In previous years, year-end reports from Poetry & Popular Culture have been private affairs sent almost exclusively to our investors. Things are proceeding differently for the 2010 year-end report, however. Acting in concert with our marketing consultant (who hopes to see P&PC land on as many "Best of 2010" lists as possible), the P&PC Board of Directors has mandated that the 2010 year-end report be made available to the public. In the interest of transparency and accountability, then, the following document is hereby released.
During the 2010 calendar year, Poetry & Popular Culture not only experi- enced certain milestones—including our 45,000th unique visitor and our 70,000th page view—but saw a marked increase in site traffic from the previous year: 29,374 unique visitors accessed P&PC in 2010, compared with 20,280 in 2009. Accordingly, individual page views went up as well, from 26,710 in 2009 to 39,653 in 2010. Stated in terms of percentage increase, P&PC experienced a 44.8% increase in unique visitors from 2009 to 2010, and a 48.4% increase in page views. Some of this increase can be attributed to the current culture-wide craze for zombies and, therefore, also for zombie haiku (see below). However, this does not explain the sudden growth entirety. While consumer confidence in the retail marketplace remained lethargic, confidence in P&PC appears to have gone up. We do not think the correspondence is an incidental one.
Much of P&PC's success in 2010 can be attributed to guest opinions and guest postings. (That's Edgar Guest pictured to the left, though he has yet to do any guest posting for P&PC.) While contributions from P&PC's home office in Salem, Oregon, remained popular and clearly played an important part in sustaining reader interest and attention, some of the year's most successful postings came from P&PC correspondents around the country including Ce Rosenow, Melissa Girard, and Angela Sorby, to whom the entire P&PC organization remains grateful. The top 10 most visited postings in 2010 were:
1. The Book of the Undead, Part One: Ce Rosenow Reviews Ryan Mecum's Zombie Haiku
2. Assassins and Outsiders: The Obscurity of Popular Poetry
3. Poetry & Popular Culture Heroes: An Interview with Jim Buckmaster of Craigslist
4. Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Asshole, and the Haiku of Fight Club
5. Slam, Spoken Word, and the Democratization of Poetry: Melissa Girard Reviews The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry
6. A Picture of Our Poets
7. Poetry & Popular Culture Heroes: Firefly, Sci-Fi, & the Latterday Chronicles of Lewis Turco
8. Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, and John Keats
9. Robert Frost's Christmas Cards
10. Herman Munster, Pragmatic Beatnik: A Guest Posting by Angela Sorby
Next, in moving beyond the quantitative aspect of this report, we would like to present a series of more subjective and even anecdotal pieces of praise and critical acclaim that P&PC received this year. These items are not meant to be an exhaustive account of such correspondence but a sampling:
"The only legitimate poetry blog around." — Ernest Hilbert, author of Sixty Sonnets and former editor of Contemporary Poetry Review
"My first stop for the news that stays news!" — Meredith Martin, Princeton University
"Almost all of the posts on Poetry & Popular Culture are things I skim with plans to go back and read when I have the time." — Ryan Mecum, author of Zombie Haiku, Vampire Haiku, and Werewolf Haiku
"I'm glad to know about this blog/site." — Robert Pinsky, former U.S. Poet Laureate and founder of the Favorite Poem Project
"This is the most positive ad-verse environment I've ever worked in!" — Sally the Stenographer
"One of my new favorite poetry bloggers." — Stephen Burt, Harvard University
"I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of Poetry & Popular Culture. I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that Mike Chasar has yet contributed." — Angela Sorby, author of Schoolroom Poets: Childhood, Performance, and the Place of American Poetry, 1865-1917
"It made me more popular just reading it." — Bartholomew Brinkman, co-editor of The Modern American Poetry Site
"Everybody should be reading the newsy and fun P&PC." — Desperately Seeking Salem
Finally, we would like to conclude with an expression of thanks to all who wrote, researched, read, oversaw, audited, guided, photocopied, paper shredded, designed, litigated, marketed, promoted, computed, and otherwise worked to make P&PC the success that it was in 2010. The Board is grateful for your ongoing and generous involvement and wishes you even more success in 2011.