Writing a blog forces you to think through your own ideas and processes. Sometimes this was about my own poetry, the poetry of others, a piece of pop culture, or the latest gay issue that had caught my attention. Through doing this, I learned more about myself and about others.
Perhaps my favorite part of the blogging experience has been sharing the poetry of others with the world (or at least my handful of readers). I've tried to write as many reviews of poetry books as possible. In the poetry world, reviews and word of mouth are vital to getting an audience. I enjoy mentioning poetry that has caught my eye and changed my world.
My year anniversary does come at an odd time. Yesterday, I learned that John Stahle, who was the editor of the journal Ganymede, died. He actually died in April, yet very few people seemed to know. His death has made me think about the virtual spaces we create and how they live beyond us. I can still visit John's Facebook page and his website, which promotes his designs and the journal he started. A journal that published two of my poems. These spaces live on, yet they might never be updated again. I can't help but think of this very blog, or even my poetry, and how someday it might live beyond me.
I never met John, but I spoke to him many times through email. I'll never forget submitting my poems to Ganymede. John required that you not only send your poems, but also your photo. My poems were accepted within 30 minutes. This is no exaggeration. I have never been accepted in a journal quicker. He responded saying, "cute picture, this will do just fine." He was kind, organized, and willing to promote young gay men and their poetry. Being published in Ganymede made me feel a part of the gay poetry world in a way I hadn't before. I've been published in many other journals (many of which are more "respected"), but Ganymede holds a special place in my heart (or is it my groin?).
As I celebrate a year of blogging, I also remember John Stahle and remember that what we put into the world is there forever. I will never meet John face to face, but I will still hold his journal in my hands and read the beautiful work he put together. I hope wherever John is there are beautiful boys and wonderful poems to read.
Read more about John here: http://rememberingjohnstahle.com/