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Joyful Girl

Andrea Blythe's blog about writing, reading, and everything else

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Poetry Project Poll
So, as a form of prastination (one of many), I've been toying with various ideas for poetry projects* -- some I've been thinking about for a while now, some are brand new.

The newest idea, and one that could be done both fairly cheaply and easily (uh huh), is creating one or more pocket/mini chapbooks (thank you Poets & Writers). They would be 4.25 x 2.75 inches in size and 6 pages long (not including the cover). So a tiny little book with a series of very short poems (possibly haikus) or one longer poem spread over several pages. It would be something that I could give out at readings and maybe sell on etsy for a buck or two each.

I've been thinking for over a year about putting together a kickstarter project, which would be called "As Yet Unwritten," in which I would create a chapbook of poetry based entirely on prompts from backers. I like the cooperative aspect of the idea, but I'm also aware that there is a huge time chunk involved in terms of researching cost of publishing a chapbook, running the project, creating the project, mailing the finished product out, etc. So, while conceptually fun and exciting to me, it also seems very, very overwhelming.

Then there's the infamous letter poem series, which is still not complete. In terms of publishing this set, I would hopefully (fingers crossed) work cooperatively with an artist friend of mine, who has created a series of collage art pieces on old envelopes, so that her art and my poetry would appear side by side. Also a fun exciting idea for me. Ideally, I would try to get this one professionally published, but I have no idea how to go about getting an art/poetry book published, or what publishers would be interested in such a thing. So, um, yeah.

And, of course, there's always the final option, the one I've been meaning to do since forever, which is to organize and compile my existing poetry into a booklength collection for the purpose of submitting it to a professional publisher. The only think holding me back here are my own doubts as to whether or not I'm good enough or ready.

Anyway, because I'm still enjoying the planning-level of procrastination, I'm going to give you all a poll to play with. Have fun.

What poetry project should I be working on?

Make a pocket/mini chapbook, please. It would be so cute!
Better yet, make a slew of pocket/mini chapbooks! I want a whole set!
Create a Kickstarter project for a larger, self-made chapbook.
Finish the letter poems series, so you can publish the art/poetry book.
Stop procrastinating with these self-pub projects and compile your poetry to submit to professional publishers.
clicking the empty space / of a tickybox / fills me with joy -- (haiku)

*Not to be confused with the slew of fiction projects that are in various stages of completion.

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Well, you sound a lot like me in my various stages of poetry/art projects. lol But I do admire that you have fiction on the side. :)

Here are some thoughts, which may or may not help you decide:

1. Pocket chapbook is an adorable new idea, but as it is new, I find that your "older" poetry projects need some more attention and time. You can do this as a Christmas gift kind of thing.
2. A "slew of pocket/mini chapbooks" would be also great, but my similar reason as in #1.
3. If you decide on the Kickstarter project to support your chapbook, there has to be a TON of promotion so that you can raise the funds that you need to cover costs, etc. for your chapbook. Baby steps first. Start compiling your poems together in a chapbook (about 40 pages including title, table of contents, etc., so that should leave you about 2 dozen short poems or less that are a page each if you don't have any poems that run over a page or illustrations). Then give draft chapbook to friends, fellow poets, etc. whom you trust to be your eye for proofreading, editing, suggestions, etc. After that, make revisions. Then choose a self-publishing website like Lulu or Createspace to publish your work. I'm considering publishing mine through Createspace, and ying_ko_4 was right when he said that Createspace is user-friendly. They even give you a free ISBN number too.
4. Are you all planning to put the actual envelopes into the book itself or photo snapshots of the art? If the latter, you can put both poetry and art in the book and self-publish. If done professionally, I am sure there are poetry publishers out there that would be interested. However, I don't know specifically which ones.
5. A book-length of poems is a daunting task and takes a lot of time, money, effort, patience, etc. If you mentioned that a chapbook is overwhelming, a book is even more so. I suggest that you tackle the chapbook length first. That's what I'm doing too, and I feel the same way as you do. I'm not sure if my poems are good enough or am even ready to take on a book length! So a chapbook is what I'm focusing on.

So based on these thoughts:

For something fun, then pocket/mini-chapbooks would be great and less stressful. For something as in a stepping stone, a chapbook. And for something that would mean a lot to you and your friend, the art/poetry combo.

Woah, so I guess you responded waaaaaaay back when and I totally missed it.

This is all great advice.

The Kickstarter project would be for unwritten poetry and would require me to write a number of new poems, rather than compiling existing poems. It was the idea of having to write a ton of new poems that made the idea overwhelming.

I already have enough poems, I believe, to publish a 35-50 page collection of poetry. What I really want to do is submit to publishers and try to get professionally published, even though self publishing does have its appeal. I just need to take the time and organize the submission.

Part of the problem has been procrastination in terms of getting the data on my old computer transferred to my new one, which is really important since I have a lot of writing trapped on that old computer.

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