Finding a Publisher
Goedicke initially submitted the manuscript for As Earth Begins to End to Milkweed Press, who published Goedicke's prior three books. As the documents below indicate, Milkweed passed on the project and Copper Canyon Press ultimately accepted the manuscript. After the manuscript was accepted, it underwent a few more revisions, including the addition of at least four more poems. One of these poems is "Third Rail," which was completed as the book neared publication.
Letter to Emilie Buchwald of Milkweed Press
On page two, Goedicke indicates that her manuscript had been recently rejected by Milkweed Press. In the letter to Sam Hamill (below), she states that is due to change in policy by Milkweed. Goedicke also states on page one that she feels "a poetry manuscript should be almost as theme and plot oriented as a novel." This is particularly evident in The Tongues We Speak, Goedicke's new and selected volume. Instead of grouping poems according to the book in which they were originally published, as is the case with most new and selected volumes, Goedicke created a new arrangement from scratch according to themes that emerge in her work.
Letter to Sam Hamill of Copper Canyon Press
This letter to Sam Hamill outlines the general concept of the book, as well as Goedicke's credentials. Goedicke also states that her prior book, Invisible Horses, just missed the short list for the National Book Award.
Letter to Michael Wiegers of Copper Canyon Press
As this letter illustrates, Goedicke was constantly refining her manuscript. This process continued until at least October of 1999, as Goedicke revised the book's dedication to "For Leonard: for we who are one body."