These are phoenixes. Just go with it.

Poets who connect with me via Califragile or The Seldom Herd Poetry & Goat Bulletin Board recently got my invitation to join Poetry Circle, an online journal and private membership critique group for experienced poets.

Shortly after I sent said invites, that publication was sold to a developer who shut down the journal and converted the critique forum to an automated message board with ads, removing all controls that allowed writers to edit or delete their previous work (and possibly future posts), or control whether their work is seen by the public.

That developer also ended the editor status, which included me. After issuing him a legal Cease and Desist Order to get him to comply with my requests that he remove all my content from the site, I joined other former editors and long time members in planning replacement sites that could be even better than what we had before.

Why two replacements? Was there a schism?

No, nothing so dramatic. One editor, Eliot Jacobson, had set up a forum site before he ever joined PC. It allowed him to jump right in and create something quickly, as quickly as things go that take endless hours, and so we have Jump, the International Journal of Modern Poetry. I’m working with him and other former PCers on that project.

Other editors wanted to take the slow route. They formed a group and are developing a site I’ll post about soon. I’m also involved with that group. In fact, there’s broad overlap in both.

Both groups will be similar in offering a place to post your poetry, away from the public (thus not considered published, keeping writing available for future submission) so that you can give and receive feedback. Both will have a public Front Page online journal that features selections from the forums as well as poems submitted and solicited from outside the group. Both will have a broad mission along the lines of helping poets improve their writing for the purpose of publication. Both will have the sense of community we enjoyed at PC.

Although we were dismayed at the sudden sale of PC, we knew the owner wanted to step down and was considering his options. So, surprised/not surprised. The result is that the PC community is able to improve upon the model in ways we couldn’t with the former owner. We’ll be able to have better coordination between the editors and better accountability in the community, creating a safer, more focused, troll-free zone.

My purpose in writing this note is to say to my Califragile & Seldom Herd communities, stay tuned. Wonderful choices are coming!

–Wren Tuatha

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