And now for the big announcement!

Potential cover art?
(You read that right. I said “cover art.”)

I’ve been holding onto this news for about two weeks now, but I wanted to wait until the contract had been signed and the release date had been set before I put this out to the entire internet.

I am thrilled to announce that Finishing Line Press has accepted my chapbook, We’re Smaller Than We Think We Are, for publication in 2013. I’m so excited to be working with Finishing Line. They’ve published a number of poets I admire, and I’m honored to be included. The book will be available for preorder on January 15th, and the official release date is set for April 27th.

Now I’m in the process of making sure the manuscript is perfect, selecting potential photographs to use for cover art, and  other miscellaneous tasks to get everything ready for publication. It’s a lot of work, but I’m enjoying every moment of it. 2012 has been a great year for my writing; it looks like 2013 is going to start off with a bang as well.

A Blackbird Sings now available!

Back in January, I took up the challenge of  writing one small stone every day for the entire month. Two of those pieces were selected for A Blackbird Sings, which is now available on Kindle in both the US and the UK. (UK readers can also preorder the paperback here; US paperback coming soon.) I love the little poems in this anthology, and I’m honored to be a part of this book. In addition, editors Fiona and Kaspa have declared November 1st Mindful Writing Day (in addition to being the first day of NaNoWriMo, for those of you keeping track…), and the Kindle edition will be free that day (plus, you have the chance to win a copy by participating in the event).

Older readers might remember that I lost one of my closest friends to cancer on January 12th. I submitted five small stones for the anthology; two of them were written within days of that event. My two grief stones were the ones selected to be published. Despite the fact that ten months have passed and I have come a long way in the process, I admittedly felt vulnerable when I checked the proof copy. Both of my pieces are only three lines each, and yet they bring back the memories of those first few weeks of knowing Reesa was gone from my life.

I’m glad these small stones are out in the world. I hope they’re able to give someone else insight and hope.

Work published at Haiku Journal

I have an haiku in issue 13 of Haiku Journal. The entire issue is free online, and I’m proud to be sharing space with such wonderful writing.

I especially love this one by Peter Sacco:

Between each movement
the trio rests ─ the dark hall
echoes with coughing

My own contribution to this issue was written last year, in the midst of the terrible Texas drought. I’m glad I found a home for it here.

New poem at Big River Poetry Review

At the Blue Willow reading last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting John Lambremont, Sr., editor of Big River Poetry Review. He drove all the way out from Baton Rouge to hear us read, and his presence was very much appreciated.

Big River Poetry Review is a new publication; it debuted online this past spring. In addition, it will run an annual print anthology. Rather than publishing once every few weeks or months, John Lambremont’s aim is to update daily, sharing poetry on an ongoing basis.

I submitted some poems soon after returning to Austin, and I’m happy to share that one of my poems, entitled “What is dust?,” appeared on the site earlier this week. I’m very happy to be a part of this new publication, and look forward to watching its growth over the coming year.

Haiku up at Extract(s)

I have an haiku up today at Extract(s). The photo that accompanies it is an original one, taken while standing at the top of Enchanted Rock on a cloudy day.

This haiku came out of my small stones practice. Not all of my small stones are haiku — in fact, most of them aren’t — but some of them do end up being in haiku form. It was composed during that brief, blessed rainy season.

There was a time in my life when I didn’t enjoy writing haiku, but now I find it one of my favorite forms. And in the past few years, I feel like my longer poems are really inspired by the compression of haiku. I like to fit my words into tight spaces, and give a rich image while still managing to be sparse. There is so much concentration that goes into a haiku (both in the sense of compression and attention), and that’s why I’ve come to adore them so much.

Your Daily Poem

I normally like to make my publication announcements early on the day that they appear, but Tuesdays are always hectic. And now that my day is done, there’s a cute little dog blocking access to my laptop and demanding cuddles.

Maxwell actually gets mad at the laptop sometimes. He has some jealousy issues.

However, life and adorable-dog interruptions aside, I’m thrilled to announce that my poem, “Lizard,” was published at Your Daily Poem this morning. I’ve been a subscriber at YDP for a while now, and it’s exciting to be a part of a site that brings a little bit of joy to my inbox every morning.

I’ve been trying to write persona poems lately. Getting out of my own head and into the head of someone else is definitely an interesting exercise, even if it doesn’t lead to a poem that I consider a keeper. Normally, I write from the perspective of a friend, or from a person I have noticed while out and about, or sometimes even a person who is entirely fictional. “Lizard,” as you might have already guessed, is written from the perspective of the title character.

Specifically, this little guy running around the grounds at Round Top.

I’ve loved lizards ever since I came to Texas. They eat insects. They’re ostensibly good luck. And they’re cute. This poem in particular was inspired by the lizards I encountered at Round Top when I was there for the poetry festival. While one of them stayed still long enough to pose for a few photographs, most of them darted out of sight pretty quickly, and I could only imagine that they were slightly annoyed by the presence of all of us poets trampling on their territory. And thus, a poem was formed.

It’s free to subscribe to YDP, and I encourage you all to sign up. It’s a nice way to get a little literary inspiration and excitement as soon as you check your email in the morning.

I’m Ephemeral!

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of poetry chapbooks — small collections, cheap enough that you can buy a bunch at a time and discover something new. That’s one of the reasons I also enjoy zines. They’re an easy, inexpensive way to discover someone or something new. I’ve never made one of my own; working on the chapbook is enough for now. But my friend Quinn Collard makes zines, one of which is called Ephemera. She just released issue #5 last week, and I have a poem called “Bonded” in it. My contributor’s copy arrived on Monday, and I’ve enjoyed flipping through it. I’m really excited to be included, and to have contributed work to a friend’s project. If your a friend of poetry, typewriters, and other miscellany, check it out!

My friend Quinn Collard