Website Wars 5: de la paz VS realuyo

this is kind of a random battle, but both poets’ books happen to be next to each other on the bookshelf at the moment, so there you go. you remember the rules:

which author website do you like better and why? or, if you are not into competitions, tell us one thing you like about each. or, if you havent had your morning coffee yet, tell me one thing you dont like about each. how would you describe each website’s “personality quotient?”

let the battle begin!





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8 thoughts on “Website Wars 5: de la paz VS realuyo

  1. this week’s contest has got me thinking about professionalism in the writing world: what is it? what does it mean?

    oliver de la paz’s site is very clean and very professional. what do i mean by professional here? i mean that his site functions as a stand-in for a cv, in the academic poet model. i’m not saying “academic poet” in a disparaging way like some, just that de la paz is a poet who teaches at a university and his mode of presentation is pitched toward more of an official academic audience, an official arts organization audience. there’s a pattern and a standard of etiquette here almost, where the author keeps the official author site very contained and largely free of personal info, and sends visitors off to his blog for more of an informal, personal take. it’s like drawing a clean boundary between work and personal life. except that for writers it’s kinda all work, isn’t it? so maybe i really mean a boundary between official work life and unofficial work life.

    bino realuyo’s site is, in a word, generous. i have to say, he’s fulfilled the vision i’ve had in the back of my mind of a site where the author speaks directly, personally, and compassionately to his readers and shares all about what’s meaningful to him. there is so much here that he shares–his feelings about his books, what he was thinking when he wrote them, how he went about getting them published, what publication has meant for him–i wanted to settle into his site as if into a warm comfy armchair and read everything he put up on his pages. it doesn’t feel like he’s drawing a boundary between his author self and his personal self, and that is very refreshing and rewarding for me as a reader. so does this mean his site is less professional? from the academic standpoint, maybe yes. from the trade publishing standpoint, i think no. because his novel was the kind of novel that random house thought would be able to reach a wide audience, and because it was widely well-received and reviewed, he is able to assume a certain level of professionalism in the literary marketplace and doesn’t need to “prove” it, except maybe by quoting from the various trade reviews on his home page.

    is this about differences between publishing fiction vs. publishing poetry? the expectations of the academy vs. the expectations of the trade marketplace? i think partly yes. the other part is about choice, about how authors choose different models and philosophies for their careers and work from the various constraints and opportunities that they find there.

  2. roz,

    do your insights ever end? i like what you say about oliver’s website. when i first saw it, i thot it was way too sparse, way too dull. but i see your point about it being professional–for a specific audience.

    with bino’s site, generous is the word! i def too appreciate how personal the site is–your comfy chair analogy is fun. my critique of the site is that it feels a bit overdone…overgenerous perhaps. pages felt really hard to read–just so busy and so much going on.

    i esp like your last paragraph…dif between genre, dif btwn expectation, dif btwn personality. so much to think about. i fear i may have to delete my blog once i’m on the market for an academic job.

    anyhoo, thanks so much for commenting!


  3. i hope you do not delete yr blog once you start yr job hunt. the blogs are some of the last places where thinking gets done out loud and i’m always sad when good bloggers have to fold to the expectations of academia. but i guess that is an occupational hazard!

  4. roz, occupational hazard indeed! haha.

    oliver, cant wait to see the new website! apparently cathy park hong is also making a new website…we will have a battle between the two when they are done. and yeah, you & your work are way too interesting for a boring website 🙂


  5. Well, here’s what I think about my own site–it’s too dedicated to the look of one book. So, ideally, I want my website to be able to grow with (hopefully) a growing catalog. Also, I’ve got a presence in Facebook, twitter, and the blog, so I want to be able to encompass these things as well.

    My site designer made me take a survey, which was interesting. More soon. 😉

  6. a survey? how interesting. you know, i didnt make the connection btwn site design & book design, but it makes total sense. i wonder how many author sites are based around a specific book…whether it’s one first book or most recent. hmm. but i def like the idea of a site growing with one’s catalog. well, esp now that your third book is also coming out. i havent figured out yet how to connect facebook & blog. anyhoo.


  7. dear oliver de la paz,

    good luck on yr surveys and site redesign, and please give us more of yr beautiful poems!

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