At the end of 2020, Gutter Snob Books had a call for manuscripts. I wasn’t going to answer this call because I just had a beautiful book published in November, but I had also told myself that when opportunities come knocking I was going to answer the damn door.
Earlier in the year I had been playing around with this collection of poems. It started out as a smaller collection and then morphed into a large collection that I ran through my writer’s group. But when editor Michele McDannold said that collection needed to be “concise,” I went back and looked at it again. What I pulled out was most likely the original 30 poems I had wanted together from the beginning.
I cleaned up the poems and sent them out as a chance and was notified on Christmas morning, while I was at work, that the collection had been accepted. I have worked with Michele McDannold before back in 2006 when she ran Rural Messengers Press. She was the first editor to put out a collection of my work. Her approach was creative putting poems on posters, into folded matchbooks, and into layered mini books. It was hand made and warmed my pea picking heart to be honest because it was thoughtful and took a lot of time.
Michele gave me the courage to keep putting work out there and it was enlightening to see a strong female presence in the small press at that time which was male dominated. It was in a time where women had to write from the darker layer of themselves, the sexual layer, the drunk layer in order to get work published. But that collection was about growing up in Arizona, about family hardship, about being the child of alcoholics. This was significant to me and though I still did put on all those layers afterward, she has found me full circle with no layers at all, just me.
Running Red Lights is a collection about watching people, not just in real time, but those people tucked in back of the paper news articles–the ones that don’t make the headlines. It’s a collection about the things we miss when we are racing from place to place, when we run red lights to get there. It should be out around April 2022. Gutter Snob Books is also offering a book a month club for $13 a month, so go check the above link for details on that.
Read. Write. Support Small Press. Be Kind.