Friday, April 29, 2022

the monsters we make

While I have published traditionally published poetry collections and self-published them, there is always the pleasure of making a book from beginning to end.  For sure, its more work.from the editing and proofing to the design. All the costs, all the marketing and promotion falls on you (though some would argue this is the case with poetry in general.)  There always the uncertainty that maybe it's all crap without someone else's stamp of approval on it--for the potential audience and maybe sometimes the poet themselves.  I've actually felt more confident about these last several self-issued titles than I did with my first traditionally published book, but that was probably to be expected.  It's not easy, and there is a lot trial and error.  It's also considerably more complicated than chapbooks.  But there is something very rewarding about birthing a book from the every first poem to unboxing the very first copies. 

I've been lucky that most publishers I have worked with allowed me to be pretty hands on in terms of design, often designing my own covers or having considerable say.  I know this is not always the case, and definitely less so when it comes to marketing fiction.  This cover began as a set of postcards I created for Halloween patreon subscribers a couple years back that are floating around out there.  As I started to put the final version of the book together, they seemed a perfect way to tie them together, given it's wealth of taxidermy and natural history-laden themes.  In the book, you will find my artist statement pieces, the Walter Potter poems, the strangerie portraits, the poems about Lavinia Fontana and the Renaissance dog-girl, Antoinette Gonzalez. You will also find extinction event, the poems I wrote about climate change for the Field Museum reading a few years back, that is about birds, but also dinosaurs and museum dioramas. The earliest pieces were written in 2018, the latest, last spring. (initially, the manuscript did not include the Walter Potter stuff, but then, once I wrote them, how could I not include them?)

Together, it's a book about art and monsters, the ones we create and how art can itself make us monstrous. About our need, as humans to catalog and define and make sense of things.  You can get your very own copy, here....

No comments: