It became obvious to me from the very first group workshop in France that I don't pay enough attention to the 'voice' of a poem or fully extending my voice in my poems. This comes mainly from having never been part of a in-the-flesh workshopping group. My poems end up becoming tight little image-strong pieces with little room for the voice to speak. I always read aloud my poems as I write but that's always been to pay attention to sound and rhythm rather than voice. This has been so important for me to grasp a hold of because I feel it's a tangible way I can move forward in my poems and write better. Since I've come back I've been reading poems differently, paying attention to the voice rather than going straight to the images.
So the week before France I suddenly realised I had realistically enough poems for a full-length collection and used the deadline of a first collection competition to force me to put them together and order them and come up with a title. When I spread all of the poems out I found that they fell naturally into four sections which made the ordering job so much easier. I gave each section it's own title and one section title became the whole collection title. All of this has put far too much pressure on the little title poem whose title seemed representative of many of the poems in the collection rather than being picked for being my best, strongest poem. However it is exciting to think I have the possibility of a collection together and a collection structure to work on and of course I want to throw my new France poems into it and other ones I'm working on at the moment.