|Glenda reading poetry at Poetry Hickory|
In 2009, my poetry chapbook, Now Might as Well be Then, was published by Finishing Line Press. The book was released in October and Barry had died from cancer in July. He never saw the finished product. The reading pictured above was one of the few I made when the book came out. In my grief, I had very little interest in setting up readings or appearances. My sister hosted a book party at her home in Roswell, Georgia and her friends bought books. We also had 100 pre-orders from friends and family.
It is a fact that most poetry books are sold in person-to-person situations. Also, most poetry books are bought by other poets, but I am pleased that many non-poets purchased my book and let me know they enjoyed it.
One of those non-poets was a French lady in Marietta, GA who used one of my poems on her blog page with lovely pictures that fit with each verse. Another was Nancy Purcell, a fiction writer who said of my book: You touched my heart over and over again with your words. I've already read the book (Now Might as Well be Then) three times...I'm so glad I own a copy.
Steven Harvey, author and essayist, said "I enjoyed reading your chapbook, "Now Might as Well Be Then." I was interested in it, of course, since you frame it as an exercise in memory, a subject that I am much interested in these days as my class at your "writer's circle" probably made clear. "The Woman in the Mirror" reads like a call to duty for the poet as rememberer.
I do like the narrative impulse behind some of the longer poems such as "Inundated" and "Roosevelt" and "Blue Moon Every Twenty Years" because you allow them to build in a way that conveys the emotions, usually of loss, but in the end the lyrics were moving, too, pieces like "Beneath the Beauty" where your vision of life as a mix of beauty amid ugliness is powerfully presented. You can be proud of this small book!"
Dr. Harvey volunteered his comments after reading my book and I was as excited about his compliments as I would have been if my book had won first place in a contest.
I am contemplating submitting another manuscript of poetry this year. I think I might include some of the poems in "Now Might as Well be Then" because the book was not widely read, and I hope the new book will reach more readers.
If you have my book and have read it, will you let me know which were your favorite poems? "The Woman in the Mirror" seems to appeal to most people, but I would love to have your input as to which poems you think I should include in the new book.
Email me, email@example.com or leave a comment on this blog.
So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca