Poetry Superhighway

Poetry Superhighway linkDouble-scoop on the great poetry places on the web this week. Rick Lupert has been hosting one of the longest running poetry readings in the LA area since 1994 (That would be the Cobalt Cafe for those of you close enough to drop in on a Tuesday night), and building and maintaining the Poetry Superhighway since 1997. PSH is one of the first poetry sites that I remember on the web – and I”ve been online reading and writing poetry in one venue or another since about 1994 myself. In those years, Rick has grown the Poetry Superhighway into a resource that links poets to each other beyond even the borders of cyberspace.

The site itself is bare bones and spare looking – no fancy flash animations, no fancy-shmancy sidebars. What there is is lots and lots of poetry – and lots and lots of ways for poets to connect with one another. Which makes sense, given that the mission of the Poetry Superhighway is …

to expose as many people to as many other people”s poetry as possible.

And Rick Lupert has come up with some novel and fun ways to do that. Take, for instance, the Poetry Superhighway”s annual Great Poetry Exchange. Once a year, Rick puts out the call for poets to ante up one copy of their books of poetry and promise to send it to one other poet in exchange for getting one book of poetry sent to them by one other random poet. Once the deadline for expressing interest in participating is past, Rick personally contacts each poet with the contact details of the poet to whom they should send their book. That”s it. It”s that simple – and that simply brilliant. This year, 137 poets will be sending their books to another poet. Most people aren”t even aware that there are 137 poets out there with their own books — but Rick is getting them to exchange poetry and get to know each other.

If ONE book of poetry isn”t enough for you, you can start marking off the days to the next Great Poetry E-Book Free-for-All… another of PSH”s brilliantly simple ideas to get people reading each others” poetry. Throughout April of this year, PSH collected e-books from poets and writers who wanted to take part in the biggest poetry ebook giveaway to date. On May 1, those 75 ebooks were available for download free to anyone in the world. No catches, no limits – except your bandwidth. Any person in the world was free to download as many of the 75 poetry books as they wanted.

Those are just a few of the projects that PSH has started in the past 9 years, most of them still active and ongoing. Those are in addition to the hundreds of links to individual poets” pages, the years of archived poetry, the weekly Poet of the Week and the annual Poetry Superhighway Contest. You can submit your poetry for consideration, read others or look at pictures of Rick and his wife (and their new house and one year old garden) at Poetry Superhighway. Everyone is welcome. Step off the road for a while and relax on the superhighway.


  • Karen Greiner

    How many e-books of one book of poetry can you order at a time from my poetic side. Karen L. Greiner

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