Happy New Year everyone.
Following up the last two posts, I completed the revisions, and then put them into a ‘send-out’ batch along with previously unsubmitted poems from 2011 and 2012. (I had too much on my mind to send poems out in that period.) This left me with a large sheaf of poems, almost amounting to a whole book. It was unwieldy and impractical – there’s no way I could send out more than 60 poems to the usual magazines I submit my poems to. At the same time, I realised I had a fair proportion of ‘local’ poems specifically on East Lothian subjects. It was going to be difficult to place these poems, because there aren’t that many Scottish mags who might want them. The solution to the problem struck me last night.
In 2013 I’m going to publish, through Calder Wood Press, a pamphlet of these local poems, and see how they go. I don’t have any qualms about self-publishing; I’ll apply the same editorial standards to myself as I would to work by other CWP authors. And it won’t affect the publication of my own future work; The Propriety of Weeding was published by Red Squirrel Press in September 2012, so my next full collection will be some years away. And, at 70, I feel time moving faster; I want to get my work out there. The cover will be easy; I’ve got loads of East Lothian photos. The title will need thinking about.
Other Calder Wood Press titles in 2013 will be poetry pamphlets by Jo Gibson and Janette Ayachi, a volume of memories and stories by Jill Madden, and possibly another two pamphlets which are currently under discussion.
That leaves me with around 30 poems for magazines, which is a more realistic proposition.
Plus, in October/November I’ve got a Hawthornden Fellowship to work on a new book. This will be a collection of travel haibun, in the spirit of Basho’s great haibun, Oku no Hosomichi, usually translated as ‘Narrow Roads of the Deep North’. The haibun is a form I’ve grown to appreciate. Think of it as prose poetry interspersed with haiku. The book will contain some haibun already published in magazines, plus new ones I’m going to write at Hawthornden. Jane and I have seen a fair bit of the world, so there’s no shortage of subject matter. I don’t think I’ll look for a publisher until it’s finished.