sea of poems

ordering the waves

i sent to 6 contests this year and heard back from 3 of them last week.

not even a finalist. sigh.

after some homemade sugar cookies and an appropriate length of moping, i pulled out my manuscript to do some editing.

this is my first year where i have sent to more than 1 contest. i’ve been working on my manuscript for 3 years, since finishing my mfa.

i do feel like it is strong enough for publication–else i wouldn’t send it out–but as i write new and stronger poems i like to go through and weed out the weaker poems, see where the order needs to be shifted, etc.

so i’ve heard advice a few places to leave a manuscript be once its finished, but i am a tinkerer. what i had right out of my mfa is still for the most part the core of my manuscript. life, however, has led to new subjects (motherhood, babies) and also a new boldness in writing about the never-mentioned family history (a traditional southern family, we don’t ever mention anything unbecoming).

i reordered, added and removed, and i’m doing some read-throughs of the printed-out manuscript these next few weeks, getting it ready to send out again. i’ve always had an easier time editing on paper than the computer screen, and there’s something to physically holding the poems in my hands.

i don’t expect to have it published this year, honestly–my hope is for it to happen before i am ineligible for the yale series of younger poets (age 40–younger poets?). i’ve had professors and friends read through it but i could always use an extra set of eyes, readers, if anyone is interested.

of course, i do already have a faithful manuscript assistant available at all hours:

cats are the best editors

6 responses to “sea of poems”

  1. I would probably have nothing helpful to say about your manuscript, but I would LOVE to read it! I understand how it would be helpful to have it all printed out and laid out before you. So funny to me to think sometimes that before computers that's how it was always done! 🙂


  2. oh man that would be Great! i have another volunteer to read it this month too, so maybe y'alls outside feedback will give me some ideas! i'll email it to you =)


  3. How have I not seen your two latest posts? Did you un-RSS your blog? (Not sure the appropriate term for it.) Anyway, I am reading now. I loved your manuscript when I read it about a year ago, but I'm sure it's changed a lot since then! If you want to give me a paper copy next time I see you, I can go through it again for you…the chances of my editing it would be greater if I had it tangibly in front of me rather than just as a file on my laptop.


  4. i'd love to, if you want another!


  5. nope same old RSS that i know of! i have made a lot of changes, i can definitely mail you a copy–i read better with paper copies too, my eyes get all wonky when i stare at a screen too long

    and julie i'll email you or mail you a copy

    yay i'm glad to have so many manuscript readers!


  6. Oh, they just came through my Google Reader…they were just a little delayed, I guess. 🙂



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