The Poetics List


Main Poeitcs List EPC page

this is an archival page, no longer active. USE LINK ABOVE FOR CURRENT LINKS.

Poetics List Archive
Poetics Early Archive
Poetics List txt file of all archives through 2013

POETICS@, edited by Joel Kuszai, introduction by Charles Bernstein: compilation from the early list:
free epub, mobi, pdf; or via Amazon


Sponsored by: The Electronic Poetry Center (SUNY-Buffalo/University of Pennsylvania) and the Regan Chair (Department of English, Penn) & Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (Penn)

Poetics List Moderators: Joel Kuszai, Chris Alexander, Lori Emerson, and Amy King
Poetics List Publisher/Founder: Charles Bernstein

The list is archived through the EPC and at the UB Listerv archive, some posts to Poetics (especially reviews, obituary notices, announcements, etc.) may also become part of specific EPC subject areas.

Note also that Roof Books published Joel Kuszai's edited collection of the Poetics List; this is available from ROOF and also online at the EPC.

Note: this Welcome message is also available at the EPC/@Buffalo page

Archival version of this page as of Jan. 2014:

Poetics Subscription Registration (required)
poetics.list --at -- -- no longer active.

Poetics Subscription Requests:

Poetics Listserv Archive:

Poetics Post:

Note that any correspondence sent to the Poetics List administration account takes about ten days, for response; mail to this account is checked about once per week.

C O N T E N T S:
1. About the Poetics List
2. Posting to the List
3. Subscriptions
4. Subscription Options
5. To Unsubscribe
6. Cautions
7. Flaming


1. Posting to the List

Our aim is to support, inform, and extend those directions in poetry that are committed to innovations, renovations, and investigations of form and/or/as content, to the questioning of received forms and styles, and to the creation of the otherwise unimagined, untried, unexpected, improbable, and impossible. While we recognize that other lists may sponsor other possibilities for exchange, we request that those participating in this forum keep in mind the specialized and focused nature of this project and respect our decision to operate a moderated list. The Poetics List exists to support and encourage divergent points of view on innovative forms of modern and contemporary poetry and poetics, and we are committed to doing what is necessary to preserve this space for such dialog.

The Poetics List is a moderated list. Posts are limited to list subscribers. All messages are reviewed by the editors in keeping with the goals of the list as articulated in this Welcome Message. The listserv is intended to be a productive communal space for discussion and announcements; as such, subscribers who do not follow listserv policy will be removed from the subscription roll.

Please note that this list is primarily concerned with discussions of poetry and poetics. We strongly encourage subscribers to post information, including web links, relating to publications (print and internet), reading series, and blogs that they have coordinated, edited or published, or in which they appear. Such announcements constitute a core function of this list. Brief reviews of poetry events and publications (print or digital) are always welcome.

The Poetics List is not a forum for a general discussion of poetry or for the exchange of poems. Queres for contact info, messages intended for just a few subscribers, "flame" messages, and free-standing personal poems or journal entries will, in general, not be forwarded to the list.

Also, please note that the Poetics List is not a "chat" list and we discourage the posting of  very short messages intended for only a few subscribers. Personal queries and off-topic submissions will not be posted.

Send messages directly to the list address:

2. About the Poetics List

Above the world-weary horizons
New obstacles for exchange arise
Or unfold,
O ye postmasters!

With the preceding epigraph, the Poetics Listserv was founded by Charles Bernstein in late 1993. Now in its fourth incarnation, the list has over 1500 subscribers worldwide. We also have a substantial number of nonsubscribing readers, who access the list through our web site (see archive URL above).

Due to the high number of subscribers, we no longer maintain the open format with which the list began (at under 100 subscribers).

Please also note that this is a not a general interest poetry list and information about this list should not be posted to directories of  poetry lists. The idea is to keep the list membership to those with specific engagement related to the list's stated orientation.

In addition to being archived through the EPC and at the UB Listerv archive, some posts to Poetics (especially reviews, obituary notices, announcements, etc.) may also become part of specific EPC subject areas.

Note also that Roof Books published Joel Kuszai's edited collection of the Poetics List; this is available from ROOF and also online at the EPC.

3. Subscriptions

*For all subscription requests go to

*To subscribe for the first time click on "Subscribe (join) a List." Immediately following your subscription to the poetics listserv we ask that you email us at poetics.list --at --, subject-line "registration," with your full name, street address, email address, and telephone number. Failure to register at the time of subscription will result in automatic deletion from the subscription roll.

*To manage your subscription (for descriptions of the different subscription options please see section 3), click on "Subscriber's Corner."

Subscriptions to the Poetics List are free of charge, but formal registration is required. All other questions about subscriptions, whether about an individual subscription or subscription policy, should be addressed to this same administrative address.

PLEASE NOTE: All subscription-related information and correspondence remains absolutely confidential.

All posts to the list must provide your full real name, as registered. If there is any discrepancy between your full name as it appears in the "from" line of the message header, please sign your post at the bottom. Subscribers who do not include their full name with each post will be unsubscribed frorm the list.

