Monday, April 26, 2010


I was pleased that the turnaround with Waccamaw was so quick. My poem from the new manuscript appears here. And you can view the entire issue here. Thanks again to Dan and the rest of the editors.


It looks like the release date for Ghost Lights (and the other two Orphic Prize finalists and winner from a year ago) will be May 15th.

Since the cover design's pretty much done, I suppose I'm finally allowed to post it below. I'm thrilled with everything about it (especially Felicia van Bork's beautiful painting). I also couldn't be happier about the generous blurbs from some of my favorite writers. I feel grateful and that I really lucked out. I also think the blurbs are very representative of the words inside the book, which always a plus.

In addition to all the online outlets where you can get copies (hopefully along with some bookstores, though I'm not sure which and where yet), I'll most likely be selling them, signed or not, through a new blog page, or this blog. Once I have everything set up, I'll let people know.

And finally, I'm setting up a 17-day tour for this July with Kyle McCord, who was the Orphic Prize winner last year for his great book, Galley of the Beloved in Torment. Lots of dates and venues to be confirmed still, but once we have everything locked up, I'll be posting the days and venues for anyone who's in those areas and wants to come out and hear us read. We're both looking forward to it, since this something neither of us have ever done.


My new manuscript is now around ten pages longer than Ghost Lights is / was (meaning the .doc file, and not page numbers in the actual book).

I'm starting to feel really good about it, and I'm not sure what else I can do with it at this point.

I can still write poems that could fit, but I think the best poems, and the most representational poems, considering the themes, are in there. And even though most of them have been published, I've revised almost every single one since it's either been published in print or online.

This is something I didn't do with Ghost Lights as much (mostly because I had worked the poems to death, mostly for my MFA thesis, before I sent them out as submissions), and I think I'm getting better at editing my own work.

But like Ghost Lights, time will tell. I'm aware of how this goes now. It could take me another year, and it could take me another ten years. But I'm still planning on doing what I can to try and get this new manuscript published before I get my PhD, and then move onto a new project, however the ideas arise that start to compromise it.


My first year at Binghamton University will be over in ten days.

With how fast this first year went, it really makes me aware that I need to do a lot more than I did this year as far as writing and reading. Because of everything that happened in the last year (marriage, book, starting the PhD, moving a few states away, learning the new teaching system at a new school, along with taking classes, etc.), I didn't get to read and write (outside of classes, that is) as much as I would've liked.

But I did work on my new manuscript like crazy, so the sacrifice I hope will have worked out in the end.

Now to find a job for the summer, plan the rest of the reading tour, and hopefully have at least a handful of new poems by the end.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


My sister-in-law is, at this moment, in labor. Waiting by the phone to see if there's any news. Pretty exciting week, as this is the first niece or nephew on my side of the family.


Found out my new manuscript was a semifinalist in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.

Not only was this a draft that I sent in late October (which I think has gotten a lot stronger since then in the last five months or so), but the fact that it got that far with, most likely, so many great poets with much stronger books, makes me think that now it truly does have some legs. And even if I'm wrong, I'm doing what I did with Ghost Lights: sending it out like mad.

I also have to mention that Brian Barker (First Book Interview located here...) was one of the winners. If you haven't read his first book, The Animal Gospels, you should. But his book that won, The Black Ocean, I think is going to really turn some heads next year when it's released. His new stuff's been beyond amazing, so keep an eye out.


Also sent out some snail mail submissions to journals for the first time since last summer.

Though there are only seven or so poems that haven't been published from the new manuscript, a few of them are my favorites in the manuscript, and the rejections, from submissions sent through the online submissions manager, have been rolling in steadily for months.

I feel like that's how it always works: those we often don't have the most faith in are many times the first poems to get published. It's (always) bizarre how all of this works.


I'm in the process of putting together a book tour for July with a friend. Not sure if I've mentioned that or not yet...

We have the dates pretty much set, and the places, but not the dates and the places. This may be the last time I can ever do something like this, and I'll be visiting some states I've never seen before, so it should be a great experience overall.

I'll be updating the information here and on Facebook once we have the majority of everything together and finalized.


Saw the Bigger Than Life Blu-ray the other day. How has no one mentioned this movie to me in 28 years? I need to see more Ray films (aside from Rebel... which everyone's seen) and get back on my Douglas Sirk, 50s films, and Cinemascope kick.

A marathon may have to happen soon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


The school year at Binghamton University is officially over in a month. I'm sure the next three years will fly also.


Had an amazing spring break in Savannah with my brother and sister-in-law. Minus the pollen and the bugs, Savannah is one of my favorite cities. You really never run out of great things to do and see, and it literally has something for everyone.


Got my contributor copies of Cave Wall the other day. The journal is slim, handsome, and full of good stuff.

I have two poems from the new manuscript within the pages. Thanks to Rhett for including me.


Though we're still working on proofs for Ghost Lights, (mainly because I'm an editor's worst nightmare, as very few of my poems in the book, which I've probably mentioned before, are left justified) we're almost completely done at this point, and since the painting for the cover has been obtained, I can now show you what it's going to be. Again, thanks to Felicia for letting me use it. I love it, and I think it works perfectly with the book.

Bear is working on a cover design now. The back cover and blurbs are pretty much set, but we're trying to make sure everything on the front meshes well with the images, as far as the font and color scheme.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled with how everything's coming together.


The new manuscript also seems to be coming together, now that I'm working closely with Joe Weil on it.

I've written a new poem (with at least a few more to follow), continue to edit many of the poems, and have shifted many of the poems around in different sections (which works a lot better than it did before).

I hope it's close to becoming a legitimate contender by the end of summer or before.


The Days of Heaven (yes, the image at the top of my blog is from the film) Blu-ray is now officially one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen in my entire life.