Are You a Notable Poet? Well, Are You?
What a silly question: Are you notable?
But then again . . . I wrote a couple days ago that someone out there in the world created an entry on Wikipedia about me. Here’s the page:
I wasn’t surprised that almost as soon as it went up, it went down. And I didn’t think much more about it, until I started reading the reasons why people wanted it taken down. Go to this article’s entry to read the comments to delete the entry and the comments to keep the entry.
The whole thing struck me as rather funny. And I thought they’d decide to take it down and all would be back to Wiki normal, but then I read Lytton Smith’s comments this afternoon to keep the entry up, and it occurred to me that there is an interesting question here. A little searching, and I discovered that very few poets have pages. That should change.
The Wikipedia people (whomever they are) have certain objective criteria a poet has to meet to be considered notable enough for a Wikipedia entry. Those criteria seem to include the "size" of the press that poet is published with, what awards (and what kind of awards) the poet has won, and how many acticles (and in what kind of publications) have been written on that poet.
What do we think of those criteria? In short, how does the culture guage poets? What, in the end, are any of us worth? And then, honestly, what makes a poet “notable” to other poets and the readers of poetry?
It’s quite fascinating.
Your National Poetry Month Homework:
I suggest that everyone put a bio up on Wikipedia. It can be a bio for yourself, or for someone you think should be up there. This weekend, I intend to put a bio up for Martha Ronk, who is, by anyone’s standards, notable. I didn’t (despite what one of the commentators intimated) put my entry up, so I don’t know how difficult it is, but I’m guessing it’s not very.