“You have to stop treating your poems as if they were scarce!”
I’ve been saving my best poems to submit to contests and literary journals, but my husband’s right: if I believe a selection of poems are ready for public viewing, there’s no reason to hoard them. I start a new poem every day, and in a month develop, workshop, and perform at least three of them to the best of my ability (which is still very green), so I’m not going to run out any time soon. The phobia “What if I never write again?” is silly and about as likely as waking up without legs.
So this weekend, I sent out three packages, one to a place that pays but isn’t a literary journal, and two to online literary publications/sites that promise momentary fame minus fortune. One of them, Leaf Press, published my piece today on their Monday’s Poem page here.
I do still have a couple dozen favourites I’m saving for Prairie Fire‘s contest (Gotta try for that prize ring!), and for submissions to Grain and Malahat Review. I’ve workshopped all of them with my poetry “group” (aka Joanne Epp), and sent a few to poet Sally Ito, writer in residence at the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture (CCWOC) at U of M, for her feedback.
On a blog I started as a place to work through writers’ block, I have to confess, I don’t have it anymore. I have weeks where I don’t complete something new and exciting (most of my nearly 500 starts never make it past the second line and read more like rants/bad punchlines than poetry), but every week adds something: a great line, a new idea, and lots of beautiful lessons.