I was pleased to receive the galley proof of my new book, Breaking Down Familiar, from Scott Douglas at Mainstreet Rag Publishing Company. It looks great and I love the cover art by Barbara Mehlman. I’ll get the corrections pronto to Scott and production will follow. I appreciate the patience of people who have already pre-ordered the book at the discount price of $9 plus shipping. I learned from Scott that production of books ahead of mine in the queue was delayed due to the hospitalization of the press operator with Covid. So Scott had to scramble to find an alternative. There is still time to pre-order the book at the discounted rate at:
Anita Skeen of Michigan State University Press notified me that my book manuscript was one of five finalists for the Wheelbarrow Books Award. She kindly sent me the comments of the judges on my manuscript. How considerate of her to give me such encouragement despite my not winning the prize.
The first issue of the New Mexico Poetry Anthology will include a poem by me about a Russian olive tree, “Something of the Silver Sea,” as well as a poem by my wife, Jane Shoenfeld, “Subterrane.” I believe this is the third time our work has been included in the same publication.
One of the few journals that actually pays for poems, the Notre Dame Review accepted “Egg Reverence During a Scourge.” The “scourge” is, obviously, the Covid 19 pandemic, but the poem strives to look further than just this catastrophe. This is my 3rd poem accepted by the journal of the school where my nephew Matthew earned his bachelor’s degree.
i am pleased to be reading with Scott Wiggerman in an online Zoom event November 16, 2021 at 6 PM MST. Scott is a consummate craftsman and a good reader of his poetry. I had the pleasure of reading with him a couple years ago at Op Cit books in Santa Fe. We’re planning an even better event this time round! To get yourself invited, email ManMoth5th@gmail and ask to be invited.
My friend the singular poet Stephen Bunch has had poems in Mudlark, so I know the four poems that editor William Slaughter just accepted will be among good company. The editorial statement of this electronic journal includes this: “Although we are not innocent, we do imagine ourselves capable of surprise.”
The first issue of Pudding I had a poem in was number 28 in 1995. Today I received a contributor’s copy of issue 70, 2021. Many issues in between there was no appearance of my poetry, but Pudding did do two of my early chapbooks. In the interim, Pudding’s editor and location have changed. In # 70, I am honored to be in the company of two well-known poets, Rikki Santer and Simon Perchik. Both of my poems are about air travel, “Approaching Labrador” and “Between Gates.”
Main Street Rag accepted two poems, “Rock” and “Mosquitoes,” for an upcoming issue. This will make three consecutive years in which poems of mine will appear in this journal, which has been publishing out of North Carolina since 1996. This comes after submitting for years with no acceptances. It seems to often go that way with editors, at some point they get attuned to your voice and then they can hear your poems.
So on March 6, 2021 I’m looking at my records and notice a poem acceptance date in June 2019 from Cider Press Review. The record doesn’t say what the title of the poem was. I have no luck finding a contributor’s copy of same and have no recollection of that journal ever accepting a poem. So I sheepishly write the editor/publisher, Caron Andregg, and ask if she can confirm or deny accepting a poem of mine in June of 2019. She responded graciously with a link to the poem that was lost to me. “The Book of Lost Connections” is a narrative prose poem in which uncanny events transpire and a book by that name belonging to the speaker is returned by his ex-wife. My almost totally losing track of this accepted poem seems to me to be the doings of the poem itself; this is, it cast its spell of lost connections on me. By the way, for those who insist on reading autobiography into work not identified as such, none of the events in the poem with the speaker’s ex-wife have anything to do with real experiences with my ex-wife and she is blameless for my lost connections.
M. Scott Douglass, Editor of Main Street Rag, still notes on his website that although he publishes books and chapbooks and a periodical journal, he won’t repair bibles. Perhaps that qualification is necessary in Charlotte, NC, where he’s been in the lit bidniz since 1996 or 7. Mr. Douglass took two pandemic inspired poems for future issue, “Fever” and “Quarantine.”