From Where I Stand Blog Tour–Guest Post From Rob Zimmermann!

Good morning everyone! I’m happy to welcome the awesome and talented Rob Zimmermann over to the blog today, to take over as part of his book tour for his début book of poetry, From Where I Stand! So without further ado, grab your coffee or tea, get comfy, and I’ll hand over….

 

Rob's Author PicRobert has been writing poetry since the eleventh grade. His writing started as impulsive rambling, but soon became a passion. A few years later he attended SUNY Potsdam where he received a B.A. in Creative Writing.
His main focus is poetry, but at times you can find him dabbling in short fiction. Robert has also created the blog A Life Among The Pages, where he posts his writing as well as book reviews.
When he’s not reading or writing, Robert enjoys spending time with his dog, Deuc. Deuc ran out of the woods in August 2011 and they have been inseparable ever since.

 

Blurb

From Robert Zimmermann comes From Where I Stand, an emotional debut poetry collection. Zimmermann explores strained parental relationships, loss of life, and the despair associated with grief. Alongside these darker themes, he delves into the small areas of life that often go unnoticed but become the hope we are searching for.

From Where I Stand Cover

Discussion
Poetry: Fiction or Non-Fiction

When I started paying more attention to the way books are classified on various sites, something strange hit me. My observation may be because poetry is the main discipline in which I write, but either way I think this is an interesting subject to bring up.

Poetry: should it be classified under Fiction or should it be labeled Fiction-Fiction? When I look on the Amazon book listing, poetry falls under:

• Fiction > Poetry (in Kindle categorization)
• Literature & Fiction > Poetry (in “normal” book categorization).

When looking at this, you see it’s at least consistent for the two ways books work on Amazon (Book and Kindle e-book). But is poetry REALLY just Fiction?

Let’s take a look at a few other booksellers online for a second. Over on Smashwords, poetry is also listed under Fiction. And guess what Barnes & Noble has it under…you probably guessed right. B&N has it under Fiction & Literature.

What do you all think? Which “label” would you place on Poetry? I’d like to open this up for discussion in the comments below. I’d also like to stir the pot a little by stating my view on this topic.

I feel that there is enough variety in poetry to warrant its own category on the same level as Fiction and Fiction-Fiction. And if that can’t happen I feel that most poetry could easily go under Fiction-Fiction.

Why is this? For those who read poetry regularly enough, I think you can back me up when I say that more often than not, a poet is writing words that border on being considered a memoir. Whether it’s an autobiographical poem or based on an event that was witnessed, I think more real life goes into the poems than Fictional elements.

This isn’t always the case. I’ll openly admit that. Who’d really argue that Paradise Lost is based strongly on fact? (Please, don’t start a religious tangent here.) There are poems that fall clearly on one side of the spectrum and poems that fall on the other. Yet, there are also poems that blur the lines and don’t have a clear home in either camp.

Where does my book, From Where I Stand, fall in all of this? I would consider my poetry to be Fiction-Fiction. It does have fictional elements in a few poems, but the main focus of the work is autobiographical. Yet, when you look for it on any site, you’ll find it under Fiction.

I don’t feel that it’s misleading a reader, exactly. I think it’s more that poetry becomes hidden if it’s under the vast expanses of Fiction. I also think that if it were under the Fiction-Fiction umbrella only, not enough readers would bother for it there. I personally rarely look under the Fiction-Fiction section of e-bookstores. Based on this, I wouldn’t expect many other readers would either (at least those in my group of acquaintances).

One last thing to consider when you think about your own stance in this matter. When I’ve walked into numerous bookstores, whether it was a Borders, Barnes & Noble, or any of the great used bookstores I frequent, Poetry has ALWAYS had its own section just like Fiction and Fiction-Fiction. So why does this change when labeling books online? It’s much easier to organize online considering there’s no need to consider where to place that extra bookcase for the poetry books.

Please, I’d love to hear what you all think. Don’t hesitate to disagree either. Just keep it clean and friendly. I think we’ll all learn something from the discussion 🙂

 

LINKS:

Blog – http://alifeamongthepages.wordpress.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/miztrebor
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Robert.Zimmermann.Writer
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6435657-rob-zimmermann
PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/From-Where-I-Stand-ebook/dp/B00A5AVLO4
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/From-Where-I-Stand-ebook/dp/B00A5AVLO4
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/253778

AND DON’T FORGET THE AWESOME GIVEAWAY!

Robert will be giving away 5 ebook copies (.mobi, .epub, or PDF) of From Where I Stand at the end of the tour. To enter, please leave a thoughtful comment on this post and be sure to leave an email to be contacted with if you’re a winner.
One comment per person per post, feel free to comment on multiple posts for an extra entry for each. Winners will be gathered together from all the blog tour stops and then chosen randomly.
Giveaway ends December 9th at 12:01AM. Winners to be announced soon after they are selected.

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10 thoughts on “From Where I Stand Blog Tour–Guest Post From Rob Zimmermann!

  1. Pingback: From Where I Stand Blog Tour – Day Four | A Life Among The Pages

  2. I think it depends on the poetry itself. I think that’s why it gets it’s own section in bookstores. I consider it fiction most of the time, maybe beacause of the way it tells the story-true or not. Perhaps it’s just the style of poetry that makes it fiction?

    • Very true Kayla. I like that in physical stores poetry, more often than not, has it’s own section. I’m not sure why there isn’t this separation online. For example in a B&N store, you’ll find poetry separated. While looking online it’s under fiction. I haven’t stepped into a B&N in quite awhile, but I’m sure this is still the case.

      I do like that for online stores, no matter where the poetry is kept, it often has sub-categories for easier searching. I don’t find this in many physical stores. So I guess there are some advantages to it.

    • Dis, there are sub-groups for poetry. Just as many as for fiction or non-fiction, even.

      Depending on the store (physical) all poetry is lumped together on a shelf, there might be “classics” then other. I rarely see sub-groups in a physical store. On a site like Amazon, there are many sub-groups. They are either era, region, subject matter. With all books they have multiple areas to go, as well.

      As for having Silverstein and Bukowski in the same category, not I’m confident most places wouldn’t. I’m sure most stores have Silverstein in children’s books (maybe a sub-section for children’s poetry). And Bukowski would be with the rest of poetry, then under another category if it’s there.

      I’m all for having the top levels being Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry. Then each having their own levels under that. I know some books would fit under many even at the top level. It’s always interesting to see how different booksellers label books 🙂

  3. Pingback: I’m Going On Tour!!!! From Where I Stand Blog Tour December 2nd – 8th | A Life Among The Pages

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