As some of you may know (but might have forgotten, as I've been quiet here lately), my new and selected poetry collection, Time Slip, finally had its launch at the end of May. It was a great launch, with music, other good books setting forth, and an enthusastic audience.
I've noticed several times a quotation from Ishmael Reed on the home page of RedRoom: "Poetry is the hard manual labor of the imagination." That's true of the writing/revising part, of course, although the pain is offset by the joy of birthing new work. But it's even more accurate for the after-launch part, when postpartum depression begins to set in. The book's out there... now what? I have to find readings, persuade friends to suggest me for series in their locales, subtly prod (cattle prods work best) others into reviewing it. Preferably those whose own books I did not review on a cranky day when the coffee had run out and the weather -- like today -- is as sticky as warm wet underwear you have to put on again.
This is the hard manual labor of distribution and promotion -- persuading others that something many of them regard as a frill, or adolescent embarassment, is actually essential to their daily lives. Who was it that said that "men have often died for the lack of what is written there in poetry", or words thereabout? A free copy of one of my older books (Gearing of Love, the one with black and white photos) will go to the first reader to correctly quote and attribute the previous line.
Causes John Oughton Supports
PEN International, Amnesty International, League of Canadian Poets, POR AMOR, Greenpeace