OK, this isn’t Goose Lake. But Poetry Friday IS here. I’m happy to be hosting today and to be sharing?David Harrison‘s?Goose Lake, an e-collection I recently received. David is a poet, writer, educator, blogger–he does it all. He has many wonderful poetry books out. In fact, his Pirates is one of my all-time favorite collections. You can read my post all about the creation of Pirates,?and I’ve posted two more poems from it here and ?here.
David’s latest collection is an e-collection. Publishers are publishing fewer and fewer poetry titles. My agent has heard from several editors that they love poetry, but it just doesn’t sell enough, generally, to do many books–or any, in some cases.?More poets, established poets with traditional books published, are starting to look at e-collections or e-thologies as the wave of the future. Many poets have fine manuscripts sitting in their virtual drawers. They’re excellent work. But would they sell enough to offset the costs of traditional printing (the number I’ve heard from editors a couple of times is around $100,000 to produce and print a picture book)? So for these high-quality collections, e-publishing might make really good sense. You can reach a small audience (just like my traditional poetry collections!) but not have it cost anyone $100,000 to do so.
OK, on to Goose Lake, David’s latest, inspired by the lake David lives on! Goose Lake, like many of my favorite collections, combines poetry and prose and art (lovely watercolor-y images by Sladjana Vasic). Each poem is preceded by a prose passage that sets it up. I’m going to share two of my favorite poems. I would share the prose bits, too, but it didn’t occur to me?until just now that I wouldn’t be able to copy and paste my favorite bits from my iPhone Kindle app to here. Oops.
Streaks down the lake, turns,
swoops back, lands on high limb,
studies the water with baleful stare,
settles to wait, but soon,
bored, changes trees,
swirls into the sky,
soars higher, disappears,
leaves an unexpected
hole in the day
the size of an eagle.
–David Harrison, all rights reserved
I love that ending. The fact that that hole is unexpected. We didn’t know that we needed that eagle until it showed up…and then disappeared. I feel this way sometimes on walks when a fox darts down the street or a deer is unexpectedly on the bike trail! It’s magic. And when it leaves, the missing is keen.
Free at Last
Fish are rolling,
rippling the surface
with fins and bellies.
Fish are bucking,
off slippery backs.
Fish are leaping,
like glistening sweat
into the suddenly spring.
–David Harrison, all rights reserved
I could see those fish. I could almost feel the droplets land on me in “suddenly spring.” I was right there at Goose Lake. And it’s where you can be, too. A lake vacation for only $3.99!
But wait–there’s more:>) I asked David a few questions about the e-publishing process, and he graciously shared. As someone who has considered e-publishing my poetry, I was happy to hear David’s responses.
1. How was working with an illustrator that you chose different from the traditional picture book method?
I LOVE WORKING DIRECTLY WITH AN ARTIST. SLEDJANA WAS A DELIGHT AND ALWAYS READY TO DO WHATEVER IT TOOK TO GET EVERYTHING JUST RIGHT.
2. This strikes me as a collection that could appeal equally to kids and adults. Is that a plus of e-publishing, that the physical form of the book doesn’t identify it as geared toward one or the other?
HONESTLY, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO CLASSIFY THIS COLLECTION. I KNOW THAT MANY YOUNG PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND MY PASSION FOR NATURE BUT I SUSPECT THAT MUCH OF MY READERSHIP WILL BE ADULTS. I CLASSIFIED IT AS BOTH! IT IS DEFINITELY AN ADVANTAGE WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHOOSE ONE OR THE OTHER.
3. What is the hardest thing for you about e-publishing?
THE FIRST TIME? EVERYTHING. A SECOND TIME WON’T BE AS SCARY. I HAD WONDERFUL ADVICE FROM JANET WONG, WHO STEERED ME TO MILOS VASIC. MILOS FORMATTED THE COLLECTION, ANSWERED MY QUESTIONS, AND WALKED ME THROUGH THE PROCESS OF UPLOADING THE BOOK ONTO THE ONLINE STORES.
4. What is the greatest thing about e-publishing your poetry?
THIS WAS A BOOK I HAD TO WRITE. IT MAY REPRESENT SOME OF MY BEST WORK. YET, BECA– USE OF ITS QUIET NATURE, MOST EDITORS TODAY WOULD FIND IT A DIFFICULT COLLECTION TO PUBLISH. E-PUBLISHING GAVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY OF DOING WHAT I THINK IS RIGHT FOR ME.
I hope you guys enjoy David’s e-collection. My favorite thing about poetry e-collections is that they’re one of the few things I can actually read on my iPhone. I wouldn’t attempt to read a novel or anything on there, but poetry is perfect for it! When I’m in line, or waiting for yoga class to start, or find myself with just a couple of free minutes, I can tap, tap, tap and read a lovely poem. It’s such a nice little break!
Please click on Mr. Linky below to leave your links to your Poetry Friday posts. And of course, please feel free to also leave a comment on the poems I’ve shared from Goose Lake. Happy Poetry Friday–thanks for being here!