Sending Out the Literary Love

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Today I received two books in the mail. Now, I receive books in the mail all the time. But these two books were special. These two books were written by poets that I know.
Back before Facebook. Before Twitter. Even before Gmail…I met poet, mother, and community organizer Britt Kaufmann. I was at a local open-mic night for women called “Eve’s Night Out,” hosted at the time by poet Mendy Knott (whose book A Little Lazarus was also published this year). Britt read a poem that she called her 2nd annual “State of the Union” poem, in which she used the words of then-Presdient George W. Bush’s yearly speech to rewrite an inspiring poem of her own. As you can guess, that poem’s message was drastically different than the President’s address that year.
One poem, and I was hooked.
We chatted after the reading and thereafter started sending each other writing through the good ol’ United States Postal Service. Never mind that we lived in the same county. We wanted to see our words in print, to carve out the time necessary to read the printed page, write reflections in the margins, and send an envelope full of commentaries back in return. We’ve been friends ever since and I’m happy to say that this year her book Belonging was accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press.
The other book I received was the 5th volume of Lost Horse Press’ annual “New Poets: Short Books” series, and includes short books by Pacific University alumns Jensea Storie and Robert Peake. I actually ordered the book as an advanced sale directly from Robert, but I knew that when it came it would include work by two people who I went to graduate school with.
It’s so important to support the creative work that we do. Being a writer who doesn’t by books or doesn’t support literary magazines is like being a farmer who refuses to eat produce. The attitude simply doesn’t add up and, in the end, is a kind of economic and creative suicide. One of the reasons I enjoy volunteering as Associate Editor of TRACHODON, Managing Editor of Cheek Teeth, and the Advisory Board fof Memoir (and), is because I know my work helps bring exciting voices into the public domain.
I rejoice in my friends who have books, chapbooks, literary magazines, and editing services. I rejoice in sharing our growing community of active, out there, productive writers who are engaging with other artists and working to contribute to the medium. I rejoice!
  • Robert

    Thanks for your support, Katey! I hope you enjoy the book.

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