2 poets, 2 pamphlets, 2 books, 2 publishers. Both of these poets had publications last year which were successors to earlier publications.
- Maria Taylor's pamphlet, Instructions for making me (HappenStance, 2016), succeeded her book Melanchrini (Nine Arches Press, 2012).
- Gregory Leadbetter's book, The Fetch (Nine Arches Press, 2016), succeeded his pamphlet Body in the well (HappenStance, 2007).
At a recent poetry meeting that I went to there was discussion about the changing role of pamphlets. They needn't be a stepping stone towards first-book publication. If you produce only 2 or 3 decent poems a year and you don't want to compromise on quality, a pamphlet's the only alternative to waiting a decade or so between publications. These two poets have interchanged publishers (Nine Arches Press doesn't do pamphlets, HappenStance doesn't do many books). Maria's taken 4 years to produce a pamphlet, and Gregory's taken 9 to produce a book, so neither has rushed. And it shows - both the second publications feel the right length; they're free of padding and have long acknowledgements sections. Both of the later publications have a prevailing but not monopolising theme that provides cohesion.
Both the poets have families and have written or edited other books in the interim, and they both write reviews, so they haven't been twiddling their thumbs while waiting for poems to arrive. All it needs is patience. What perhaps helps is that they inhabit creative writing environments that enable them to keep in touch with poetry-writing even when they're not feverishly writing poetry themselves.