I come to you steeped in a mix of end-of-semester exhaustion and stunned gratitude for the parallel experience I’m living this fall: the release of my first full-length book, Uncertain Acrobats. Despite distance and what often feels like impossible times, there right beside those things is the kindness of so many people who have supported my book as it has started its way in the world. For example, Kwoya Fagin Maples, a poet whose work I deeply admire in her own book, Mend, recently posted this picture on Facebook, writing, “The kind of poetry that begs to be read mid-air.” Swoon!
My book was also “Swifted”! The amazing Amy Lorraine Long curates a fan Instagram presence called @taylor_swift_as_books that pairs Taylor Swift pictures with book covers. It’s really fun and a lovely act of literary citizenship. Here’s a pic of one of the “twinnings” she made with Uncertain Acrobats.
And it was an honor to have Perugia poet and Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson read a poem from the book, “Ascension,” on her weekly poetry podcast “Poems on Air” for the Los Angeles Public Library. It’s such a gift to hear one’s own work in the voice of another.
Mass Poetry featured me in their “Getting to Know” interview series showcasing Massachusetts-based poets. They ask about a poet’s new collection, poetic influences, writing routines, and how poetry first came into a poet’s life. To the last, I answered, “Writing poetry has been the way I encounter and try to understand the mysteries, complications, sorrows, and joys of being human.”
I’ve been able to read live a couple of times, and have given several readings on Zoom. Here’s a link to the recording of my official book launch with CavanKerry Press on November 10 with Kali Lightfoot (Pelted by Flowers) and Sarah Sousa (See the Wolf). A screenshot of CKP Marketing & Communications Director Dimitri Reyes, me, and Kali Lightfoot is below.
And below is a group shot from my first live reading at McNally Jackson Seaport bookstore in New York City on November 22 with fellow readers Doug Anderson (Horse Medicine), Rhode Island Poet Laureate Tina Cane (Body of Work), and Rachel Eliza Griffiths (Seeing the Body). The event was part of the Voices of Poetry reading series organized by Neil Silberblatt.
Yesterday, I read at the open mic during a book fair celebration at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, MA organized by Paul Richmond of Human Error Publishing. The event featured readings through the afternoon, a small works art show, and lots of local authors and small presses in a beautiful venue. Below is a picture of the Perugia Press table at which we also featured my book and the new books of Perugia Press board members Sarah Sousa (Hex) and Sharon Tracey (Chroma) and Perugia volunteer reader Adin Thayer (The Close World).
I have two more 2021 readings coming up, one of which is for Vermont College of Fine Arts in their Alumnx Reading Series this Thursday night, December 16, at 8:00pm EDT, online. In addition to reading slots open to alumnx sign-ups, each evening features three recently published alumnx authors who are actively promoting new books this fall. I’ll be reading with Zack Kopp (Radios) and Armando Batista (Cosmic Mesa), and the event is emceed by Miriam McEwen.
And I’m looking forward to my next reading on Sunday, December 12 – THIS AFTERNOON! I’m reading with J.D. Scrimgeour for the Lily Poetry Salon series curated by Eileen Cleary. It’s from 2:00-3:15pm today and is free to attend through the registration in the link.
Best to all the folx out there with new books in the world, and to all the teachers making their ways to the finish lines of their fall classes. And to the readers of books and the students in our classes – you make our worlds go round, and we couldn’t do it without you!