Ezines have a better chance of survival since there are not really a lot of costs involved. This only applies if the editors of the magazines build the sites themselves. If they have to pay those professional webmasters, they might as well pay a printer and stay stuck in the 19th Century or something. Publicity for ezines work out cheap as they link to each other and poets appearing in them who have their own websites list the web address for their own visitors to click on. The only risk to the survival of an ezine really is the reluctance that still exists among many poets to send their work to a young one that the commitment of the editors for the long haul are yet to be determined. The big ones like 2River View, Timbooktu or Stirring have been around for years and are spoilt for choice of materials. What these online magazines have shown is that ezines are not just flames in the wind, they can dig in just as deep as their print counterparts and sometimes outlive them. But then, since most editors of ezines run them for the love of the art and not for money which poetry never pretends to provide anyway, the chances of untimely death are not very high.

Originally, the skepticism towards ezines was such that the international standard numbering agencies would not even assign ISSN numbers to them. There was also the fear of theft. Many poets feel worried about their poems appearing on the Internet and being available to millions of readers from all over the world. But then writings have been stolen from printed journals before. The onus falls on the author to takes steps of protecting their copyrights before submitting them to anyone--print or electronic. Libraries are changing too, now initiating digital archiving systems, which are in fact more suited to the electronic publication. In addition to this, ezines are now actually encouraged to print and bind limited hard copies of their publications for the libraries. This does not only give a traditional feel to new age publications, but actually makes it possible for poets to have access to hard copies of their publications. This is something Sentinel Poetry plans to do twice a year. After every six issues, we will release a volume of collected magazines. Sentinel Poetry: Collected Magazines Vol. 1 (Dec.2002--May 2003) is already planned for September/October 2003. Every poet who has contributed to the magazine as well as the major libraries will all receive a copies.

Although we all pray for the continued survival of the small press publication, it is inevitable that the ezine will eventually take its pride of place in poetry publishing history. Right now technological dinosaurs fear it like the business community feared the fax machine, the e-mail and online credit card payment systems, but they will come around and embrace the future. Resistance is futile.

Nnorom Azuonye
London, UK
May 1, 2003

Have a great time with Sentinel Issue 6.
To begin the experience Click Here. Or Go back to Cover

Some recommended ezines apart from Sentinel Poetry:

http://www.2river.org also features a list and links to fantastic ezines.