Wednesday, September 28, 2005

BIG step

I have just today packaged up a complete manuscript of my poems. I am on my way to post them to a professional editor who will go over each one and pass back comments, corrections etc.

The choice to hire an editor wasn't difficult for me. I have the money, well, it's an overdraft, and I have seen this person's work so I know it will be worthwhile. However, it doesn't guarantee publication of course, and am I simply spending money on my personal vanity? That was the difficult question. In the end, I thought, even if it is my personal vanity, what of that? Many would spend that money on a new coat or a new hairdo or even a professional photo session. What is the difference? So what if this book is rejected repeatedly - at least I know it is the best it can be and I can be happy to bundle it up and put it away.

This is releasing. The book has 50 poems. My collection comprises some 200 poems. I now feel free to continue writing and to plan my next book!

One of my favourite sites is the American Life in Poetry by Ted Kooser - Kooser is presenting a series of free columns for newspapers, each with a poem and a write-up. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: America Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. Wonderful presentation, poems and great stuff for everyone.

I've been hanging out on QED and the GAZEBO poetry boards lately - tough crit and tougher critters but I like it. The Gazebo is the more active of the two with lots of crits and poems happening. I work on the computer (web design, desk top publishing), so I visit boards every hour or two just to read, crit and take a break from my work. Because of this, it's nice to find boards that are really active. Maybe I'm like some kind of hyper-poet - ha, well, I don't produce at that rate sadly.

OK, gotta go


Blogger LKD said...

Jude, if I'm not mistaken, you're 2 for 2, no? I just checked the shortlisted poems over at the Guardian and there you are--or rather, there your wonderful poem is.

I've probably told you this before, but I'll go ahead and risk repeating myself since her name sprang into my head as I was reading your waxpaper poem--your work reminds me very much of Dorianne Laux's work.

Wonderful poem, Jude.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Jude Goodwin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Jude Goodwin said...

Hi Laurel

thanks for such a nice comment. I was surprised that Wax Paper was shortlisted, it's one of those poems I fussed with so much it is now in my trash bin - but interestingly, the version on the Guardian is an early draft and I like it better than the eventual polished until nothing version. Go figure huh?

I have read Dorianne's work - Shipfitters Wife, Girl in a Doorway, and many others. I think she is pure genius - but I also think that about Sharon Olds, Jane Kenyon, Mary Oliver, Susan Musgrave and recently, Kim Adonizio and Julia Darling. Oh there are so many! And those are just the women poets! Every time I discover someone new, I am floored and stop writing for a while - then my little fins start to agitate and before I know it, I'm battling that current again.

Thanks for dropping by Laurel. I'm going to swim over and see what's new on your blog now

11:29 PM  
Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

There's certainly nothing wrong with a little self-promotion. I had a chapbook printed which I usually swap for chapbooks written by other poets I meet at open readings.

As for Ted Kooser, it's a nice little site, although there's something of the lowest common denominator to it. For instance, did he really have to mangle Emily Dickinson's line "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant" with the paraphrase "Emily Dickinson said that poems come at the truth at a slant." That made me wince a bit. Anyway, he has pretty perfunctory comments as introductions to the poems. For a daily site with meat on its bones, I prefer Arts & Letters Daily.

I joined the Gazebo a while ago but haven't spent much time there. At about the time I joined I began to feel that the critique sites are more about the critics than the poets (PFFA seems the supreme example of this.) Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm not sure that poetry by committee is the aesthetic I'm shooting for. Still, if my two local critique groups are unable to help me with problems I feel a poem is having, I wouldn't hesitate to offer it up online (after having conscientiously offered my critique on other people's poems, of course.)

9:40 AM  
Blogger Jude Goodwin said...

Hi Bob! Interesting comment regarding the critters on some of the online boards. It's true - I think some boards are more a place to workshop critique than to workshop a poem. I got suckered this month with that poem Wax Paper - which I still dislike - it was heavily damaged on the Gazebo and finally I just tossed it into the trash. Not worth the effort - but I have to say, I enjoyed the critiques, the back and forth, and the way there can be so many different points of view on one lousy collection of words.

Thanks for the arts and letters link. I like what kooser is doing as it cateres to the 'masses' which wouldn't normally be exposed to poetry. I've been trying to get our local paper to run the column, but in a town of 15,000 there's not a lot of room for poetry I guess. I'm going to keep at them though, maybe I'll present my own column. ha

Another website I have always enjoyed is Poetry Daily - I find a poem there I like and then I get to discover the poet - the internet is marvelous that way.


12:30 PM  

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