Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Spring Issue, YELLOW MEDICINE REVIEW - now released
There is nothing like capping off an amazing afternoon of backyard gardening (also lit my firepit as it was actually cool enough outside to deal with that) with a great mail delivery. I received my contributor's copies of the latest issue of the
YELLOW MEDICINE REVIEW yesterday and put the huge yellow envelope aside 'til I was done in the backyard. Then, I took a quick bath, put on some fresh clothes, and walked--with envelope under my arm--to the Chatroom for a celebratory pint. It's my tradition to toast myself whenever a new publication credit comes to pass; typically, I've ended up at the thinks-it's-schmancy-but it's actually pretty laidback upstairs bar at the Worthington Hotel downtown. I once dragged a box of books and a box cutter up there, plopped down on a leatheresque settee and ordered a Bombay gin and tonic. Never mind trying to get a friend to join you; they're usually at work or otherwise occupied. And, what I've come to realize is that this celebration is really about you, the writer, and your book. Ain't no one else really gonna understand the import and necessity of unpacking the book from its delivery wrap with great anticipation, and the delicious feeling of first seeing the book design and cover art, and turning the book over and over in your hands--knowing that your own written words have contributed to its weight and value. Then, when you open the book to see where your poems have been placed, you marvel at how your work seems to hold its own settled in among poems written by people you have never heard of before. I try to read my poems with the eyes of a new reader, imagining what they might find or appreciate most in my words. All these gestures and rituals of welcoming a new book are a quite personal experience for the published writer. If you as friend or family member don't really understand but applaud me from afar, that's cool. Me and my new book will continue to celebrate over at the corner table, glistening with pride and good humor.