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Poetry collection tips

Today, a very cheatery sort of post for Poetry Friday. It's a quote and a link to a blog post by Diane Lockward containing tips on submitting poetry book manuscripts to contests. But since much of her advice applies to poetry collections of any kind, I figured I'd pass it along, with my thanks to Debbie Ridpath Ohi ("Inkyelbows" over at Twitter) for the link.

Lockward writes in point 5 of a 10-point list about arrangement of poems in a collection:

Work really hard on arranging the order of the poems. For many poets this is the most difficult part of putting together a manuscript. That's what friends are for. Ask a few poets whose judgment you trust to read the manuscript for order. Avoid the inclination to group similar poems together. Again, too much sameness leads to boredom. You want some kind of thread or threads running throughout, pleasing leaps from one poem to the next, surprises, and connections. Poor order was one of the main weaknesses in the manuscripts I read. You want a collection of poems, not a bunch of poems.


Here's a link to the complete blogpost.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Jul. 16th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
When it comes to standard collections, I find that to be one of the hardest decisions (right after "what to leave in/what to leave out").
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Jul. 17th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
It's nothing to do with Jane - she's chronological. But organizing poems into collections is always a tricky thing!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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