Showing posts from February, 2014

Covering the Book - What Do You Think?

I'm tripping out on book covers, now that I'm paying attention to my own. There's so much to it! You want it to say hello to the world, to invite readers—to compel them—to pick up your book. And buy it. It has to reflect what's inside. It has to tease. And it has to look good. Since I'm not a designer, it's perplexing to seek the path from my ideas to the graphic execution that syncs up with my ideal. Here's another twist: I don't need a book cover yet. I just need a manuscript cover as I send my book out to publishers. I need my manuscript cover to compel publishers to take a chance with my book, to convey my seriousness and talent and the value of my art. So about a week ago, I put out the word to a few designers and artists I know asking for their tries. Below are covers from three different people: Mark Bell, Ray Massie and I. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments section or at Facebook.  I'd like to know what grabs

The library with art by Marna Scooter Cascadia

The library     for Marna Scooter Cascadia and John Fox John and I ordered two slices and a raspberry soda each. We ate and took turns reciting snips and strophes within easy reach, chuckling, focusing or sighing to fit the words, until our speech joined together at Innisfree. We chanted that secluded beach into being. John beamishly coaxed in Yeats’ cat, Minnaloushe, who puzzled the moon, far and wee— and so we came upon Cummings hiccupping that typography over our paper plates and crumbs. We stood up. It was time to teach of what had passed and what would come, how poems make a honeycomb.

Book Cover Design Muster Call!

PROJECT BRIEF Objective: Create a compelling, attractive cover for the manuscript One Way to Ask. Background: Tough to admit, but I am not a designer. I have the desire, but not the chops. But you? You’re a designer. You've got the talent and the skillz. That's right—with a z. If you've also got the interest and bandwidth, you could gain a copy of the book and a donation of $25 in your name to the recipient of your choice. Turnaround: FAST . Immediately: email me at efflux at to let me know you’re in. I’ll send you the copy and (if you’d like) the covers I’ve tried so far. I want to moderate how many entries there are. There shouldn’t be many, and I'd be thrilled with just one—just YOU. Submit your design by Feb 27. If chosen, your design will be used on the manuscript version of the book that I will submit to City Lights Publishing and possibly other presses. Your design may or may not be used on the book wh

Road Not Taken — Two Versions — art by Chuckie Alston

The process of poetry happens as I walk to the carpool stop, as a move between meetings at work (and sometimes in the meetings), as I make coffee in the morning and as I shampoo my sparse crop at night. How do I help words unleash their power under poetic reading? Which words do I choose? When do I speak in plain details, when do I ask my readers to make intuitive leaps, when do I swirl into an abstraction of rainbow oil slick? Search me. With Chuckie Alston's wonderful illustration are two versions of the same poem, "Road Not Taken," written, you've probably already surmised, with a nod to Robert Frost. Which version do you prefer and why? I would love to have your input. I know which one I'm leaning toward, and I wonder if you'll lean the same way. Many lines are the same between versions, but the endings are toned quite differently. I'd sure appreciate a quick comment about your preference, either in the comments section below or on the Facebook

Hold that time with art by Shraya Rajbhandary

Hold that time While, the movie’s a slog to me, if my seven-year-old daughter were a U.S. year, she would be 1947. Summer. “Meet me in St. Louis, Louis…” She is transported on Garland’s Technicolor eyes to a time cradled tenderly in the arms of a later time. They used film as a salve and an opiate. Maybe she won’t find out how glum Judy became. The plot’s struggles, in retrospect, are quick to dim. When we watch the “Making of…” reel, it opens with clips of bombers. Instead we steer on Google to The Fair and Liza Minnelli. Judy Garland by Shraya Rajbhandary