Since we’ve been shamelessly plugging the excellent new LitKicks book “Action Poetry” here and elsewhere, I thought it’d be good to pause and find out what you all really think about this book, or about the online process that led to the creation of the book.
As many long-time LitKickers know, earlier this year we invited all site members to nominate a few poems or stories they’d read here for inclusion in the first LitKicks book. We got over a hundred suggestions, which Jamelah and Caryn and I trimmed down to about 25. We also added some selections of our own, and this final mix became one of the three sections of the book.
As one of the three editors of this volume, I have to say that the process was fascinating but probably completely un-scientific. The very concept of selecting a tiny number of poems from the huge collected works of a large online community is highly disconcerting. For every poem or story nominated, a thousand others are overlooked. And how much does “popularity” or personality have to do with the choices made?
Well, I really like the way the book turned out, and in fact I think the nomination process worked surprisingly well. There may have been some “popularity” votes or maybe even some sympathy votes, but I don’t think these made it past the final cut. It was also encouraging to see that some of the pieces nominated — at least a couple of which ended up in the book — were by writers who showed up once, posted a single piece, commented on nobody else’s writing, and never turned up again. Most of our favorite regulars made it into the book too. I think we ended up with a good balance.
But maybe I’m too close to it to see clearly. If you have a copy of this book, I’d like to know what you think of it. If you don’t have a copy, I’d like you to buy one, but whether you do or not, I’d also like to know if you have any thoughts about the general concept of online-based or community-generated literature.