We are pleased to present the following exchange with this generous poet.
Did portions of Jagged with Love ever exist as individual chapbooks? Or some of it as a single chapbook?
I had the uncanny experience of sending this book out as a manuscript only. I might have tried sending out portions as a chapbook, but of course a stony decade ago chapbooks were not as prevalent, and to tell the truth, I was (and am still) no guru about publishing and/or book farming, so I had little awareness that a chapbook might be a good first move. The manuscript was conceived as a Master’s thesis—originally 90-some pages—for my graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin, so it did not occur to me to break it apart into smaller publishable portions. My advisors and professors at UT-Austin encouraged my resolve for this to become a full-length book in its earliest form—I’ll speak later to how the manuscript changed over the months I sought publication. But almost as soon as I graduated, I began to send the bugger out, and I sent everywhere, without scruples or discerning, in part because I was not very cognizant of which prizes and presses were “big,” and in part because I was riding the momentum of gaining some acknowledgement for my work, specifically a few individual poetry prizes and fellowships. It was, I see now, a beautiful combination of naiveté and ambition that it landed the Brittingham Prize.
|photo credit: Chris Cox|