Friday, February 25, 2005

Asian American Poets and the Blogosphere

The blogosphere has demographics of its own. I have noticed that there are many Asian-American poets in the blogosphere. There are oodles of Asian-American poet-bloggers, relatively speaking. That is no accident. Because Asian-Americans (arguably) have a relatively high socioeconomic status and because there is a correlation between socioeconomic status and Internet use, proportionately more Asian-Americans use the Internet and thus there are proportionately more Asian-American bloggers and poet-bloggers vis-a-vis the general population. Also, bloggers tend to be younger, and Asian-Americans are a more youthful population, which partly accounts for the fair number of Latino poet-bloggers as well.

Plus, with both Latino Americans and Asian Americans, some ethnic groups fair better than others socioeconomically and there is a wide spectrum of relative wealth and poverty. For example, the lack of Cambodian-American or Thai-American poet bloggers and poets must have some relation to the group's relatively lower socioeconomic status, which has deprived such groups of access to the Internet and blogosphere (of course, the Internet and blogosphere not exactly being the barest of essentials).

At any rate, I have noticed the lack of African-American poet-bloggers, which on the one hand, is not surprising given the relatively lower level usage of the Internet of African-Americans as a group. But on the other hand, given the fact that there are plenty of middle and upper class African-Americans and African American poets as well, one might find the dearth of African-American poet-bloggers unusual. (The disclaimer here is that I may be totally off-base in this observation, but I don't recall any African-American poet-bloggers, or at least poet-bloggers that have openly proclaimed that they are African-American). There are also the anonymous blogs -- in poetry and elsewhere. I often find it difficult to read anonymous blogs without forming some mental impression of the blogger as well -- at least in terms of gender but perhaps of race, ethnicity, etc. as well. But they really could be anyone demographically.


Blogger Neil Aitken said...

C. Dale Young comes to mind as probably the most prominent and prolific African-American poet-blogger. You might want to check out his blog, Avoiding the Muse.

He's a doctor, a fine poet, and the poetry editor of New England Review. His posts provide insightful accessways into both worlds of poet and editor.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Roger Pao said...

Hey Neil, thanks for the post! I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that C. Dale Young is 1/4 Asian, 1/4 Latino, and 1/2 Caucasian. I think he's posted about being mistaken for African-American on his blog before.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Neil Aitken said...

Roger, I stand corrected. Photos are tricky things - so are names. I'm frequently mistaken for Filipino or Latino. I guess your point stands -- I can't think of anyone else who might fit that description.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Ray Craig said...

Roger, I came across your blog today via one link to another re
Asian-American poets. I am 1/2 Japanese & 1/2 Caucasian (Scott-Irish...born and raised in Japan.
My blog reflects daily working notes (source material for poems)
and actual completed poems. Is their a forum like the poeticlist
for Asian-American poets?
Ray Craig

4:36 PM  
Blogger Roger Pao said...

Hello Ray,

I'm glad you're reading and thanks for posting! Actually, I have a couple posts in Archives about biracialism and HAPAs in Asian-American poetry.

There is no forum like poeticlist for Asian American poets. Whether that's good or bad is open to debate. I'm also pretty sure that there is no such poetry forum for "women" poets or specifically for poets of any race/ethnicity.

5:35 AM  
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