Monday, July 12, 2010


Hope you’re all having a happy Monday!  I’m back this afternoon to announce that my friend—& blogging comrade to many—Kat Mortensen has just published a book of her poetry—it’s titled shadowstalking, & it’s available with just one click on her dedicated
shadowstalking blog, as well as on her Poetikat’s Invisible Keepsakes blog.

I’m happy to give Kat’s book a boost—
Kat’s poetry is a delight: she frequently writes in form, & she has a great ear for rhyme.  Kat’s wit is another of her strong suits—a good thing for a rhyming poet, as it tends to make the rhyme “make sense.”  In addition, her formal experiments seem to derive from an underlying sense of play—which to me is the great thing about writing in form!  It shouldn’t feel straitened—it should feel like a game.

In addition, Kat has been one of the longest-standing followers of Robert Frost’s Banjo (in the traditional use of the term, as well as in Googlespeak), & she’s one of a core group of followers I’m happy to consider real friends.  Kat has been incredibly supportive; when I published my “collected poetical works” this winter, Kat linked to the page on her blog; she’s also one of a very select group of people to actually have the complete poetical works of Jack Hayes in her possession! 

So this brings me to a thought: so many of us are offering our work online for free—whether that work is poetry or music or photography or essays—etc.  What happens when we then decide to bring it forth in the 3-D world?  For one thing, there’s often some expense involved to the creator; for a second thing, there’s always a bit of pride in the tangible object.  Especially amongst those of us who are solidly into middle age, the tangible object still has a magic reality—we grew up on books & record albums & cds & real glossy photos, & however wired in we may be, there’s still something powerful about the 3-D object.  Of course, with that pride, there’s also a certain amount of insecurity—do people actually like what I do enough to plunk down some hard earned cash on it?

There’s a lot of debate about free vs. pay content on the net.  I like guitarist Matt Stevens’  “pay what you want” approach to his music, but that's not an option when third parties become involved.  & while I believe in free content (after all, my books are available as free pdfs, & I’m publishing the entire contents of The Days of Wine & Roses in blog form), I also believe in supporting people who are actively creating outside the marketed machine of showbix & poebiz.

Do yourself a favor & check out shadowstaking!


  1. Thank you very much, John! I am happy to be a supporter of your blog and your poetry. Yours is a talent and creativity that never disappoints and always cheers and enriches.

    I agree; there's still nothing like having that tangible 3-D object in one's hand. I could never be entirely happy with a "Kindle" or an online edition of something; I like to have something I can put some miles on - something I can beat up and dog-ear to show my appreciation!

    You're a great friend and I'm proud to know you.


  2. Happy Monday to you too.
    What a treat this post was!
    Chock full of goodies
    Good on ya, Kat :)

    Peace ~ Rene

  3. Hi Kat & Rene

    Kat: It's my pleasure to do my part! & I feel the same about you.

    Rene: Thanks!

  4. I am already a firm supporter of Kat's work as I am of your own. Power to the creative elbows of both of you. The debate on free v pay and publishing is one which deserves wider debate. I sometimes wonder if there is room for an anthology of our little blogging community. It is not the production (via something like Lulu) that would be the problem but the editing.

  5. Hi Alan: Interesting idea--lulu would be a good way to go as there's no expense unless you want to get into larger distribution such as Amazon, etc. There's certainly enough good writing! Editing would be the key. & yes, you are a great supporter of this blogs & the blogging community overall!

  6. Kudos to Kat!! I'm so excited for her! Hip-hip-hooray!!

  7. Hi Willow: Yes, indeed. Very happy for Kat, & hope the book is everything she wants it to be.

  8. Hi TFE: Thanks--I do think this is important--I follow a lot of musicians on Twitter, & these issues seem to be the main topic. & interesting issues at that. You can bank on the fact that when The Poetry Bus hits the newsstands I'll be singing this same song1


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