Monday, January 09, 2006

Book Concerns

As I revise more and more of my poems I am becoming increasingly aware that many of my poems have dark content. While this is definitely true of my older poems, my newer poems are noticeably less dark. With the dark content of many of my poems, I am concerned that once the manuscript is ready that I may have trouble finding a publisher. I wonder if the dark content will put readers off or overwhelm them. Dark collections of poetry are published. I’m thinking of T. R. Hummer’s Walt Whitman in Hell and Bridgit Pegeen Kelly’s The Orchard. However, these poets are known poets, and I would be an unknown poet. I imagine that I will need to keep these concerns in mind and try to find some balance in the content of my book. I may need to write some lighter, more optimistic poems to balance the book out. I am not sure though that I can just intentionally set out to write lighter poems; that goes against my artistic integrity in a way, and I’m not sure my imagination would respond with good poems.


At 1:52 PM, Blogger Penultimatina said...

Gerald, you may already be familiar with this article by Natasha Saje re: ordering poems in a ms, but if not you should check it out:

I tend to think that preoccupations within a collection are very important, and so often we aren't aware of them until we look back at the thing as a whole. There's always interest in serious and dark stuff, in my opinion. Or at least I hope there is, because that's the way I lean too. :)


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