Happy Birthday, Little Oblivion

What would have been another Thursday in which I would leave work early, pick up kids to run the gauntlet of dog feeding/homework/whining/dinner/swim lessons/shower/bed, turned out to be a bittersweet day for me.  There, on the porch after the UPS man rang the bell, were two boxes of the last thirteen years of my life—my copies of Little Oblivion had arrived.  Now I know how the folks felt in the olden days when the stork brought babies to their doorsteps.  I am thrilled to have my author copies, and now I just have to be amazingly patient until it’s officially available in March.

The book design is great, and I owe a serious debt to Alban Fischer, the designer, and Elixir Press, for having faith in the book in the first place.  The photo we selected for the cover deserves serious accolades, too—Doug Bell took the photo outside of the Erebus Glacier Tongue, and what an eye to catch just that moment.

The hardest part of the day: I learned that one of my favorite poetry fathers, a phenomenal poet and a true mentor to me, Jack McCarthy, passed away.  He was ready from what he told us, but the silence that happens in the world when such a powerful voice leaves is insurmountable.  I met Jack at the Boston/Cambridge Poetry Slam back in 1994, when he was nice enough to talk to the young, scared business-dressed girl who was petrified to walk up to the mic.  He taught me to take care of language, and it would take care of me.  He taught me to pay attention to audience, because while we write for ourselves, we’re also writing to tell someone a story.  He taught me that it would be ok to do a job that seemed like a normal job—just because I wasn’t teaching at a university didn’t make me any less of a poet. The key was to make, and keep, poetry a priority—something I’ve seemed to forget once in a while.

So, in the spirit of shameless promotion, which Jack always told me was ok, you can preorder the book on Amazon.com, or wait until March and request it from your local bookseller.  You can also contact me to come and read, talk about Antarctica, poetry craft, work/life/poetry balance, or to be a frumpy still-life model for art students.

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