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Elias Tobias

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Free Poetry Forum Offers at Poetry Blog

The open poetry forum on Elias Tobias World of Words is this coffeehouse where readers of the poetry blog can become participants by submitting poems for view by other readers

Laredo, TX, April 12, 2007 --( Imagine a small café with a large corner stage large enough for a small band, but this time it has a solitary microphone and a high bar-style chair. It’s open mike night at the neighborhood coffeehouse with an audience relaxing to favorite flavors of tea, coffee or other beverages.

The open poetry forum on Elias Tobias World of Words is this coffeehouse where readers of the poetry blog can become participants by submitting poems for view by other readers, and the great thing about his coffeehouse is that it will always be open, beverage not included.

There are a few rules, of course. The poems can be on most any subject using and form or style (or lack thereof), in English, and must be original material by the author making the submission. Length can vary, but not be more than 30 or 35 lines. The poems can be e-mailed to and they will be reviewed by the webmaster. Sharp, clear head shots may accompany a poem with a brief background of the author. Only one poem should be sent at a time, so send the best shot.

The free open poetry forum is one of the services poet Elias Tobias has completed in the transformation of his nine-year old Web site to a professionally-designed poetry blog launched Feb. 12.

The new Web site is

The revised Web site retains many attributes of the older self-designed Web site, created with a public Internet host, such as a biography, publishing history, other poetry links, new poems, and tips on writing poetry.

“The new Web site, created by WSI, has much more potential to have those coming to the Web site to be active, rather than passive,” Tobias said. “That was one reason I decided to upgrade to a blog-style venue.”

“Once readers register, comments can be made at the end of each entry very easily. I’ll have more than just poems. I’ll have audio-visual capabilities, which mean I can put a some that was composed from one of the poems, and offer opportunities for others to work with me using my poems as lyrics. I have a collection of poems called Love Notes, and I’ll have them recorded in my voice for playback and possibly download,” Tobias said.

“As far as video goes, I have slides that can be made into a video to illustrate one of my poems with a musical background, and I have slides of my life in photos – a visual biography – available, too. Again that will have a musical background,” he said.

“I’ll put in a thing called Poetry First Aid, a way that I can help people with their poems, and what we will complete remains property of the other writer. I have a collection of poems translated into Spanish. These are some of my ideas I’d like to use with the new Web site,” Tobias said.

The new Web site was designed by Alejandro Quetzeri of Star IT Experts LCC with the consulting of WSI Internet & Education. Quetzeri said the emphasis in the creation of the site is to allow the company or author of the content to be in total control of the content. The programming allows an individual to easily update the content as often as necessary, without knowing technical computer codes once the Web site is established.

“It’s easy to work with,” Tobias said about maintaining the Web site. “It just takes time to get the main content set up and work with it on a regular basis. It needs to be fresh to maintain reader interest.”

With the old Web site, made with Tripod with its free option, a variety of advertisements were attached to the site, but the new one has no endorsements flashing. The old Web site had from 600 to 800 page hits a month with limited promotion or regular maintenance, except for a home page redesign several year ago and the poem of the month, a feature which will be retained in the new Web site.

“With the new Web site, I hope to get more readers, be able to know who they are, and work with them,” Tobias said.

Elias Tobias is the pen name of Michael D. Hall, a business journal editor for the Laredo Morning Times, and he has been writing short stories and poetry since his childhood. It was creative writing, and an interest in photography, which lead him to get two degrees in photojournalism and work with publications around the country. He has also worked as an educator, and is a licensed secondary teacher for the state of Texas. Tobias is married to Patty Hall, an administrator for a company with provides employer services and child care services for the state of Texas.

For more information, go to the Web site,, e-mail .

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Elias Tobias
Michael Hall

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