Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ta daa!

Well, I suppose it's official now. I've sold copies of my chapook, and not to people with whom I share a maternal grandparent. It was a quite an odd experience in the end - trusting the nice manager at Borders, seeing the books with the Borders price tags on them (I saved one!). But it was a terrific night - first time I've heard a full set from Barbara Crooker, who was just tremendous, and her incredible energy and broad artistry were an interesting balance for my pensive positions, or so we heard from a number of audience members.

The audience included some students of a Stevens classmate; she's left engineering behind and now leverages her technical skills as a high school science teacher, and she introduced some of her former students to the poetry scene with our little event. It's always nice to be able to show people that you can be a good scientist or engineer and still take an interest in the arts. And a great gift to spend a few minutes with someone who knew you when, and has the time and inclination to give you a few minutes today.

The DVP audience is quite a friendly crowd, some poets I know well, some less well, and it was a joy to be able to offer To the Ones there for the first time.

Extending the good feeling and the reach of our corner of the PoBiz, Barbara's "Patty's Charcoal Drive-In" was featured on YDP this week, as were poems by Diane Lockward and Scott Summers.

Up next, taking the book where the book wants to go.....

Sunday, July 04, 2010

As long as I'm not watching the fireworks....

(Aside: blah, blah blah, long time, busy busy, blah blah blah.)

I just clicked "Send" on a submission for the first time in (according to my iGoogle clock) 148 days. Partly, I admit, to celebrate completing a poem for the first time in about 50 days. It's a good feeling. And I don't think it's unrelated to finally pulling the trigger on the chapbook.

Yes, boys and girls, I have left the dithering at the dock and committed the chapbook to print. A short debate with Scott Summers over the value of self-publishing recently gave me a chance to confirm to myself that self-publishing is OK with me for this project. I've articulated the reasons before. And yes, I do still think there's a publisher out there who would be interested in the collection, but I also believe that the probability of aligning the manuscript with that publisher at the confluence of their resources (time, money, and submission period) is low, and I want, for a number of reasons, not to roll the dice to discover that alignment any longer.

It's true that you can get backed up artistically, I think. That it gets hard to bite off something new while you're chewing over and over on something you'd like to be done with. I'm not exactly done with the old, here, as I'll be taking it on the road and hopefully moving a few in the months to come, but moving the project out of composition and into presentation makes it a different animal. One that takes energy, yes, but which also creates it in a real way. I don't think I'm alone in thinking this.

So let's see. If I'm right, I'll be bringing that energy to a venue near you soon.