It is good to get an email from Director Kwame Dawes affirming that the publication of the bulk of my chapbook online without my permission was a mistake--done in the middle of launching the new site. I feel better about the Initiative that they did not do this on purpose. He still maintains, though, that it doesn't count as publication (he used quotation marks around the word in his email) and that I should be able to publish them anywhere. He offered to write a letter to any press that wouldn't publish them to that effect, which I think is generous if maybe not right.
I'm curious to see, and waiting to see, if the editors will continue to consider these poems, and if they would have if they were published on purpose and remained up on the website. The Wom-po consensus seems to be yes, this is publication.
I think it's important to clarify for others considering being involved in the site. For some people, this could be a good opportunity even if they relinquish first publication rights required by journals and first publication rights for the collection required by presses. But others might want to know how editors will look upon this website when they are deciding whether or not to allow their poems to be published there.
In any case, this has brought up a few very important questions, for me, that I think the literary community should solve and post in some conspicuous place, like CLMP, with some best practices. Maybe they have. I'll check.
In any case, we should all be on the same page about this. When you send your poems somewhere, you need to know what's going to happen to them.