The Devotion - Book Editing

There are many skills needed to competently guide a manuscript into the world. A wise editor knows it’s not just ‘snip and shape’. Cultivating trust with the author, maintaining a work-based relationship is vital in an editor’s life. Anne Carson has all these qualities and more. She’s at Kalang to edit the memoir of a non-verbal writer who lives on the extreme end of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, an author who has devoted considerable time composing lines on a type-machine – no easy feat when you type with only one finger. I have faith in Anne’s ability to sensitively steer this memoir into a significant book.

This is one of the many tasks, Anne undertakes in her rich writing and cultural life. She also understands the personal value of putting back into the community. She has recently been appointed Chair of ONDRU, a humanitarian not-for-profit, whose aims is to allow ‘art to provoke thought, evoke feeling and inspire change on issues of social justice’. As well as being a poet of considerable repute, and an essayist, Anne also describes herself as a Creative Writing Therapist. She has assisted individuals, often those living with psychiatric illness, and disability, with ‘the aim to bring the stories of others to our collective attention’. Can I mention, Anne also often creatively collaborates with the pianist, Julian Bailey? It is not easy to successfully adapt poems to music, but their current work ‘Massaging Himmler – a poetic biography of Dr Felix Kersten’ is an intriguing most rewarding experience.



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