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.”

 

 

 

 

In the Middle

Once I was at the end of the love song

crying for years because it was over

before it even began. We were caught

loving the wrong person. I immersed

from my drowning and swam to the

beginning of the line. I sailed across

your poems and floated on your words.

You sent them to me by mail, on out-

dated postcards, you wrote them on

the back of my hand with your

fingertips. I sent you magic and

illusions with one needle on your

arm. We lived in a movie and

recited Shakespeare naked in bed.

You were not even close to being

who I thought you were. I was

too much for you to handle back

then, wanting to do everything

and doing absolutely nothing

about it. I climbed Mont-Royal

in heels and you laughed at

my absurdities. I was spontaneous

and explosive, until I wasn’t anymore.

I bent backwards on words

and the power of your hands.

Now I’m in the middle of something

that will change me forever.

I will never bet that girl again.

I have to be someone I thought

I would never be. Life throws you

these wicked curveballs

and I am catching them,

ready to be stuck here

hoping that it will not get

worse. All this hope

for songwriters and poets

but for a regular woman like me

it’s a waste of my time.

Book Review of “Only You” by David Wesley Anderson

     Only You is a poetry book that feels as if there is no beginning or end; one poem flows into another. David Wesley Anderson writes without titles or punctuation. He laments and describes a fiery love affair.
The theme conveyed in this book is one of feeling of feeling at peace, spiritually, emotionally and sexually in unison with one’s partner. The poet describes orgasms and sexual pleasure with details and by explicit memory. At times, the poems feel choppy without the punctuation, but the desire and the passion illustrated between the lovers is undeniable.O
It feels as if I you are reading a love affair come alive.
In this passage, we can see how Anderson portrays the need of wanting someone, but also the resistance entailed.
“I know the way

to your door

but you keep

changing the fabric

of the lock”
There are some brilliant lines among these poems, but the fact that the poems have no endings and they continue from one page to another makes it for a harder read due to the fact that you don’t know where to pause or take a break.
There are numerous passages that illustrate how erotic Anderson’s poetry can get as well as evoking sexual prowess.
The middle section of the book is an erotic tale, filled with sex scenes, fantasy and magic connections. It is how lovers explore each other’s bodies in a sexual, longing manner; being a fantasy lover in a primal sexual instinct,
“That pervasive need

to be wanted

beneath you

and that unrelenting

tide rocking me

into an escape

where colours shift

and eyes glide.”
Lust takes over the remaining end of the book, as Anderson depicts two naked bodies glistening with want and desire. He describes a deep, spiritual and sexual connection. The lovers tell each other they will explore their bodies and give pleasure. Red is a constant color that runs as a theme throughout the poetry book, red lips, etc.
“Let us run babe

and trip into the

eyes of our sun

where we mix

and melt in flames

sparkling red we

dare to fall further

into each other now

sometimes i long to

be spread out by you

to be torn inch by red

inch through fingers.”
The poems in Only You are centred in the middle of the page and some of the poems have the illusion of a naked woman’s torso and hips. It is visually beautiful to see how the words transform into a body and pleasant to read in this creative manner of writing.
It feels as if I am reading an epic love poem. The book ends on this sexual high that only lovers feel.
Only You is unique in its layout and reads quickly and easily. If you want to check out David Wesley Anderson’s Social media links and purchase his book please click below.
David (D. Wesley A.) is a self proclaimed micro poet finding rhyme and reason within 140 characters. His themes revolve around love and their impact on the intimacy of both the individual and couple. He has published three chapbooks and two full length books of micro poetry. He is currently working on a third book to be released soon. He lives currently in New York City.
dwesleya.com

https://www.facebook.com/dwesleya/

https://www.instagram.com/dwesleyanderson/
https://www.amazon.ca/Only-You-David-Wesley-Anderson/dp/1541297091/ref=sr_1_1?tag=geolinkerca-20&s=books

Misunderstanding

I have to take off my bracelets to love you

but I keep my ring

to remind me of all the misunderstandings

in modern love and romance. First

one is the texting,

then the replies

then the emojis

the silence.

