Hello all! Happy Saturday.
This missive comes to you from the delightfully cool Bird Library at Syracuse University, where I'm hanging out and getting some writing done. My apartment, unfortunately, turns into a sauna during the summer, no matter how hard I crank the AC, and the library has proven a great refuge. I've been spending more time there on the weekends then I generally do my living space, which makes me feel a little bit like a ghost instead of a person. I'm in Rochester most of the week, and then Syracuse on the weekends, and even that's going to be a little touch and go in future because I'll be on the road for whatever book events people invite me to/whatever I manage to scrounge up on my own. I'm haunting the city I live in, and I doubt that will change anytime soon as I flit in and out between cities.
Speaking of, for my Syracuse friends, I have a little book event on the 29th at Golden Bee Bookshop! I'll be commandeering the community table from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. with books and macarons from Sugar Blossom Cake Shop next door, so do stop by, if only for the cookies! And, still speaking of book tour things, I'll be doing an event in Burlington, VT with powerhouse poets Ross White (whose new book Charm Offensive is out now!) and Kerrin McCadden!
The book tour, such as it is, is going really well! (They say, having only done one outdoor signing.) I had a phenomenal time at The Spiral Bookcase in Philadelphia, and you all should go there, buy a book, support a really cool witchy bookstore that makes everyone feel so welcome. Monica Robinson, whose gorgeous lyrcial novella To Rule the Desert is out now, and Victoria Mier, the owner, made me feel right at home, and they couldn't have been nicer about my nerves, and one of my exes showing up, and just generally everything. They're so kind, and the neighborhood (Manayunk) is bustling and vibrant, and it was generally lovely. More lovely still, my dear college friends came and surprised me at the signing, and bought books, and formed a line so I looked interesting and in demand. Who cares if my makeup was so baked into my face by the heat and humidity that the next day I broke out like nothing I'd ever seen before, I felt so supported and loved, two things that recently, when it comes to my writing, I hadn't exactly been feeling.
Of course, you know those feelings are irrational, and you try to push past them to give the work the most belief you can (because if you don't believe in the work, how will anyone else? someone told me once) but it's hard muscling that constant, unending enthuasiasm for your own work. Or at least it is for me. But! There are a few things that have staved off the doom and gloom of self-doubt, chief among them being Bad Animal's first review in Lit Hub of all places! Rebecca Morgan Frank apparently thinks I'm "fierce" and "a debut poet to watch" which is BEYOND thrilling. Check out the full review below!
I got a little emotional receiving that review; we were driving back home from dinner and my phone started going off with notifications. To have my book in the same conversation as books by James Allen Hall, Terrance Hayes and Oliver de la Paz and so many other luminaries was humbling in the best possible way. And to have it be resonant with folks! That's the thing that makes me happy. That's the thing that makes me feel as though I'm doing something right.
And in the background of all this hullabaloo, in this whirlwind of pastries and experiences and frantic travel, my latest manuscript project, The Old Raptures, slowly but surely assembling itself. It's currently at 38 pages, and is still accumulating more poems. I've been trying to figure out if it's a chapbook or is it a full length project. I think it can carry a full length project, but it needs a little less doom and a little more happiness. It can't all be poems based on fire-centric disaster. So far, the poems that for sure still need to be written are as follows: Titanic/Titan poem, Davy Crockett Nuclear Warhead, wildfires generally, the Paris Gun, Oppenheimer generally, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then I'm through writing about disaster, at least until the next book. I'm going to do my best to stay away from writing sad poems or macabre poems, choosing instead to document how the sun shines through a window, drives with someone you love as the world turns the lights off, how we live in spite of tragedy and disaster. I don't know what those poems will look like yet, but I can't wait to find out.
Side note, if anyone wants to see and/or publish poems from this manuscript, please let me know, or if you're interested in a book about complicity in the American government and feelings associated with language learning as markers of identity and comfort, please let me know because Patrizate might be the manuscript for you. We've got everything here! Come on down, see if you like it.
Have a great rest of your weekend!