My first preference is for none at all but then I thought maybe I should put down something about myself that shows I’ve been active in the poetry bubble. But should I also say how my little poetry machine works? A friend answered he was more interested in the end result rather than a Haynes type breakdown as to the process. No then.  I have a couple of nice things some poetry mags have said about my poems so why not take them out of context and use them? I thought about Arthur Smith sending me an email – well done that man. I could have sent it out to friends of course but that can wait for a collection. The title of the chapbook comes from a book by Paul Potts (no, not that one), perhaps the most romantic book I’ve ever read. A few relevant quotes. Anything else? The cover. The final choice was a painting by Raul Cordero whose work I first saw when on holiday. I liked the three part structure, what was said and unsaid, the missing parts and the ghosts. There had to be some legal stuff about permission to use the painting.


Rodney Wood

Lives in Farnborough. He left school at 16, obtained a degree with the Open University, worked in the civil service and retired early. Since then he’s organised poetry reading and workshops, volunteered at his local arts centre in Aldershot, and performed in various venues, including the South Bank. Recent work has appeared in or is forthcoming from publications including Brittle Star, Envoi, The Journal, Magma, Prole, South, Stride and Tears in the Fence.

His work has been described as “innovative and moving” by Envoi and “powerful” by Chicago Review

A lover that is not loved is a river which can never get to the sea…you have no more right to ask me to fall out of love with you than I have to expect you to fall in love with me.” Paul Potts

Cover by RAUL CORDERO “Per la vostra sicurezza”

2000. Oil and polyester on canvas

200 x 140 cm

Private Collection, New York

Photo courtesy of Raúl Cordero Studio and Mai 36 Galerie


Used and Found some passive voices, an “I” on a line by itself, some “‘” missing and some spelling mistakes. So very useful even after going through them before with a fine toothcomb. I used one which said my writing contains too many poor quality phrases and I have below average vocabulary usage.


They “publish contemporary poetry in the form of limited edition chapbooks. We like innovative, experimental and avante-garde poetry in particular.”  I am very grateful, and surprised, that Mark Cobley decided that poems made by my little poetry machine fitted, especially after reading the prose poems of Gareth Twose and Katherine Sowerby. Now I’m close to sending 32 poems off, well Thursday actually. I did start with a few more but realised some didn’t fit and others were just bad. If anyone wants a look to spot typos, grammar errors and so on drop we a line with your email address and I’ll wing it your way.



This year I thought it about time I approached some publishers about a pamphlet. I soon found out most weren’t taking on any new work but some were. Eventually, someone replied saying they like my work and if I could add some more poems over the summer they’d be happy to publish. So I must do that and think about cover image, biog, blurb and review (for the back cover) of DANTE CALLED YOU BEATRICE. So thanks to everyone who helped me get this far and especially to Carrie Etter (who set me thinking of a new form), Todd Swift (who introduced me to new poets and gave me encouragement), Greg Freeman (who’s been a good friend and enthusiastic about poetry in general) and David Cooke (for his encouragement). The inexpert photo blow is a cut-out by my friend Dick Boulton.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

My Joy

Nunc Dimittis, James Laughlin

Little time now
and so much hasn’t
been put down as I
should have done it.
But does it matter?
It’s all been written
so well by my betters,
and what they wrote
has been my joy.

James was an heir of his family’s iron and steel business. He majored in Latin and Italian at Harvard and studies at Ezra Pound’s “Ezuversity”. In 1935 Pound persuaded the young man to give up his poetic ambitions and “do something useful,” like publishing. The result was New Directions who went on to publish WC Williams, Henry Miller, Dylan Thomas and Delmore Schwartz among others.”It is better,” James wrote, “to be read by eight hundred readers and be a good writer than be read by all the world and be Somerset Maugham.” I didn’t like poetry at school and only started reading it in my late 20s. My guide was Martin Seymour-Smith’s monumental “Guide to Modern World Literature” which introduced me to such stunning writers as Trakl, Vallejo and Mandelstam as well as the poetry of Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe. It’s impossible to compete with them so the joy lies in reading them. The only thing you can do as far as writing is concerned is be yourself and discover that maybe there is something only you can say. It has taken me a lifetime to get there.


