Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I’m Still a Virgin…
When it Comes to Publishing a Chapbook or a “Full Length” Collection of Poetry.
By the way what the hell is a “full length” collection anyway? Are we talking poems or pages here? Does one really long poem (100+ pages) constitute a “full length” collection or not? How about 300 haikus? What about the term “chapbook”? The term always sounded kind of uncomfortable if you ask me. It sounds as if I should be applying some kind of balm to it; or take the poor thing to see a dermatologist. Never mind…. In any case, I now have enough published poems to put together a manuscript for a “chapbook”.
Thing is I’ve only been at this “PoBiz” for about five years. Furthermore, I never thought when I started out that I’d ever even be published in poetry journals, let alone entertain the prospect that my work might appear in a book of poetry or an anthology. For me it has always been about the poetry. I never really was in a hurry to publish a chapbook or collection, just for the sake of publishing! I mean – yeah… I’d like the look of my moniker imprinted in bold letters on several hundred copies of an expertly bound, exquisitely presented chapbook. But then again who wouldn’t?
This has been an interesting journey. On my return from Italy in 2000, I started out posting & critiquing poetry on-line. The venues I frequented are too many to name here. But it wasn’t until I started posting at the Gazebo that I really got a kick in the proverbial poetic shins. The experience kick-started my enduring interest in poetry. During the 3 odd years that I participated there I published quite a few poems. I am not a prolific writer, by any stretch of the imagination, but I was fortunate enough to have most of my poems find a home as it were.
Now 35+ published poems later, I feel like I have enough material for a chapbook. Problem is - & I’m serious about this – I really need some help with putting together a manuscript. The poems only span five years of writing but I believe that my writing style & voice really changed over that short period of time. Therefore, I’m not really sure if & how to incorporate these varied stages of development into a marketable manuscript. So, if you’re interested in a challenge, boy have I got one for you!
Addendum: For readers requiring further explication of the marketing of the Chapbook - the following article from Pudding House Press might be of interest: Chapbooks — Flying Like Hummingbirds Exciting the Air Around Them (MARKETING YOUR CHAPS WITH LIMITED IF ANY HELP FROM THE PUBLISHER) can be found in the main directory under the heading: "Chapbook Marketing a How-To"!