Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Poetry Collection: Putting Out Feelers

In light of this wonderful board and now [Adj][Spec] possibly doing an annual poetry feature, Altivo and I were tossing around the idea of getting a collection of poetry from you wonderful fuzzy poets published. Chances are, nothing is going to happen until after summer. I have Fragments to get done and out and Altivo has to finalize his retirement goodness, so none of the fine print has been worked out yet.

I’m just throwing this out there to see if anyone would actually be interested in submitting to something like this, or if they would be interested in purchasing it.

Updating this first post for those just now coming into this thread, since we are definitely doing this now :3

Theme: Animals
Sub-theme: Outside observation of animals, in the mind of animals, symbolism of animals*
Rating: GA
Line Count: Unlimited**
Publisher: Weasel Press
Payment: A copy of the book. All profit will be donated to charity.
Charity: Wildlife Conservation Society, possibly***
Editors: Altivo and myself.****

*Better wording is welcome. The first might allow room for fandom observations, though including fandom-related material is still up for debate. The last should allow for works about sonas, totem animals, spirit animals, etc. This is assuming we get enough of each variety to warrant the break-up.

**If you send in a short poem, please send in a few so they can be bundled together. We will be hyper-critical of longer poems since we only have so much room to work with.

***This is an international charity that deals with animals, and our dear president has worked with them in the past. However, I need to see how we can make this work with the publisher.

****Thus far GeorgeSquares, Lunostophiles, and Televassi have volunteered to help :3


You know that Anubis poem? I’m wanting to find somewhere to publish it, as well as the Elopement poems I’m currently working on.


NO REALLY. There needs to be more poetry outlets, and hopefully, you can showcase it as a medium that relates to people, and their emotions, rather than remaining as some flowery, pretentious stuff you were forced to study at school.

I’m absolutely in for this, but I think finding an audience might be tough. Still, it’s more than worth a try :wink:

Definitely. What about a theme? General furry/animal poetry, like adj:spe, or something more specific?

No clue yet. Earlier in the shoutbox we were tossing around the idea of maybe breaking it by ‘chapters’. Using [adj][spe] as an example, one chapter would be about furry on the real life aspect (George’s poem, and the one about the convention in 2010), another chapter would be the mind of an animal (Tricky Fox or Alt’s poem), and another would be appreciating animals (Your poem and PT’s poem).

Definitely open to suggestions though.

I might suggest a theme directly connected with nature, rather than human[-like] activities. Say for instance the four seasons, with poems focused on one or covering them all. Or homes and habitats, maybe.

It would be interesting if we could relate the seasons to other things as well, such as age or climate.

Honestly though, I would love to have a place for the poems like Husky’s or PT’s. Even if it’s just one corner of the book. Both had made me smile.

Alt, while I have your ear, should we pay poets, or ask for contributions? If the latter, should we donate the proceeds then?

Personally I’d love to see more poems about anthropomorphic animals in the usual furry sense - we have so much fiction and art with biped, clothed furries, but almost nothing in poetry. But having written a couple of poems like that, I realise it’s really hard to do; you have a very small space to get their furriness across, and you’ll usually need to give a reason for it, unless you’re borrowing from established cultural references (e.g. writing a poem about Peter Rabbit).

Hrm… that makes me wonder if we could pull off a three-parter. Maybe feral —> anthro —> human observing animals? Or something?

Or maybe my headache’s making me delusional X3 Just a thought.

I think it would be the best option. This way if one says ‘the fox’ you can picture what he’s referring to from the section the poem is in.

Ooh, that would be like a transition, or evolution!

I had the idea of putting together a collection of poems about different sorts of animal people - aliens, genetically engineered constructs, post-nuclear mutants - but I realised I was going to run out of variations on the theme pretty quickly, so now I’ve widened my ambitions to ‘collection of poems about talking animals’ :slight_smile:


Actually, I’ve been mulling this very idea over in my head since before doing the [adjective][species] Poetry Collection. I think, if we can show some significant want for it (and clearly at least a few people are willing to submit to a first-time collection on the web), perhaps we can court someone within the fandom to show it off, as it were.

I have very little knowledge in the publishing half of this sort of thing, but I do know people at both of the major furry publishing houses. And then again, ePub is always a possibility.

As far as content itself: I’m sort of a nerd for the idea of discussing the fandom and the anthro characters we play, not just one or the other. I think it also keeps it open for a bigger audience. Some people want to write about nature, some people want to write about people. If we go thematic, choosing a theme that has a good scope is best of course. I just know I personally don’t write a lot of poems about nature, unless we count human nature.

It’s a bad joke, da?

The other idea is maybe something closer to a 'zine? So nineties, gnarly and dope and stuff–but really, if we instead of doing really big releases, did a series of smaller ones. Like how Sofawolf does the Heat line, of short stories, released regularly. Then we could have a real rotation of themes, and maybe keep track of different themes for a few months ahead so people can sort of plan if they want to contribute to something.