Personally I can’t get very excited about this controversy over whether XYZ is a mainstream or vanity firm or something in-between.”

Never pay to get your poems published.”

Poetry is too marginal proposition to be worth serious attention”

“The majority of the contemporary poetry industry, insofar as it has a business model, is based on extracting money from writers, not giving it to them. ”


Vanity is excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own achievements and as such applies to both the author (who wants to get their work into print) and the publisher (who is made to feel important, worthwhile, gains pleasure or kudos in publishing his/her work and those other others). Vanity Publishing is a term coined by Johnathon Clifford in 1959/60 and the definition is “Vanity publishing, also self-styled (often inaccurately) as “subsidy”, “joint-venture”, “shared-responsibility”, or even “self” publishing, is a service whereby authors are charged to have their work published.” Generally speaking they will accept the work of anyone, charge the author for the production of their work and/or the author must purchase X copies of their own book. However, where do you fit print on demand, different types of subsidy publishing and self publishing services offered to writers – editing, proof reading, cover design, printing and marketing?


Publish through …… Avoid the vanity press. All categories considered. Combined Editing and publishing package. Your book never out of print and for sale in all major UK &US on-line bookstores, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Authors invited to submit manuscripts all categories including poetry. New authors welcome.

Writing prize for short story or poem any length up to 2500 words. Theme refugees and peace-seekers. No entry fee. Closes 31n March.

Free poetry contest, max 21 lines, £50,000 in prizes.

Best submissions will be published in an anthology

Poems on any subject required for anthology.

A proven reading/criticism service for new and published writers. Professional appraisals of … poetry. I am a scout for a leading literary agency.

If you’d like to develop you poetry, then this course is for you.

Creative writing weekends from £240.

To be considered they must buy one of our publications.


  1. You don’t have to convince the poetry editor to accept your book.
  2. You have exhausted all other publishing possibilities (that is, being turned down by too many publishers) and, having worked long and hard on your poetry collection, want to see it published.
  3. Writing poetry is a pleasurable hobby which you have enjoyed and you use a Vanity Publisher to provide copies of your book which you can then give to friends etc.
  4. You don’t want to spent a huge amount of time or have a lack the expertise of book production.
  5. You can get the book published in in two or three months instead of two of three years.
  6. You have control over what’s included in the final manuscript and a say in book production.
  7. You may do a lot of open mic readings or are going to a festival and need to have a number of books to hand in order to sell to people who enjoy your work.
  8. You make more money per book.
  9. It may of course get picked up by a commercial publisher but this is unlikely.
  10. It allows publishers to accept more poets, have more writers in print with less overall risk.
  11. The publisher no longer has to finance the entire project.
  12. You may want to use a particular imprint and have them as the publisher of record.


  1. They target new writers, amateurs, beginners, who just want to see their book published
  2. They print anyone
  3. You have to bear the up-front or set-up costs
  4. You pay for “extras” such as edits, custom cover design, formatting, publicity etc and they still offer you a low percentage on your book’s earnings
  5. Unfulfilled promises esp marketing
  6. You probably won’t get any/or the same level of editing/proofing as with a proper publisher
  7. Most magazine editors won’t review the books
  8. You’re totally responsible for marketing and distribution
  9. Won’t help much if you’re interested in a career as a serious writer as it does not offer validation for you as a writer
  10. Publishers make money from the writer who buys their own books but they give the writer a small number of free copies
  11. No editing of the poems
  12. Some presses are misleading and pretend to be traditional publishers
  13. You don’t know the quality of the finished book
  14. No bookstore distribution
  15. You must buy a book from the publisher before they will consider you
  16. Reading fees for prospective writers