Prepping Your Poetry for the Dazed Starling (and Journal Submissions in General)
Prepping Your Poetry for the Dazed Starling and Publication
The approach writers take to poetry is completely different than it is to prose. Each genre requires a different perspective and skill set. Skill set here means familiarity with the characteristics of quality poetry. Even though the term quality is subjective, it also refers to the general criteria of the foundation of a poem—the rest is up to the inspiration of the writer.
Again, poetry is a genre that is unique in the sense that there is a lot more freedom and variety with a multitude of components. Knowing the most strategic way to create a piece of poetry can be tricky and even a little intimating to some, but is something that can be achievable, nonetheless.
There are a few key ideas to keep in mind when initially writing your poem; however, there are also just as many that work well to keep in mind specifically for revision. Most tips serve the writer better if they keep them in mind when drafting and revising their poems before entering them for the possibility of getting published, whether at CBU or any other place.
Understanding Your Audience
Believe it or not, doing your research plays a big role in what you do and how you choose to write a poem. Research is the umbrella term that takes into consideration influence and audience. It explores this relationship in a way that creates a steady base. This of course would be easiest if done before the initial draft of a poem because it is such a key factor.
Not only is important for the writer to understand these deciding factors, but it also gives them insight into how they can best include their personal flare and style into a piece. That way, the poems are originally the author’s and universally those who encounter them.
Even though understanding your audience may sound obvious, it is one of the most important things the writer can do to have a higher probability of publication. It is essentially the mold for the author’s technique and work.
In terms of audience for a publication, it is safe to say that CBU has a distinct audience. Clearly, the audience here is Christian. With this religious background, it is important to take that into consideration when writing your piece. Despite this, that doesn’t mean that all poems must be only positive and surface level. It is important to keep in mind that theme and audience are different principles. It’s one thing to follow a certain theme for a piece; that is more malleable than say guidelines and restrictions for theme, topics, and language.
Knowing the Basics
With the information about the audience in mind, the next component to tackle is poetic structure and detail. This step is one that doesn’t technically have to be looked at before drafting, but it would surely be the most helpful. The mechanics are the trampoline for ideas and creativity to bounce from.
The easiest way to ensure everything looks good in your poem is again research. Exploring the variety of structures and styles within the realm of poetry, the more room for creativity there is. Oftentimes, structure aids the creative process of expressing certain imagery and themes.
The easiest way to learn all the poetic detail is, of course, the internet. There are a bunch of helpful websites out there that provide useful insight and suggestions on how to write a memorable poem. Some good keywords to look out for are rhyme scheme, diction, punctuation, musicality, and imagery. Another good method is reading an introductory (or even advanced, depending on what level you are as a poet) poetry book.
Piecing It Altogether
Once the audience and the major/minor details have been addressed, the poem is closer to being completed. Now that the main forms have been reviewed the focus should be on the message, tone, and creativity. That is, after the journey of revisions.
The revisions shouldn’t be seen as tedious. Now that you’ve spread the jelly on one piece of the bread and peanut butter on another, it’s time to finally put them together and create a finished PB & J sandwich. And remember prepping your poetry, like with anything else, is an essential part of the process.
When piecing all of it together, it is important to remember that writing poetry isn’t necessarily a “skill.” It is a lengthy process that requires determination and cleverness. Nonetheless, over time it can become a skill. With research, strategy, and creativity your poem is sure to be accepted into the publication world before you know it.