When you are thinking about submitting your poetry to be published or showcased on a public platform, it is good to think about your work as a ‘collection’. This means that a number of poems are presented as one ‘body of work’, usually with one or two key themes that connect the different poems. To share a collection of poems with your public can help with the visibility of your work, identity of the poet and it can really help your readers to get stuck into a topic.
In Spring 2015 Elinor submitted a collection of poems to Poets’ Corner. The key theme in Elinor’s collection is ‘the Black Country’. Some poems are about the Black Country history and others take place in the Black Country. This does not mean that there are not many more themes in the poems; just that the ‘Black Country’ theme can be found in all poems.
Elinor writes: ‘My main inspiration for writing comes from things that fascinate or interest me. Much of my work is written about the Black Country, a region in the West Midlands where my family have lived for over twelve generations. It is a place with a rich cultural heritage; my poems attempt to capture the various industries which define the region’s past, and convey some elements of the area’s unique dialect. I hope to continue to write about the Black Country in the future.’
Next to the quality of Elinor’s work, the strong identity of her collection of work makes it accessible for readers and organizations who offer exhibition opportunities, such as Dudley Museum and Art Gallery. Other good examples of ‘collections of work’ are the poems by Pen Reid (who writes about how Multiple Sclerosis influences her family life) and Darius Noel (whose starting point is his everyday life, leading to personal reflections).
Image. (Credits Leaveners’ staff)
How do you share your work? As collections, independent poems or in another format? Join the conversation!
In celebration of the ‘Black Country Tales’ exhibition, which will open at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery on the 19th of March, Poets’ Corner will give you a unique insight in the process from poetry writing to a public exhibition. Poet Elinor Cole, who will be exhibiting seven of her poems in the ‘Black Country Tales’ exhibition, will share her story with you.