It’s been a long time since my last update here. Jason and I got married last June in a lovely outdoor ceremony surrounded by many loving friends and family, including my sister. Unfortunately, my parents weren’t able to make the trip, so this fall, we took a trip to Ontario, Canada, to visit them. Yes, I admit it. Even though I’ve lived and worked in the U.S. for years, I am a native Canadian.
I’ve also been writing a lot lately and am still working on publishing a poetry collection later this year. The following poem will likely be included in it. The poem was inspired by a party my parents hosted one night for me and my handsome husband. We ate and drank far into the night and had an absolutely fantastic time.
Through the day and into dusk,
six oaks guard the old family house
burning by the still river. Firelight
bounces off the unshuttered windows.
An urgent wind presses against
the panes, and the clink of glass rims
scatters from the back patio,
symphonic and relentless.
Everything we did in that house
—words rushing through the air,
hands pushing away the shadows—
rises towards the coming stars
with the light ash from the fire pit
like a flock of birds let loose.
Still the trees stand silent, on guard,
the highest limbs nodding slowly,
even as the sky darkens from pewter
to black, and a gull banks over the hill
calling to no one and everyone.
It’s been almost a year since I last posted, but I have been busy with real life issues and am afraid I have terribly neglected this blog. However, I do have a few announcements:
First, Jason and I are getting married. I proposed two weeks ago, and he said yes. The buzz of joy has not worn off yet, and I am the happiest man on the planet right now.
Second, we have completed our move to San Francisco. I lived there years ago and have always wanted to return. A recent job opportunity came up in my field, and since Jason was not working at the time, we made the decision to pick up and move.
Third, I had to delay work on my second chapbook of poetry because of work and other family things. I hope to be picking that back up soon and working towards completing it. I haven’t decided on a title yet and am tossing around a few ideas. The title needs to accurately reflect the theme of the chapbook, but since the chapbook is not completed yet, I can’t say for certain what it’s final focus will be. I may be posting a few random poems here as time and inspiration permits.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
I am pleasantly surprised by the response to my chapbook, “Modern Love”. I have a number of sales now, as well as quite a few downloads of the free preview. I have also received both complimentary and encouraging emails.
This is the first step to really getting my name out there.
I have also been told by other poets that the Amazon Kindle market is much larger than the Smashwords market. I am considering releasing a Kindle version of “Modern Love”, just to see how it does and further increase my exposure.
As a reminder for the casual reader, “Modern Love” can be found for now at Smashwords. Only $0.99!
With all excitement of my upcoming chapbook, “Modern Love”, I completely forgot to post some other news. Philip Levine is the new U.S. Poet Laureate. I have loved his work for quite some time, and I am happy that he has been awarded this honor. For more information, see:
The New York Times coverage
Philip Levine’s biography at Poets.org
Just wanted to let my faithful readers know that publication of my first chapbook is imminent. The cover art is done, and I’m having the layout revised slightly to incorporate a couple of new poems. We’ve also changed some fonts/margins/etc to make for a nicer look in ebook format. Publication was primarily delayed, however, while I registered my copyright to all of the poems in this chapbook, which will prevent my personal troll from fraudulently claiming copyright violations in my work.
My biggest decision now is how to price the chapbook. It will be released electronically only at this point because that allows for lower pricing and more sales (hopefully!). The paper cost of a short chapbook – plus shipping for those who bought it – would be to expensive given the short length of the book. So ebook it is!
I’m actually quite excited about this release, and I really look forward to feedback.
I’m going to have a big announcement here in the next couple of weeks. Keep watching this space.
I submitted four more poems this week. Both places that I submitted to take reprints, so I can still include the poems in my upcoming chapbook even if the poems are accepted but not published there until after the chapbook comes out.
The chapbook is coming along nicely. I just need to decide on a final line-up of poems. I’ve gone round and round on this, rearranging the poems and tinkering with them. Paul Valery, a French poet, once said, “a poem is never finished, only abandoned.” I think he’s correct. I can pick up poems I wrote years ago and still see ways to improve them using the skill I’ve gained in the intermediate time. Or even a poem I wrote last week, where I feel the need to change a line break or a word or two.
I did also send one newer poem to Poetry Northwest. They are a tough market to break into, but I have loved their publication and was disappointed when it went on hiatus. It’s nice to see them back.