What iteration, intuition, and awkward yoga poses can teach us about assembling a standout poetry manuscript.
I had a manuscript in January. I took it to the Tupelo Manuscript Conference where I learned it had no cohesion. Through a review of my title bank that consisted of my titles, and lines from other literature and nonfiction books, I found my new title. That new title became my "core message," so to speak. But it wasn't until I read the suggestions in Marbles on the Floor that I printed out my manuscript, four manuscript pages to the printed page, cut them up and spread them out like a deck of cards. This tactile approach made me engage with each poem, decide which poems stay or go, what the sections should be, where I had holes, and how to sequence the poems within each section. I await feedback now from my beta reader. I enjoyed the process so much more with these card-like pages.