[Update 26 June 2012: At my personal blog, I’ve put up another demonstration of this technique.]
When I was younger and wanted to write but was less sure of my own inspiration, I liked inventing processes that would generate text for me. The most useful technique I devised was something I called “the Spell Check Technique.” These days I don’t really use it anymore, so I thought I’d set it down here in case others would like to pick it up.
For this technique you need a text editor with spell check capacity (I’ll demonstrate it using Microsoft Word 2003), plus some text. It doesn’t really matter what the text is.
If you have questions about writing or publishing or whatever, leave them in the comments or e-mail them to roxane at roxanegay dot com and we will find you some answers.
Q1: How do you get a poetry manuscript published?
write a poetry manuscript that you like and show it to people.
That’s a tough one. I would say contests and then send it out to presses who you admire, or who have a sensibility somewhat like your own work. Also, publish the individual poems, build a presence, voice, and you might just get a publisher contacting you, saying, “Do you have a collection?” Like all writng, if it is a strong collection and you believe in it, it will eventually find its place.
So far editors have asked for the chapbooks I’ve published. I’m told you just have to send out relentlessly, particularly to places where the editors’ aesthetic is similar to your own. For instance, I wouldn’t send a manuscript with lots of shit-fuck-goddamns…well, that’s not true. I send everything everywhere.