I have the idea of sending poems out in late October and November. I already have batches of poems at three magazines, but I will know either way from at least two of these by early November. I’m working on what I imagine to be eight of my strongest unpublished poems – mainly tweaking and minor re-orderings, but in certain sections I’ve also tried making imagery more unpredictable and compressing some of the prosy bits into something resembling poetry.
The UK National Poetry competition entries need to be in by 31 October. There are two or three magazines I’d like to have a shot at. Deciding what to send where is always a problem. I could easily send a potential national winner to be rejected by a magazine editor, or send a poem the magazines would snap up and even pay me for to the wastepaper bin at the National Poetry competition HQ.
Is there such a thing as a 'competition poem'? I'm not convinced that there is, and the judges this year - Michael Schmidt, Penelope Shuttle, and E.A. Markham - may spring a few surprises.
Anyway, for the moment, I’m going to keep working and hope that things become clearer towards the end of the month.