Friday 31 May 2024

Flash collections

On my Reviews of Flash collections page I have links to write-ups of most of the Flash books I've read. A third of them are anthologies, which is an indication, I think, that it's still an evolving market.

Who buys Flash books? At least with anthologies the contributors might be buyers, but how many of those people will buy single-author books? Who are the trusted publishers?

Reader expectations are maturing now that people are no longer buying only books written by friends. How good should a book be before it's publishable? I think the bar is rising. Should it have sections, like many poetry books have? Will readers accept a mix of prose-poems, dribbles and narrative Flash all in the same book? Are Flash pamphlets viable? Are more Flash books being published by non-Flash-specialist publishers?

At the moment I'd guess that only Flash writers buy (or know about) Flash books. If the customer base expands, are poets or short story writers the most likely additions? Books of short stories and poems aren't flying off the shelves either, but at least the Flash market is expanding. I think Flash might appeal to (narrative) poets who feel that modern poetry (obscure, or "exploring issues") has abandoned them.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Isobel Dixon

On the evening 11th May I listened to Isobel Dixon read outside at Magdalene. I liked what she read, and the Q+A session was useful.

Looking back on my write-ups (which I don't really trust) of her books it seems that I wasn't always convinced that her poetic rendering added enough to the content. I think in a poetry reading it's useful to read pieces with relatable content, so at readings such poems aren't a problem. And the layouts seemed to be trying too hard (also not a problem at readings)

Thursday 2 May 2024

2024 so far

A third of the year has gone and I've written 1 poem. Prose is gushy in comparison - 2 nearly-finished stories and 4 completed Flash pieces - about 5k words. Nothing written this year has been published yet. Old stuff is being accepted about fortnightly. A few of these pieces are old favourites of mine.

Victoria Moul, reviewing a Poetry Review issue, wrote "I think a new reader would be forgiven for concluding that if you want to write a straightforward poem, which uses language in a fairly conventional way, or has any significant narrative content, then you do so in prose." I think I do this nowadays, sending the result to prose/Flash (rather than poetry) magazines.