Saturday, August 11, 2007

Andrew Philip's Manuscript

Andrew Philip and I swapped manuscripts recently – poems we reckoned might be good enough for a debut full collection.

I’ve read through Andy’s MS twice now. I’d say there’s quite a difference between the poems in his now sold-out(!) chapbook, Tonguefire (a number of which are also in the MS) and his new material. There’s the same precise reflection on the world, but there’s more ‘space’ in the new material – often white space on the page, and daring connective leaps between thoughts and images.

There are a few brilliant, daring poems and a fair number of very good ones. It deserves publication. What beats me is how it’s so hard to get a first collection published in the UK, and yet so much poetry being published is quite ordinary and generic. You couldn’t say that of Andy’s stuff.


Dick said...

'What beats me is how it’s so hard to get a first collection published in the UK'. Tell me about it! Very difficult to find a publisher who will accept submitted mss. Very difficult to disregard the voices (bad angels? good angels?) that keep whispering, 'Save the stamps, pal, you're crap'.

Rob said...

Yes, not easy. But Picador is the only publisher I've found so far who simply don't accept unsolicited Mss.

One or two others say they don't, but they just say that so that they don't get deluged. Actually they do read them.

But yes - so few new poetry titles on the schedules, so few readers, so many writers - the maths is easy to work out. If people, including writers, bought and read more poetry, more stuff might get published.

I've still got most of the publishers to try. I am very slow at getting round to it, partly because I feel I am writing stuff, and have ideas for stuff, that I might like to include in submissions - as opposed to what I've already written.

Lars Palm said...

Why think locally? I sit in southern Sweden & have chaps published in the US & Canada. Also recently submitted a long book manuscript to a few US publishers. & they have taken the work remarkably seriously. & with the growing possibility of submissions via email there really are no reasons left

good luck to you


Rob said...

You've got a point, Lars, and that route might be worth investigating.

Anonymous said...

View the visual and poetic art of Ernest Williamson III. He is a Puschcart Prize nominee.