Musings: Pondering Publishing A Poetry Book

If you’re reading this – or if you follow the blog – you know I write poetry. I post a fair number of farm and nature-related haiku, and I’m inspired on a daily basis by my surroundings. But where to go from here? I’ve a yen to self-publish!

Ok, maybe you’re thinking to yourself hello, delusion – nobody reads anymore, let alone reading poetry! To which I’d respond there are pretty pictures, too..! But enough jocularity. You read this blog, so there must be at least a few readers out there. I hope.

But I am a realist, so I understand that a poetry book probably isn’t going to garner much interest from a traditional publisher. A poetry book about farming? Maybe even less. It’s a niche – I get it.

So the answer may be to self-publish (or is it simply the pinnacle of hubris?). I’ve researched different ways of doing it, and some sources suggest that I might be better off simply digging a hole and throwing my money into it. Ouch.

My vision for the book is this: to collect my pairings of images and words in a volume that a reader could look to for a dose of inspiration, a brief escape, or a moment of emotion (including sadness). A slender book that captures the essence of the farm – the beauty, the challenges, the commitment – and that invites even people who don’t live this lifestyle to take a peek.

Geese are big poetry fans

I also want to challenge the long-held stereotypes about “farmers”: we are intellectuals and poets, too. Many of us were not born into it – we choose this life. Or perhaps it chooses us…either way, farmer-poet is not an oxymoron (or it doesn’t have to be, anyway).

Sometimes it seems like beauty is one of the few truths that helps us keep putting one foot in front of the other. Beauty is where when you look for it – even if only in your imagination – and I like to think that my book may provide a welcoming place for a bit of beauty to live.