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.”

 

 

 

 

Ageless

I know that age matters not

right now, but then it did.

It mattered when we raced against

the wind. I was just a babe in your arms.

You were a man even as a teenager.

You had this way of bringing me love

on a tray, and spoiling me until

I was full on your love. I had it

all, for a brief time. I showed you

my cuts and bruises

and you kissed them. Your lips

on my shoulders within seconds.

My hands unbuckling your belt

in such a frantic youthful way

in an ageless time

between this world and the next.

Let’s remember where we were

and lament the age of us.

It matters that you see past

the girl. We felt invincible

and will never know that freedom

again, that youthful love we held

onto so naurally.

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.

Date

I want this date to last more than hours

but you never even made it to the restaurant.

It is so fine with me, I would rather eat alone

and dip my fries in sauce and eat like a pig

and not be judged for using too many conjunctions.

I want you, I really do, but I am changing

every day into an evolved woman. Not yet

married, divorced, separated, cheated,

I am only a young girl wanting someone

who I can never have because then all

the morals written in my chest will be

broken. I will feel broken in this city

we can never see each other in. I already

see the future of Sundays turning

into every other day.

You are so close to my house

and even if you drive by

I will have aged like a dog.

You will have had a multitude

of women while I am hooked

on one life line. It is this way

for I drive my own car and

let no one guide me.

I know which walls to put up

and which ones to let you in

but remember a date is

just a time and place

when two people

either show up

or decide otherwise.

Either way, it’s a date.

 

 

 

 

From Love & Vodka, a book of poetry for glass hearts

I see the beauty in you and the darkness. Both are brilliant.

-third eye


my book is available at all on-line bookstores

9.99 at Amazon now, limited time offer

International Women’s Day

To the beautiful women who I read and who inspire me daily, thank you. I admire your strength through words and images. Celebrate being a woman and surround yourself with people who love you and encourage you. Kick toxicity out. Bring in love and acceptance.

If you know anything about me then you know that I read and write daily. I find the poets who I have read for decades are always the ones who inspire me, but some modern poets are breaking through into my heart. I am picky and critical when it comes to poetry, I am in love with the ideals behind it and less with the stigma of it. I have discovered some phenomenal women poets who have inspired me lately, Sharon Olds, Joumana Haddad, Mary Oliver, Dorothea Lasky, Clementine Von Radics, Sarah Howe, Lang Leav, Natasha Head, Warsan Shire, Sarah Kay, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Amber Tamblyn, Melissa Bull, Julie Bruck, April Green, Rupi Kaur, to name a few whose poetry books I connected with on a humane and spiritual level.

Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment as to the women who inspire you.

Sunday Musings

I woke up to write

before the coffee, the sunrise

it was words that fancied my skin

to forget my dream the moment my eyes opened.

What is it that makes you want a woman like me?

Your list is long

and everything you say

makes me reevaluate my life as if it were a spreadsheet.

I know you only want to use your knees to spread my legs

my arms

across yours. It is what I want. ย I really do admire

how you are so quick to the point.

You do not miss a song, I know I hate to text

and read way too much. I am quiet and methodic

concentrate on the typewriter as if it loved me back.

How could we be here?

People dying from cancer, heart attacks,

and I’m aching for you. It is not a myth,

or a legend, it is how my heart wants

to be pressed up close next to yours

with no fabric between.

I am not anyone special, trust me.

If you lived with me, you would see

so best to elevate my status by

being silent of all my defaults

eliminate my errors

by not telling you anything

more. I will keep it for my poems

my books, my next life.

This is what writers do,

we beat ourselves up with words.

The difference between us

is distance

yet all the words

you refuse to share with me

I know them already.

 

 

 

 

New chapbook

Hey lovely souls of WordPress & bloggers,

 

I am so excited to announce that I have put together a chapbook and it will soon be released by a publishing company run by my poet friend Chris. I will slowly reveal the details as soon as I can. Just know, that my book is going to be one of the first released under this company and it brings me great joy to share with you some new poems that I practically wrote in forty-eight hours straight. Hardly ate, hardly slept. Wrote the words like waterfalls.

I am on the first draft right now, and I will be editing and working hard to create a chapbook for my readers. I dedicate this chapbook to all of you who read me and support me.

 

I want to thank you for reading and commenting on my work. Without you guys none of this would be possible. My passion is writing, and I have written books and I am still working on a novel…however poetry is closer to my heart than anything else. It is that instant downpour of emotions that comes out. Sometimes it’s not personal at all, it could be the news, a conversation I overheard, a dialogue, a word, all these inspire me and help me to write better.

 

Thank you for being here with me.

All my best,

 

Chrissy x