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Tim Yu says [blog]:
Why I (Finally) Quit the Poetics List

I was stunned last week to find an apparently serious discussion going on over the Poetics list over whether the term "Jap" should be used in polite company--a discussion that has been accompanied by all of the ignorance, "eye-rolling," juvenile humor, and outright racism that I have come to expect when such topics appear on the Poetics list. [...]

Clearly that vision of the Poetics list is no longer viable. That's in part due to some of the factors cited back in January, when Bruce Andrews suggested a restructuring of the list's digest form. Far from a forum for active discussion, the list has now largely become a bulletin board, dominated by announcements, as well as a medium for several members to post daily installments of ongoing projects. Those are perfectly valid functions, but they are largely static and unidirectional, and would probably be better served by a website or a weekly newsletter. mIEKAL aND made something like this point at the end of January, when he wondered whether "a listserv as a tool for organizing community has become somewhat outdated, especially when such large numbers are involved." In a way, the Poetics list has become a victim of its own success: its membership (and the community it serves) has grown so large that reasoned conversation is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information traveling over the listserv.

It's no surprise, then, that large segments of the community no longer actively participate in the list. Many of the founding members have moved on to other forums, and many younger poets pay no attention to the list at all. But the list membership remains quite large. The result is the worst of both worlds: a forum that feels impersonal and anonymous, yet with an increasingly narrow spectrum of active participants. [...]
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