About these flying islands and this blog
these flying islands is the official blog-home of the flying islands’ pocket poets’ community. It is an on-line community of practice, and designed to be an inclusive, safe place for poetry. The initial membership of these flying islands consists of those who have books in the series as authors or translators or artists and those who are slated for publication in the near future. The community will expand in size gradually through the vehicle of members proposing new members.
Provided they follow some very simple guidelines, community members are entitled to post at will –
- new work (draft or completed)… [this is envisaged as the main category of post]
- responses in kind to other people’s posted work (‘in kind’ meaning in poetry or any other art form)
- project suggestions (and on-line projects themselves) including for instance collaborative writing and editorial discussions
- dialogues and discussions about topics of relevance, in or out of poetry
- news and information, concerning for instance publications, launches, competitions, reviews
- relevant work in artforms other than poetry (e.g. encourage an ekphrastic response to a particular picture, call for pictures to accompany a poem)
Note that new work (of whatever kind) needs to be the main event, because it will be the best motive for visitors. It will be boring if the blog were to become mainly advertising (however great the things advertised might be.)
‘Safe place’ means a supportive place, means the opposite of competitively cutthroat, or mean or disparaging or dismissive. It also means a place where we can be spontaneous, and let ideas float, and in a mutually respectful way.
On the blog, comment will be restricted to community members. There will be NO evaluative comments … i.e. no praise, blame or criticism. (Of course you can privately write and give opinions or advice to blog-colleagues, or make your agreement/disagreement known to whomever you like. But not on the blog please!) Let’s support each other by being there for each other – by listening and reading and seeing each other. Respond to art with art! Respond to a poem with a picture with a song with a poem, with whatever takes your creative fancy. Response in kind is the sincerest form of attention, surely!? The ethos of these flying islands is ‘conversation in kind’! You can converse in new work about already-posted work, either by way of comment or in a new post. In a new post, please make clear to whom and to what you are responding. If you need to have private conversations, of course you can take them off the blog. In the spirit of conversation, let's also make sure we don't make consecutive posts. Give other poets and artists a chance to jump in. Let's let the blog breathe!
It is expected that there will be a wide range of political and poetic/aesthetic opinion expressed on these flying islands. Diversity is great! Challenging our readers is why we bother writing at all. How else can these islands fly? But there will be zero tolerance for intolerance on this blog, and though none is anticipated, should nastiness by members to members raise its ugly head, it will be dealt with swiftly. There is no wish to censor here, and there is an acknowledgement, that, for many if not most of us, irony is an important part of the work. Depicting reality, casting new lenses over it, and letting readers make up their own minds will always be acceptable but the promotion of warmongering, violence, racism, sexism or homophobia will not be tolerated. It will simply vanish. That absolutely does not mean these things cannot be discussed. All topics are open for discussion, but let’s do it by way of our art, and let’s do it respectfully. Polemic is okay but our purpose is poetry.
We start by asking all founding members to post an introduction for themselves, including, as a minimum: bio, mention of your book/s in the series, some samples of work, links to blogs or websites and an author pic. A book cover pic is nice too, where appropriate. We can reserve the first couple of weeks (say, first half of January 2021) for islanders to make debut appearances on these flying islands. We’ll then lift the bio and author pic to a link on the front page where these can be easily accessed.
Unlike the Project 366 blog (many may remember) on these flying islands there is no pressure for participants to be presenting work daily or regularly at all. That said, the hope is that there will be enough of a flow of new work for community members to find some interesting new reading every day.
Once we get started, you may post at will BUT we do ask that you show restraint… in other words, please let’s take turns (so – no consecutive posts) and let’s not bombard the group or overwhelm others with our individual greatness. Let’s strive for decorum in all we post.
And let’s start posting now!