My favorite poetry collections are ones that aren’t afraid to show their teeth. I lecture my graduate students about how taking risks can be a way to understand a poem’s underlying obsessions and passions. Many of the books that I accepted for publication as my editor’s choice selections were first books by innovative new poets such as Sarah Perrier, Emilia Phillips, Brittany Cavallaro, and Jennifer Moore. During my time as editor of the Akron Series in Poetry, and the Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics, which I founded in 2009 with John Gallaher, I worked closely with designer Amy Freels. I can say that what we did was not just literary publishing, but the creation of art. We engaged deeply with the books, pondering the intersection of text and design, and corresponded extensively with the authors regarding all aspects of publication. In many ways it felt like we were a pair of midwives, offering support and encouragement and wisdom to ease something miraculous into the world.
What’s the best way to celebrate the arrival of a new book? Maybe by thinking about the past? Here’s how I welcomed A Sunny Place With Adequate Water. It feels like just yesterday!
In the spirit of nostalgia, here’s a throwback to February 2007, and the birth of Prairie Fever, my first collection.
Contrary to early predictions, July has not been The Month of New Poems. That’s okay, however. It’s bound to happen soon, and when the poems are back, there’s no suppressing them.
I am starting to feel itchy for the new academic year. Itchy, but by no means ready.
My love for Black Lawrence Press is eternal, and what’s even more awesome? They’ve now added the “peek inside” feature for titles over at SPD. Try a free sample of A Sunny Place with Adequate Water (or O Holy Insurgency, or Saint Monica), over at the SPD site.
Black Lawrence Press has cooked up an excellent pre-order deal on my fourth full-length collection of poems, Small Enterprise. It’s only $11.95! Here are the details.
Here’s the title poem, from Verse Daily by way of Gulf Coast. Here’s another poem (historical mattress factory included) from Ampersand Review. There’s one at interrupture, too. And one for the road, thanks to Kettle Blue Review.
Perhaps this is a bit of wishful thinking. Could July be the month of new poems?
We had an amazing response to this year’s Akron Poetry Prize submission window (509 manuscripts!) which left little time for poems of one’s own. Submittable also makes it much easier to read in odd segments of time, but then the manuscripts also cross not just the UA Press transom, but end up in my dining room.
So I’m hoping to sequester myself in the poetry equivalent of this photograph for the month of July.
For me, the hardest part is getting disciplined about taking notes when ideas strike.
Note to self: notes.