The idea

Welcome to Phase 3 of looktouchblog. I started blogging in November 2005 shortly after starting the Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia. For the first year, I talked about contemporary poetry and presses that interested me, many of which were related to my years in Buffalo and my new cohorts in DC. I got my feet wet in the sometimes overwhelmingly big, politicized world of poetry blogs.

After a series of personal (read: romantic) failures in Fall 2006, I made looktouchblog private, thus beginning Phase 2 in the life of the blog. I have always kept an extensively detailed personal diary, and my goal was now to replicate that (in part) while still writing about interesting contemporary poetry. Those of you who had access to looktouch as a private blog can access the archives here. I found the keeping of a public diary theoretically interesting but ethically dubious and emotionally tiring.

I’ve decided to make lookblog public again and mix the lessons I’ve learned from keeping a blog over the last two years. I want the blog to be highly personal like Phase 2 in that I want to focus on the particular poetry, especially visual poetry, that interests me. It will still be a rather solipsistic project in that way– there are now blogs like DIY Publishing and Press Press Press that announce new publications from presses I like, so looktouchblog will rarely serve as a space to announce recent acquisitions and publications. Similarly, I won’t be reviewing books– try Silliman’s Blog or Galatea Resurrects for that. Another aspect of the personal blog resonates as follows: it is tempting in one’s early years of blogging, and even later, to engage in blogworld debates and link parties as if blogs were a massive web of posts like a listserv. Instead of engaging in such a conversation, I want to use the blog for personal reflection– just on public matters (as Phase 1 considered) rather than private ones (as Phase 2 digested).

So, stay tuned for phase 3 of looktouchblog. My idea is that it’s going to adhere more to the original mission of looktouchblog– a log of poems, presses, bookmaking techniques, paintings, sculpture, aesthetics, etc. that stimulate me. As I transition from a life in academia in the middle of nowhere to a life in the “real world” in one of the best cities for art and poetry in the world, I expect to see and hear a lot of new exciting things. Likewise, as I transition from my life as an editor (of The Outside Voices 2008 Anthology of Younger Poets and Foursquare Broadzine) back to a writer concentrating on my own poetic development, there will be a lot of cool stuff to think about.

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3 Responses to The idea

  1. Kristen says:

    congrats on the new phase

    p.s. at some point, I am going to convince you to export all of this to a WordPress blog–more options–

  2. Annandale Dream Gazette says:

    I enjoyed your report of your visit to the Met (I think it was…not MOMA, right?) awhile ago, so I’d be interested to read your reactions to art & stuff. Sounds good.

  3. Jessica Smith says:

    @Kristen O wordpress… yes… I hear I should switch there. But I’m so used to Blogger now and it’s so easy…

    @Lynn yup, it was MOMA… b/c it’s right across from where I work and it’s free for SUNY students, I’m planning to go back there and really study some pieces that interest me. Also many of my current coworkers are artists and so I’ll be seeing lots of small galleries and exhibitions soon too, I hope. I really want to get back into my own work, and art is the key to that.

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