Breakdown is here (and also expanding into new media)

cover of Breakdown: Banjo PoemsI’ve been remiss in not following up my previous post to announce that Breakdown is indeed out and available for order ($9.00) from Seven Kitchens Press. I’m very pleased with the cover art by Steven Sherrill, whose full-color paintings of off-color subjects keep company with an eclectic assortment of instruments, homemade and otherwise, in his basement. Inspired in part by the lovely book design, the work of publisher Ron Mohring, and in part by the enthusiasm of Steve and other banjo-playing friends, I’m forging ahead with making videopoems for the book, using banjo-accompanied readings for the soundtracks, which may eventually become an album of sorts. But for now, there’s just the growing album of videos. As I said in a recent blog post about one of them, my thinking about these audiopoems and videopoems is that they don’t necessarily drive more sales of the chapbook; if that were my primary reason for making them, I suspect I’d be disappointed. They’re just fun to make, and the publication of the book provides a handy pretext for spending many enjoyable hours exploring SoundCloud and Plus, they will give me something else to do during a live reading besides just read from a podium. I do have this notion that audiences at poetry readings deserve first and foremost to be entertained.

And speaking of readings, I’m honored to be kicking off a new, monthly poetry reading series at Webster’s Bookstore Cafe in State College, Pennsylvania on November 6. (See their Events page for details.)