Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

James Connolly wrote, “An Irish Republic, the only purely political change in Ireland worth crossing the street for, will never be realised except by a revolutionary party that proceeds upon the premise that the capitalist and the landlord classes in town and country in Ireland are criminal accomplices with the British government, in the enslavement and subjection of the nation. Such a revolutionary party must be socialist, and from socialism alone can the salvation of Ireland come” (The Harp, March 1909)
The exact meaning of “socialism” I think in this time period is contested and up for debate, after the history of the 20th century, and I cant subscribe to any such overarching theory, but his basic premise remains correct.  I am not sure what exactly the solution is, but Connolly is at least a good starting point for thought.  The British govt. may not even be the worst problem right now (though they certainly contribute to it).  The problem is both global and local; Connolly’s words are relevant everywhere.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The “Next Big Thing” interview

My friend and fellow poet Shannon Ward suggested that I do this.  This is a thing where poets send around these interview questions to poets they know (& I think fiction writers do too).  Im not sure who started it, but it’s ongoing, apparently.

What is the working title of your book (or story)? 

My latest book is FutureBlues from Salmon Poetry (2012).  Also working on some new stuff.

Where did the idea come from for the book? 

I wanted to do something different from my last collection (in both above-mentioned instances) and push myself forward.  I didn’t want to just do the same thing over and over. 

What genre does your book fall under? 


Which actors would you choose to play your characters, in a movie rendition? 

It wouldn’t be the kind of film where there were actors, necessarily.  The closest analogue I can think of is the work of abstract filmmaker Stan Brakhage (if that is not too presumptuous on my part).  He did occasionally film shots of himself, his wife, and poets who were friends of his. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Inasmuch as any poet’s work is a continuing narrative defined by nothing more or less than chronological time, Future Blues is the collection that follows its immediate predecessor and so cannot help but be aware of it” (from the back cover description of Future Blues).

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

Future Blues was recently published by Salmon Poetry.  The next one is a chapbook-length thing that doesn’t yet have a publisher.  Poets don’t usually work with agents as far as I know. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 

Future Blues is poems 2003-2012. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book? 


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 

Future Blues cover art is a painting by Kyle Fitzpatrick called “Theater,” which is a dark-hued, red-hued, textural, surreal painting of a theater being flooded in a rainstorm, like out of a dream or something.


I’ll pass this along to (tag) a few other people at some point soon.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Books at Awesome Books

Pittsburghers and tourists: Copies of my books Future Blues and Ancestor Worship are now for sale at the downtown location of Awesome Books (929 Liberty Ave., Pgh, i.e. Liberty & 9th).  If you happen to be around, stop in and pick them up.

Update: Awesome Books has been sold to new owners and renamed Amazing Books (no kidding).  Same location, etc.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Reading in Pgh, March 7th

I will be reading some poems this Thursday, March 7th, 6pm, at Awesome Books, 929 Liberty Ave., downtown Pittsburgh.  The event is a book launch for fiction writer Spencer Dew, and Karen Lillis will also be reading.