Today, I've reached an official milestone. While a few of the poem/collage combos that make up 20 x 20: A Self-Exphrasis have already appeared in publication, today, I've finished revisions and re-formatting so that all of the remaining works are ready for submissions.
This is a deviation from my norm. In the past, I simply wrote and revised at my own pace on the way to a finished manuscript. As I did so, I sent out whatever drafts had already matured to readiness, and I didn't worry about having everything in place.
I think the reason I needed to get all of the project "done" is because I've been unsure about how to format my submissions. For those first poems that appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, I sent PDF files with the poem as page one and the art as page two. In hindsight, this creates a separation between the two pieces that shouldn't be there. As I've stated before, I see these as most "complete" when the poem is read directly alongside the collage. While there will never be a way for the reader/viewer to absorb both forms at once, I'm trying to get as close as possible.
Over the weekend, I had a brainstorm about formatting my files on landscape and putting text and image on the same page. Once I tried it this morning, everything snapped into place. A handful of the poems are longish and required a slight shift down in font (from 12 to 11.5) and the largest margins possible. These do not have the same aesthetic comfort of the shorter poems, but for now, it is the best I can do with the tech skills in my toolbox. (My summer goal: learn Photoshop/InDesign.)
To celebrate my accomplishment, here is a view of the new format, using one of the poems that appeared first in Tupelo Quarterly.