The long -awaited (well, I was on the edge of my seat anyhow) second volume of poems from Book II of my autobiographical trilogy has been published. Many thanks to Marian Kent of ALL CAPS Publishing!
Cover image by Hans Engelman (Dutch, 1981). Thank you very much to his daughter for letting me use it! Engelman began painting Black nudes in the ’60s, so there’s no telling when this beautiful sister actually posed for the first sketches and paintings vs. when the artist finished and signed it.
There isn’t much to report in the bookmaking world. It’s no secret that a lot of small-press publishers have taken a beating in this economy. But, more disturbing, is how crabby and nasty some writers have gotten. We’re all poor, but some folks are more bitter about it. No small victory goes unpunished. So, here’s to writers, editors, publishers, book designers, et al. who are making it work somehow. Scale back where you must, but keep going!
This is actually the bad news section of my post. I started Hidden Charm Press in 2011 with hopes of pumping out 2-3 books per year. So far, Extra MoJo! (Feb. 2013) stands alone. I’m determined to publish my memoir 2013-2014, but I’ve given up hope of having a poetry chapbook contest this year. My goal is to keep the fee low yet be able to offer a cash prize as well as publication. Perhaps next year.
For a variety of reasons, my poetry has ground to a halt. I chose to focus on my neglected genre, fiction, this year and will be self-publishing my first novella within months via Tell-Tale Chapbooks (TTC). Of course, sacrifices had to be made – the biggest being the online journal U.M.Ph.! Prose; it will become an anthology via TTC (in collaboration with Stone Soup Poetry host Chad Parenteau) … hopefully next year. So I’ve produced two decent poems this year. It’s been a lonely summer without poetry, not something I can explain unless you’re a poet too 🙂 .
Now for the good news. This month, as I enthusiastically await the publication of my second book of poems What Good‘s a View of the Charles…? (ALL CAPS PUBLISHING), I’m also trying to prime the pump and get into poetry writing for the winter by writing 14 poems in November. A lot of people are writing 30. Hurrah to them, but not my goal! My point here is simple. We’re all struggling; we’re all discouraged. But we who are lucky enough to have words are holding onto them. We’re doing what we can, no matte rhow small or large, to keep the written word relevant, important. We need words…and they need to be written…and a lot of people are still comforted by reading them.