Michael Simms: A Note from the Editor on the Vagaries of Publishing Poetry on the Internet

excellent write up about the challenges faces by a website / blog

Vox Populi

Once again, a poet has emailed me, peeved that a poem of hers that appeared in Vox Populi is not anything like the version she sent me. The line-endings and stanza-breaks are scrambled. Her careful crafting of white-space has disappeared. Her neologisms have been auto-corrected to gibberish. The indentations are…  Well, I’m embarrassed. She’s embarrassed. Readers are shunning the page.

For the umpteenth time, I manually correct the html of a poem and remind the poet that a website is not like a typewriter where you can control exactly the way things appear. A website often sees non-standard formatting as errors to be fixed. And even if the formatting holds on the website, each server and social network may make arbitrary changes. Poems transmitted by email are often a mess. And even if these systems don’t screw up the poem, individual laptops, desktops, and handheld devices make adjustments to layout…

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