Quality and cohesion
Steve Almond, on being a "Poet for a Year":
I did some checking into this manuscript business, and it turned out they didn’t have to be very long. I had perhaps four or five manuscripts on my hands. But how to release them into the world? All at once? No, that seemed greedy. Two at a time, like a double album?
It was my pal Dave who gently suggested that most poets did a fair bit of winnowing, that there was a certain internal logic to a book of poems.
“Right,” I said suspiciously.
One might write literally thousands of poems before amassing enough for a manuscript.
“Sure,” I said.
It wasn’t about quantity, but quality and cohesion.
At this point, I began tuning him out.