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Topics - Rick Hurst

I am writing this as a Warning to anyone considering workshopping on Inkstone Poetry. Until recently I have been the Tech Administrator there for the last 7 years. Inkstone started out as a wonderful place to be sure but some things have changed over the years. Respect for the integrity of another's poem has slowly morphed into a free-for-all with no enforcement or consequence. I will illustrate.

Recently a new member posted a poem for workshopping with intent to afterwards submit for publication. The next day another poet lifted the first poet's main image, posted that poem, received praise and promptly submitted it before the first poet's poem was finished wotkshopping, let alone submitted. Needless to say the first poet was rightly put off feeling that she could no longer submit her poem. She asked the Head Moderator for help and  was told there was nothing they (the mods) could do. Further, she was told that Inkstone had no problem with what was done. That "too close" is is too nebulous to define or enforce. That riffing off each others poems is not only OK on Inkstone but encouraged.

The offended poet happened to be a former Poet Laureate of the US Library of Congress and a damn good poet. Her expectation of workshopping on Inkstone with confidentiality and respect for the integrity of her poem was dashed and she was rightly horrified at what happened. She doesn't know it because she stopped logging in to Inkstone but I became quite vociferous in the treatment she received and the now liberal policies of Inkstone allowing such direct lifting of ideas and images of another's poem without consequence. In the end I was relieved of my duties for being unrelentlng and suspended for 30 days. I do not intend to return under the current circumstances.

If anyone intends to workshop on Inkstone please beware of the possibility that your original idea, image or phrase may be "lifted" from your poem by another and used without consequence. It has happned to me several times but I remained quiet. When I witnessed it happen this last time I was outraged not for myself, but that it happened the way it did to this fine poet, damaging Inkstone's name and reputation.
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