PJ Nights
Ray Sweatman

Prior to the latest turn of the century, poetry for me was fifth grade haiku and a Victorian poetry class in college. Around the year 2000, with my new pink iMac and access to the internet, poetry came alive! Through various clubs, listservs and bulletin boards, I found people who wrote creatively – all the time! – like breathing or laughing, and not like the occasional, laborious birthing of a baby. Poems became dynamic creatures linked to their authors. Some poets wrote directly “into the box” (a spontaneous spurt of words posted immediately to the internet) or first in a word processor, incubating and editing before posting, or a combination of both. Onlookers could watch poems grow and morph, they could comment, critique, applaud or hiss – poetic conversations became much more possible.

It was through such a poetic conversation, between me, a Mainer, and Californian John Eivaz, that the website, from east to west : bicoastal verse, came to be. We first dipped into the web by pairing our own individual poetry and collaborations with art, but soon felt the limits of these borders. All over online and local communities, we were reading stuff astounding in smart, sexy, poignant, and gasp-inducing ways! In the spring of 2004, we began a featured poet section and have since included over 100 additional poets, writers, and photographers whose work we “applaud.”

When John moved on to new projects, Ray Sweatman joined me as editor with the Winter ’07 issue. from east to west is no longer a personal website, but a journal in pdf format as of Fall ’07. I look forward to working with many more artists and poets in the years to come!

PJ Nights

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