Thanks so much for writing me, and for your kind words about Big World. I really appreciate it. And congratulations on the publication of your collection! This is awesome news. I didn’t even start writing until I was 27 and often feel way behind. It’s great that you know what you love to do, and are doing it, at such a young age.
I read a few of your poems and really like them, but don’t have time to finish your manuscript/write a blurb right now. The end of the semester is always so crazy-busy.
As far as your questions, I guess I have a lot of advice, but it’s hard to synthesize it at 9 am on a Sunday when I hardly slept. Mostly, I’d advise you to work hard. Write a lot and read a lot and be nice to other writers, particularly those whose work you like because you will inevitably be asked to help your friends. I know quite a few writers who have gotten where they are, to a large degree, by being nice on the internet and linking to other people’s work and reviewing things kindly, etc. While I wouldn’t go this far, it is really necessary to be a good member of the community and to make friends. Enemies will come back. As far as agents, they aren’t necessary for poets unless you’re, like, Billy Collins-level or something. Do you write prose? If so, an agent is handy only once you have a completed, or nearly completed, novel to sell.
Thanks again for your kind words.
Dear Mary Miller, My name is Atticus Davis, I’m a 22 year old poet and aspiring novelist who recently finished your short story collection Big World. It’s so good! It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year, those stories made my hair stand on end. I have a couple of questions to ask you, understanding that you are probably very busy and am glad just hearing back from you. My first question is do you have any advice for navigating the world of literature? I have never considered myself a writer before my first collection being published, it was something that I did sporadically and finally came to see a strong potential in it as collected work. I wanted to know if you had any advice on navigating the world of literature, I am groping blindly with the hints I have from other only slightly older writers. I am wondering if you were or are currently being represented by an agent and what you think about literary agencies. Do you know of good magazines or websites to have review a poetry book?
I was also wondering if you would be interested in reading and potentially reviewing my collection of poetry. It’s 62 pages and is published through Bedouin Books, in Portland, Oregon. I am attaching a PDF version of the book, I would love to send you a hardcopy as soon as I receive mine! Here’s a link to the website:http://bedouinbooks.com/pamphletpoets-6-.htmlHearing back from you would mean a lot to me Mary Miller. Thanks for taking the time to read this! I don’t know where you are right now but if you happen to be in San Francisco, CA on December 1st, you should come out to my reading. Sincerely, Atticus Davis
Mary Miller is the author of Big World, I wanted to email her for some advice and a potential review. This was her response! Check her out, she has no idea who I am!http://maryumiller.com/books.html