Books Open Swellcast

@books·2yr ago·1:04

Your First Book: Writing, Publishing, & Beyond

BooksWriting & PoetryInterviews & AMAs⭐ Editor's Picks

"…I am thrilled to be starting this conversation with a few writers about their upcoming books. We're going to be talking about the creation of these books about the publication process, anything in between. Let's see where the conversation takes us. Thank you all for joining. So why don't we just start out with introduction? So I'll say a bit about myself. My name is Bowie Rowan.…"

Join these writers in this conversation about their first books. #writing #publishing #poetry

26

Laura Minor

@lauralminor · 2yr ago · 3:09

"…They're telling me 2021 we were aiming for summer, but I just don't know, and I think that that's something that would be interesting for everyone to speak to is just how much we don't know about the process of what happens when your first book gets accepted or wins a prize. I know recently I've heard of a lot of people saying that agents are important, and I think I've spoken to one man.…"

9

Alexa Doran

@alexa · 2yr ago · 2:07

"…I think that Laura brings up a really good point about the mystification of the first book process. I definitely feel the same sort of stumbling that I think I hear Laura experiencing where I'm not really sure 100% of my role in this process. And so, yeah, I do think it would be interesting to hear other people's experiences about working with their publisher.…"

2

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 3:13

"…Thank you both so much for these thoughtful responses. First of all, Laura, it's great to hear more about what the process has been like for you. And I started laughing when you were talking about how many times you submitted your collection and just us how long it took, because I think a lot of us writers can really relate to that.…"

@lauralminor @alexa Rejection as a motivator.

2

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 1:34

"…I think that's partially what's been really challenging for me with this book is it's definitely taken me to some places that I didn't think I would go in exploring character and grief, but it's also been an extremely fulfilling process. I've thrown away hundreds of pages at this point, but I've never felt more grateful for that process.…"

@alexa My novel & letting go to move forward.

2

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 0:16

"…And Anna, I know you'll be joining us, so I just wanted to ask if any of the above resonates with you and is in line with what your experience has been in getting your first book out into the world and starting that process.…"

@annabsutton The journey of your book.

2

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 2:00

"…So it took me three degrees and several years to trust myself enough to get that book written. So thanks. Looking forward to more. Hi, everyone, buddy.…"

@bowie #firstbookstory #waveland #oseljessicaplante #poetry #poettalks

5

Anna Sutton

@annabsutton · 2yr ago · 4:00

"…The second manuscript that I'm working on right now is wildly different. I really consider this first book like a hard confessional, almost a traditional confessional collection.…"

#intro #impostorsyndrome #mfa

9

Alexa Doran

@alexa · 2yr ago · 3:52

"…Although I wish I could have made those connections, Anna is making me also think that I need to be pushing my students to participate in publishing so that they're not having the experience. I think Laura and I am where we're just like, hey, hanging out, don't really know what to expect or what we need to be doing or what needs to happen. We have our general ideas about, like getting blurbs and et cetera, et cetera.…"

5

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 1:33

"…The word that kept coming up for me was persistence. I mean, just the amount of persistence for all of you in creating these bodies of work. And it made me wonder if there was a moment potentially in birthing these collections where a poem happened or something shifted in which you felt like you really found the voice of the collection or the book felt like it was on solid ground, and you knew that you were going to see it through, no matter what.…"

When did the book become the book? @lauralminor @oseljessica

4

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 1:45

"…So I'm curious if that was at all part of your process and if you revised in between the many submissions you sent out, or if the manuscript that you began sending out is pretty much the manuscript that will end up in our hands in book form.…"

@annabsutton Submitting and revision!

2

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 2:18

"…And this conversation and hearing you all speak about your process of submitting rejections and all of that, it made me realize that there still could be much more education out there for aspiring writers.…"

@alexa Making the process less mysterious!

