"Many of my poems never get to be published. This can be for all sorts of reasons. Some may simply not be good enough. But it’s often the case that good writing doesn’t get published for other reasons. Like publishers feeling that an individual poet collection is unlikely to sell very well and is therefore not worth publishing and distributing. So a poet is likely to have many poems “on wait”, waiting for an opportunity to be published in a collection or an anthology. This is certainly the case for me. I have had a solo collection on wait for several years now. Originally I was going to call it “Poetry Pie”. I wrote a poem of that title to go into the book. And that title was meant to echo classic collections of the past. Walter de la Mare wrote a children’s collection called “Peacock Pie” (published 1924) and Charles Causley wrote one called “Figgie Hobbin” (published 1970). In 1998 my first mixed solo collection came out. It was called “Plum”, simple fresh fruit in contrast to those two earlier more elaborate forms of food. My second collection was called “Pip”, as it was a collection addressed to younger readers. And I did a themed collection, “Fluff”, in which every poem was about something that might be found in a child’s pocket. My new collection was to be called “Poetry Pie”, but in the meantime BBC television has screened a children’s poetry programme using “Poetry Pie” as its own title. And what’s more, they’ve used a poem written by Roger McGough called...... (wait for it), yes, “Poetry Pie”! Grrrr :)
So I can’t really use that title now. Though I insist on the right still to print the poem and to put it into my collection, which at present has no title. In this Top Secret zone I intend to print some of my so-far-unpublished poems, including some of the poems from this forthcoming collection.
Note: The new collection came out in 2011, titled 'Come Into This Poem' (published by Frances Lincoln). In the end I did not use the poem 'Poetry Pie' in the collection. Not for the above reasons. I simply decided to keep it back for future use elsewhere.