OFC update

A review from a fairly mainstream but very engaged reader at Growler. I really like this review. I feel like I can learn from it.

Current sales calculations stand around 500. Now I can buy a new microwave. Mine’s possessed, which is bad because almost everything I have to eat needs to be microwaved.


About Jessica Smith

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7 Responses to OFC update

  1. Annandale Dream Gazette says:

    Wow, 500 — that’s really impressive, Jessica. I read the review. Are you, at this point, glad that you included the foreward? That she says it’s a hard book to review is a great compliment, I think. Also I was wondering — have you ever made or thought about making poems on much much much bigger pages? You like tiny books, I guess? but wouldn’t it be great to make a book with pages like 3 x 5 feet big, or even bigger? It would push it all away from ‘poem on page’ to ‘painting’ and would be fascinating to see how people might react & what kind of assumptions & misconstruings might pop up.

  2. Annandale Dream Gazette says:

    shit i always misspell forewOrd. Foreword. Foreword. Foreword.

  3. Jessica Smith says:

    Yes, I’m glad I included the foreword.

    I have made larger pieces, but they’re more work, obviously, and it’s very hard for me to come up with any words in the first place. That’s why small’s better for now– fewer words. Bigger works might also require a different presentation space, and I need to be able to “mass-produce” works for magazines– since it’s magazines, not art galleries, that are requesting my work.

    Plus, I’m not interested in the poem-as-painting. I’m interested in the poem as architecture. And I am interested in painting as architecture. The 2-D space no longer exists.

  4. mark wallace says:

    Images that are “cohesive and clear.” Ah, so much ideology, so little time.

    I was also intrigued by the idea that the reviewer is more willing than most readers of poetry to work hard at reading poems. I always wonder who comments of this kind are referencing: those significant numbers of avid readers of poems who nonetheless categorically refuse to work to read all those poems that they’re reading? Name me, anybody–seriously–one such person.

    But, of course, we know these things. And many people, as we also know, don’t know them, and some of them review books of poetry.

    But I do see why you’d be interested in this review, Jessica. The reviewer has not much vocabulary for thinking about your work, and yet she thinks it’s worthwhile to do so anyway, and does make some effort to try. That’s a start. I mean, maybe, perhaps, I suppose so, etc.

  5. Jessica Smith says:

    I also like it because she doesn’t make any comments about my character 😉

  6. Jessica Smith says:

    These are good points, Mark. I still feel, on some level, like I need to kow-tow to the Muses (well, you know– “poetry that is coherent and clear” and preferably “inspired”), but it’s good to be reminded that I have readers who don’t expect that at all, don’t mind whatever “hard work” OFC might entail (if it entails any for them)… etc. But I also liked about RS’s review– that she liked the more lyrical little phrases that sometimes occur. Because I like to think that I could please the audience that wants lyrical little phrases, and that I choose to do this other thing– but I *could* do that, I have the standard poetic talent (ear)– I just want to do something else.

    I need approval! It’s frustrating. The older I get the more I need it.

  7. mark wallace says:

    Well, maybe it’s just that you’re now more conscious of needing the approval you always needed before but just didn’t know it. That seems more like it to me, actually. And being aware of needing it would be the first step, as they say, to understanding how to work with the issue.

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