At the moment, your plan is to approach poets whose work you like, rather than the other way around. So do you intend to have an editorial role too – that is to say, will you suggest alterations, changes etc? Or will you just agree a finished set from a poet whose own editing skills are fully ‘honed’?
I do see myself as having an editorial role where appropriate. However I’m not the sort of editor who wants to get stuck in with suggestions at any cost. If a collection of work is finished my role is as consultant to check with the poet I’ve got it right.
On other occasions my job is to sort out a coherent order or select from a bigger bunch of poems. But I’m compelled to question/suggest where I feel strongly something could be improved on or needs clarity, or where there’s a definite error in syntax or punctuation.
If poems seem to require a great deal of work and the sheet is full of my questions/suggestions and comments, it’s likely the poems are not ready or not appropriate for Wayleave – the level of editorial input would suggest there’s too much of ‘me’ in there, and that makes me uncomfortable – they’re not my poems.