Where the Writers Are

Red Room is live, well … beta testing.

If you haven’t heard about this project, it’s a social and creative network for writers. Based in San Francisco, they’ve rounded up some significant literary luminaries, such as Maya Angelou, Amy Tan, James Patterson, Clive Barker, Candace Bushnell, and Khaled Hosseini, Alice Walker, and Salman Rushdie, among others. The site features blogs, videos, podcasts, and the creators promise to roll out new community features in the upcoming weeks.

While I’ve read in articles that demand for Red Room is off the charts, I’m skeptical about how vital and robust the community with be. With 16 authors listed un the poetry genre, many of the initial blog posts are quotes pulled from old magazine articles. How active will these authors be to foster community?

If you’re a featured author, however, it’s a great place to promote your work.

Since this is a new venture, I hope Red Room finds a rhythm to succeed, because it would be interesting to hear from Maya Angelou about contract negotiations, or what Ishmael Reed thinks about the current state of poetry in the U.S.—that’s the down and dirty stuff I want to know as a writer. Anyone can join, so check it out.


Oddly enough, when red room was that mansion, I didn't quite understand what it was...now I understand it even less...I just browsed for an hour and i have no idea what I am suppose to do while in there...
Finding that poetry "community" certainly isn't easy--either online or in life, is it? I just wanted to peek out from my blogging hiatus to let you know (if you didn't already) that I picked your poem on Literary Mama as my favorite of 2007 (and it was mentioned there in the round-up along with a few others). And, to keep letting you know how fabulous you are--I wasn't the only editor at the magazine who mentioned "The Ripe Time". Great work, January...I hope 2008 is filled with more poetic blossoming for you!
PDW said…
thanks for alerting us to this potential resource, although i agree with your initial impressions and also with PWADJ. right now it seems like an archive, not like a living breathing creature as those of us who blog know the internet/website can be.

it brought to mind a question for me about you: how do you stay so informed about the contemporary poetry world .... are you in a secret club? :) i'm curious. i seem to stumble upon things like this by accident and certainly could use more practical sources of news/information.

January said…

(I hope your foot is OK.)

I agree. I was there for a bit but still couldn't figure out what they are trying to accomplish.

As for poetry news, no secret club. I go to the Poetry Hut blog run by Jilly Dybka. I also check the Poetry Foundation's news feed. And PWADJ has great info, too.
January said…
Delia, Wow, that's quite an honor, and quite a pick-me-up because I'm a little sad and blue about the PoBiz. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I've been an absentee blogger the last two weeks, so I'll go and check out Literary Mama!

Wishing you the best for 2008!
January said…
Melissa, the whole idea is suspect, but I hope it works.
Thomas Dotson said…
My name is Thomas Dotson and I’m the Community Manager for Red Room. Thanks so much for blogging about us! It seems a few people had some questions that I am happy to answer.

The Red Room Writers Society and Redroom.com are separate entities. The Writer Society is an in-person writing program founded in 2002. It was and still is a place for writers to get together and finish writing those books they've been putting off. Redroom.com is a new online community where authors and readers can engage in intelligent conversation about the issues they care about. Right now much of that conversation is taking place in our blogs: http://www.redroom.com/blogs , the newest post being from award winning author Amy Tan.

January is quite right; it really isn’t clear what to do when you first arrive at Red Room, besides posting blog comments and writing book reviews. We will be launching many new features soon, including places for members to post their writing, ways to connect with peers and the authors on the site, get advice and support, and find great new works, including poetry. If anyone knows of any poets they would like to see become a part of Red Room, please email me at: thomasdotson@redroom.com we will be happy to contact them to see if they are interested in joining.

Have a Great New Year!!!

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