Writing and Publishing: An interview with Adeline Piercy

This week we have a special treat for you!

Recent MacEwan graduate and Bolo Tie Collective alumna Adeline Piercy published her debut poetry chapbook last year and we got a chance to interview her about her experience writing and publishing her work.

Read the interview below to get some insight into the process!

Cover of Exaltation by Adeline Piercy

What made you decide to write a poetry chapbook?

I was actually prompted to write my chapbook, “Exaltation,” by my friend who started the press my chapbook is published with. She knew I was sitting on some raw pieces that just needed refining, so I got myself together and pulled everything I had into one collection. 

What was the writing process like?

My process was a little chaotic (as all of my writing is) with journals open from the last four years, flagging pages with really good lines from verses I’d written in the heat of a moment. I sifted through all of the raw content I’d poured into my journals, looking for the nuggets of gold, then I took those and refined them into the chapbook. Each poem leads to the next–it’s a very linear chapbook, taking the reader on a journey from cover to cover. Often I would break poems apart if they weren’t working, making each stanza a poem of its own. It was kind of like solving a puzzle that had no answer, only the process. 

What was the publishing process like for your chapbook?

I submitted it to Armistice Press and my chapbook was one of four selected by a jury for publication. After I was selected, I worked with the publisher/editor to revise my chapbook into its final version, then got to give some feedback on the cover and a few months later we had our online launch party. 

How did you go about finding a publisher?

I actually know the person who started the publishing house and she encouraged me to submit since it was a jury selection process and her bias wouldn’t play a part in the selection process. 

Would you recommend this publisher to others?

I absolutely would. It’s a small press, but Ellen was very gentle with edits and took good care of my work. She is so passionate and truly inspiring.

In hindsight, would you have done anything differently?

I can’t say that I’d go back and do anything differently, but I would challenge myself to a higher standard if I publish another chapbook. I’d give myself more time with the refined poems to pull them into something stronger, and I’d write more poems than I did for a more comprehensive story.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

After the book was published, I was included in the Edmonton bestsellers list for a few weeks. It was such an honour to have my friends and family supporting me that way. I had to check myself not to diminish that success–being a bestseller in a local bookstore doesn’t take much, maybe 4 copies a week–but it is still worth celebrating. I’d encourage anyone getting published in small volumes to celebrate the victories because they’re big accomplishments. 

Where can people get your poetry chapbook?

Glass Bookshop has a few copies left here!

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