Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Actually had a reasonably productive end-of-semester conference with Stephanie Strickland, who I had for both the craft seminar and workshop this term, probably the first such so far in the program. Her comments were toward honing them into better, stronger pieces. She did suggest, as she did once before I limit the use of "the" and other articles, also control my pronouns to avoid confusion. Also to let the closings unravel instead of tying them neatly up (which I admit, is something I've tried to work on in the past few pieces, and oddly, writing prose poems helps me with this.) Also to stop falling back on time words, like "Now" and "Still" where they aren't needed. All good suggestions and something to keep in mind. I'm not sure I agree with her suggestion to try to banish all references to bones, dresses, skirts, and buttons. All things I like very much and don't want to get rid of, thank you very much. The only thing that puzzled me, and that she said was a strength, but that she thinks I might break through to something else if I lost it, was a certain veneer, or more like a web over the poems that holds everything orderly and in it's place, that I might benefit from letting fall away. Not sure I can do that and still retain anything good, but it's worth a shot.

Barring a few final revisions, feign is basically finished. I'm going the non-contest route with this one as soon as I get it all together. Getting ready for a slew of query letters and have a couple places in mind to start it off. 54 pages total on the manuscript, though I considered making it longer. But honestly I'm ready to move on to the next project and want this one put to bed. I do feel much more passionately about these poems. And if the fever almanac doesn't get itself into print, this is a damn fine first book.

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