3

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 1:18

"…But the wait time to actually going from getting the phone call, which was amazing and happened at Lucky Goat in Tallahassee while I was on the back patio working on some grading, I think when I got the call and kind of freaked out and two years later, just about is the wait time between that experience and when I'll actually have the physical book.…"

#publishing #firstbook #blacklawrencepress

5

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 2:28

"…And in addition to the fact that I tend to have a lot of water imagery in my writing. And here was this name of a town filled with water and also filled with a kind of terrain of a marriage. So Waveland just get sort of a sense of the ups and downs, the rolling, the roiling, the steady, the beautiful, the painful, the deep, dark secrets under the water, which is mainly sort of how my story began to evolve.…"

@bowie #waveland #barbarahamby #firstbooks

4

Swell Team

@Swell · now · 0:15

Welcome to Swell!

Alexa Doran

@alexa · 2yr ago · 2:40

"…Good evening. I just wanted to jump in a little bit and say, Gosh, I already lost my train of thought. Yes. As far as influences that I think allowed the persistence for the books to come into existence was buried for me many unburied. Certainly. I also have had the luck of working with Barbara Hambi, and she is always in the back of my mind saying, Be ambitious for yourself, be ambitious for yourself.…"

#MalenaMorling #Publishing #Marriage #PoetsArePersitent #WhiteOleander

5

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 0:46

"…I absolutely loved what you said about the relationship with a mentor and the creation of your book and how sometimes it takes someone else seeing the potential or the future of something that you're actively working on for you to see it yourself. And I also thought it was really interesting the way in which that relationship helped form what seems to be like the metaphorical backbone of your collection. You mentioned the relationship between water imagery and marriage and secrets. I have never felt works. I did read your books.…"

@oseljessica Amazing 🌊

2

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 0:48

"…Alexa, you just gave me full body chills. First of all. Okay, I just need to revisit be ambitious for yourself. And also publication is inevitable are the most poet, brilliant, brilliant, iconic things I have ever heard. And I am going to take them with me to the grave now. Okay. I had to take a brief break because I was so excited to hear both of those things and just found them so inspiring right now.…"

@alexa @oseljessica Yes to a collab!!

2

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 1:09

"…And as a fiction writer, I am constantly thinking about how place informs how my reader may experience or interpret the world I'm creating, and more specifically, how the characters are engaging with that world. And so I would love to hear a bit how Place has or hasn't maybe informed your books when you're you were working on it. Did you experience the ways in which place was functioning in one way? And how do you maybe see how places functioning in your books now.…"

How did place inform your books?

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 2:16

"…And I was hoping to put together an anthology that revolved around formal dresses, seashells, and forms of fragmentation of female identity, of which, to me, those are two objects central to that. And I was hoping to put together a collection of micro essays or prose poems that could be just create a story about the collective experience around femininity and fragmentation.…"

#fragmentation #marriage #collab #terrain

4

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 4:21

"…And I think in a couple of poems, one where it's titled Self Portrait as a Daughter's Stuff with a sack of Pomegranates, that I talk about all the places that I've been in one poem. So poems like that are really important and holding together spatially, the awareness for the reader and giving them a sense of how I've just been all over.…"

@bowie @alexa #forgot to tag you in my last response, Alexa! #firstcollecti

4

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 0:45

"…And Anna Hi. I just wanted to give a shout out to Black Lawrence Press. I guess we are press mates and I'm Super excited about that. So Congrats on your forthcoming collection. I'm looking forward to getting a copy and maybe hearing you read through the Black Lawrence Reading series or elsewhere. I guess nothing is locked in based on where we are at anymore, since we can always do everything by Zoom, which I'm getting so fatigued.…"

@annabsutton #blacklawrencepress

2

Alexa Doran

@alexa · 2yr ago · 2:25

"…I'm interested to see how other people have worked place into their to their work because I want to think about it more in this next collection. I think that's it. Thank you, Bowie.…"

4

Alexa Doran

@alexa · 2yr ago · 3:27

"…I want to hear from some of your book and some of your thoughts about working with the press. Good to talk to all of you again. I was just reading an article about Zoom fatigue and that I'm going to share with my students so I could send it to you if you want. It's a scholarly article. So it's not like a pleasure to read, but I like how it's like. And this is why you're hate Zoom. That makes me feel good.…"

