April 20, 2009

The Ugly Wand

Many, many thanks to everyone who has come by the blog to say congrats about the Barnard Prize. It's a thrill and a terror. Right now my 2 A.M. fear is that the poems won't be worthy. But the boulder is rolling and at a certain point my job, like Indiana Jones, is just to get the hell out of the way.

Everything is moving very fast. Marketer's survey due this week. Final text due last week. Author photo due ASAP. The electronic MS formatting required by Norton is double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font. Translation: The fairy godmother of formatting dipped tapped my manuscript on its poor defenseless head with the Ugly Wand. The book grew from 54 to 84 pages, producing a bunch of widows (pages occupied by just one or two last lines, of a poem begun the page before). I have to hope this is essentially raw text, and it will be anointed by a Pretty Potion before being set to type.

Elsewhere on the web...

There's bad news in the publishing world daily, but this hit me hard: the poetry editor at Publisher's Weekly has been laid off. I don't know Teicher personally, but what I know of his work as a poet, critic, and freelancer is that he fights the good fight to raise awareness of poetry in mainstream venues (not only PW but Time Out New York, the NBCC, and so on). We need people with the critical skills and tenacity to seduce the public with poetry, and to refute the idea of it as a self-segregating market. So thank you for your much-needed service, Craig, and I hope you land on your feet soon.

On a brighter note, my article on publishing poetry online is up over at the website for Poets & Writers and appears in the May/June print issue. Thanks to T. R. Hummer, Edward Byrne, and others for their thoughtful responses. Thanks as well to the Wom-Po list serv for offering helpful leads and quotations.


Maggie May said...

Congrats on the PandW article too, I'm going to read it :)

mgushuedc said...

I'll say a prayer that it doesn't get set in Times New Roman, the government cheese of fonts.

Collin Kelley said...

An insightful article. I hope journal editors still in the dark ages will read it and, if not weep, get onboard. I'm also calling for all journals to accept submissions by email.