Over the last two years, I’ve been working on a new full-length collection of poems. When I had some time off from teaching over Christmas, I had a chance to put the finishing touches on the collection and make more revisions. The manuscript, tentatively titled What Remains, is now sitting with the editors of a few presses and book contests. I’m optimistic but also realize more revisions may be made before it reaches print. When I started the book a few years ago, I wanted to write a collection of poems that explored relationships and gender communication. Some of that is still there, and the book certainly explores relationships and what’s left after they unravel, but it also includes several blue-collar narratives and character-driven poems. Some of what I witnessed during the peak of Occupy Wall Street and visiting different cities is captured. There are poems that are a reaction to this strange time we live in and the ongoing political narrative about growing income inequality, but the political is always personal, and I tried not to preach. There’s also a few poems in the collection that are music-oriented, much like Front Man. Overall, though, I think this collection offers more depth, stronger extended metaphors, and greater reflection than my chapbook.
It feels good to conclude a project that has occupied my time for about two years or so. I look forward to hearing back from editors soon and seeing what happens. Then it will be time to start yet another manuscript.