Friday, March 4, 2011

A poet or not?

For years I've been dreaming of, chatting about, and writing my first book of poetry. My silly daydreams have me trotting around the globe meeting great writers and signing my books for poetry lovers clamouring to chat with me. Sound familiar? Many of us have a hidden poet yearning to share their whimsy or pain. But I was reading the website of Salt Publishing the other day and realized that I am in love with the craft of poetry but am perhaps not so well versed in the world of poetry. There were several candid tips on the ins and outs of getting your poetry published, but there was one bit of advice that has been rattling around in my brain now for days. The website put out the notion that if editors had one wishful rule, it might be the following..."Poets are not allowed to submit a manuscript until they have read two hundred single-author volumes of poetry published since 1980." My jaw dropped when I read that. Although it was likely said in jest, I have not read any single-author volumes of poetry. Not even one. I read poetry every single day online, for free. But I think I only own about 8 or 10 actual books of poetry and I've never completely read any of them. What is that all about? How can I expect to write a book of poetry, become published and hope that people will run out and clear the shelves of it when I, as a lover of poetry, am not supporting poets that I enjoy? So I've decided that even though 200 single-author volumes might be unattainable as a blog space goal, I might be able to pull off twenty. So that will be my next personal challenge. Don't worry - I'm not giving up yoga. But I will read 20 single-author volumes of Canadian poetry and blog about them to my heart's content. As there are 10 provinces and 3 territories, I'll try to find poets from across Canada. This should be fun. I hope that you'll follow along. I'll announce the first book this week and likely infuse some word throw downs along the way.

1 comment:

Jocé said...

Wow, 200 slim volumes of poetry, that is a tall order. But I must confess I'm more likely to buy a poet's work than fiction or other books. I enjoy Canadian poets, and have certain favourites that I keep returning to again and again. So, yes, I agree it is great advice for any aspiring poet.
And a good place to browse for poetry is at Aqua Books, where you are likely to find gently used volumes at affordable prices :-) (Although they do also stock our local poets new publications too, which are of course at full price.)
I look forward to reading about your poetic finds. Cheers. Josie