Sunday 30 April 2006

Freudian Slips

Hello, all. I just realised that in my last Current Issues post I originally had the poems in TLS as "Magnum Opus" and "The Weather in Normal" instead of "Magnum Opus" and "The World at Dusk." I suppose the two titles have the same grammatical structure, but I find it interesting that I should put the working manuscript title in place of the title of a poem therein.

I'm feeling better these days as my divorce is at last final. I feel no bitterness; I simply feel like my own person again, liberated and independent. I hadn't expected this.

So The Weather in Normal (my hometown) is a manuscript title, but that work is slowly coming forward as my focus is on completing Imagined Sons, a collection of prose poems, and on placing my first collection, The Cult of the Eye. I'll keep you informed!

Friday 14 April 2006

Lopez and Caleshu

A splendid reading last night at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute--Tony Lopez reading largely from new work and Anthony Caleshu from The Siege of the Body and a Brief Respite. Lopez was especially impressive, both for the excellence of his work and his soft-spoken, focused reading style; if you don't know his work, check out False Memory.

Sunday 9 April 2006

The Problems of Publishing Poetry in a Small Country, I

Hello, all. I find several problems in publishing poetry in the UK that I did not have in the US. For one, in my early days of submitting poetry in the UK, I submitted poems to journals I didn't really like, simply because they had a good reputation and the range and number of venues for publication are so limited compared to the States. To be truthful, I still catch myself doing this occasionally, most recently because a fellow poet had a different opinion about a magazine and urged me to submit. I suppose I'm confessing here in the hope that it will help me to avoid such weakness in the future.

Another problem that I haven't had but I've seen and that I worry about for my students: I fear that some of my students who write more original poems will find it harder to find place their work in UK journals and will take that as a measure of the quality of their poetry. I hope bringing in American journals and facilitating greater exposure to the better online magazines will help every student writing well find his or her own place. Am I naive to expect that every good poet will find publication? I'd be glad to hear others' experiences and opinions about publishing poetry in the UK--please join in.