When I send poems out to magazines, I usually concentrate on recent work – current year and maybe the previous year. However, last night I decided to look back over my earlier poems, to see if any were publishable, with or without revision.
It was very odd, going back 15 years or so, and working forward. Most of the unpublished poems deserve that status, but others still work for me, and I hope they’ll work for others. Too much revision would maybe lose some of the impetus of their creation (if that’s not too pompous), so I’ll do an ‘edit lite’ on them.
My first collection – Thirteen Ways of Looking At the Highlands – was published in 1996, so poems written before that are on my computer in a folder labelled ‘pre-1996’. After that I’ve got annual folders. From the earliest group then, I’ve found three unpublished poems which I’m going to send out again, and in successive years there are maybe one or two poems each year, apart from 1999, where there are six poems under this review. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare.
Oh, and by the way, a week or so after blogging about ‘rejections’, I’ve now had five poems accepted by a variety of publications. As the saying goes, it’s a funny old world.
I’m off to the Callander Poetry Weekend, organised by Sally Evans of Poetry Scotland. I’m reading on Friday afternoon, discussing plants and gardens in poetry with Larry Butler on Saturday, and MC-ing a session on Sunday.