Categories
Poetry

5 tips for Editing Poetry Books

I have recently edited a few poetry books for fellow poets. I find that most poets, find it hard to edit their own poems and a second opinion is sometimes necessary to get out of their own head. I must admit that I never hired a poetry editor for my three poetry books, but I had a particular vision and look that I knew I wanted for my poems.

If you are looking for a poetry editor or you are editing your poems yourself here are 5 tips that worked for me and how I go about editing poetry books.

  1. After every draft, you should put your manuscript away for over two weeks and clear your mind. As many times as you go through your manuscript, is as many times you must put it aside. This ensures that you start fresh every time and believe me, every time you read it, you will find something that you need to correct or revise. Do this up until there is nothing left to rewrite. Do not settle until you feel your book is done. Eventually, you will know.
  2. You can divide your poetry book into sections or parts with titles so that it flows for the reader. Also, a table of contents with the list of poems at the beginning of the book is always helpful to quickly find a poem. Lately, some poets are not using any titles or table of contents…if you choose to do so, make sure that you divide your book into sections such as loss, healing, love, death, etc. so that there is some kind of order. There are not many rules in poetry and anything may go for certain poets, but in my experience, the books that have no titles or breaks are hard to read and difficult to distinguish one poem from the next.
  3. Every poetry book needs a Copyright page, a Dedication page, Acknowledgements page, at the beginning of the book and an About the Author Page at the end of the book. Number your pages. Look at the poetry books in your library and see how the professionals do it.
  4. Format, font and presentation are an integral part of a poetry book. Pay an expert to create your file in pdf with the appropriate poetic fonts and alignments. Equally, cover art and a blurb brings the book together as a whole.
  5. Make sure the poetry editor you hire has experience, knowledge and a grasp of poetic terms.

Good luck in the editing process, this is the hardest part of writing. As Ernest Hemingway wrote, ” The first draft of everything is shit.”

 

 

 

 

Categories
poetry

June second

the lights are red, but i want to go up

into the sky. drive right through

the pink and purple all night long.

this is my porn. you text me

your naughty, i’ll dream

in the fucking clouds. it’s june

second, two thousand and fifteen,

remember the 80’s? i relive them.

another full moon? do you

really care all that much? stop

howling. i feel it in every cell.

you’re fucked up.

I think my imagination

is so wild

even you

would run away.

but, you stay, you

make me believe

that the sunset

was a masterpiece

and the darkness

its palette.

the moon controls us

like love, we’re

helpless

to its pulling effect.

catch me tonight at

nine pm…its’ my son’s

award ceremony,

but i’ll still be falling

from the sky.

don’t forget to look up

and extend your arms,

even if you don’t see me.

Categories
First novel

hip and cool

In the darkness of the day I can feel his arms around me

as far as he is

he can duck and press the gas medal

quickly, urgently, not even a riot

could stop him from ringing my bell;

he can come up close to me

and kiss me with his fluent tongue,

charming words,

hot love escaping his pores

as he races to see what the fuck

I am up to today

with my theory of the day mood swings

poetry readings in crumpled sheets

playlists of old tracks of my heart

that still make me pounce

on the front line of his soul.

Every city sinks at one time or another

every colour turns blue

shades of grey

are just a fantasy

memories float on the river

of my small city

(who the hell collects postcards besides me

who the hell cares for seashells

in the middle of winter).

One hundred pages left in my galley

but I have to check on my sanity

from time to time

escape the characters in my head

that live and breathe

without my knowledge

never wanting their story to end.

It is never enough to love for eternity

not even  possible

to have one love

all a mere rock on the bottom of the ocean

no one can see.

Ready for him

when he is

determination

should be written on his sleeve.

The only lovers left are the poets

creating a secret world

among the appearances

of the living

who often

seem dead. I am so alive.

Come from your frustration

and enter my highway

park

drive

and stay a while.

Write another poem.

Categories
poetry

not really

not really prompted
by much
but you
and your lovely hearts
that speak
to me as much
as my naked hips do
to you

not really following roads
lately
only photos of stones
near deep rivers
to dwell on past
lives

not really caring about
punctuation
or sexy panties
just hustling by
changing words
in my novel
that sound the same

not really loving
the same people
but always you
how you get inside
me and out
with your drawings
grand gestures

not really caring
what others think
delving deep into
my vulnerability
and sucking up
my ego
as I lay on my bed
naked
waiting
for you.