With the publication of my Happenstance pamphlet provisionally scheduled for April, I'm now immersed in revising drafts of the manuscript with Helena Nelson.
I've been looking forward to this process for a long time, but it's surpassing expectations, reinforcing my belief that a good editor improves a poet hugely. By this, I don't mean that poems are reinvented and cast into someone else's image. Instead, I'm referring to the way that I'm being helped to reassess my poems, stanzas, lines, words and syllables.
Editorial challenges force the poet to raise the bar. I find them an incredible stimulus, not only improving my existing poetry but laying the foundations for future work. From now on, all my new poems will have the points of reference and departure of Helena Nelson's contribution to this current manuscript. In this sense, I'm convinced that top-notch editing is an act of creative generosity. I now just hope my pamphlet returns that favour as best it can!
I recently went to my first Poetry Translation Centre workshop in a while, where we translated a couple of poems by the Persian poet Iraj Ziayi (using a...