Poetry Book Update

It’s been a few weeks since my last update on my “Poetry Book” project, so it’s time for an update.

There are only a couple of pieces of real progress to report.

First, I have a tentative dedication, replacing the “TODO: write dedication” placeholder. I haven’t yet decided whether to identify the dedicatees by name on that page—my first instinct is to not do so, but I’m dithering, and so would welcome advice.

And second, I have a draft of an introduction to the volume. I don’t like it very much yet, but as usual I don’t see what I can do with it. It’s a little more than a page in the trade-paperback size I’m expecting to use.

I’ve also almost (I think) gotten my “compatibility code” that lets me use the same project with either poemscol or poetrytex to the point where it’s no longer bound up with my project and I could post it somewhere for others to use.

And I may have found one new image suitable for an interior illustration.

Over the next few months, I want to get the collection as close to “done” as possible. However, as I accumulate more, and in a few cases more popular, poems, I keep feeling like I ought to expand my plans.

I have 57 poems in the current draft of the collection (give or take a poem or two, since I just counted them by hand in the table of contents), which works out to between 45 and 70 pages (including the draft introduction, title page, table of contents, and so on, but only a one-page placeholder for the afterword, and no index). A first pass through the statistics I talked about in my last report, which I updated with more recent poems this week, suggests at least 24 others to add, and I could easily select more.

One thought is simply to increase the number of poems. Another is to turn the project into a series of perhaps-smaller volumes of poetry, probably covering the relevant fractions of the year.

Readers, do you have any thoughts as to which, if any, of these options I should choose?

And does anyone want to volunteer to be a “beta reader” when I have the thing nominally complete, to help me polish the poetry (and the prose in the front and back matter)?

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