Second Collection: Title Announcement, Betas Wanted

As most readers of this blog surely know by now, back in 2014 I published a collection of my poetry, both in paperback and on Kindle. Some of you may also be aware that I’m currently working on a second collection. I have one item of news about this project, and there is one part of it with which I would like the help of some of my readers.

First, my news. After consulting and brainstorming with a friend of mine and other writerly acquaintances, I’ve decided on a title for this collection. My second collection of my poetry will be called Dreams and Prayers: Verses From a Wandering Mind.

Second, I would like your help. When I was preparing A Year in Verse, I intended and hoped to release it on or just before the beginning of the liturgical year, and rushed my editing, revising, and proofreading to try to meet that deadline. (Only to have delays in proofing the cover make me miss it. But that’s another story.) With this second collection, I can take the time to do it right. I’ve gone over the poems carefully, and in the process I discovered and fixed a few typos, adjusted a few awkward wordings, and in a few cases even replaced several lines at a time—but I’m still too close to the poems to come at them fresh, so I’d like some of you to read a draft of the collection and give me your feedback.

As you may know, my poetry is nearly all blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter), and on average is around 10-15 lines. This collection is currently planned to include about 70 poems—each paired with a public-domain drawing or illustration in the final collection, but to save paper if you print the draft out, I’ll omit the illustrations from the “beta version”—divided into three sections.

While any thoughts readers may have are valuable, in particular I’m looking for help improving

  • The order of the poems. Unlike my first collection, where I had the concept of the multiple simultaneous calendars guiding my choices of which poems came first and which poems followed which, here I have had to just make arbitrary decisions. If you think a poem would work well as the first or last poem in a section, or two poems should or shouldn’t be next to each other, or one poem should be after another instead of before it, that would be tremendously helpful.
  • The details of the poems themselves. If a word, a line, or a section of a poem “sounds” odd, I’d like to be able to try to improve it.

(Anything else, such as ideas for titles for any of the poems, suggestions of poems I didn’t include but you think I should, links to suitable artwork, or anything else, would be most welcome, but those two areas are what I’m most looking for.)

If anyone would be willing to read my draft and give me your feedback, please comment below or get in touch with me some other way.

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