a collection of interesting and not-so-interesting things. including information on current & upcoming projects.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

When I Am Hell

I just finished editing my book-length poetry collection, When I Am Hell (& other poems). The manuscript clocks in at 120 pages. A respectable length for a poetry book. This book began life as a much different beast called emptying and I think it is much better in the current, more brutal version.

I cut 14 poems today after editing the whole thing so hopefully it is lean enough. I'm pretty happy with it except for the fact that it is a collection of poems. I have a preference for long poems and concept-heavy collections. But I think I managed to give the work as a whole enough cohesion. I like these poems a lot and so I'd like to see them go out into the world, and this seems like the best way to do it. I wanted there to be some cohesion across the book but I didn't want to impose a concept onto poems that weren't written to fit any concept (this is a series of stand-alone works). So I just tried to pick poems that worked well together and were among my best. Some of my favourites hit the cutting room floor, others are being reserved for future collections. Other favourites of mine just aren't good enough to publish, even though I have some affinity for them. I also would have liked to have more experimental work, but almost all of my experimental work consists of poetic series. At first I was toying with making this book a series of series but I want to do something with these stand-alone poems. So I compromised by including a few pieces and centring the book around the semi-experimental series When I Am Hell.

Next week I'll set about the task of excerpting work to submit to Turnstone Press for consideration. I want to give Turnstone the first chance to consider the book since it's my favourite small press and I think that my work would sit well alongside some of its catalogue. I'll also start earmarking poems from the collection for submission to magazines. A few have been published already but I don't see why I shouldn't publish other ones if anyone's interested.

Next I am writing a collection of short stories over the summer entitled Metamorphoses. After that I will be writing a novel (while I do my PhD classes, Fall-Spring) called Hell Hath Fury. This is the novel previously known as Narcissus. I am also going to be co-writing a screenplay called Guinness and co-creating a short film called Opening Band which I will direct this summer. Work on the Spoony B film continues to progress slowly, as does work on my experimental short films. I have to earn a living too, you know.


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