81 deg ~ on the way to 90 in a few short hours, strong breeze dismantling the last of the flowers on our scrubby trees of indeterminate variety
Jacque Day, the Assistant Managing Editor of New Madrid, emailed to let me know that they would like to publish all four poems I submitted back in March. Wow. I would have been happy to have one poem in this great journal; however, with all four set to appear in the next issue, I'm thrilled!
So this was a happy derailment. I spent the morning sending out a few withdrawal notices and cleaning up some records for submissions, which led me to having to clean up my manuscript b/c I hadn't kept up with the acknowledgments.
For those of you wondering about my drafting process, the whole one-a-week draft got knocked off course by the semester's end. It usually takes me a few days to transition to a new schedule. However, rest assured, Dear Reader, I'm filled with energy, words, and hope.
Now, to a question that has begun to plague me. I've asked others about this on their blogs or in emails, but I'm hoping to get some more answers.
Can one publish too many of the poems in a manuscript that is currently looking for a publisher? Can one be over-exposed in the lit mags?
Yes, the question seems a bit hilarious to me, but someone, somewhere mentioned to me that publishers might turn down a book where too many individual poems had already appeared and now I'm a bit freaked out. At the U of Arkansas, we were simply told to get the poems out there and into the lit mags and that this would help us build a reputation and may help us land a book with a publisher. Whoever started me thinking about this mentioned the figure of 70%...that a poet should stop publishing individual poems when 70% of the book was out there. If you've followed this blog for long, you know I have a bit of the accountant in me (thanks, Mom!), so I actually love to crunch the numbers. This can be dangerous, as my current freak out displays.
It seems to me that the book as a collection is something entirely other than just a string of poems, that there needs to be some kind of connective tissue holding it all together and that a reader can't get that from randomly reading individual poems in journals.
By the way, I am in no way looking the gift horse of this acceptance in the mouth. I'm doing my happy dance all the way to the grocery store!