When the box of books arrives at your house and for the first time you hold your new book in your hand, it is quite an experience. I remember moving to Seattle in 2009 and having the first box of my first book of poems A Time Before Slaughter come via UPS. Ironic that I worked on the book for at least 13 years in Auburn, going to the local history museum, documenting weird and poignant facts about the history of the town once known as Slaughter, and the book waits until I am living in Seattle, looking at the skyline.
My big launch plans have been redirected, though I still hope to have the physical launch at Open Books: A Poem Emporium, and you can order the book through them and support local, independent book stores.
There are many acknowledgments in the book and surely you can read them there and I hope you do, as there are too many people to thank in this blog post, which is designed to create information about the Zoom launch on April 11, 2020, at 7pm. Details:
Paul splabman (at) icloud (dot) com is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Launch of Paul E Nelson’s A Time Before Slaughter/Pig War expanded edition
Time: Apr 11, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 206 422 5002
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Meeting ID: 206 422 5002
My hope is that I can get 100 people to tune in and have a Q & A after.
The one person I want to thank in this post is Matt Trease, who has become a close friend over the last few years. He was able to articulate in an introduction for the second part of this new edition, the Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia, what is so close to me, I could not say in so many words:
That is to say, these “Other Songs of Cascadia,” composed in the decade since Slaughter, are not blunt appendages, or extra rooms tacked onto the same intellectual property, not a re-telling with bonus features. If the original Slaughter reads like an archeological elegy for a past consciousness virally erased by settler “Dominism,” the extended book turns that on its head, and lends us new instruments with which to re- inhabit place… Poetry need not romantically lament a lost reality, or limply critique hegemonic systems. As these poems teach us, poetry is always engaged in what Ramón Gomez de la Serna… articulated as “an extraordinary perception [by which] all pairs and even peers among things [become] involved in a sort of natural and fatal competition of desire which [alter] the whole humdrum surface of reality.” In these poems, Cascadia isn’t a lost place, an Atlantis, but an island, a “vast metaphor for concentration,” a place surrounded by sea, something potential always waiting to be spontaneously inhabited and made true.
Wow! Matt had agreed to talk about this during the Zoom session and I am hoping my Subud brother and long-time collaborator Jim O’Halloran will lend his flute to at least one piece, something we’ve done together in public before. Thanks Matt, Jim.
I am so grateful to have this book out in the world. I hope the Open Books reading is rescheduled as soon as is possible.