The Cultural Society Turns Ten

The Cultural Society will be ten years old this September and I can say without a doubt that I never thought it would last this long. The original guiding policy has sustained the CultSoc ((As it has come to be known, pronounced, “cult-sōsh”)), since the start: I post what I like. In the course of time I have had the opportunity to publish some printed and/or bound work as well, always adhering to a similar, if not the same criterion. I think it has more often than not served me, my contributors, and our audience well.

Though I actively publish poetry and perform and release recorded music, I’m not in the competitive publishing or music business. This distinction is worth noting not only because it is a matter of preference but because it might explain some of the decisions I’ve made in the course of the last ten years.

The CultSoc has developed along two sometimes incompatible lines: what I would like to see at the website ((Allowing for such material’s appearance in my inbox and the limitations of available technology, whether broadly or those at my immediate disposal.)) and what I would like to see and hear in the tactile world. ((In either case, my anticipated profits equal that of the other.)) What has mattered to me is something like posterity but without the grandiose or sentimental baggage of that term. My assumption has been simple: having the CultSoc allows me to stay in touch with old friends, make new ones, present work that otherwise might not find it’s way to an audience; at bottom is the fact that if I like it, someone else might, too.

So here we are, ten years later, still enthusiastic about new work from familiar people and unfamiliar work from new people. Trends have brought a wide variety of contributions: interviews, picks, photographs, paintings, videos, music, and live performances. The majority of the CultSoc’s activity has, however, boiled down to mostly one thing and that one thing is poetry.

I think this has occurred for several reasons, some related to technological developments and their accompanying activity ((e.g. the blog boom through the last decade provided a steady flow of reviews, links, reflections, quotes; the growing ease and comfort with which we spend time online)), and some unique to poetry ((Text-based, this site has always loaded quickly over any internet connection; poets are usually solid self-promoters; the medium and its constituents are, by and large, a chatty group)).

I’m not sure there’s a whole lot to add to these thoughts except that I remain grateful to my contributors, without whom there would be far less beauty and understanding in the world. I am also grateful to the readers of this website and to those who listen to and read our recordings and publications. Your support assures us that we’re not simply casting our work into the void. And though I’m not sure being limited to such casting would keep us from carrying on with our work, it is no small comfort to know that we need not worry about it.