If you're having one of those days when nothing surfaces, listen to Caroline Bird on the Lunar Poetry podcast. She talks, among other things, about the balance between writing as exploration and writing to be published - how important the private space is. I'm trying not to get caught up in the urge to get new poems out there too soon, especially as I'm rather taken by the challenge to amass 100 rejections this year as a spur to submitting. So far I'm five down and 95 to go but this is counterbalanced by having had four new poems accepted - by Under the Radar, The Fenland Reed and Magma. Unaccountably, I failed to win the National Poetry Competition.
Being a project manager by trade and having a memory compromised by a misspent youth, I run a nifty colour-coded spreadsheet to keep tabs on what's out where and for how long. Jo Bell offers some excellent practical advice on managing submissions in Nine Arches' How to be a Poet which she co-authored with Jane Commane. It's a practical and heartening read, best summed up by the blurb: 'This handbook aims to provoke, inspire and challenge poets of all forms – and encourage you to read widely, write fearlessly and actively participate in the life-changing, life-enhancing force for good that is poetry.' And on that note, why not buy a copy of the #MeToo Anthology, edited by Deborah Alma? Published by Fairacre Press and launched this month on International Women's Day, all profits support Women's Aid.
Robert Lowell's New Selected Poems; Jane Commane's Assembly Lines (Bloodaxe); and Pauline Sewards' This is the Band (Hearing Eye).