I self-published my first poetry collection back in 2003 at a time when self-publishing was still frowned upon. It was the smartest decision I ever made. Fifteen years later, my third full-length collection, “Midnight in a Perfect World,” will be published by award-winning Sibling Rivalry Press on Nov. 15. Along with the poetry, I also managed to publish three novels, a short story collection, an album of spoken word and two other small poetry collections known as chapbooks.
All of that output has occurred while I’ve been editor here at Atlanta INtown, which also boggles my mind. I’m getting ready to move into my 17th year at INtown, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in the new year. It’s a cliché, but what a long, strange trip it’s been.
Amidst editing this magazine and writing fiction and poetry, I’ve also somehow managed to fit in a good bit of travel. “Midnight in a Perfect World” chronicles my many trips to London, which I consider my second home. I’ve been traveling to the UK almost every year since 1995. I have made some incredible friends there, had the opportunity to perform my work at some amazing venues (Southbank Centre and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, come to mind) and even guest lecture at Oxford University.
But the vast majority of my writing has been done right here in Atlanta, starting in Cabbagetown and then the Old Fourth Ward. For all my globetrotting, I always come home to Atlanta, which has nourished and welcomed me into the amazing community of artists and writers who live and work here. So, while I will be reading in London next year for the new book, “Midnight in a Perfect World” will have its official debut here in my hometown.
The official launch will be Thursday, Nov. 15, 7:15 p.m. as part of the annual Voices Carry poetry reading co-sponsored by Poetry Atlanta and Georgia Center for the Book. The free event, which also features Cecilia Woloch, Sharan Strange, Rupert Fike and JC Reilly, will be held at the Decatur Library, 215 Sycamore St. in Decatur, GA. Charis Books & More will provide books for the evening.
Speaking of Charis, I will read from the new collection at the shop, 1189 Euclid Ave. in Little Five Points, on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m. I will be reading with the brilliant Katie Farris (“boysgirls”).
Hope to see many of you at one (or both) of these events!