Sunday, 3 February 2008

To book or not to book

Up till this year I've been quite happy not having a book of my poems. I have loved having the postcards - the freedom, the lightness (I'm talking weight here), the way they fly off round the place...maybe being read by postal workers the world over (well, you never know).
But this year all of a sudden I feel different. I've been writing poems pretty much solidly for about ten years. I dabbled with stories and journalism and plans for novels in the past but I've known deep, deep (really deep) down that poetry is the thing for me for a while now. Since I started sending poems out and reading in public (past couple of years really) I've had a lot of great reactions and so I do feel that publishing a book this year wouldn't be a complete waste of resources and other people's time. I know there will be people who say I'm not good enough or formal enough or crafty enough or whatever...but you can't please everybody and those people have quite a lot of poets already doing the kind of writing they want to read and hear. I write for all the people who don't have many poets writing what they want to read (and I know this because people say it to me all the most usual positive reaction is 'if poetry was more like your stuff, I'd read it/buy it etc').
So, that's pretty much what I'm working on. I have a working title and am compiling lists and lists and lists of lists (I LOVE lists). I will probably publish it myself (with a lot of help from him indoors and friends). I want it to be as green as possible (the cards have all been on recycled card) because it seems daft to do it any other way. It would be nice to have a publisher to sort it all for me but I think the amount of energy I could use up looking for one (and probably not finding one)...well, I may as well use that energy on just making the damn book! It will cost money but I don't spend money on all the stuff everyone else does (clothes, all that other crap other women buy, holidays, travelling in general...all I buy is food and cds!) so I'll probably manage it somehow...
I can imagine the house may not get cleaned much this year though. Shame.


Colin Will said...

Our Dunbar group was talking about postcards tonight. We might aim to produce some later in the year. I'm going to research the technical side and the economics in the next few weeks. Another suggestion is a calendar - we've got several members who are also artists or photographers.

Rachel Fox said...

I used a local printer in Montrose for fact I'm onto my second printer. I used recycled card - printers think you're weird wanting to spend more money not less but they humour me and of course take the money! I have seen info for a printer up north that does not charge a premium for green printing so I am planning to speak to them about printing the book.
Having a lot of fun putting that together and changing working titles every day...
Can I send you a draft copy when it's at first stage? You might not love it all but I'm a big girl (sometimes) and your comments would be very helpful.

Colin Will said...

Thanks Rachel. I'd be very happy to see a draft.

Re cards, I can try my usual printer in Livingston, but I'm investigating Levenmouth for the pamphlets, so I'll try them too. They do the printing for HappenStance too.