Things have been slow lately. I’ve been doing some last minute editing of the manuscript since the final version is due to the publisher by the 15th. That’s pretty much done. I wanted to print and bind a final version for myself to have and so did that with the help of my lovely librarian wife.
Other than this I have been trying to catch up on some reading. I’ve picked up a number of titles recently that I want to read, including the following:
James Langer, Gun Dogs (Anansi, 2009)
Patrick Warner, Mole (Anansi, 2009)
A. F. Moritz, The Sentinel (Anansi, 2008)
Sachiko Murakami, The Invisibility Exhibit (Talon, 2008)
I’ve read Gun Dogs and The Invisibility Exhibit already and will get to the others once I finish Karen Solie’s Pigeon, which is, so far, an incredible book. Langer’s book is excellent as well. It’s once of the first times I’ve read poems inspired by places I know intimately. Even an event in the book concerning a person being run down by a car happened in an adjacent community about 15 minutes from the place where I grew up (I also know the person involved). I’m not used to being this acquainted with subject and it really took me offguard and I was able to experience this and other sections of the book in a wonderful way.
I’m developing quite a back log of other books I want to read as well and hope the summer will provide the reading time I so desperately want.
I’ve recently been in contact with Nigel McLoughlin, the managing editor of Iota, a quarterly poetry magazine based out of the University of Gloucestershire. A poem of mine has appeared here before and I’m quite delighted to have two more appearing in the next issue. Both of these poems are a part of the manuscript I’ve been working on over the last year or so, entitled Preservations. The publication credits are building up.
Also, I’m not sure if I posted an update on this or not, but my first book, the above mentioned manuscript, will be published in Fall 2009 by Nightwood Editions in B.C. I’m excited about it and look forward to the entire process. Be sure that come next year you keep an eye on bookshelves near you. Of course, with the use of Amazon and other online sources you need never leave home to enjoy.
So I haven’t posted for over a month. To be honest I’ve been busy with a number of things: first it was getting married back in August (which I did and passed with flying colours, thank you), and now it’s getting material and myself organized for another year of teaching. There’s so much that goes into the latter that it takes quite a bit of time and even when you have some free time you tend to be drained of energy and the ability to do much in the way of a creative endevour.
Anyway, here I am. I’m reading more poetry again. At present I’m going through Roo Borson’s Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida. I’ve always want to read this poet’s work ever since I took a course in university on Canadian writers of the mid-late 20th century (the text book was 15 Canadian Poets X3, so all I got of her was an anthological peek), but I’ve not had a book of hers until recently. So far there is a sharpeness of language that I really appreciate in this collection, how Borson blends mundane detail into a wider, much more significant structure is excellent. I’m also reading Don Domanski’s All Out Wonder Unavenged, which took home the Governor General’s Award. Some of Domanski’s images and metaphors are complex and I’m taking my time working through this one to get as much out of it as possible. The man has such a talent for writing myth and I hope I can get some inspiration/instruction by studying his work.
In other news, I’ve received some good news. It’s been a very busy week for publisher response. I have three publishers who have shown some interest in my manuscript. One is from here in Newfoundland, the others are in Ontario and British Columbia. I’m not entirely sure how this whole process is supposed to play out. Of course, if one decides they’d like the manuscript and I accept then I will immediately notify the other two. I’ve been worried about multiple submissions and as you start publishing individual poems in journals this is something you become aware of.
Many journals will not consider poems that have appeared elsewhere or that are being considered elsewhere. The editors of these publications want to have first crack at the work, this is understandable especially if the work is potentially quite good. I have a general policy that I do not do multiple submissions with journals and magazines. It keeps things organized and easy to track (you don’t have to worry about which poems you submitted to which magazines). With my manuscript I’ve taken a different approach. The publishers I sent to did not state in their guidelines they had a problem with multiple submissions, so I sent the manuscript off to 5 or 6 publishers that I like in order to see if there is any interest. A couple of those have come back with rejection letters, but three have stated they would really like a closer look at the entire manuscript (rather than merely the sample I provided). I’ve got my fingers crossed, hoping for the best.
The same manuscript is also shortlisted for a prestigious literary award in my home province. I don’t know the details, but I heard they should have been released by the end of this past week. If not perhaps they are being released as I write this. Who knows. The award is trans-genre and takes submissions of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. I’ve known about this for most of the week, but have been reluctant to post anything about it in case I step on the toes of people making the announcement.
Well, that’s it for now. Busy busy. And we are nearing autumn, my favourite season. Gives me something extra to look forward to.