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“We’re Desperate for these Conversations”

     The “spoken word” tour of the blogosphere continues.  Here is the poet and provocateur Jim Behrle’s walk around the blog landscape–for poets.  You can check Jim’s own blog (as I do, every few hours) at Jim’s Monkey.  Jim is master of the revels at the Wordsworth bookstore in Harvard Square, also a Red Sox fan, a skillful writer in many modes, a well-known literary connector.  His blog runs from the borderline offensive to the lyrical.  It’s always on, often hilarious, plugged in to hundreds of other blogging poets.  So he seemed like the right guy to check the pulse of electronic poetry half-hidden behind the bookshelves in the heart of academe.

     The atmosphere of poetic blogspace is different from, shall we say, the Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.  It feels, as I said to Jim in conversation, like the back of the classroom in junior high school: the place where the liberated, funny,  cool, dangerous, expressive cats hang out rather noisily.  But it’s also amazingly populous, energized, connected, confident, full of its own vision.  So what is it like living there? How can the very deliberate distillations that go into a poem–the deliciously slow transformation of language and life that draw us to poetry in the first place–be delivered  and absorbed at hyperlink speed? Or have we started an altogether new game?

     There will be more of this tour next week, and you can help me sharpen it up.  Eugene Volokh of the esteemed Volokh Conspiracy will walk me through his space on Monday.  I told him I want to ask: How is this famous fount of legal opinions to be compared with: a law firm?  a law school?  a law review?  Lawyer’s Weekly?  Who do you reach?  Who will you reach a year from now?  Is there money in it?  Are we having fun? 

   Please email me ( if you have your own questions for Eugene Volokh or if you’d like to join the conversation yourself. 

{ 22 } Comments

  1. Anonymous | July 13, 2003 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    listened to your conversation this morning, cut it up and blogged it here:
    looking forward to more audio from you.

  2. Anonymous | July 13, 2003 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    RAHA, if loosely translated, means freedom or independence. We are a group of independent writers belonging to different countries, communities, creeds, castes, religions, races, languages and sexes. Our prime objective is to fight for freedom — the freedom to read, write and speak what one thinks is right.

    RAHA professes — and gives its members, well wishes and compatriots — absolute freedom of the spoken and the written word. We endeavor to support independent writers from all parts of the world, while opposing any kind of censorship or suppression.

    We seek your support to fight for this noble cause. You can help RAHA by contributing your work — be it poetry, fiction, non-fiction, critique, you name it — provided it is of quality and is committed to a cause.
    Please announce RAHA we site to work better.
    We invite you to join RAHA by quoting Giannes Ritsos’ poetic line:

    The peace is the library

  3. Anonymous | July 14, 2003 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Chris I hope/trust you won’t be limiting yourself to just bloggers. Jon Krakauer will be doing a book reading on Thurs. July 17. I would love to hear you interview him before, during or after the event.

  4. Anonymous | July 14, 2003 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Chris here is a link to Jon reading at Wardsworth

  5. Anonymous | July 18, 2003 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I have always been a bit at odds with Chris’ foreign policiy analysis going back for years. I am simply more hard nosed, center-Left and wary of the Far-Left foreign policy worldview.

    But this has never stopped me from appreciating Lydons’ amazing talk shows and his rare ability to converse intellectually, passionately and almost musically all at once.

    I like the title of this blog-section: “We desperately need more of these conversations.”

    This could aptly be reapplied to Chris himself and his widely missed on-air dialogues.

    There is a hunger out there in our nation for what Lydon had to offer.

    And we desperately need more of his conversations.

    Phil Murray

  6. Anonymous | July 25, 2003 at 2:08 pm | Permalink


    I think Chris should keep his blogger concentration, at least until he gets a critical mass and recognition. There are over a million bloggers to choose from, and the blogger/politics connection should last up through the Democratic Convention next year when Chris should be our BlogRadio man-on-the-convention-floor, don’t you think?

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  18. dizi | May 15, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Please email me ( chris at if you have your own questions for Eugene Volokh or if you’d like to join the conversation yourself.

  19. ocala realestate | June 8, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Very poet words…”very deliberate distillations that go into a poem–the deliciously slow transformation of language…”

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    We are extremely desperate for exquisite and breitling related conversations

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    The commenting has slowed down of late

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