In my post-AWP fatigue, I was still able to make huge strides on the final draft of Predator’s Tongue I’ll be turning into my thesis committee. While at AWP, I finally figured out the themes I needed for the section breaks:
-Focus on poems that have animals in them or deal with animalistic brutality.
-Focus on poems that point at daughter/parent relationships
-Focus on poems that deal with adult women/adult relationships (a lot of these poems also point back at the animal or daughter themes, which helps the building of the arc)
I really like the idea of the evolution of the sections, going from animal to child (daughter) to adult woman. I also think these sections help me really focus on how to make the poems resound off one another in smaller groups. I’m also spending a lot of time thinking about each section as a new “book” that compliments a “book” after it. What would be the best ending poems? The best beginning poems for each section? I’m also realizing I could incorporate the animal poems into the daughter or women sections, which I may decide to do later.
I am having to cut and re-work several poems, which is, in some cases, easy, while in others, really difficult. I am also adding the myth poems that I’ve been writing currently, since they work well in this framework, and I could always pull them out to put in a different manuscript altogether.
I’ll keep working at this, but I feel really positive that I figured out these section breaks and have some clear idea on how to edit things from here. Hurrah!