackbacks on Typepad, come back and tell me!

What in the world is a trackback? I guess I'm clueless, too!

A trackback is usually at the bottom of a post; it lists posts on other blogs that have mentioned your post. Read Roger has trackbacks. I'll be dadgummed if I can figure out how to do it here, though. duh.

Is that the same as "links to this post" that we have at Blue Rose Girls?

Yes, I believe so, Elaine.

Thanks for mentioning the "copyright thing." As a school librarian, I do TRY to model good copyright manners on my blog. It is important to understand the limits and latitudes of copyright. It restricts but it does allow too. I think that has been one of my concerns about Poetry Friday and why I have not participated. Your suggestions have helped me think about how I can "play" it in a new way.

You're welcome, Camille; I have a been in my bonnet about copyright, too.

Lisa at the blog Passionately Curious had great luck getting permission directly from several poets, including Douglas Florian, to include a poem or two on her blog.

Although I completely agree about protecting the poet's copyright privileges, I have consulted with a variety of poets about posting a poem from one of their books on my blog and every one (so far) has supported me. Helen Frost said she viewed it as a kind of "reviewing" and hoped it would lead people to seek out the entire book. Me, too! For each posting, I'm careful to provide a complete bibliographical entry, information about the book and poet, etc., but I still worry about focusing on promoting poetry, rather than pirating poetry!

Sylvia, when you get permission, it's a-okay, as I understand it. And reviews definitely fall into the fair use category.

But I have seen entire contemporary poems printed on blogs with no permission cited at all. That's a problem. That is, in essence, re-publishing someone else's work. If I edited a print magazine, I would NEVER print a poem without the poet's (or publisher's, if applicable) written permission, unless it was in the context of a review. And then, even, I'd have to double check with the magazine's lawyer. You see what I mean?

Adhering to copyright is professionally the right thing to do. That's why I have a Creative Commons license. People can reprint my work (in a noncommercial venue, that is) without permission but they have to cite me as the author.

I just found Poetry Friday and read some of the posts from the past few weeks. But I'm confused . . . how do I find out who is hosting it tomorrow (and other future Fridays)???

Lori, I do hope you'll join in! The blog Big A, little a

keeps a list of who's hosting Poetry Friday each week on the right-hand side of the blog. I believe that volunteer hosts sign up on the Kidlitosphere Yahoo Group list. If you're interested in joining that list, contact Alkelda at the blog Saints & Spinners; there's a link on my blog roll. You don't have to be on the list to participate, though. Jump in!

Hi, I just wanted to follow this blog but couldn't figure out how to do it. I am not a blogger on typepad. Is that the problem? I blog on wordpress.


Thanks so much! The best way that I know of to subscribe is via Google Reader. I will research this further, though, and let you know. I appreciate your interest.

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