As I am patiently, but anxiously waiting for word on my Late Night Feelings chapbook submissions, I am currently editing two more chapbooks.
The first one I am editing is called Sweltering Sugar. It is filled with haiku, tanka, and other short form poetry. While editing Late Night Feelings, I found that I had a lot of haiku and shorter poems that I really enjoy, but did not fit the Late Night Feeling bill. I am a fan of writing haiku and short poems, especially during less inspiring times.
Engaging in the practice of haiku as a modern (I say this loosely) day poet, makes me want to put together a collection that is fitting to that. To write short works that doesn't fit the whole "haiku as nature poems" bill is a personal project that I was not aware of doing, but has now spawned into several pieces. While most won't probably enjoy this collection, I really want to put this out.
The title Sweltering Sugar came about from an obsession with the word sweltering and what these shorter pieces remind me of - sweet, tiny pieces of sugar, bubbling on the edge of your tongue - sweltering in the heat of desire, wonder, and fulfillment of language. I sat with the title for a while, even trying to come up with alternatives, but came up blank, solidifying the choice. The title of the book is the only thing that I am sure of.
What troubles me is length and format. As to date, I have over 160 haiku and short form poems, which makes staying with the typical chapbook length of 16 to 32 pieces challenging. When you have three line poems that only take up an inch of space, you also start wondering about format. I find that there are almost no resources for how to format a haiku chapbook/book. I don't know how many pieces can be on a page or different styles I can use for a layout.
I swear that when I discover these secrets, that I will make a guide for other haiku writers. I think it's about time we have updated guidelines that fit with modern day haiku and short-form poetry, especially to be shared.
Home Sweet Home
While I try to figure how to format the haiku chapbook, I've been editing another manuscript called Home Sweet Home. This manuscript has poems that reflect on home, family and self-image. I realized that I had a whole set of poems that talked about a different kind of love and struggle: the battle of self and family.
I find that the poem selection for Home Sweet Home coincides with the time I first decided to embrace my life as a poet. Though there a couple of current pieces, the majority of Home Sweet Home are humble beginnings into the craft with my life used as the test subject.
Another guiding force comes from being particularly moved by past encouragement from the first professor that critiqued my writing. From daddy issues to moving, he endorsed these poems finding their way into the world. That has always stuck with me and after finally deciding to be brave and talk about my family and self-image, I go into this shaky territory remembering his support.
The End...I promise!
Whew - this has been a long entry, but I wanted to share my new projects with you. It doesn't end with Late Night Feelings. We're just getting started.
If anyone has any suggestions, especially with formatting a haiku chapbook, please feel free to leave a comment!