Speculative literature author Peter Tieryas just wrote the very first review of my new book over at Entropy Magazine. Entropy is hands down one of my favorite online literature and culture sites, and I am so grateful for his generous critical attention!
My third collection, SOLAR MAXIMUM, is now available for order from Small Press Distribution! I am immensely grateful to Futurepoem for ushering it into the world as such an incredibly gorgeous object.
I wrote this book when I was filled with a great sense of turbulence and concern about our collective human future. I started to wonder what humanity might become–the spiritual essence of our humanity–in the wake of a massive disaster.
I had also begun a daily sky-watching practice…of simply and quietly observing the sky for a few silent minutes each day. I was touched by the way the sky was so transformative each instant, and how all terrestrial life makes its way under this vast aerial canopy.
I began to write these poems trying to trace–to speculate upon–this future spiritual phenomenon. I wanted to inhabit it as fully as I could from within my own consciousness, and poetry seemed the best mode for trying to do so. I envisioned a calamity we couldn’t escape–the dying sun. And I wondered about what strange, monstrous light it might cast in its final months and days. Many creatures experience a sudden bloom or intensity just before they die. I feel the sun would be no different at its end. But what would that mean for us, the intimate receivers of this light?
If you also feel full of a strange impending calamity, if you desire to let loose within yourself an otherwise of light, than I would love to share my words with you. To inhabit and imagine the space after together–even if only in a dream space.
Though the sun was relatively quiet this month, June began full of immense, storming, flood-of-light surprises for me. I was contacted by Jennifer Tamayo of Futurepoem and told that my manuscript, SOLAR MAXIMUM, was selected for publication! My book will be printed along with David Buuck’s new work, Site Cite City, as part of their next lineup in 2014. I cannot believe I get to join Rachel Levitsky, Marcella Durand, Shanxing Wang, Jill Magi, Camille Roy, Ronaldo Wilson, my former classmate Noah Eli Gordon, and SO MANY OTHER AMAZING AUTHORS, as part of the Futurepoem universe.
I’m especially thrilled that this manuscript, which tries to imagine the end of time, a speculative future, is with FUTUREpoem. It’s incredible.
A few days later, I also received the news that I had won a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Up to twelve artists are selected each year for this award, and I have the especial honor of winning along with three other amazing Philadelphia authors–Frank Sherlock, Jenn McCreary, and Emily Abendroth. HOLY COW. Previous winners include CA Conrad, Kevin Varrone, Pattie McCarthy, Linh Dinh, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Jena Osman, Ron Silliman… The immense outpouring of cheers, friendship, and general Philadelphia poetry pride, has been amazing. I’d always felt that the poetry community was like a different type of family. I’m part of this huge tribe. I’m so happy to be a member.
I was thinking about dragons and snakes, dragons and snakes. I wrote about them a bit earlier. These things are coming true, I think.
This spring, I was mournful. Many things felt like they were closing inside of me. I was learning to give up on older dreams, feeling them dissipate into the air like a breath. I used to want to bear children and start a family. The reality is, I don’t think this will be the case. Certainly not as I had once envisioned it for myself. However, such desires and others still inhabit my body. I move to exorcise them. I want to be new.
I blew my life up a year ago. Everything went into the sky. I learned to inhabit its limit, without threat, by taking shelter inside my bones. I was small but not alone. Now I feel everything is plummeting into the ground, like meteoric projections. Where will these things land? How far will they take me? What is the magnitude by which I dare expand?
Debrah Morkun offered me my horoscope according to an alternative calendar. She told me I was a Blue Magnetic Storm.
This was the sun on my birthday.
oh to see, seethe or set aright —
(I had a name. It once blossomed on a pond
and the old darkness — what of it
does it know how I tilt inside
in that spawning quiet storm