Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

My own anosognosia

This story has gotten a lot of attention on Twitter this morning–Billy Collins doesn’t like the way e-books can mess up the way his poems look on the page. Neither do a lot of other poets. (John Lundberg’s objections are similar, but they’re also linked to the old “I prefer paper” argument.)

I’ve got this on the brain right now because I’ve got to get my manuscript in final shape for publication, and I want there to be an e-version (eventually–I’d like the print version to run alone for a while at least). But I understand the objections from people like Collins and Hirsch and Lundberg. How the poem looks is important, after all.

My problem is that I don’t even know which questions to ask to try to figure out what’s possible and what technical challenges need to be surmounted to make sure the poems look right on the page, no matter if you’re using a Kindle or iPad, a Nook or a Sony, or if you’re just looking at it on a computer screen. So I’ve (sort of) enlisted the help of some Twitter friends, and maybe I’ll at least get to the point where I can ask intelligent questions. Here’s hoping.

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July 19, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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