I knew Jennifer Egan was speaking at Greenlight Bookstore on Fulton Street last night, but that’s not why I went. Sure, it was good to see what a Pulitzer Prize winning author looks like, but that’s not why I went.
I went to get a book I’d been waiting on for a year. It had come out in paperback a while ago, but last night was the night I needed it definitively in my hands.
There was a crowd packed right up to the door, which I had to both ignore and sift through to find my book, not on the alphabet shelves but stacked upon the table of valuable reads. I wonder if Jennifer thought me rude as I grabbed a book not hers from the big center table and mazed back to the cashier. Nah. Jennifer is cool.
Plus, book desperation is a legitimate cause of the uncouth.
The book in my hands is signed by its author, the reclusive Arundhati Roy, whose “God of Small Things” landed in my lap in Kerala, the place where its story is set. Circumstantially, Roy became my favorite. The more so because there was just the one, the Man Booker Prize-winning one.
Now, the book in my hands makes two. “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” is not new. But of course it lasted a while in its three-pound-hardcover-version, prohibitive to the laptop-baby-water-bottle-carrying-mom-backs of the book-buying-world.
The book in my hands is signed by the hands of its author. It is no longer on the big wooden table in front of Jennifer Egan’s microphone. It is on the candlelit counter where I sit, alone, to begin to read.
For those who are wondering where their book is, I wanted to offer assurance that, no, I am not running a poetry racket. Finishing Line Press is simply (way) behind on its publication schedule. They expect mid-life to ship out sometime in September.
In the meantime, I am planning a book launch party in Miami for the Fall. More info to follow.
“The Sun Coast,” a poem from my forthcoming book of poems entitled mid-life, now available for purchase via Finishing Line Press. The pre-sale period ends in just three days, so grab your copy soon, such as right this minute!
A few months ago, I guest-edited an edition of Five Quarterly, an up-and-coming lit mag with a different approach to the editorial process. Its two founders invite five very different writers to edit each issue, ultimately gathering an eclectic group of poems and short stories. I also like that they ask their guest editors to send feedback, which is shared with each writer. So, they are not only original, but generous too.
Here is the Fall 2015 issue I helped edit. Please read; please share.