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WHY POETRY PUBLISHERS ARE PERNICKETY

Here’s the scenario:

Your cousin has had a book of poems published. He sends you the Amazon link. Good grief!! It costs TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY QUID. Will you buy it?

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‘OVERPUBLICATION IS A TERRIBLE THING’

Shakespeare said it first. Or at least Don Paterson’s version of Shakespeare’s sonnet 102 did:

That love is merchandized, whose rich esteeming
The owner’s tongue doth publish everywhere.

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LOVE AND LOSS . . .

. . . the only two themes, it seems to me, and they are one and the same. I only met Linda Chase once in the flesh, but I loved her. And now she's gone.

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COCKING IT UP AGAIN?

The email newsletter went out last week flagging three new publications. But guess what I forgot?

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SCHOOL KILLS POETRY

I can't stand Visiting Hour by Norman MacCaig. Marking school work has killed it for me. Too many nostrils bobbing down too many corridors in too many MacCaiging essays.

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HOW TO WIN A POETRY COMPETITION

I once carried out a lengthy analysis of winning entries in order to pin down the secret.

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