From the blogs: Rachel McAlpine on the perils of being regarded as a confessional poet

 

Full post at Write into Life  here

Interesting reading – especially when trouble turns up because a reader believes your fictions!

 

‘If you intend to be a poet and to publish your work, it’ll be a lot of fun but be prepared for three things:

  • many people will assume that all your poems relate true facts about your actual life
  • some people will completely misunderstand your poems, even taking the opposite meaning from your intention
  • once in a while, this can lead to trouble.

That’s the deal!

I’m pretty sure that most people believe that any poem that seems to be about a real person is about a real person. And particularly if you write in a confessional style, people will naturally assume that you are confessing the truth about yourself.

I try to make you believe all my poems are true

This phenomenon is a mixed blessing. I’ve often been labelled a poet of the confessional school, and yes yes yes, I do want people to plunge into my poems and suspend disbelief.  Sometimes my poems are true — in fact I hope they all seem that way, and that you can’t tell the difference.’

 

 

 

 

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