Anyway, that’s just my two cents. I’d love to be a part of it, even just contributing. Just throwing my hat in the ring.

Jaystoat’s Jaffa Books publishes poetry, although he’s currently closed to poetry submissions, and so does systmaticwzl’s Weasel Press. stares hard at the publishers

Weasel Press came to mind, just because I know they’ve published a fair amount of poetry collections, and are just now working on putting out their first furry anthology… so maybe a furry poetry anthology wouldn’t be too far off the mark for them? As much as I like the idea of a zine, having done one in the past I think it’d be best to start with a standalone anthology, see how it works out, and go from there. So that’s my two cents on that. :slight_smile:

one chapter would be about furry on the real life aspect (George's poem, and the one about the convention in 2010), another chapter would be the mind of an animal (Tricky Fox or Alt's poem), and another would be appreciating animals (Your poem and PT's poem).

I like the idea of that, just to keep the scope as broad as possible while still having it more focused than just, you know, “poems written by people in the fandom.” (And I agree with Husky that truly “furry poetry” is a lot harder to pull off than furry fiction.)

I’d be willing to contribute with or without payment (particularly if reprints are okay), though if there’s no payment it would be nice if at least part of the proceeds went to a good cause.

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that folks are interested X3

I was toying with the idea of themes last night and was thinking on Altivo’s thoughts about the seasons. If we made the first book Spring-related, and it was successful enough to do more, we could do Summer, Fall, Winter, and for the fifth book choose x-number of the best from each previous season as well as new ones and have it go that way. Even if we only ever do the one book, there’s a lot of options for Spring. You have the change of the season proper (melting snow, blossoming flowers, etc), all the holidays during that period (Easter, Mother’s Day, Spring Equinox, etc), and any conventions that might fall into the season. It could even be treated like the cycle of life (Spring for birth and youth and newness, Summer for pique of health and energy and experiencing, Autumn for middle age and family and settling, Winter for old age and grandkids and reflection). That one could look pretty epic by the time the fifth book is reached, but still would be fun even if we didn’t make it that far.

I dunno. More ideas you guys can take or leave or improve upon X3

I have to agree with PT that planning a whole series of poetry releases is probably a bit premature. Poetry does have a limited audience. I really wish there was more of it in con books and the general anthologies that are released by the publishers. But since there isn’t, doing a print collection seems like a good idea.

As a contributor, I could settle for just a contributor’s copy as payment. All contributors should retain their own copyright and the right to reprint or re-release their work after the collection comes out.

One thing that would probably expand the audience would be having illustrations for some of the poems. That means recruiting one or more artists who are willing to work for little, though, and may not be practical.

I’d also recommend thinking in terms of just “general audience” rating, as opposed to “adults only.” While adult material has a strong attraction for some, we need to reach the widest possible audience.

I have written precisely one poem that is both furry and adult. It’s (apologies) hard.

(That poem will be in the next Heat!)

Agree with Alt whole-heartedly on many of these points. Releasing a stand-alone will give us and the publisher alike a good feel for how successful something like this would be. If it’s not, then no harm or foul and we move on to something else.

It’s why I’m digging on the seasons theme. I feel like even if just the one collection sells, Spring is a lovely and broad-enough theme for it. If it’s successful though, it could be fun to continue to other seasons. Again though, just a thought, and I’m definitely open to other thematic suggestions.

I’m starting to dig on the idea of just the contributor’s copy as payment more and more. It’s a great point that it allows authors to retain rights to their poetry, and I really love the idea of being able to have any profit donated to a good cause. It could be a great selling point as well.

I think Tele mentioned he knew an artist or two who might be interested (really need to prod at him to post his ideas on here instead of JUST the shoutbox x3). A couple friends of mine also owe me some art pieces I have yet to redeem upon, one of whom usually sells commissions for a fairly high price for good reason >.> Once we get a better idea of the poetry we have, I can poke at them about it.

Also 100% agree with keeping it all GA rated for the very same reasons. We’ll have to remember to put that in the guidelines.

Honestly, the possibility of adult poetry submissions never even crossed my mind. >_< Anyway…

As far as themes go, I’d suggest making sure you consider the readers being targeted. If it’s meant to be published and sold in the fandom, I think a fandom/animal theme is going to make the most sense to be attractive to those readers and make them want to buy it at cons or wherever. On the other hand, if the intent is to simply be a poetry anthology that just happens to be written and edited by people in the fandom, then you could go with whatever theme you want, but I don’t know how much you’re going to get furry readers to pick up a poetry anthology on spring (or whatever theme) just because it has other people from furry in it, when there are already jillions of other sources of poetry to choose from. So in that situation, you’re aiming at a general audience and not strictly a furry one. Just more stuff to think about, anyway. :slight_smile:

What sort of fandom/animal themes would you suggest? I’m curious now :3