Friday, April 08, 2011

I've been away the last few days but before I went Colin emailed me a first draft pdf of my pamphlet which I have in front of me, printed out and stapled together. So exciting to see how it's going to look. I'm really happy with the order and poems, a last minute poem thrown in and a couple of weaker ones taken out. I'm feeling confident enough about all of the poems in it now, that is, all twenty-nine of them! I've been enjoying the process of putting the pamphlet together, thinking about font styles and which poems to start and finish with. I also think, with a pamphlet, the centre page poems are really important. It's obviously where a pamphlet naturally falls open so I think it's good to have some eye-catching ones there. Colin's been brilliant, he's done a great job in sorting through my poems, ordering and arranging them, I'm so pleased with it! Also, I'm so happy and excited that Roxana is very kindly letting me use one of her gorgeous images for the cover!!!

Whilst scrolling through facebook earlier I came across a link to an interview with Frieda Hughes on some of her favourite poetry. It's an interesting read as she analyses the work of some of her favourite poets and demonstrates what she looks for and loves in poetry. She also talks a little about her own writing processes and Ted Hughes' advice to her to 'only write for yourself'. I've been thinking, recently, about the role of the reader in the writing of a poem, about what responsibility/ies (if any)  the writer has towards her reader, so it was interesting to read Hughes' advice.

I'm ignoring the urge to re-read Lorca's wonderful play, Blood Wedding, which is sitting in a pile next to my computer. I'm really trying to immerse myself in my (now seven!) chosen poets and stay away from the old favourites. I feel it's doing me good to be focusing on different writers/writing and I'm really enjoying reading, re-reading them and becoming familiar with the poems.


Titus said...

I am so looking forward to it!

And thanks for the Hughes, and expecially Hill, links. Shall pursue. I'm having a Mercian Hymns phase.

Jim Murdoch said...

I think I would have been published long before now had I had someone I could pass on the duties of picking and arranging my poems. I’ve attempted a grouping many times but always gave up. I’m happy with my book though and it was surprisingly easy once I got the shape in mind. I do have a couple of other chapbooks in mind but they’re a while off.

As for a writer’s responsibility towards the reader, it’s an interesting question but not one that I can provide an answer to that will suit everyone. I guess it depends on why you write. A romantic novelist is already aware of who their demographic is and what they expect; they are writing for them and so need to bear in mind what their expectations are and not stretch them too far. Me, on the other hand, I write to clear my mind. I write purely for me and no one else and the fact that anyone likes anything I write is a bonus. But I’m not a commercial writer nor do I ever expect to be one. Or worry about being one.

Roxana said...

so happy and excited myself :-)

Marion McCready said...

your welcome titus, to my shame I've never seriously read any of Hill's work. keep hearing about his Mercian Hymns, must get myself a copy!

hi jim, yes it's great having someone else's objective view on these things and Colin's obviously well experienced in putting pamphlets together. he put them in the order I would have wanted them in if I had been objective enough to do it myself!
yes, 'why you write', that's another way of saying write for yourself. I'm not talking about commercial concerns or fitting into a perceived genre, more along the lines of our previous 'what do you expect me to get out of this poem' discussion!

oh roxana, thanks again!!

A J Stubbs said...

Many thanks for the Frieda Hughes link - really enjoyed the article and now know of the Browser too.

I have just started a blog of my own - on poetry, and would be delighted if you'd visit - and comment - and if you are interested, or think others might be please put a link on your page. My blog is at

Many Thanks

Marion McCready said...

glad you enjoyed it, AJ, and thanks for the link to your blog!