Interesting conversation going on, I'm trying to catch up. I did note that there's a bit of talk here about the role of the internet in women's lives and she's talking about Niederngasse which I've been working for off and on for some time now.
For me the 'net has been a bridge over a chasm which I thought for many years was impassible. I remember the smell of peanut butter and a sense that something essential was missing from my life. I had not been writing; I had been nursing babies and cleaning up spilled juice from sippy cups. I had not been reading other than "Good Night Moon" and "Hop on Pop."
Then one night, I found the 'net. I found conversation about poetry, I found people posting drafts of poetry, I found people willing to comment on my own poetry, I found places to submit. I had no idea of "po-biz" or book contests, or publication stats; I don't know that anyone was blogging yet.
It was the time of the on-line workshop. I workshopped, I critiqued, I grew less hurt by criticism, I learned to take what was important and leave what wasn't. I met a few poets, many of whom you can find on my blog-roll. My writing improved, my understanding of craft improved, my desire to read skyrocketed.
Much of my poetry life, still is here in the virtual world. But I'm finishing graduate school this year,and this is a step I'd probably never taken if it had not been for the support and encouragement of the writers I've met on the web. We move so often that I've never been able to build a group of writers to work with "off-line" but my friends are still here on-line, still accessible with a few keystrokes. Workshop takes dedication and time to spend thinking other poems in progress. Since I'm in school, it's a luxury I don't currently have. I started my blog to have a place to talk about poetry and poetics. Sometimes others join the conversation. Mostly I put my words on the screen and readers visit like ghosts.
I wish the PW article would have talked about how important the web can be for women; how the web has been the bridge between a world of toddlers and a world of letters; how women have been able to participate in the conversation that we might have otherwise missed. Maybe that's the article we should write.