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What first drew me to the theme of risk was the possibilities it opened up. I believe strongly that some poems are worth writing and that some are, well, less so. And I think what often defines the most successful ones is that in some way, they buy into the spirit of risk taking. They feel like they are constantly teetering on the edge of failure. That at any moment, in the very next line, they may collapse in on themselves. But somehow, by hook or by crook and often with a huge dollop of skill, they don’t. And I would argue it is the tension this creates which makes these poems feel vital. Which gives them their energy. By taking risks, be that formally, through voice, through attempting to change how your reader sees the world, a poem begins to earn its conception.


“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Poets and Publishers on the Nature of Risk We asked three younger poets and four small publishers to think about the gambles they’ve taken in their careers thus far. The question we asked was, very simply, “What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken as a poet/publisher?”, but the answers reveal a need to talk more widely about the nature of risk: what it really…
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