PFFA has a talk with itself about itself here and here. Many nuances, of course, but the basic division does not seem to me to be about the overall tell it like it is, not for the faint-hearted ethos of PFFA, but over fairly specific questions of feedback phrasing and delivery. I think. I must say I’m firmly on the if you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen side of things, but it’s good to see PFFA debating such things in so lively a fashion.

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Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

10 thoughts on “PFFA on PFFA”

  1. “Heat” protected by a delete key is a tyranny. ‘Cause the “heat” only need be ‘stood’ by the abused. As soon as heat comes back toward the tyrant it’s met with adolescent tricks and the deletion of posts, the banning of “complete tossers”. PFFA is a collection of bullies with delete keys applying “heat” to a collection of masochists who then glory in the knowledge their “poetry” has improved because of the abuse. It’s ugly to watch. That heat and kitchen horse manure is just that, horse shit thrown from behind the tower wall by “moderators” who wouldn’t last ten minutes without their precious rules to hide behind. And that’s OK. The S&M crowd need clubhouses too, you know.

    Swinburne would have loved it there.


  2. beau,

    Look, if a site were uniformly offputting, no one would post there. Whatever its weaknesses, PFFA keeps attracting new members, and despite a steady stream of dustups, the site also seems to retain a rather sizable core membership that keeps coming back for more.

    People who have problems with PFFA’s approach and/or quality migrate to a host of other boards, start their own sites, or dispense with the whole exercise altogether. It’s a big, free, voluntary world out there, and we’re talking about workshops, not publishing houses; there’s no market to corner, not one of these sites holds the keys to any kingdom, and there are practically no barriers to entry.

    So what exactly is the problem here?

  3. sefton,

    The problem? Beats me, I don’t care. Nic and Julie started the threads. I just wandered in. Seems they’re close to revolt in zombie-land. Or at least there are members questioning authority, I suspect. I think the “complete tossers” are losing again. It’s just a guess.

    What’s sizable? 800? 10,000? 16, 20K? 250K?

    So tell me, sefton, you like Swinburne?


  4. Hey Julie, Blue — I think Sefton has nailed it. No-one has to be part of PFFA if they don’t want to be. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it holds no monopoly and there are plenty of other good options out there. Why not live and let live?

    C.E. Chaffin — done! Thanks again for your responses. Nic

  5. Ho hum. This discussion is just so … so juveile, peeps.

    Here we are, quibbling about what people do on a lowly bulletin board, when we could be talking about cultural elitism?

    Geez Louise, people. Grow on up. Leave the teenybopping for boppers. Join the adults. Get a subject already.


  6. Sefton, Blue — many thanks for joining the discussion. I just deleted your last two comments as they had nothing to do with the subject at hand plus contained terminology that, once it got to the search engines, would be likely to bring all sorts of unwelcome accidental traffic to this blog. Please feel free to continue the discussion here of workshops in general and PFFA in particular, if so moved.

    Scavella — ain’t that cultural elitism discussion something?! I haven’t quite worked out what I think about the whole thing, and not sure if I’ll get that far.

    All best, Nic

  7. At this point, having followed the discussions over at Julie’s and in cyberspace, I’m feeling it’s about time we live and let live, to be honest.

    But if you’re seriously thinking about poetry and theory and its place and so on, I thought the cultural elitism discussion would interest you.

  8. Scavella — I’m surprised you see this as a discussion unrelated to the cultural elitism discussion. Poetry workshops — why you have them, who you welcome into them, how they operate, what they achieve, who does not use them and why — are in my view all part of the same discussion. Unfortunately, the workshop discussion at this time seems to have been booby-trapped (as I see it) by ancient baggage and personal politics of which, being a relative newcomer, I know nothing. I get flashes of clarity, but not enough to disentangle them from the whole and not enough to make pushing forward with the discussion a pleasurable option at this point, unless the historical background gets laid out transparently. Definitely something to revisit, though. Good to hear from you, Nic

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