Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Wedding was great. Jess described it as "perfect," and that's all that needed to be said. We had so many great people there, friends and family, that it was more of a big party and celebration than some giant spectacle with everyone sitting in the pews wondering and wandering.

Really, I know everyone says this, but we're both lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful people.


I still think I look like I'm twelve years old. We both do, actually. So it's kind of funny in that way. But the fact that we've been together almost six years made the wedding go very smoothly. I really wasn't nervous, though I did cry a little when Jess's dad shook my hand and said "Take good care of her Keith," before we walked onto the altar. He was crying a little too. How can you not lose a bit of emotional control at that point?

But then I quickly got my shit together.


Honeymoon was great too. We were at a resort in Punta Cana. Got an all-inclusive package and did a lot of lying on the beach and at the pool.

The beaches were topless too. That's all that needs to be said about that I think.

I still felt weird about being waited-on every place we went at the resort.

And we were surrounded by so many different people which was great. German. Swedish. French. Italian. Spanish. Dominican. African. So many countries were represented, and much to our surprise, Americans seemed to make up a lower number than most of the rest.

We only had one argument also: when I spilled red wine on Jess's white skirt because I had too many vodka and cranberry's. That's what happens sometimes when the drinks are all free.

I didn't think any poems came out of out it as we were leaving last Saturday, since it was all about relaxation and we never really went into town, but then on the plane back to Charlotte from Punta Cana, all of these lines kept floating around in my head, along with titles and ideas.

It was kind of epiphanic plane ride, weirdly enough.


Speaking of which, I was reading Joe Bolton again, and I still can't believe how utterly gifted he was at such a young age. He killed himself when he was 28, so really my goal was to get my first book out before then, just to see if I could do it, and miraculously it worked that way.

But so many of the poems clicked for me, and it's a shame not many people know his work at all. It will always be one of my favorite collections, and it's one of my goals to teach it as soon as humanly possible.


Speaking of teaching, I hope to pick Spanish as my language at Binghamton. I wish I would've taken it in high school. Why didn't someone tell me that it'd be more beneficial in the long run than German?


A lot to do in the next three weeks.

When I was home, after I got back from New York a few weeks ago, Jess called me to tell me our IMac basically took a shit on us. The Hard-drive failed.

I had the warranty, so the fixing was completely free. But we did, in fact, lose everything. Most important, to me, were the new poems. I have them all. And the newest version of book number two. I sent it to myself, luckily, before I left to go home. Everything in Ghost Lights is published or will be published, and Bear has the copy of the final manuscript, so all's good there.

The newest version of my C.V. was lost, but all the information is around, so it shouldn't take too long to get that updated.

Music can be retrieved again. Same thing with movies.

Maybe it's good it happened. A new start and pretty much a new 500 G Hard-drive.


I did see Bart Got a Room and Adventureland when I was home. Both I thought were very good, and they seemed perfect, though it was unintentional, as a double-billing.


2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowships Winners Announced.

Even though they didn't win, congratulations to friends and former classmates Tarfia Faizullah and Jonathan Rice for being short-listed.

I'm never lying when I say I owe so much to my classmates for how much they inspired me and helped me become a better writer, which I'll always try my best to build upon.

But they're both off to do, and have done, great things already, so keep an eye out for their names in the future, as you'll be seeing more.


Speaking of poets, big congratulations to Marc McKee, whose great first book, Fuse, will be published by Black Lawrence Press in 2011.

We traded manuscripts around March or so, and I really didn't have much to say except, "How is this still unpublished?" He's gotten a ton of a finalist nods in contests, so it was only a matter of time.

He also has another book that's floating around that's sure to be published soon too, so keep an eye out. I'm not kidding.

I hope to try my best to get some readings going with some of these poets whose books will be released sometime around the same time as mine.


And Bear sent out a message on Facebook today that Mark Conway was the winner of this year's American Poetry Journal Book Prize.

His first book, Any Holy City, is one I'm a fan of, so I was pretty thrilled to find out that we'll soon be sharing a press.

And yes, watch out for Dream Horse Press. I'm more and more thrilled each day to soon become a part of the poetic family.


Hardly a rejection in the last few weeks. I guess it's the slowest part of the summer...

I did get a note from a journal, which is the first I've ever received like this from anyone, that my stuff made it past the first round and is going to a second round of editors. We'll see in a few weeks what their decision is.

And found out in my rejection from Ascent that, like Pebble Lake Review recently, they're going to soon be a strictly online journal starting later in the year. I imagine this will become a trend soon enough with many journals, a fresh and warranted trend at that.


Much more to do. Within the next few days I'll be posting two more First Book Interviews, which will probably be the last ones until September or so. With so much going on, I'm going to unfortunately have to put the attention I need to give all these great books on hold for a bit.

It may be more slowly updated in the upcoming months, but that's the way things go. I'm still doing it though, so once we're in New York and our lives are in order, hopefully I'll be able to put it on at least more of a semi-regular schedule.