My Book · On Writing · Poetry · Writing Life

New Poetry Book – Order & Title

And so the journey continues.

We’re at the part in the process where we lay each poem out and figure out where it belongs.

I did this first at my house, which meant I had to clean off my dining room table. It is FOREVER a mess of papers, coloured pencils and markers, food crumbs, books and miscellaneous jazz that I need to ‘deal with’ but just can’t find the time to (ex. the hubby’s tools that just keep getting tossed beside the stack of paid bills and napkins). I managed to clear off most of the table ‘stuff’ so I had room to lay out the piles of printed poetry. Oh – and I needed to find a sufficient amount of ‘time’ in which to do this. This ‘time’ showed up on Sunday afternoon. The house was quiet. The kids and hubby were hanging together. I could focus – on.the.poetry! Squee!

Overall, it took me about 45 minutes to organize all the poetry.

Then it was off to meet with the publisher. We met in room with a large table – a necessity at this juncture! – and he helped me bring my 13 categories down to 4. Yes, 4.

Now, we each have a copy of all the poems in the agreed upon categories, and we’re to organize each section as if it were it’s own little book. As well, we have to note anything that is ‘missing’ (ex. this section should have a poem about this in it) or what doesn’t fit.

Once that’s complete, the task of coming up with a title must be handled.

At our next meeting, we’re going to compare our organization and offer up our title ideas.

I have to say, I really love this editing, revising and organizing part of the project. It helps me stay connected to why I’m writing these poems, to how I hope the reader will feel and/or respond, and to how I can create an overall ‘story’ within the poetry that, I hope will, make the reader feel happy she took the time to read!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s also difficult because some poems fit into more than one category. Having to make final decisions about placement is like cementing in the bricks to the walls of your home. Foundation and strength is key, right?

I have an idea for a book title…but I’m not 100% about it. I need to let the poems guide me. I also have an idea for a cover image…and I’m letting that guide me as well.

I feel as though there are about three more poems I need to write. They’ve been brewing in my head and I just haven’t spewed them out yet. I’m hoping that as I’m immersed in the section organizing, these new poems will make it to the page.

I’m already so darn proud of this collection. I really feel like I’ve pulled from the deepest parts of me to write. I’m less afraid of writing. And that’s a bit deal for me. I think this collection is some of the bravest writing I’ve done. So there’s that.

How do you organize your books of poetry?



3 thoughts on “New Poetry Book – Order & Title

  1. I am so excited for you and for your new book! I’ve had a sneak peek at a few of your brave poems and applaud this collection in advance. Your work, your processes and your sharing of it all is so inspiring. Can’t wait!


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