Welcome to The Penny Blog. Whether you're a regular reader or a first-time visitor, Penny and I are glad to have you here. We encourage you to stay for a while and have a look around, and we hope that you enjoy what you see. This note is meant to serve as a quick introduction to what our blog has to offer.
A unique feature of The Penny Blog is that, and how, we carry long poems. These are each posted over the course of a month, so that each is an entire month's archive. A reader can read either the whole poem as one continuous work (by reading that month's archive), or its constituent parts or strophes as discrete works. To date we have published four long poems this way.
The first was Penny (or Penny's Hat): a 3,000-line work by yours truly most notable for the 6,000 colours it mentions. Written in December 2009, it became the raison d'etre for creating The Penny Blog in the first place, and gave our blog its name. It was conceived as only the first of a series of Pennyworks. A second, Penny's OS (a 1,000-line piece incorporating the names of more than 2,000 computer operating systems), was posted here in June.
In February 2010, we took advantage of the copyright status of noted modernist poet Wallace Stevens (his work is under copyright in the U.S. and the European Union, but has been in the public domain in Canada since 2006) to post his 30-part magnum opus, Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction -- perhaps the only place where Notes appears on the web. This poem is still finding its audience, being discovered by more new readers every month, but has already become our most-read feature.
A second, complementary Stevens poem, the 15-part Esthetique du Mal, was published the same October.
The above are just two of the 23 George Dance poems, and two of the 20 Wallace Stevens poems, we have posted on The Penny Blog so far. Those in turn are just a fraction of the 200 poems we now carry. From centuries-old classics like Tichborne's Elegy, A Sonnet of the Moon, and To Daffodils, to the cutting-edge contemporary writing found in April magazine, we aim to bring you a representative sample of all the best in poetry -- without duplicating what you could already find in any reputed anthology or major website.
We urge you to look for all your favourite poems or poets, or to browse if you wish, either by author (here and (here) or by title. If you'd rather see what others are reading, you can find the blog's most-visited poetry on Penny's Top 100. Or you may prefer to see what's been read recently, by checking out our monthly feature, Penny's Top 20.
Besides all that poetry to read, there are a few other things to do here. The Penny Blog publishes occasional prose articles, perhaps the most interesting being an occasional series on copyright law. Prose biographies of the poets who post here is another feature we carry -- not on the blog, though, but on our companion Wiki, Penny's Poetry Pages. In many cases, reading a poet's bio is as easy as clicking a link beneath his poem.
As well, there are the planned Enhanced Editions of the Pennyworks. One of those has already been blogged: Penny's OS 2.0, in August. The 'enhancement' in this case being that every software name is a live link to a description (which can be anything from a line to a long monograph) of the software; turning the work into what may be the most comprehensive encyclopedia of operating systems online. Other enhancements, for Penny's Hat and for other works to be blogged in future, are being planned.
Finally, in case you're (like me) someone who not only likes to read poetry, but also tries to write it, you can discover how to have your own poetry published on our blog, by clicking the "Submit a Poem" link.
As always, though, the emphasis on The Penny Blog is, and always will be, on reading poetry. As publisher, I've designed the blog to cater to my own tastes as someone who likes to read good poetry. I hope your tastes are similar enough that you will enjoy our varied menu as a means of satisfying them.
George J. Dance