Now that my doctorate is done (and published elsewhere on this site), I have the opportunity to return to the DACHS work I haven't been able to spend as much time on as I would have liked ever since I began my work here in late 2003.
Below you will find a seven-part list of 325 sites I think are of some value to researchers into online Chinese literature in general and poetry in particular. However, this is in no way a final version.
Most of the necessary surfing on the web took place during July-August 2005 while I was working at the University of Reading, and, at this point, the seven-part division of the list reflects my personal research interests alone. This is reflected in the amount of work that has gone into the first two sub-lists and the use of bold typeface for sites of interest to me on the other sub-lists.
It is my intention to continue to add to this list, to add name lists of management and attached writers to each web site, to include year of establishment, and other brief relevant information. I will also attempt to translate all this into English (and 'pinyin' names) at some future date. Furthermore, as time passes, I fully expect to change the nature and titles of the sub-lists below.
It is not possible for DACHS to preserve all these sites, but - in line with the stated interests of DACHS - we will attempt to preserve sites that are vulnerable for financial (most cases) or political reasons. It is for this reason that sites are shown in bold letters, with the short-term priority given to sites attached to the Low Poetry Movement (see sub-list II). Under the usual manpower and financial restrictions, we will do all that we can do as quickly as possible.
I am preparing an extensive paper on this subject for an approved panel at the AAS in San Francisco in 2005 (if I can find the money to attend), which will be published simultaneously here on DACHS (whether I go to the AAS or not). Below is the outline:
Online Poetry and New Cultural Populism in Contemporary China
The Internet as a space for poetry production became an integral part of the poetry scene in the People's Republic of China during 1999. Www.poemlife.com and other poetry forums began to attract the attention and participation of recognized avant-garde poets, previously only interested in paper publication, official or unofficial (in self-published journals with limited circulation). Earlier, access to such forums had been largely restricted to technology-savvy, "amateur" poetry enthusiasts. Amateur / avant-garde interaction is among the factors that have led to the development of Internet writing styles. This new trend is evident in the work of those who have learnt to write poetry and/or primarily publish in Internet forums (such as the woman poet Yan Wo 燕窩). Among its features are spontaneous topicality and response, a quick "hook" that draws readers into poems, the topic of writing on the Internet itself and the new perspectives on writing and communication that this brings.
The Internet gives newcomers unprecedented, direct access to the avant-garde. They can publicly challenge established voices, and liase easily with like-minded poets, both in cyberspace and physically. An example of this is the developing "Low Poetry Movement" (低诗歌运动), which involves several online forums and associated poets and paper journals. This is not only an attack on established poetry and the recognized avant-garde, but also on the emergent E-avant-garde, such as the Poemlife website and associated poets, among other targets. Women poets have also taken advantage of the Internet to reach a larger readership in establishing forums devoted exclusively to women poets and poetry: Wings (翼) and The Woman’s Poetry Paper (女子诗报), both unofficially published poetry journals.
This paper offers a rough guide to the new territory of Internet poetry, and explores how it stimulates poetic developments in China at large.
I hope to be able to present you, our readers, with a new improved version of the list below on a monthly basis. In the meantime, any and all comments and suggested additions are welcome.