The publishing model Jill and I are developing – under which the final book will be published referencing both our names as author and editor respectively – generates a new and different framework for receiving critique, I find. The normal critiquing process (informal one-on-one, workshops, etc) requires you of course to carefully consider suggestions received from those critiquers you respect. At the end of the day, however, you decide what to accept and what to reject on the basis of a single optic: this work has your name on it, and therefore you alone speak for the contents.
In the case of the Essbaum-Sebastian Nanopress, however, there can’t be a single optic. There will be two names cited, so there has to be a double optic. In Jill’s comments on my manuscript, she refers to the importance of “your Nic-ness”, and I love that. While recognizing that the relative roles of poet and editor are very different (and of course always deeply vested in ensuring the integrity of my “Nic-ness”) I still must be aware of and careful of her “Jill-ness” in this project. She has to be as comfortable with her name cited as editor as I will be mine as author.
(Click here for the full nanopress story.)