Towards the end of last month I heard that my next pamphlet will be published in early 2019 by the delicious Emma Press, who published my first pamphlet, Goose Fair Night, in 2016. This year, so far, I’ve been turned down for a collection by two publishers. So, I’ve been thinking about the way forward, talking it over with poet friends and trying to evaluate how important it is for me to have a collection published. Could a series of pamphlets (getting a bit ahead of myself here, no guarantees that anyone will pick up further pamphlet submissions – but let’s just set that aside for the moment) be just as satisfying?
The thought of a collection is very seductive – it’s got a spine for one, it represents a larger investment of faith and money on the part of the publisher, collections are taken more seriously and seem somehow more substantial, don’t they? On the other hand, pamphlets can be lovely, tidy little mini-collections which mean you can put twenty or so poems ‘to bed’ and, knowing they're all tucked up safe, get on with the next lot. As a reader, I like a pamphlet – the best are just enough. And they can be turned around a lot faster – from acceptance to publication, I mean – which is a consideration for me for a number of reasons, principally, being older, I don’t feel I have a lot of time to wait. I haven’t come to a conclusion yet and may well pursue that so far elusive first collection, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I’m very happy indeed that Emma Press still wants my work.
The Mersey Sound (Penguin Modern Classics, 4/-); Josephine Corcoran's What are you after? (Nine Arches); Peter Raynard's Precarious (Smokestack)