Archive for January 7th, 2011

No mini-bios?

January 7, 2011

Snakeskin is different from most online poetry magazines in number of ways. One of them is that other zines often print mini-biographies of the poets they publish:

Jenni Nosgood was born in Bromsgrove, England, before moving to the U.S. in the seventies, where she worked for many years as a waitress, pole dancer and legal secretary before taking up her current post as Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Department of Tuscaloosa University. Her poems, prose-fragments and language-crushing experiments have appeared in The Shredsville Chronicle, Poemskunk and Fried Moose Droppings. She is married with four daughters, and is an active member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

That sort of thing.
The reason we don’t provide this kind of bio is simple. Before beginning Snakeskin I surfed the net (how small it was, how amateur, in those far-off days of 1995) looking for poetry sites. I found quite a few, and many were lively. All, as I remember, published little paragraphs of biography. And the trouble was that I found myself far more interested in the bios than in the poems. Partly, I suppose, this was because much of the verse on offer was the rather thin freestyle variety that did not interest me greatly. The proud little paragraphs, detailing publishing success in print periodicals already yellowing with age, offered a shortlist of the author’s more respectable achievements while omitting both the ecstasies and the disasters that are the real stuff of poets’ lives. I read them and tried to fill in the gaps, making up my own stories about the poets. The poems, I’m afraid, were soon forgotten in my enthusiasm for reading mini-bios. Read the rest of this entry »