I’m still fairly distracted–quite happily so!–by the news about my forthcoming chapbook publication from Dancing Girl Press. I realize I haven’t said much about the content of said work, so I want to pause for a moment and do that.
It’s called A Woman Traces the Shoreline, and I wrote the first iteration of it while I was pregnant with Rudy. At the time, I wasn’t thinking of writing Poems about Pregnancy and Fear and Ambivalence about Motherhood (That was my first idea for a title. No it wasn’t.), but certainly those are the themes that carry the little book forward. And it is a little book: only 18 pages and some of those pages are only a sentence or a phrase long. You could call them prose poems, I suppose, or lyric fragments. I’m not too worried about genre distinctions.
It’s a funny sensation to know that this will be the first sort of extended debut of my poetry in tangiible form in the world. I have spent so many years with the full-length manuscript, thinking about how its composition and attitudes reflect who I am as a person and a poet, how it will represent me in the wide poetry world, and then this little monkey from under the bed scurries out ahead of everyone else and becomes my public face. Surprise! (Yes, I realize I have a monkey face in this metaphor.)
The truth is, really, that the stuff of this book is not so very different from the stuff of the other manuscripts. It’s all pretty much recognizably my stuff. (This will also be true, I think, of my artist’s book with Paul that comes out next. An embarrassment of poetic riches!)
So the other distracting/distressing thing about this is that over the last couple of days, it has dawned on me that I have to promote the sucker! Gone are the days when only full-length manuscripts garnered reviews. There are places out there that focus on publishing chapbook reviews, and I need to find them and find reviewers who would be willing to pen some nice words for me.
It has also been suggested that I finagle interviews and guest blog spots to create some interest. Plan readings and a release party (someone suggested a virtual release on Facebook and I love that idea!). Soup up my web site (which I am actually in the process of doing, so stay tuned.)THIS IS ALL SO WEIRD! In the best possible way, of course, but yeah, my head is fairly spinning. And in all honesty, this kind of self-promotion does not come easily or particularly naturally to me.
Oh, and I’ve already seen the cover art. (This thing is coming out in December, people! That’s in like five minutes!) It is perfectly, exactly, gorgeous. Magical. I could not have hoped for better.
So here we come finally to the pitch: if anyone out there has suggestions, ideas, offers of review-help or just a calming incantation to say over me, please let me know.
And be warned: I may show up on your virtual doorstep sometime soon selling not encyclopedias or wrapping paper or Girl Scout cookies, but something even better.