Nobody Reads Anymore

The basis of all these blog posts, as some of you know, is my weekly response to my required introduction to graduate writing course. This week, we read about whether or not poetry is dead. And why nobody reads poetry anymore but everyone writes it. My response this week was about what was missing in all the discussions: the role of the internet.

So instead of putting up yet another essay, this week I’m just going to share with you a few internet things I feel are worth sharing.

First, there’s this NSFW music video from Bo Burnham. I watched Burnham’s show “what.” at a friend’s house last year and immediately bought his illustrated book of poetry Egghead the next day. Burnham is someone whose career was made on and by the internet. This music video for Burnham’s song “Repeat Stuff” was released just six days ago and I love the message. Remember, this is NSFW.

Though I don’t consider myself a poet, Billy Collins is a big part of why I applied to Stony Brook’s MFA program in the first place. Before I’d ever read Collins’ poems, I saw this Ted Talk from 2012.

A friend of mine got me hooked on Broodhollow, a horror comic by Kris Straub. I can’t describe this series and I can’t recommend it enough. You might remember Straub if you remember Candle Cove, one of the creepiest short stories I’ve ever read.

Finally, I’d like to remind you all that you can still pre-order the anthology An Unlikely Companion in which my short story “An Emptiness That Burns” will appear. Use the code KOLCOW-FRIENDS at checkout to receive 30% off your order. The anthology is slated for this November.

Look at all the different things the internet provides. Just this morning I was sent a link to a poem I hadn’t read before. The poem is “Meanwhile, somewhere in the state of Colorado” by Simon Armitage. It begins:

Meanwhile, somewhere in the state of Colorado, armed to the teeth
with thousands of flowers,
two boys entered the front door of their own high school
and for almost two hours
gave floral tributes to fellow students and members of staff
beginning with red roses

You can read the entire poem at Isabel Losada’s website.

Go forth and explore, my friends. New literature and experience await you.

Edit 10/01: In a previous version of this post I called Simon Armitage Stephen. My sincerest apologies for this mix-up.


6 thoughts on “Nobody Reads Anymore

  1. Many don’t read anymore and that’s a sad fact. Bo Burnham’s video, while hilarious, is true of much of the music now but the same could be said for a lot of older music that people of my generation grew up with. We can only hope that the generation that desires songs that “repeat stuff” and that don’t bother to read and expand their horizons all grow up. And when they do, maybe they’ll discover literature of every stripe and the worlds it can open up to them.


    • A lot of great music came out this year. The new Liars album comes to mind. It’s all symptoms of a much bigger pattern of consumerism that I think my generation is coming to rebel against. At least I hope so.


      • There is always some good to be found. Music goes in cycles with fads dominating from time to time. I’ve put a lot of hope into the impact YouTube and other internet services can have in eliminating corporations from music and allowing musicians to directly reach an audience. That should open the door to a lot of worthy artists who may not otherwise find exposure. The internet (WordPress, Blogspot, etc.) may also turn the tide in favor of writers looking to expose their work to a large audience.


      • I know the internet encouraged me as a young writer. Younger writer. People who otherwise wouldn’t have had a voice now have one. It’s a good thing, and sometimes a bad thing, but I’m an insufferable optimist so I hope the good outweighs the bad.


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