By the way, I have decided to end Eyewear, permanently, in the autumn of 2009, or sooner. I'll start scaling things back over the next few weeks, and have a total break June-September. I have a number of books I want to get reviewed, and poets to feature, mostly because I promised them I would, and because - why I do not know - I believe that poets should be helpful to one another, and help to build a community online, given the relative indifference the wider society has to their art.
I have found blogging exhausting, and, even though we are coming up on Eyewear's 4th birthday, increasingly empty. While I am pleased to have 90 followers, my recent poll indicated I have, in any week, only around 66 people willing to vote - and, lately, most posts get 1 or no comments. Blogging is, I think, changing. Less and less rare, it is now slightly old-hat. There are newer, abbreviated ways to instantly message, and, more and more, blogs that do get readers are slicker, better edited, and, even, professional; in fact, as print media has died, blogs and online magazines have really become the new default place for journalists to go. How can Eyewear compete, and why would I want to?
I am currently completing a PhD, and dealing with various sorrows. I have a career as a teacher, and a critic, to think of, as well: the new economy is grim, and time spent on blogs is time not paid for. In a saner, fairer world, four years of Eyewear would, I assume, be lauded, or appreciated, by more than a handful of loyal, intelligent and far-flung readers - I think it's been a model of both eccentric expression and engaged fun cultural reporting, open to others and never afraid to be controversial, but never cruelly so. I feel its going will leave a small hole in the civilised discourse on poetry in the UK - but not one other blogs and bloggers won't - and can't fill. I ask you, though, dear readers, one question - aside from being a Canadian with a strong sense of purpose and some vision - what did I do in British poetry, all these years - aside from try to discover new talent and encourage it?