The library gets so many wonderful book donations. And while most of them are intended for the semiannual Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, some of them have become just too deteriorated to sell and so they are sent to Creafill to be recycled. Of course, we library employees get to take a first look through these even before they are handed over to the Friends; and in this way, I have managed to snag a few (very old) battered books with broken, rotted spines but absolutely beautiful covers that are relatively intact. Newer books just aren't made with this sort of care and skill anymore. These hard covers will have fantastic illustrations engraved into the fabric covering the book board, the titles printed in fabulously decorative fonts. Like any good bibliophile, I couldn't bear to see these books thrown out or even recycled. These covers are ART.
The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
So when I come across a book that meets these requirements, one that has a cover that affects me in some way, I bring it home. I pull out my trusty exacto-knife and separate the beautiful cover from its malignant body. Then I search through my stores of vintage fabrics to find a good pairing with the newly liberated book cover. When I find the fabric I want, I cut the appropriate size of it and glue it to the back board of a picture frame as a sort of reverse matting. Then I center the book cover on this fabric covered board and glue it in place. Once I put the mounted cover behind the glass of the frame, it is a piece of art ready to be hung on my wall.
The September 22nd reading at Frederick's brand-new Sky Stage was an amazingly fun evening. A crew of present and past Chestertonians came out:
My reading-mate Rae Bryant was an incredible host who made me feel like family as soon as I arrived. I feel very fortunate now to call her a friend.
I read a fairly large batch of work: some fairy tale girl poems, some Silence of the Lambs poems, and even a few Alien poems. I was happy to discover some fellow horror movie fans in the intimate audience.
My best partner-in-poetry snapped these photos of me in action (thank you, Emma!) and she took video snippets of my reading:
And because my copy arrived on Tuesday, I showed off the brand-new Autumn 2016 issue of Faerie Magazine (based out of nearby Baltimore) and read my fairy tale girl poems published there. Really, if you don't subscribe to this gorgeous full-color magazine, you should.
As Month One in this year of poetry, January is a month primarily dedicated to generating new material: WRITING. My poetic meditations this cold month have been on the implications of a certain fun, little homophone:
atom = Adam So naturally, my thoughts have been on the gaps and surprising bridges between world creation and mass destruction, Christianity and chemistry. I'm sure that does not sound very poetic, but these linguistic explorations have led to some very interesting conclusions and possibilities.
In February, I will be polishing these new poems and deciding where-oh-where to submit them. Here's hoping I stay on track.
For the past month and a half, I've been wearing my editor pants almost constantly (good thing I have a few pairs!). Here's a quick recap of what I've been up to since my last post:
After a couple weeks of intensive proofing and revising of Cherry Tree's second issue, we sent that beautiful baby to print! The printed copies have arrived at the Literary House and we're now prepping them to mail out to contributors and subscribers. I am so incredibly proud of how this issue turned out. If you haven't already, you should subscribe now! Also, we received word on January 15 that a poem from the inaugural issue was chosen for inclusion in the 2016 edition of Best American Poetry: "As If," by Julie Kane! Once that editorial work was wrapped up, I moved on to laying out the interior of the Literary House Press's next poetry anthology, Still Life with Poem. That's nearly complete now. Soon it will be ready for proofing and revising like mad. But on Frid…