I'm excited to be participating in the 5th annual Big Poetry Giveaway. What's that, you ask? Excellent question, I reply. Here's the deal:
I'm giving away three books (two chapbooks and a full-length collection) to celebrate National Poetry Month (otherwise known as April). To win, all you need to do is leave a comment and contact information on this post. Ta da! You're entered. During the first week in May, I'll use a random number generator to choose three winners, get in touch with you for contact information, and mail you the book. It costs you nothing—no postage, no handling, no selling of your soul to some sort of spam-generating mailing list.
If you're a poet and want to participate in your own giveaway, head over to Kelli Russell Agodon's blog The Book of Kells to see what's what. I wouldn't be doing this without her. Here's (part of) what she says about the reasoning behind the Big Poetry Giveaway: The goal is to share our favorite poets with others as well as to visit different blogs and see who others are reading. Sounds good to me.
The rules state that I must give away a copy of one of my favorite books, so I'm giving away Fugue for Other Hands by Cider Press Review's own Joseph Fasano.
I know, I know, I'm one of the editors for it, but you know what? If I can go through the whole editorial process with a book and then come through the other side still loving it, it's a pretty damn good book. Joe's imagery is staggering, and there are poems in there that I get caught up in every single time I read them. If you win and you're already a supporter of CPR's work (i.e. you already own this amazing collection), I'll send you a different book, possibly something from CPR, possibly something from my own collection. I guarantee it will also be a book I love. Surprise package! It'll be just like playing Let's Make a Deal except you won't have to wear a costume, and nobody will ask you what's in your handbag.
I'm also giving away copies of two of my chapbooks. I'll even sign them for you if you want. The first, Dear Turquoise, is the first chapbook I ever put together. I've posted about it widely on the blog, so I won't go into detail here (feel free to click the "Turquoise" tag to pull up posts). It's also available through dancing girl press. (That link, by the way, is to their catalog page, not to my chapbook specifically--take a look at everything they've got over there. You won't regret it.) Or through me!
The second is the first chapbook to come from my own press—Ghost Stories. It's not all about ghosts—although there are some ghosts in there. Let's say that it involves ghosts and other ways of being haunted. It's so new I don't even have a clean cover image for you, but here's a quick picture I took of the first test run on my dining room table. If you win this chapbook, I'll give you the choice between a copy from the print run (hand numbered and signed) or, if you want to take your chances on striking it rich after I'm famous (and dead), I'll send one of the test run copies (also hand-numbered and signed, but marked as a test run).
It's also possible I'll be in the process of printing a second chapbook by the time the beginning of May rolls around. If that's the case, I'll throw in a bonus copy of whatever that chapbook is, one for each winner. What? I can hear you asking. A second chapbook, also for free? Is she CRAZY? Yes. Yes, I am. If I were any crazier, I'd need to be filming this blog post so that I could rapidly zoom the camera in and out to demonstrate how crazy I am. Let me say right now that I have no idea if this will be one of my own chapbooks or one by someone else. I also have no idea if I'll have one. NO PROMISES, PEOPLE. (But I'd really love to be able to do it!)
So, in case you followed someone else's link over here, let me tell you a little bit about myself:
I am a poet, writer, editor, English professor. I'm the Managing Editor for Cider Press Review, and as I mentioned above, I just started playing with printing my own chapbooks. Over the next several months, I'll be expanding into printing chapbooks from trusted friends/fellow poets, and hope to eventually be able to print awesome chapbooks written by awesome strangers who will become trusted friends/fellow poets.
I am married to a man who is a serial hobbyist, and who used to claim I didn't have any hobbies. That was before I started baking all of our bread and covering our dining room table with paper cutters, various card stocks, binding thread, and the like. Pretty much as soon as we bought a house, we started looking for a dog, and we found a retired racing greyhound who moved right in and made himself at home. We named him Neruda, but he answered to Rudy. We now live with two retired racers, Butler and Gracie, named after Yeats and Paley respectively, and love the breed. We also keep bees, and I like to think of them as "practice chickens." If we can figure out a way to be gentleman/woman farmers, I think we probably will.
I love gathering people in my house and feeding them; running; dessert (too much); figuring out how to do things (a.k.a. learning); figuring out even better ways to do things (a.k.a. improving); teaching; old black and white horror movies; bees; that moment when I'm cooking or baking something brand new for the first time and I realize it's happening exactly the way it should; animals; compost; becoming good at something that initially intimidated me; grandfather clocks; Thom Gunn; hanging out with writers (seriously, while not all writers are funny, some of the funniest people I know are writers); the Oxford comma; the word "buoy"; Italy; the water; piña coladas; getting caught in the rain.
I had to break up with the ocean for a few years because it was too painful for me to be there, but we've been coming to terms over the past year or so. We'll see what the summer brings. I'd still rather ride a wave to shore and stand up a little bloody after scraping myself against the sand than float placidly on a lake in an inner tube, but I'm more than happy to do the latter as well.
If everything is going well I have enough time in my day to get a little restless. That's where my creativity comes through. I'm really good at time management, and can sandwich different steps of multiple processes together in order to be as time-efficient as I can. I get comically excited when I figure out a faster way to organize a process. It's more than a little geeky. But it's not because I'm a fan of being super-productive; it's because I'm a fan of being lazy. I work best when I have some time--ideally, lots of time--to be lazy, so I try to get all that other stuff done as quickly as I can without having quality suffer.
I have been known to take a really good book into the shower, leaving one hand outside the curtain to hold the book (I've never really mastered this, though, and now our shower has doors on it, so it's impossible to do this without soaking the floor); close just one eye at a time while reading in a vain attempt to stay awake long enough to finish a chapter; write lines of poetry in the condensation on the shower door in an attempt to remember them long enough to get them down on paper.
And that's about it for now. One book, two chapbooks, three chances to win. Leave your name and contact info (unless I have it) in the comments to enter. Good luck!