I’ve been asked by fellow author, marilyn slagel, to participate in a Blog Hop in order to introduce new authors to new readers. If you’ve come here from the link posted on Marilyn’s blog, welcome! If you’re a regular reader of mine or came upon my blog by chance, this is an opportunity for you to get know something about the book of poems I am working on and to check out some writers who might be new to you by following the links at the end of the post. They are all fine authors whose work I would highly recommend. Again, special thanks to Marilyn Slagel for asking me to participate.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Great Read
Q: What is the working title of your book?
A: Because Men Only Understand Cliches
Q: Where did the idea come from for the book?
A: Since this is a book of poems, there isn’t one central idea in which the book originated. Rather, over time, as I wrote each of the poems, it became clear to me that I had a body of work that focused on the women in my life. The title poem of the book is my response to a challenge an instructor of mine from a long time ago, a woman, once gave. “No man,” she said, “will ever be able to write a successful ‘cunt poem,’ because when it comes to cunts men only understand cliches.”
Q: What genre does your book fall under?
Q: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
A: This question doesn’t really apply, since I don’t think anyone would make a movie from a book of poems. But people have told me over the years that I look a little bit like James Caan – I don’t see it at all. I have liked some of his movies quite a lot, though, and I think it would be fun to hear him read my poems.
Q: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A: Because Men Only Understand Cliches illuminates one man’s understanding of the roles women have played in his life and how they helped make him the man he is today.
Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A: The small press that has, for some time, been holding the manuscript for what was supposed to be a 2013 publication date – which was pushed back from 2012 – has just pushed the date back again to 2018. Since I do not have a contract with this publisher, this seems to me a pretty obvious indication that they are no longer all that interested in publishing me. Agents do not represent poets, generally speaking, since there is no money in it for them, and so I will start shopping the manuscript around again very soon. I haven’t decided yet if I want to investigate the possibility of self-publishing the book.
Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A: The oldest poem in the book is from around 2007; the newest, “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer” – which was published by The Good Men Project–was written this year.
Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A: I sometimes think that I write about gender and sexuality in a way that bears some resemblance to Sharon Olds’ work, which is to suggest a parallel set of concerns, not that I would presume to place myself in her league.
Q: Who or What inspired you to write this book?
A: All of the poems in the book are, in one way or another, inspired by women I have known, some of them lovers (my wife primary among them), some of them teachers, some of them friends, some of them students.
Q: What else about your book might piqué the reader’s interest?
A: One of the poems, “I Fell in Love with All That Struggled in You Not to Drown,” explores aspects of a woman’s life in Iran; another, “For My Son, A Kind of Prayer” is a meditation on raising a son in a world filled with sexual violence that is mostly and all too often perpetrated by men.
Here are the writers whose work you can check out next: