What is






p U R L

(Version 1.0.1b, 2 Feb 1998)

Publications of the britPo List

0 What is pURL?

0.1) pURL is a simple publishing institution* mediated through the British Poets discussion list <british-poets@mailbase.ac.uk; mailbase server: mailbase@mailbase.ac.uk>. It is designed to allow List members and others to submit poetic texts for reading, comment and possible publication (on majority recommendation), by a randomly rotating triumvirate of self-/arbitrarily selected volunteer readers.

    *pURL is an writerly editorial hybrid, an experiment in open, arbitrary, obstructed, chance-modulated critical engagement and publication within a networked region of the field of poetic writing.
0.2) Initially, pURL will be administered by John Cayley. All queries, submissions, readers’ and other correspondence should be addressed to him at:

0.3) As will be clear from the procedures outlined below, Cayley’s role is primarily administrative. However, he reserves the right to make occasional, minimal, arbitrary editorial interventions, only in the sense that he may solicit individual volunteer readers, and may revise and republish these guidelines from time to time.

1 pURL Readers

1.1) Anyone may volunteer to be a reader.

1.2) Once you have volunteered, you will agree to remain on the list of readers for at least 3 months, and to read, comment on and recommend (or not) all texts you are sent for potential publication by pURL.

1.3) Readers will agreee to allow the publication of their comments and/or criticism for all recommended work. If they do not recommend publication of a particular work, they will indicate whether they are happy to have their comments published: a) to the (britPo) List, b) on the pURL website, and/or c) passed on to the writer of the submitted work.

1.4) Readers will send their comments and recommendations to the pURL administrator, NOT directly to the (britPo) List. This will allow them to choose to remain anonymous if they wish. They should clearly state whether they wish to retain anonymity each time they return a set of comments (i.e. they may choose to ‘de- or re-cloak’ at any time).

1.5) pURL Readers may also submit texts to pURL, and are, in fact, positively encouraged to do so. If a reader submits, they remain a potential reader, even of their own work, since three readers are selected randomly for each submission. (At the time of writing, this means that readers have a one-in-fourteen chance of reading something they submit. This also means that pURL will provide the occasional ‘writers-own’ explanations/apologias/interpretations/criticisms.)

2 pURL Submissions

2.1) Anyone may submit a text to:


2.2) Texts sent to any other address risk being ignored (by pURL, in any case). In particular DO NOT send submissions for pURL to the (britPo) List address.

2.3) The text must be in electronic form, but any web-publishable material will be read and considered. If the layout/visual aspect of the piece is crucial and may be altered/corrupted by transmission or delivery media, hard copy may be sent, on application, to the administrator as a guide.

2.4) Submissions will not be acknowledged (admin. of this institution will be kept to an absolute minimum). The administrator will not necessarily enter into any correspondence with individuals concerning specific submissions, or the administration of these procedures.

2.5) Submissions will be sent anonymously to three of the pURL readers. The readers of any particular text will be randomly selected from the list of current readers. (Nb. A separate random selection will be made for each submission.)

2.6) Texts which are not recommended will not be published. Their writers will be informed, and provided with any comments which readers are happy for them to see. (Nb: The writers will, of course, be perfectly at liberty to send texts which were not recommended for pURL to the List ­ or anywhere else on the Internet for that matter ­ along with any comments which are returned to them.)

2.7) Every effort will be made to deal with submissions promptly. However, since the institution is voluntary and co-operative, no deadlines or norms for the processes of reading and publication will be set or enforced.

3 pURL Publication

3.1) Once all three readers have commented, if a majority recommends that a text should be accepted as a pURL ‘publication of the britPo List’, the work and readers’ comments will be circulated in the ways outlined below. Preparation for publication in these forms will be the primary responsibility of the administrator (all help gratefully received).

3.2) Recommended texts will be sent to the British Poets list, marked as pURL publications. 3.3) They will also be translated to HTML and mounted on a web site associated with the current Web archive of the British Poets list. The administrator will endeavour to make as faithful as possible a transcription of any recommended text into HTML, however, he will not necessarily enter into any correspondence and discussion of the HTML thus produced. If the writer of the text is dissatisfied, she or he may withdraw the work, or provide her or his own HTML.

3.4) Over time, the administrator will assemble a list of pURL addresses for further Internet circulation of recommended texts (e.g. to individuals, lists, organizations with a shared interest in contemporary poetic writing, etc. ­ suggestions for this list will be gratefully received.)

4 pURL Provisos

4.1) If at any time the volume of submissions becomes too great, for either the administrator or the readers, the administrator will temporarily ‘close’ pURL until all submissions in train are dealt with, and so that further submissions may be properly handled. Any submissions received during a ‘closed’ period will be ‘bounced’ back with an appropriate message.

4.2) Please remember that everyone participating in pURL does so voluntarily, co-operatively and (in the ideal and infinite velocity of uUse of uninitialized value in concatenation (.) or string at E:\listplex\SYSTEM\SCRIPTS\filearea.cgi line 455, line 273. topian hyperspace) co-creatively.

4.3) Any writer submitting to pURL who is unsure of tone or punctuation in this medium, is encouraged to make clear and consistent use of grounded- (preferred) or ungrounded- irony tags (see: ‘Basic Email Mark-up Language’, version 3.2.1a, article 7.1.3 http://www.beml.org/basic/irony#a07).