Poetics List is 20
The Buffalo Poetics list is twenty. I started the list in December 1993 with this poem --
Above the world-weary horizons
New obstacles for exchange arise
O ye postmasters!
Our first post was from Peter Quartermain about the new Coach House edition of Robin Blaser’s The Holy Forest.
The list went through many versions but in its earliest from there were about 150 of us exchanging posts in a pre-web environment. Somewhere along the line I came up with this statement of purpose:
Our aim is to support, inform, and extend those directions in poetry that are committed to innovations, renovations, and investigations of form and/or/as content, to the questioning of received forms and styles, and to the creation of the otherwise unimagined, untried, unexpected, improbable, and impossible.
In the late 1990s, Joel Kuszai worked with me as list moderator, a job later assumed by Chris Alexander, Lori Emerson, and then, for a long string our current moderator Amy King. Running the list was not always easy: there was a while, which reached a peak around the time of the impeachment against Bill Clinton, where we were hit by a torrent of troubling posts, which made for a steep learning curb about what is now recognized as flaming and trolls.
The best introduction to the early list is Poetics@ edited by Joel Kuszai for Roof Books.
Poetics@ includes this post from March 1994, along with a discussion of the origin and aims of the list.
Subject: Hermit Crabs Don't Cry (Annals of Poetics 3/5/94)
Reply-To: UB Poetics discussion group <POETICS@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU>
HERMIT CRABS DON'T CRY