I write the book; or, On My New Book of Poems

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new collection of poems. “Being Many Seeds” won the Grayson Books Chapbook Contest and has just been released into the world:graysonbooks.com.
The collection is a hybrid thing in that, in addition to the poems, running across the bottom of each page of poetry is a brief essay of some thoughts about the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest and paleontologist. Plus each poem has three parts: the first poem, then another poem I “found” inside it by erasing some of the words, then a third such erasure, with each iteration either distilling, moving away from, or suggesting something different from the original poem. I’d say the theme of the collection is our connection to each other and to the earth.
It is a “chapbook” of poems, which is a common form in the poetry world meaning that it is about half the length of a full-length collection, and tends to be more thematically focused than a full-length, but also, since it is staple-bound rather than having a spine, it is a format often not sold in bookstores, as it has no shelf presence, nor carried by libraries. Buying a copy from the publisher helps this little press keep up its good work of getting poetry into the world.
I also have a stash of copies and will likely keep a box in my car, should we ever see each other again.
But if you are creative in some other realm and commit to trying to use this collection as a leaping off point for a creative work — turn the pages into origami, bake a poem cake, compose a symphony, dance a quadrille while humming the poems, soak the pages into a pulp and make sculpture, knit a poem scarf, whatever — I’ll send you a book for free right now!
Also, if you write book reviews and want to consider reviewing the book, I’ll send you a copy.
Here’s a videopoem I made from a condensed version of the book:www.vimeo.com/marmccabe/beingmanyseeds
And here’s a the image on the front cover, a gorgeous photograph by Nina Shengold.

6 thoughts on “I write the book; or, On My New Book of Poems

  1. You don’t know me but I subscribe to your blog, which I only occasionally get time to read. I paid close attention today though. I just want to tell you that I’m inspired by the format of your new book. I hadn’t thought much about doing erasure on my own poems. I love how the erasure works in the video, which I enjoyed. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! And commiseration, as well–I also have had a chapbook published during the lockdown and, as a result…no readings, no hand-offs to nearby friends, etc. etc. And I do love milkweed, and the cover delights me!

    But getting a book into the world is a feat and an act of courage and imagination, so GO YOU!

    I used to write reviews but am too busy these days. But if you want me to publicize to the [small] number of readers who follow my blog site, I will gladly do so.


  3. Congratulations on the publication. Your videopoem is a very effective way of conveying the erasures. I enjoyed that, I well as your reading. I realize now that the few times I’ve put the words on the screen for my own video poetry it’s been an erasure, of sorts.


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