Then the waiting around

to be misunderstood while

waiting in grocery lines

and examining faces

lines, reactions.

Smiling at strangers

in real life, on the internet,

in the cafe line.

I am sick of it all.

I would rather lie

down and masturbate.

I want to be sad

over all the times

you never made love to me.

This hole in my heart

is what keeps me going.

I need it

to write.

I love my randomness

and your demands.

I live for the music

the dream

the petals.

No one can control me either,

trust me,

but I always come back

I never leave

I’m not the type

to leave the walls up for long

and what I love about you

is that you

are exactly like me

and yet

not like me at all.

Dichotomy of love

of sex,

it’s eros.

I love you for never giving up

on all the misunderstandings

just driving on and on

and even when you are angry

you tell me

and again I fall in love

with you.

 

 

Reasons

Some people love you

for all the right reasons

but you still go searching

for the wrong ones. The ones

that keep you up or

make you want to smoke up

all day. I never hide behind

a persona or a brand,

I am what I am

sometimes ditzy

sometimes brilliant

but always me. I woke up

in a Woody Allen movie

you can guess the title

but you know it’s dysfunctional

and petty yet narcissistic. I

liked talking to you

because you never interrupt

and this is such a quality

that I adore. I don’t have

scorn, I just love you

so I put up these walls

to protect myself

from how much I care.

I will never tell you,

of course, or maybe

if I’m drunk and Purple

Rain’s solo is on and you

turn to me and with your

eyes you tell me

how you never meant

to cause me any sorrow.

I know. I am smarter

than you think. I carry

you like e.e cummings poem

nowadays it’s modern:

in my phone, in my pocket,

but in another era

it was in my heart

and you,

you are invisible to everyone

but me. You are like

a magician

popping into my life

like the pills

I swallow.

I loved you and lost

you like

a true poet

and you can’t get

any closer to

art than a few hours

alone in a locked room.

Favim.com-florian-nicolle-art-beautiful-soul-emotion-573684

Metropolis

I mostly watched the singer

shake away his age

as it caught up with him

and nothing seemed to impress us

anymore besides one hundred dollar bills

and vodka shots. The youth left us

with our past. Our ten percent shot

at another night of bringing back the

days. All the drunken sailors

tried to get their hands on us

but we have to try so much more

now and drink so much less.

We’re getting sick of the city

and the dirt and the envy.

We’re getting tired of the puddles

and the hurt and the  five dollar coffee cups.

We’re getting upset with the fake news

the killing sprees, the hiding

of ugly humanity. I swear I want

to leave this place and never

look back. Never think about

what language I should speak

first, second guess someone’s

authenticity. I like the vast sky

the view from my window

on my quiet street, for years

I wanted to run from it

and chase the night. Now

I want to sit, enjoy my moments

and never look back to who

I used to be before I met you.

 

 

In the bones

Most times I try to hide it under my grief

but when I think of how eleven years pass

and how scientifically the skin and body

becomes all bones and maggots, this

freaks the fuck out of me. I think

of how his skin once touched mine and

how his love made me feel completely

human. Most days, I struggle to get

out of bed and feed my medical

condition. I hate the daylight

it sucks up my dreams. I hate the night

time, it eats up my worries. I hate

locks, they control me. I know how

my mind works under this umbrella,

it takes hold of all my bones

and caresses them while I’m alive.

You are not scared of death

he had told me, while lying there

dying from a freaky accident

that he should have never

even had. It was my fault,

I wanted him to get me

a burger and fries at eleven at night

on a slippery Montreal night

and the police officer said

all the things you don’t want

to hear, while waiting for

your husband and the food

and the love he will bring.

Death has holes.

The funeral was a blur

as are the memories now

and the sound of his voice

which I have long

forgotten.