The road from spark to book is long. Longer than you would guess. For some writers, that moment from inspiration to finished book can span decades. My newest collection, Corvus and Crater, was a year in the writing and revising. That’s pretty quick, even for a poet. After you finish the manuscript, there is the long road to publication – and well, that took three years. But I’m very excited to announce that Corvus and Crater will be released next month by the wonderful publisher Salmon Poetry.
Corvus and Crater sprung from my fear that with the weight of responsibilities of my beloved work at Storyknife Writers Retreat and the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference I would just never write again. That I would become a full-time arts administrator, zero-time poet. A past poet. So, on my birthday in 2019, I set myself an assignment: write a poem each day with fifty-four syllables – six lines of nine syllables apiece. There was no end destination – it was just a way to keep myself going.
The limits of the form really pressurized my writing, and the poems became a conversation with myself and with the books I was reading and the ideas that I was surrounding myself with. And because they were all written within a one year period – they held together as a manuscript. Here’s the description I wrote for the book: the enigmatic poems of Corvus and Crater explore a single winter though the eyes of Crow. The wheeling constellations, seasonal rituals, and Alaska’s charismatic landscape feature in a struggle to claim home and bodily agency, to control the myths and stories that form us. Composed of fifty-four sestets of fifty-four syllables apiece, Corvus and Crater resides in the tension between gleam and darkness, introspection and outward conflict, the self and the world.
And now, it’s real. I’ll be sharing some of the generous blurbs from poets whom I so admire, and some other interesting tidbits about how the manuscript came to be (and how it speaks in conversation with Ted Hughes Crow), but today, I’m just so excited that Corvus and Crater has a cover.
Let me take this moment to thank Siobhan Hutson and Jessie Lendennie at Salmon Poetry in Ennistymon, Ireland, who have been taking such good care of this manuscript.
I hope you love the cover as much as I do – and that you’ll find a resting place with the poems inside it. I’ll let you know how to order it in upcoming messages. Thank you all for your support and for letting me be a poet.
And thank you, Sally Banfill, for use of your amazing original artwork.