Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Book News: Jennifer Militello and Kent Shaw and more

There were two unpublished manuscripts I came across last year, one from Dan Kaplan, and one from Jennifer Militello, that I was so convinced needed to be published soon, I wrote something to that effect on this blog (December, maybe?).

Almost immediately (or perhaps already, and I just didn't know about it yet), Dan Kaplan’s Bill’s Formal Complaint was picked up by The National Poetry Review Press, and now it’s a sweep, as Jennifer Militello’s (currently titled) History of the Always Pain has just been announced as winner of the 8th annual Tupelo Press First Book Award, in conjunction with the journal Crazyhorse (which remains [and now even more so!] one of my very favorite literary journals).

Congratulations to Jennifer, this is wonderful news about a very deserving collection.

Book publishing is hard on poets. Where to send? And how long it takes (years!), in most cases: the sending out and the wait, and the seemingly inevitable letter . . . the money, the time, the writing and the rewriting. In my own story, I have five manuscripts on my shelf, as my writing life has, well, gone more quickly than my publishing life.

But on the other hand, over the past couple years, nearly everyone I know who was circulating a manuscript, has had it accepted. And they’ve been very good manuscripts: Wayne Miller (Only the Senses Sleep), Hadara Bar-Nadav (A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight), Joshua Kryah (Glean), Rebecca Aronson (Creature, Creature), and also Kent Shaw, who was just recently announced as the winner of the Tampa Review Prize for his book, Calenture, which will also be coming out in 2008. Congratulations to Kent, for this well deserved news.

I’m going to use all this positive vibration, then, and say that I’ve seen the recently completed second manuscript from Kathleen Ossip (whose first book, The Search Engine, won the APR prize a few years back), and I simply adore its relentless mix of tones and approaches. Dear Presses, can I get a witness?

7 Comments:

At 7/24/2007 10:45 AM, Blogger Matthew Thorburn said...

Glad to hear that -- I really liked The Search Engine!

 
At 7/24/2007 12:32 PM, Blogger Plattitude said...

That's such wonderful news about Jennifer! I actually jumped out of my chair and said "yesssss!"

 
At 7/24/2007 7:34 PM, Blogger Matthew Thorburn said...

P.S. Five manuscripts? (!) Are you sending those out eventually, or have you been, or did you already? Are those pre- or post-Little Book of Guesses?

 
At 7/24/2007 8:22 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

MT:

Well, quantity is not quality, of course... but Four Way Books will be coming out with one of them (which might turn out to be two of them combined [with a lot of things thrown out]) in a couple years.

This is the drawback to poem-a-day projects, though I'm not really much concerned. I've gotten used to piles of poems all around the room. The other day I was thinking of marketing them as wallpaper.

I'm not very good at marketing.

 
At 7/24/2007 8:27 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

PS. Whoops, sent that off too fast. To answer: two of them are post, two are roughly contemporaneous (did I spell that correctly?) and the other one is older (it's all prose poems with the word "guidebook" in the title).

I think I need a filing system.

 
At 7/25/2007 10:47 AM, Blogger Matthew Thorburn said...

Did you just say book 3 is already in the pipeline? That's great!

Can't really have too many poems, in my (metaphorical) book...

 
At 7/25/2007 5:23 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Well, it's a long pipe, as they say. I think the title is going to be Looselife, and 2010 is the date. I'm quite thrilled about it, actually. It's great fun to be able to relax with it and try a couple things out. Something abstract, something concrete, something general, something specific, you know, the usual...

So many poems, so little time, as they say. Well, they say it, but not about poems . . .

 

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