2

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 4:19

"…Hey, y'all. I just thought I'd pop in since it's been a few days, and Alexa, we can keep our conversation going while we wait for Buoy to pepper us with the next question. I think it's interesting that women in anger because that is definitely an emotion I've been feeling a lot lately, and it's one I think women traditionally avoid feeling or suppress when they do feel it.…"

@alexa #womenandanger #zoomfatigue #genx

4

@womenshistory · 2yr ago · 3:50

"…And this particularly struck a chord with me because it's been in the last handful of years that I have been on a journey within my writing and my personal life and understanding more fully my relationship to gender. And for me, I think some terms that currently work for me are nonbinary and gender queer. And I have to say, in my personal experience, understanding what those words mean to me in regard to my relationship to gender has been incredibly freeing and also super empowering.…"

Writing about gender and anger!

4

@womenshistory · 2yr ago · 0:40

"…I also just had to ask because I was so compelled by what Osel said in relation to deconstructing and kind of challenging the patriarchy within us. And I'm wondering wondering if that is something that anyone else can relate to in Ocean, if you would say a bit more about how poetry and writing poems has maybe been part of that process in confronting and deconstructing the way in which you've been particularly affected by patriarchy.…"

@oseljessica Poems & patriarchy

2

Laura Minor

@lauralminor · 2yr ago · 5:00

"…Maybe closer to the cells were older, and Anna's and I read a lot of Eastern European, a lot of Russian poetry in the late 90s and a lot of South American, and that intensity served me well when it came time to get it down to 48, 54 pages. And then, of course, there's always this period of negotiation where you have these, like lovers fights with certain palms that you don't want to let go of.…"

#process #masssubmission #numbersgame #lessmysterious #cutting #mentors

7

Laura Minor

@lauralminor · 2yr ago · 5:00

"…Jean Valentine, when I went to see her read as a very young woman, Dennis Johnson, who had just written Jesus Son, and it was made into a movie with Billy Crud up. It had just come out and there was an auditorium in Lower Manhattan, and he was opening for her. And she was teaching at Sara Laura at the time and wasn't very public. And he read. And there were about 500 really hip, good looking white artist writer guys hanging around.…"

#mentors #process #fatigue #patriarchy #trauma #WomensHistory #anger #patri

4

Laura Minor

@lauralminor · 2yr ago · 4:25

"…I kept thinking about this Tennessee Williams quote about how the world is violent and material, and the only thing that really stops all of that is love, right? Loving each other, the act of love, the service of love. And I think that if we're talking about our books, that's a running theme in this first book. When I first read Ameri Barack, his Young Palms, his first poems. And I did get to see him read while he was alive.…"

4

Anna Sutton

@annabsutton · 2yr ago · 4:13

"…But you don't get a lot of feedback as far as, like, if only you developed this concept more, then it would have been a win for us. It's usually just like, yes, no. Or almost so. It really is like an individual writers process and motivation. And I was lucky enough to get fellowship at Vermont Studio Center. So I had some time to focus on writing.…"

#revision

4

Anna Sutton

@annabsutton · 2yr ago · 2:01

"…But yeah, me and my old a** right in the place.…"

#place #myoldass

8

Anna Sutton

@annabsutton · 2yr ago · 4:49

"…But I think for me, some of the most important stuff I did. I went to a writer's workshop when I was 13, a writers camp that I met Blast Falconer at. Somehow this amazing poet had decided to dedicate a lot of his time to teaching angsty 13 year olds how to write a successful poem. He blurbs my book. He might also blurb Alexa. So that's kind of cool to think about those connections again.…"

#mfa #womenandanger

9

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 4:20

"…So really interesting life story there, but it's almost this game of how do we become famous? How do we take our personal expression and agency and experience in life and offer that to the world in a consumable way? We brand ourselves as poets, I suppose, and not to mention any names. But I do remember sitting in a workshop once and the professor asking, Why do you want to be a poet? And had everyone answer to that question around the room?…"

@lauralminor #pobiz #agents #obscurity

6

Anna Sutton

@annabsutton · 2yr ago · 4:41

"…But then I also think as a discussion about first books, it's important to acknowledge that the first book experience for most people is sort of like part of that initial run towards the poetry world. On the publishing side, there's some knowledge that you're going to lose money on your first book. Basically, you're going to pay to travel a lot, and you may get a stipend from your publisher. You're going to sell maybe a couple of hundred books.…"

