Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reprint: Poetic Edits

Vancouver-based writer Kevin Spenst is doing a series of interviews with poets focused on the editing process. He calls them Poetic Edits.

I was tickled, after receiving his interview request, to see that Bren Simmers, Sandra Ridley, and Linda Besner were all there, saying smart but also heartfelt things about editing.

Here's an excerpt from my interview, posted today:
Any pet peeves when it comes to editing your own work or someone else’s?

Ariel Gordon: I’m no one’s wife but I OFTEN find myself married to the original idea/image/sound in a particular work.
Convincing myself to radically change a piece – throwing out most if not all of it, dramatically re-writing the rest – is hard mental work, especially if I’ve got something that sort-of-kind-of-but-doesn’t-quite-FUCKING-work.

The problem is that you have to be committed to changing the piece for the changes to be any good.

And if you’re not convinced that it needs changing, well…it feels baby/bathwater-y.

The absolute worst is when I’m having a stupid day and somehow decide, in the midst of my stupidity, that maybe I should edit my poems.

Thank gods I keep all the different e-versions of my poems...

I have two thoughts, late on a Sunday night the day before school starts. The first is: Thanks Kevin! The second is: Oh what fun...

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