Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cloud Pharmacy Comes to Seattle

Cloud Pharmacy Arrives!
So this morning I look out the window of my front door and there's a box of books tucked to the right of the door frame. But I had just come out of the shower.

Wrapped in a bath towel was not the way I wanted to meet my book. Instead I tossed on my jeans and a sweater. I took a scissors to the box, ripped opened the top and slowly removed the cream colored packing paper.  That funny tension of fast and slow. I lifted the book out of the box first before I looked at it. I was afraid of that moment of truth: would I love the way it looked?

Yes, even the author has a tendency to judge a book by its cover.

My book sat beside me in the car as I headed across town to my sweetheart's apartment. After a celebratory breakfast we headed out across the water to a huge park. In the car, and then outside in the winter sunlight, we read the poems out loud to each other. Hearing my poems in his voice was especially thrilling. My poems now exist in the world in a new way: in another's voice, in the warm afternoon air.

It's an amazing high to bring a book out into the world. And if this is something you want for your own work, I wish you all strength and persistence.  You can do it. In today's publishing world there are so many ways to publish.

In the odd synchronistic way that the world sometimes works, last week I had an email from the British Library. It seems they are in the midst of taking all issues of the second wave feminist journal Spare Rib and digitizing them. My first poem was published in Spare Rib in 1981. I still have my copy of the journal and the accompanying check. The idea of a "real" publication amazed me as I was a college drop out at the time.

But here's a secret: the poem is awful. terrible. embarrassingly bad. And yet. The publication of "Afternoon Swim" meant everything to me. The idea that an editor had deemed my work worthy allowed me the confidence to keep going. I am very thankful to that editor, Zoe Fairbairns. Thankful for the bad poems that lead us all to the good.


  1. I advance-ordered the collection and look forward to its arrival. Wishing you much success.

  2. Thank you so much, Maureen. It sounds like the advance orders should go out well before April. I so appreciate your support!

    All best,