Monday, February 27, 2006

Poetry collections

In The Independent, Hugo Williams reveals the secrets behind publishing poetry books.
When putting a book together I always think of what Philip Larkin told his publisher when asked if there might be another book in the offing. "In the past I've always had 10 good ones and the rest were fillers. Well, I've got the fillers.'' Not all of us are so rigorous. We go ahead and publish our fillers and are damned. Larkin said he always liked to put a good one at the beginning and at the end of a book. I always look there before buying anyone's new book. If the last poem's no good they're in trouble. Another consideration might be to sprinkle your "good ones'' throughout the book, to give an impression of quality, or at least to spread out your "fillers'' so they don't gang up on you.

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