#agents #firstbook #fame #pobiz @lauralminor @oseljessica

2

Alexa Doran

@alexa · 2yr ago · 4:39

"…And reflecting on that thing about that, I think that's so true. We are so often hear this crazy making, and Laura was talking about like this awareness of the word crazy and the loadedness behind it and this idea that it often writes off things that are more nuanced or complex than people want to deal with. I definitely feel this pain around gender, and that again, Ocean was referring to, and it makes me think of Rilka because he talks about how gender is the issue.…"

#Rilke #pressure #authenticity #gender

Alexa Doran

@alexa · 2yr ago · 4:09

"…Okay. So Yup. Back again. So anyways, Laura was talking about how her experience with sort of collections. She appreciated the shorter collections more I found, at least when I was reading my list of poetry collections for the prelim exams as part of our PhD program, I found that the longer collections spoke to me more that they became more universes where the shorter ones were worlds. And I've always been someone that's been attracted to longer books to series and things like that.…"

#Blurbs #BlasFalconer #MaryRuefle #LiteraryAgents #Anger #AudreLorde

2

Bowie Rowan

@bowie · 2yr ago · 2:15

"…And the follow up to that question would be if you would be willing to share a moment or a full poem if you'd like to any piece from your forthcoming books that we could listen to, and that is meaningful for you in some way in relation to truth. Thank you so much for all of us so far, and I'm really looking forward to hearing a bit of your work. It's.…"

Truth & your first books @lauralminor @oseljessica @annabsutton @alexa

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 4:56

"…But I wanted to thank you, Anna, for your just like, wise and sensible take on the agent question, and I'm grateful that you reframed it regarding the first book experience versus sort of the totality of someone's career. And it really made me take some days to renegotiate what I had said in my last response, which was, you know, like, is it just more pop is nonsense when someone gets an agent?…"

@annabsutton @alexa #firstbooks #agents #poetrycareer

4

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 4:57

"…I am a daughter without having much sovereignty or agency or first, I'm here for myself and must learn to take care of myself and do things in service to myself for your own progress on the human journey. So I feel like my book is really about my relationship to finding out how I could be a person who could be on her own and not have a sense of identity mediated through others.…"

#firstbookpromotion #trauma

2

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 3:51

"…I think in the past I've always kind of felt like I was having a bit of an out of body experience when I would hit on a poem or be drafting and hit on a moment where the language and my emotion and what was coming out onto the page sort of felt beyond me or beyond the scope of my rational mind, so that the truth happened to be something outside of my immediate sphere or my immediate experience and would teach me something.…"

#recognizingtruth #trauma #gratitude

3

Osel Plante

@oseljessica · 2yr ago · 3:03

"…So if you listened to my previous entry into this conversation, I'm only going to read the poem Eleven in response to Boeing's question about truth. And so here it goes. Eleven, I ride my bicycle through a country of black Crows. They cover the Earth with their lurching hops and lazy take offs. My childhood is closing like a fist around my hair. Brown vine rooted in my skull, the womb of my brain womb that will birth the real me.…"

#waveland #crows #sovernity #creationmyth

4

Anna Sutton

@annabsutton · 2yr ago · 3:03

"…Oh, Sal, thank you so much for all your responses. And before I answer books question, I just wanted to comment on a few things. First of all, my mom had at least one petrol as a child. She grew up in suburban DC, and her dad would just like, find animals in the Woods and bring them home. So she had a Crow that would like, follow her to school.…"

@oseljessica @bowie #crows #vulnerability

3

Anna Sutton

@annabsutton · 2yr ago · 4:21

"…And I think when we're talking about moments of truth and writing and feeling like, oh, this is my truth. This is definitely that poem for me. And over the many revisions, I've moved it further and further towards the front of the books. And then finally I was like, all right, this is where it belongs, front and center. So for Shame, one sugar meant smoke on my lips.…"

#poetryreading #savageflower #shame

3
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