Who, me?

I was thrilled when I first learned that Finishing Line Press wanted to publish my chapbook of poems late last year, until I started thinking about everything that was ahead of me: writing press releases, doing interviews, promoting book sales, scheduling and planning readings – especially readings. I am not at all comfortable with being in front of people. I’d much rather sit in the back row and listen to someone else. The enormity of the task ahead was terrifying.

S.D. Agricultural Heritage Museum reading, April 29
S.D. Agricultural Heritage Museum reading, April 29

Now, ten months later, I’m pleased to report that I not only survived, but have learned and grown so much from the experience. I now have two readings behind me, and have discovered that I can stand up in front of people and relate my experiences to them through my poetry. I have been very humbled by the support and encouragement of so many people that I live and work with, or who have gotten to know me through my writing. Some of you are family, friends, and acquaintances who may never have purchased a book of poetry before in your lives, but gave this one a try.

I have had wonderful feedback from many of you. I hope that my experiences with this project inspire you to try something that seems scary or even terrifying to you. This quote by Dag Hammarskjold sums it up pretty well: “Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible—not to have run away.”

I hope that you’re having a wonderful summer!


Ag Museum Reading

I thank everyone for their patience who ordered a book several months ago. It has been a long wait for the book to be printed and shipped, and I sincerely hope that you receive your books soon.

There will be some opportunities to get your book signed and one of them is coming up in a couple of weeks. The South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum on the South Dakota State University campus here in Brookings is hosting a Reading/Signing event on April 29th at 7 p.m.

Weaving my poems and photographs together is a combination that worked well  in my first book, Campus Sketches, so I’m preparing a slide show of my pictures to accompany the poems I read at the Ag Museum. Even though At the Rim of the HorizonDsc_01562008-06-12 has only one picture (the one on the cover), many of the poems were inspired by the scenes that were often the subject of many of my photographs. The windmill picture on the front cover of the book is one that I took back in September of last year, just a few weeks before I received the news that Finishing Line Press had accepted my manuscript for publication. That same windmill is the subject of one of the poems in the book, and is one of my favorite photographic subjects. Even though a poem is supposed to be written well enough to create pictures in the reader’s mind, I think that you may enjoy seeing some of the actual places and things that I write about.

I hope to see you there!