I’m very happy to announce the release of my second collection, Father Me Again, from Spartan Press.
One of the thoughts that I had during my seizure on July 5 was how can I read when I cannot form the words to speak? Since my July 24 appointment, however, I’ve doubled up on my anticonvulsant Levetiracetam, a.k.a. Keppra, and haven’t had another seizure.
I might add here that I’m calling the July 5 episode of temporary aphasia a seizure not because it in any way resembles my previous seizures but because my oncologist Dr. Michael Salacz said my description of it is consistent with the description of a seizure.
And I have, in fact, read, since the seizure: My July 19 reading at Open House has been uploaded to YouTube in poem-to-two-poem-length segments, a foretaste of Father Me Again, my second collection, the poems of which “grow in stature and distinction,” says New Letters editor-in-chief Robert Stewart, “by elevating seemingly mundane details of life,” beginning in what 2017-2018 Oklahoma Poet Laureate Jeanetta Calhoun Mish calls, “the quotidian.”
Poet John Hodgen says, “[These poems] chronicle what Morse calls ‘this narrow life,’ this transition we all are making between life and death, but which he sees with an intensity few of us will ever know,” and L.S. Klatt, my first mentor, author of The Wilderness After Which:
If everything in Father Me Again is bereaved and estranged, it is also newborn. When Morse “speaks” his “shriek,” he does so ‘among the living,’ and he does not muzzle his wonderment. What a joy to stumble headlong into poems of such equipoise, what anguish, what solace.
From my Oct. 2014 glioblastoma diagnosis and May 2018 graduation from University of Missouri-Kansas City with an M.F.A., I have lived in utter amazement, suspended in a state of grace, so blessed and grateful for the small and sometimes seemingly negligible role I’ve been given to play in each of your lives, the role of a poet, a voice, however hesitant and infirm.
Many of you receiving this email may have played a role in one of my past lives and will be shocked to learn, perhaps for the first time, about the 14.6 life expectancy of a glioblastoma diagnosis, the turn my life has taken. For those of you who live in far-away places but would still like to get your hands on a copy of Father Me Again, please visit the following site:
Eve Brackenbury has graciously volunteered her secure online portal for *signed* book purchases. In addition to the $12 cost of the book, however, a postage and handling ($3.99) will have to be applied.
For those of you in the area, come hear me read on August 24:
A friend I taught with in 2011 at the Shandong Institute of Business and Technology, Jorinde Berben, recently commented on my Facebook page: “Though this is neither your job nor purpose, every time I think of you I am reminded how each hour really is an amazing gift, not a given.”
I replied, “Actually I can think of no greater job, no greater purpose.”