A Good Weekend, or, Avoiding the Proverbial Poetry Noid

A Good Weekend, or, Avoiding the Proverbial Poetry Noid

What's going on, folks? I hope everyone is enjoying the start of their week. I hope you have all had the chance to read at least one Heathcliff comic today, and have successfully avoided the Noid.

No! Heathcliff, watch out!!

Anyway, I want to first of all thank everyone who came to the Nature Writing and Printmaking workshop this past weekend at Hartman. We had a great turn out, fantastic poetry talk, and everyone left with a beautiful broadside to take home. I don't want to give too much away, as it is possible that another of these workshops is in the works(hop). wink. But truly, I had a great time, so big thanks to all involved.

So where do we go from there? Well, it is fully Book Time now, guys, gals, and non-binary pals. They said it couldn't be done (exact "They" unclear), but I am now fully focused on making sure the book, Cover, Recover exists as a finished product.

Over the last few weeks, I have been doing very exciting stuff like looking at paper and pricing out paper and learning about different ways to bind paper. Paper! No one told me how much of this whole thing would involve looking at all this paper and deciding which paper to use!

But it's not all paper. I've also been thinking, and bouncing ideas around with my partner (thanks, Kat [: ) about fonts and scanning images and all kinds of crazy stuff. I don't want to give too much away lest the potential surprise of a good cover reveal be shooed away, but I will say, there is a plan.

The exact, precise step in the bookmaking process that I am at right now is the revision process. The revision process, as any of my fellow writers know, is, well, a little bit intense. It's your last chance to make sure everything you're putting on the page is everything you want on the page. It involves a lot of really tough decisions.

For example, I have written something like 50-60 poems, and am still cranking a few out here and there. Inevitably, I will look at all the poems I have and say "no, no, no, none of them talk about the connection between Shrek and my social anxiety and I need that to round out the collection what am I to do??" and so I will then have 2-3 Shrek poems. And then I have to decide which Shrek poem is best for the book, then I have to revise that Shrek poem, then I will likely go "hmm maybe Shrek Poem No. 2: From Shrek With Love" is the right Shrek Poem for this collection hmm" and so on and so forth. I gotta do this til I end up with the ~20 poems that will make it in the book!

How can I compete with that???

Alas, it will be fine. Secretly, I love revision. The drafting process is when you get to put on your fancy pants and little beret and be a head-in-the-clouds Artiste. Revision is when you get to throw on a hard hat and start knocking down walls and putting things back together again and solving all the little puzzles that each poem is. I love both parts of the process, but revision really scratches that itch to be a Task Completer in a way the writing up front doesn't.

You might wonder what kinds of things I look for when revising poetry. You also might not be. You might also need approximately one week to think on it. And so, next week, I am going to go a little bit more in-depth on my revision process. So now you know what place I am at in the whole grand scheme of thingas, tune in next week to find out more about what that place looks like. I promise it's mostly nice.  

And to go out on, I do want to share one thing from this past weekend's workshop. As a group, we wrote a collaborative poem, and a participant and I inked it. We didn't have time to adorn it with anything besides the text, so I am going to put a couple more finishing touches on it before it goes back to live at Hartman, but here is what it looks like right now. I really love how the poem turned out. Even though each line was written by a different person shaped by different sets of life experiences, it all comes together as a cohesive whole. It moves, but rests well in a sense of community. So thank you again to all who participated.