2014 was a strange year. It begun with huge enthusiasm for my very first collection, but, after the wonderful launch, and the pleasant words from a few (a very few) generous readers, more or less disappeared from the face of the earth – though it is still selling, of course.

There followed a very fallow year, in which all enthusiasm for poetry, and to a large extent writing, ebbed away, to be refreshed eventually by an excited drafting of a novel in the summer, which I’ve subsequently failed to find enough motivation to redraft into something better. In consequence, I wrote little and published less last year. There was a big dip in my output and my successes and I thought, for a while, I’d perhaps exhausted my creative self and no more decent poetry was going to come.

This year, though, I’ve decided that I must make more of an effort both to write and to publish my work. My attitude now is that, if a poem works, then it deserves to find a press somewhere willing to publish it – and if it doesn’t work, then it will never find such a press, so the only responsibility is to keep sending them out until absolutely coninced of their unpopulairy/unseccessful nature.

In essence, therefore, I’m now trying to sort the sheep from the goats in my work, and publish as many of the sheep as I can. Alongside this I decided I might as well seek international markets as most of the better UK magazines have already said “yes” to me, whilst the very best have given no indication that they would ever like my work in any respect. The problem with international publication is trying to identify the better from the lesser, and trying to pin down those which might feel my work was suitable. I don’t like wasting editors’ time. But I don’t like wasting my time even more.

So far I’ve had a poem accepted by an Indian magazine – which then immediately seemed to fold Ofi Press and a couple of US magazines, one of which, San Pedro River Review, is co-edited by a really lovely person, Tobi Alfier. The former has just been published, the latter will not be until the summer.

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