A Tough Year For Poets...

I've been gutted, recently, by the loss of some great writing talent -- and I'm still getting used to the idea that there won't be many new books from them. Harry Calhoun, Doug Draime, and Dan Fante all recently passed...all of whom have more than a few books sitting on my shelves.

I knew Harry a little, trading emails, and once even sharing time on a Blogtalk Radio show. Doug was one of my poetry heroes--someone who wrote poems in endless styles, and on endless subjects...all of them running from insightful to profane. Dan Fante, son of legendary writer John Fante, and a damn talented writer in his own right, was a kind supporter of many young writers, and was a man I very much hoped to meet one day.

So, yeah, it's been a tough year for poets.

If I have a take-away from all this, I'd say this is it: Do your best to do beautiful things while you can. It gives tremendous meaning to lives that get foolishly complicated by the more mundane business of living.

Okay fallen poets, you beautiful bastards...I'm about to raise a glass to all the fine thing you did in your years as a hearty thanks for your hard-scrabble living and dying. Slainte.

3.7 weeks...

Well, after engaging in some fairly complex calculations based on the survey many of you were nice enough to suffer through, I've determined that the perfect frequency with which to send off a little hi-ho-what'd'ya-know is precisely every 3.7 weeks. So let's call that my tentative schedule then.

So what's new? It looks like the long-awaited Cunningham/McCreesh book from Bottle of Smoke Press, AND TURNS STILL THE SUN AT DUSK BLOOD-RED... is back on like Donkey Kong. It'll be January, 2016, if the lord's willin' and the Creek don't rise... We have been forced to abandon the art aspect of the book, which, honestly, has been hugely problematic. So expect a book of poems -- 52 screamers, if you ask me.

For those who bought one of the 26 hardback copies of SUNLIGHT AT MIDNIGHT, DARKNESS AT NOON (the book of letters) way back when, you've read 2 of the poems...on your double-sided manuscript broadside, a really cool extra we did for you kick-ass collector types. BLOOD-RED is very much a companion book to SUNLIGHT, and those of you paying close attention can find the titles for all 52 poems highlighted in the body of the letters themselves. This one's been a long time coming, and we're dreaming up something tasty for the letterpress covers. As always, we'll look to make the book available in both collector and reader editions, and may even dabble in the black arts of eBook-dom. Stay tuned.

Speaking of: Happy Halloween, ghouls and gals. On a holiday devoted to begging for free stuff, I feel obligated to offer up a free ebook. Decide which of THESE you'd like, and drop me an EMAIL HERE -- I'll get you a free download code.

Okay. Get off them-thar electro-devices and go tell your people you love 'em.