Tuesday, 21 August 2018

JC Bouchard : part five

How does your work first enter the world? Do you have a social group or writers group that you work ideas and poems with?

My work enters the world in three ways: literary journals, live readings, and chapbooks or books. Sometimes they happen all at once.

When I feel something is finished I submit it to a literary journal and see what happens. If it’s accepted and a launch happens I’ll sometimes read it there. Recently I was apart of a reading tour with JM Francheteau, Meghan Harrison, and Fawn Parker which we organized ourselves, so sometimes I help create the opportunity with people. More rarely I’ll get lucky and have a collection in a chapbook which I have few of, or I’ll get the opportunity to do a book like I did recently with Hybrid Heaven Press.

I have no steady groups I share my writing with before it sees the light of day. More than a year ago I had a poem in PRISM international which I shared in a poetry workshop and with friends online beforehand. I got amazing feedback, criticism, and support. That’s probably why the poem got published. But that’s rare. I started writing poetry when there was no one else around who cared or knew what poetry was so I’m used to working without anyone laying eyes on it. I’m not in a program like an MFA either and probably never will be.

Sometimes I think about seeking out a writers circle or doing another workshop but never go through with it. I feel better just doing my regular process, whatever that is. That’s not to say I have anything against them—it can be tremendously helpful to have your poems read with fresh eyes and worked on with different perspectives and I know that from experience. If anything I feel safer and freer without anyone because I can just curl up in my head and live there. Maybe that’s terrible, but that’s that.

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