Back to Writing: Looking For A Title
We had an amazing turnout last night for the fifth annual Voices Carry reading. It was literally standing room only, and a few folks were reclining on the floor. Theresa Davis, Jim Elledge, Laurel Snyder, Cecilia Woloch and Kodac Harrison really did an amazing job. We also had a special guest reader, disabled activist Leroy Moore, who was visiting from San Francisco. Thanks to Wordsmiths Books for hosting us, the poets and everyone who came to listen. I hope to have some photos to post soon.
My last reading of 2008 is Tuesday (Nov. 11) at Outwrite Books here in Atlanta with Karen Head. I'm going to read just a few from After the Poison and a bunch of new stuff, so come out and join us. It starts at 7:30 p.m. and Franklin Abbott will be the host with the most. I need time off to recharge and get back to working on my collection in progress and getting my novel back out to presses. I have nothing scheduled until the spring, although I'm still trying to work out the reading in DC and might go to LA. It really depends on the day job and the economy.
I had dinner with Cecilia Woloch on Friday night and we were discussing titles for our collections. She has a new book coming out in late 2009 from BOA Editions and is stumped for a title. My collection (formerly known as Wake) is undergoing some significant changes, with old poems coming out and new ones going in. Like Cecilia, a title for this new book has been elusive.
I started thinking back on how I arrived at the titles for my other collections and they have all been originally inspired by album titles or songs. Better To Travel was first inspired by Swing Out Sister's album It's Better To Travel (during the release party for the book, the Jennifer Perry Combo even played a few cuts from this album in tribute); Slow To Burn was from Vanessa Daou's album of the same name; and After the Poison was inspired by Marianne Faithfull's last album, Before the Poison. I guess it's time to raid my CD and record collection again. I always have music on when I'm writing and working, so it's a large part of my creative process. I don't subscribe to the idea that the title of a collection must come from a poem inside the book, or even from a word or line. I really need to start thinking outside the cliched box for this book. What are your thoughts on this, Modern Confessional readers? Where do your titles come from?