Something about "new enhanced preview" on this blog machine. That's what Sage Hill did for me--what Daphne Marlatt and the group did.
I knew I hadn't arrived at the starting line, really, of my Hillsdale book until I'd finished the initial gathering of pieces (later this summer and fall, I'd hoped). What I mean by starting line is that moment when I begin to zap individual pieces, make them live a little. I knew, too, that like the folks on that cruiser the other day off Lumsden beach, I was having fun at the surface, not minding the depths. It was getting sort of automatic.
Daphne took one look at the 35 or so pages of sample pieces I'd sent her and pointed out, politely, that the language needs a good zapping--the tensions among pieces too--and that the deeper through-line, so to speak, is yet to show itself.
I told her a little story about the early days of my first creative writing class, with Fred Wah at DTUC in 1981. I'd handed in the 4th of a series of poems about a guy delivering ice in the Okanagan (my summer job in '81). Fred said, politely, "Well, it looks as if you've found a lyric voice" which, for Fred, was the faintest of praises indeed. That is, it was a useful enough achievement for a beginning writer, but he was looking for deeper explorations with language. I feel the same response from you now! I said to Daphne at Sage Hill.
Of course, that is why I wanted to work with Daphne Marlatt. Be a student again, tip myself and my work over, get new with my process, etc.