The most frequent problem with subscriptions is bounced messages. If your system is often down or if you have a low disk quota, Poetics messages may get bounced, which will result in your subscription being automatically terminated by the Listserv program and the automatically generated message telling you that this has occurred will also likely bounce. If this happens, you may re-subscribe to the list by the same process described above. One remedy to avoid this happening in the future: set your list options to "no-mail" and read the list on the web.

4. Subscription Options

We encourage you to alter your subscription options via the link on the right side of the screen at If you would prefer not to use the web-interface, you may also email <> the following commands:

*to subscribe to the Poetics listserv send this one-line message with no "subject": sub poetics [your Firstname and Lastname]

*RECOMMENDED: if you wish to read the list on our web interface and not receive any messages sent directly, while remaining subscribed to the list and so eligible to send us posts, send this one-line message to <> with no "subject": set poetics nomail. Note: this option is also useful for temporary suspension of email service.

*to reactivate Poetics e-mail send <> this one-line message with no "subject": set poetics mail

* to receive the list in digest form (you will receive the day's individual posts in one email sent just after midnight EST), send <> this one-line message with no "subject": set poetics digest

*to receive posts in the default option (you will receive individual postings immediately), send <> this one- line message with no "subject": set poetics nodigest

* to receive the list in index form (you will receive a list, without the text of the posts, of the subjects discussed each day along with the author's name and address and the number of lines it comprises; you can also choose to have the index sent to you in either plain text or in HTML format with hyperlinks), send <> this one-line message with no "subject": set poetics nohtml index --or-- set poetics html index

PLEASE NOTE: do not leave your Poetics subscription in default or digest mode if you are going to be away for any extended period of time. Your account may become flooded and you may lose Poetics messages as well as other important mail. In such cases, switch your subscription to "nomail" as recommended above.

5. To Unsubscribe

To unsubscribe (or change any of your subscription options), again, we strongly encourage you to go to the right-hand side of the screen at You may also may unsubscribe by sending a one-line email to <> with no "subject": unsub poetics

If you are having difficulty unsubscribing, please note: sometimes your e-mail address may be changed slightly by your system administrator. If this happens you will not be able to send messages to Poetics or to unsubscribe, although you will continue to receive mail from the Poetics List. To avoid this problem, unsub using your old address, then resubscribe with your new email address.

6. Cautions

In moderating this list, the editors must consider sometimes competing interests. The basis for our decisions, however, rests with our collective judgment about the kind of space we want for the list.

All posts not only go out to list subscribers but also become a public part of the list archive on the web. Note that posting to the list is a form of publication and that by sending your message to the list you formally consent to such web publication. Posts are currently being indexed by search engines such as Google. It is not possible for us to remove posts from the list archive or to control search engine indexing of these posts.

For reasons of basic security, we do not allow pseudonymous subscriptions. All messages intended for the Poetics List should be sent in Text-Only format, without attachments. We do not accept HTML-formatted messages or attached files. As a general rule, keep individual posts to 1,000 words or less.

Please do not publish list postings without the express permission of the author. Posting on the list is a form of publication. Copyright for all material posted on Poetics remains with the author; material from this list and its archive may not be reproduced without the author's permission, beyond the standard rights accorded by "fair use" of published materials.

All material on the Poetics List remains the property of the authors; before you reproduce this material, in whole or in part, we ask that you get permission (by email is fine) from the authors. If they give permission, then we ask only that you say that the post or posts appeared originally on the Poetics List ( on [give date and say:] Used by permission of the author.

Note: Private correspondence via email and letters are always © the author and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the author. As a general rule, we will not publish posts that include such material unless they indicate that permission has been given.

We request that posters limit the number of posts they send to the list on any given day. Given that our goal is a manageable list (manageable both for moderators and subscribers), the list accepts 75 or fewer messages per day, though these paramenters may be changed at the discretion of the list moderator.

Like all systems, the listserv will sometimes be down: if you feel your message has been delayed or lost, *please wait at least one day to see if it shows up*, then check the archive to be sure the message is not posted there; if you still feel there is a problem, you may wish to contact the editors at <>.

7. Flaming
"Flame" messages will not be tolerated on the Poetics List. We define 'flaming' as any post that resembles a personal attack or personal insult to anyone--subscriber or not. This, of course, includes racist, sexist, or other slurs as well as ad hominem arguments in which the person rather than their work is attacked; in other words while critique of a person's work is welcome (critical inquiry is one of the main functions of the list), this critique cannot extend to a critique or criticism of the person.

June 2008: Refocussed List Policy
In line with our editorial focus, we do not automatically post submissions but select those we think are most useful for sustaining this online community. We appreciate all submissions, but will be more selective in what we choose to post. Queries for contact info, messages intended for just a few subscribers, messages that are not on topic, "flame" messages, and free-standing personal poems or journal entries will, in general, not be forwarded to the list.