In the Red Room, I don't have to tell you that one of the happiest days a writer can have is the day she holds a new book -- her own book -- in her hands for the first time. When you have made it through the days, weeks, months, and years when you thought you'd never write a single good line or poem, let alone a collection of poems that all hold together; when you have survived the often equally long period in which you are convinced that no publisher under the sun wants to make your writing available to the reading public; and when you have worked your way through the process of getting a book under contract and over the hurdles of the production process; after all of this comes that joyful moment when you open a package from your publisher and, suddenly, the book you wrote is real, is a fact.
I just had that day. : )
As of yesterday, my second full collection of poetry, the new black, became for me a real, tangible book. I'm full of gratitude toward my publisher, Wesleyan UP, and my editor, Suzanna Tamminen, and a number of wonderful people at the University Press of New England (UPNE), which handles the hands-on part of the production process for Wesleyan and several other presses. The book as an object is so beautiful that I worry that the poems won't live up to the production values! : )
I'm still celebrating, still a little starry-eyed -- but I will confess that, as with other kinds of firsts, getting my first book back from the printer was an even more ecstasy-generating moment than this. But that is to be expected, and it doesn't take anything away from the pleasure of this moment with book #2. I mainly hope, now, that readers will find themselves drawn to it and, having been drawn in, will find the poetry in its pages to be satisfying or scintillating or formally exciting or thought-provoking or gorgeous or true or necessary . . . .
I won't be focusing my blog repeatedly on this book, I promise. There's so much else to write about! But I did want to stop and share this moment with whoever is reading here. There's a lot of ugly stuff going on in the world right now, but today I have one lovely thing to set in the balance. Woo-hoo!!!!!