Monday, June 2, 2014

Yet More on Compiling Poems into a Collection: Ask for Help

Last November I wrote how I went about ordering the poems in my new, and second, collection. I thought I accomplished the deed, finally, submitted the ms. to a few contests, was a runner-up at one, but, in fact, my collection wasn't accepted. Okay, three rejections is nothing. A sense that someone besides my solitary self could help--that's something.

This Winter I had a chance to work with some poets in a Sunday workshop. They are all wonderful. The workshop facilitator is amazingly adept at interpretation and a specific style of sophisticated insight. I understand why she's had the good success she's had.

Another poet in the workshop also wrote really smart comments on my poems. I've known her for a few years, feel comfortable that she understands or senses my underdogness and some of the beyond the pale events of my life. And if she doesn't, she does. I asked her to read my collection, for a probably too small fee, and give whatever feedback she felt it warranted.

Result? She civilized the book. Without making any specific comments, she divided the poems into three sections. Suggested three or four titles for each of the sections. Reorganized the poems (hard copy) with their new page number in the lower right corner. She tossed a few poems. I mainly agree with the toss. I fully agree with the new order.

6/4/2014:  THIS PARAGRAPH IS A LIE. That poem wasn't excluded. I simply misplaced it in my reordering of the pages.  It's back in, and my "wise" understanding of why it "should" have been excluded is b.s.  Makes Me Rethink Everything All Over Again. I am a sheep, no?  Ahem: One of the poems cut, and there weren't many, is "This Way and That," originally published in lovely Lavender Review (Mary Meriam, editor). At first I was surprised with that suggestion as the poem is a crowd pleaser at readings. Other of my poems aren't as accessible, easy, all neatly packed and ready to be heard. I like this poem but the door clanked shut on it. It will find another home.

My title had been But Then Again. The new suggested title is Unlucky Thumper.

I'm thinking.

Last November's posting on this:

Assembling my Poetry Collection So Each Poem's Comfortable with its Neighbors: take 3 with more to come