Sympathetic Resonance

Next June, my first book Pause, Traveler will be released by Boreal Books, an imprint of Red Hen Press. That’s nine months from now. I feel expectant, nervous, and detached. Detached? How is that possible? Well, nine months is a long way off, and it’s hard to even imagine what it will feel like to hold my book in my hands. It’s like imagining Christmas morning in April. But mostly I feel excited. It’s an amazing privilege to be published, especially by a press like Boreal Books whose other titles I’ve admired so much.

I had another opportunity to read poetry to a group of people this past weekend. I started with Keats’s “To Autumn,” then “Echoing Light” by W.S. Merwin, and finished with Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Valentine for Ernest Mann.” There is a sort of sympathetic resonance that arises in a room when poetry is read, the vibration of the reader’s voice entering the bodies of the listeners. When we write, we are hoping to share an experience with our readers (or listeners), and we strive to craft words that resonate on two levels, connotation and craft. And then our audience brings their own experience to the work which amplifies certain tonalities and meaning. I am looking forward to the relationship Pause, Traveler will have in the world. Even though I will not know whose life it touches, I will be content to know it is out there, spreading ripples as a small stone tossed in the ocean.

(By the way, you can drop me an email with your name and mailing address at erin (at) beingpoetry (dot) com if you’d like to receive a postcard with more information about Pause, Traveler.)

5 Replies to “Sympathetic Resonance”

  1. Love the postcard PR idea! I remember reviewing Pause, Traveler in our last year at PLU. I remember how dead-on appropriate I thought the title was for the progression of the poems and the life revealed over time in the collection. So many strong images have stayed with me over the last three years. The book really does reverberate with all the pulsing vibrancy of life (not just one life), it covers the good, the bad and the ugly without condemnation or regret. I can’t wait to get it in my greedy little hands. “Anticipation….” 😉

  2. Congratulations on the publication of your book. I met you several years ago at the Kachemak Bay Conference that featured Li Young Lee and you had mentioned to me that you were working on a manuscript. This is wonderful news and I look forward to reading it. I also enjoy reading your blog posts. They truly resonate for me, especially as I finish up my thesis year at UAA.

  3. Hi Wendy! Congratulations on your impending MFA and finishing up your thesis, so exciting. I hope that you’re planning on coming down for the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference this year – Naomi Shihab Nye is the keynote. Should be amazing.

    If not, perhaps I’ll see you at your last residency. I’m hoping to make it up there for some readings!

    take care,

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