Monday, January 23, 2012

The tricky thing about poetry... that it is all so subjective and relative.  You don't get measured based on a certain rubric when you submit a poem for publication.  The editors don't send back to you a grading sheet that says, "while you meet standard criteria for areas A, B, and C, we found you severely lacking in area D."  Wouldn't that be nice?  To get some specific feedback that you could work with and then be able to make changes that would significantly increase your chances of publication?  Instead, it seems you blindly submit a poem to publication after publication, never really knowing if you should make any edits between submission #1 and resubmission #38. 

A friend of mine suggested that I find a mentor.  Someone who is "in the game" of publishing poetry who would be willing take me under their literary wing and offer constructive criticism as well as guidance.  This is probably good advice.  My road block here is that I don't know where to begin hunting this person down.  Of course I could attempt to be in touch with some of my professors from college - - but those might turn in to awkward little mini speed dating emails.  ("Hi, remember me from 5-7 years ago?  I was a spunky little undergrad who wore red cat-eyed glasses, overalls, and had an unhealthy obsession with the Beat poets?  I'm all growed up now. Wanna help me become a published poet?")  But perhaps the smart move would be to seek a poet who has a similar vibe as moi.  This will be an epic adventure.  Where's Waldo meets Carmen Sandiego, plus I spy. 

Alas.  To distract myself from the self-doubt and oncoming pity party from another rejection letter (#4, but hey, who's counting?), I'll begin pondering this idea of finding a mentor.  Google, here I come...

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