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PN Review 276
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This review is taken from PN Review 49, Volume 12 Number 5, May - June 1986.

DIY Peter Finch, How to Publish your Poetry (Allison and Busby) £2.95 pb.
Peter Finch, Getting your Poetry Published (The Association of Little Presses) 25p plus 15p p & p
Ken Edwards and Reality Studios, edited by P. Bailey (Textures) 60p

If you are reading PN Review to assess the current poetry 'market' for your verse, then Peter Finch's book - or the earlier ALP pamphlet out of which it grew - is for you. It is primarily a handbook - and an informative and entertaining one - for those who wish to see their work in print and who are serious (he has some advice on how to improve your technique, through workshops etc.). But be warned: Finch puts bricks in your haversack as you jog your way to fame: you will have to negotiate the indifference and capriciousness of editors, trade and public alike. You are not unique: see how many others are jogging around Parnassus Park. However, the heaviest brick he burdens you with is the necessary toil of READING and BUYING contemporary poetry books and magazines (though he warns you not to pay for publication; this is called 'vanity publishing'). And, like jogging, there is no money in it.

Finch itemizes the established 'markets', but reserves his praise for the little presses and magazines which represent the most exciting and diverse outlets for poetry - he is sceptical of the fashionable mediocrity engendered by fancy competitions - and he provides useful lists of publications, organizations and bookshops. He deals with matters such as the presentation of mss, copyright, and even how to title a volume. There is a sobering chapter called 'Rejection'.

Should persistent rejection prove too much for the poet, he ...

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