Summer of my postpastoral

It has been the busiest summer that I can remember—I've finally met my book! There were a couple of printing delays along the way, but then that turned into a last-minute color printing allowance for the visual poems in the book. So all worked out even better than I could have imagined.

My book—Catechesis: a postpastoral—has taken me to a few new and familiar places this summer. I got to meet my book for the first time in Hillsborough, NC at the Bull City Press House Party Reading on July 27. They were sent ahead directly from the printer and my Bull City Press hosts even wrapped the box in Christmas paper for me! I got to open it among some wonderful new friends and then read from it to a very gracious audience, alongside Jonathan Farmer, Jennifer Funk, and C.T. Salazar

Back home in Chestertown, MD, I hosted family and friends for my hometown book launch on August 15 at the Rose O'Neill Literary House. Poets & friends Erin Dorney and Sally Rosen Kindred shared the mic wi…

On looking up and looking ahead

And just like that, here comes summer. Somehow, it is almost time for my book—my debut poetry collection—to be released. I've been reviewing a second round of proofs, as well as the full cover, and it's all looking amazing! Catechesis: a postpastoral is due out next month; and the closer we get to June, the less real all of this feels. I think it will only be truly real to me when I have the finished book in my hands. 

I've been working hard to line up as many readings as I can for a summer/fall book tour. I've got eight readings scheduled so far, with another in January. And I'd be thrilled to do more! You can always reach out to me by email, if you're interested in booking me. 

Although my Chestertown book launch party in August is easily the event I'm most excited for this summer and fall, I'm also really looking forward to a mini reading series that I'm doing with friends and poets Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach and Nancy Reddy: "(M)other(ship): A …

On everything and all at once

It's been another busy couple of months since my last update. Here's a quick rundown: 

Book Progress
I received the first proofs of my book a few weeks ago, made my corrections, and returned them to the press last Friday. We are currently on schedule for the book to be released in June! 

I've solidified plans for my hometown book launch party & reading! Poets and friends Erin Dorney, Sally Rosen Kindred, and Emma Sovich will join me on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Rose O'Neill Literary House to officially welcome my book to world. We will each read a few poems, then there will be a book sale & signing, as well as refreshments. Mark your calendars! 

Last week I received word that the first review for Catechesis has been lined up with a fantastic literary magazine. The reviewer will take a peek at the current proofs and the review itself should appear some time in the fall in this magazine's next print issue. And speaking of magazines, Catechesis

On my book promotion and booking me

In anticipation of my book's release in late spring, I am beginning to work more on some promotion and marketing, which is an inextricable part of being a publishing writer now. I've started putting out the word that I am booking readings and other events for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, so others can get in touch about booking me or putting together joint readings. 

I'm going to start initiating conversations with some other poets and writers with whom I would love to read and venues I'd love to visit. I'm also working on planning my official hometown book launch reading/party for Catechesis, which will probably be mid-August. For now, if you would like to book me for a reading, or you know someone else who might, or if you want to plan a joint reading with me, send me an email and let's get talking!

I'm also doing some other little fun things like designing and ordering book business cards! 

The book promotion circus is just getting started and it's very e…

On 2018 and my year in poetry

These end-of-year personal inventories are something I really look forward to once December arrives. Some years feel so incredibly long because of everything that manages to happen in world news in a twelve-month period, so it becomes really easy to forget about the things I accomplished just a few months earlier—especially when my work life is so busy that it feels like I barely manage to lift my head up enough to work on any of my personal goals. These inventories give me back a much-needed sense of perspective that I can so easily lose sight of. So, here are all of the poetry accomplishments I managed this year:

I had poems published in print journals Passages North and The Cincinnati Review. My first visual poems were also published online in Dream Pop Press and Duende. My second chapbook was published by Porkbelly Press in April: Blackbird Whitetail Redhand. Each copy is hand-stitched with a beautiful letterpress cover. 

In September, I read from this new chapbook alongside fellow …

"Practice Makes Published" & other upcoming poetry events

On Saturday, November 10, I will be giving a talk on poetry & publishing with my good friend and colleague James Allen Hall at 11:00 a.m. at the Kent County Public Library in Chestertown! Do you have questions about how to get started with publishing your poetry and how to go about getting it out in the world? Then please come to our event and bring your questions with you! James and I will be giving advice from our experience on both sides of the fence—as writers and as editors. I'm finishing up my notes and handouts this weekend.

In other news, book production for Catechesis is moving along at a very steady pace! I've secured blurbs from two dream poets. The University of Utah Press has sent me a draft of a cover design that I absolutely love, as well as a sneak peek at the foreword Kimiko Hahn has been writing for it. Soon the UUP 2019 catalog will be out with the very first preview of the book as object—as more than just manuscript. All of these beautiful and exciting t…

On the best of news

On August 20, I received a phone call from The University of Utah Press with the most amazing news. My manuscript Catechesis: a postpastoral was chosen for the 2018 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize by Kimiko Hahn. My debut poetry collection will be published by UUP in June 2019. 

This past month has been the most wonderfully surreal one of my life. I've been working on my UUP author questionnaire with things like cover art ideas, names of writers to ask for blurbs, and drafting some promotional copy for the book. The latter was quite a challenge—thinking about my own work from the outside, as a reader and a marketer. But it ended up being a pretty fun exercise. I feel like I have a better understanding of my own work now; and I'm better able to explain what my work is "about":

If Clarice Starling and Ellen Ripley could warn the girls and women to follow, what would they tell us? “A girl has two choices: / to be a tree or / to be the forest.” Catechesis combines Grimm fairy…