from Mickey Jim's blog
Advice for writers on submissions from Salmon Poetry
A d v i c e f o r W r i t e r s
O n S u b m i s s i o n s
Salmon's editor, Jessie Lendennie, answers your Frequently Asked Questions
Some people despise what they see as the pretentious, insincere literary world. It certainly is desirable to have a critical sense, but not to confuse the context with the content. In other words, while any arts discipline (indeed, almost anything!) can seem corrupt from outside, unless one examines and participates in the give and take of it all (importantly adding your own experience) you are writing in a vacuum. Creativity feeds on experience - it's important to discriminate but not to block experience. It is useful to remember that what we despise and reject will haunt us; hampering creative development.
There's no getting away from the fact that it's necessary to have experience and exposure for your work by publishing individual poems before trying book publication. The reasons for this are many and varied: From establishing a reputation to honing your craft. There is a necessary period of apprenticeship for any art form which demands focus and dedication. The writing of poetry
unfortunately comes with a stock of misconceptions. Writing is a major part of communication, and we do it from an early age. Writing our feelings can come quite naturally, and we can lose sight of the fact that poetry is also an art form which demands that one is able to strike an intelligent balance between deeply felt experience and the rational, critical ability necessary to craft the experience into Poetry.
As with any art, there are people who derive great pleasure from their creativity for its own sake. There are people who make poetry for their own pleasure and don't want to go further. This is all part of what poetry means to us. However, if one aims to become professional and be taken seriously as a poet, one must go beyond the emotional high of creating. Insight is wonderful and necessary for a full life, but in poetry it has to blend with craft and originality.
We must all be very honest with ourselves about what we want for our poetry, our creativity. Above all never assume that your inner life is the only Truth. Catharsis is liberating, yes; then the work begins. Take the necessary steps to finely tune your writing - shaping it into an original piece.