The Grand Unveiling: Introducing Unfettered Books

Time to cease the vague social media hints and grab the megaphone. Roll out the red carpet, gentle readers! I proudly present to you a shining new self-pub indie author book site:

Unfetteredbooks.com

Unfettered Books is a site that currently features myself and Nathan Hartley, whom some of you will doubtless recognize as my editor, though others might know him as the poet who brought The Vultures and I to the world. Both his book and my own are available on our site as well as links to his Facebook author page and more. The most exciting part of this is what Unfettered Books has to offer you all, our intelligent and engaging readers!

As a team, Hartley and I are very excited to offer a promise of quality, imagination and open dialogue that will guarantee a worry free reading experience. We are both avid readers of self-published and indie published books, and know the uncertainty that comes with the undertaking. Will this new, unknown author’s books be worth the time and money? Will the books be filled with errors, from plot-based loopholes to grammatical madness? Will the author walk away, leaving the series half finished?

With the Unfettered Books stamp of approval you can buy and read our books unbound and without worry, knowing there are little to no errors, complete chapters, satisfying endings (as well as guaranteed endings to any series under the guidance of our fingertips, mind you), and an honest, open dialogue with the authors.

You can find the whole of our Unfettered Books Collection on our website. You can also join our Reader’s List to access our free monthly newsletter!

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Ghosts in the Cracks

Brown Lady of Raynham Hall by Captain Hubert C. Provand. First published in Countrylife magazine, 1936.

Lives twist through keyboard cracks

emptiness defined in empty pages,

howling wolves, the wide eyes

like saucer-pools drinking all

the hidden truth of prophecy

self-actualized, self-realized

to breathless fraying

of emotional rope by which

one and all, we hang

another fabric, another hope

before the grasping cry for voice

in the unseen void—

heat-sleeved arms reach

like ghosts from the computer screen.

Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition

Hello all!

Miss the fun this weekend at the UICA? Have no fear. Here’s a few pictures and a video here to get you all caught up…

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National poet and competition judge Linda Nemec Foster.

National poet and competition judge Linda Nemec Foster.

There was even live music afterward.

There was even live music afterward.

But I will say this: it was a real pleasure. I look forward to more readings in the future!

Poetry Readings, Interviews, and an Award to Boot!

If only one got a nice, comfy couch every time they had to read poetry...

If only one got a nice, comfy couch every time they had to read poetry…

Time to mark some calendars.

I spoke last week about a rather serious life update, and a huge professional milestone for me. Now I’m prepared to attach some numbers to the featureless and let you all in a little deeper into the fold of the Dyer-Ives award.

The Dyer-Ives Foundation was begun 50 years ago, an organization dedicated to building grassroots and neighborhood functions in the community. For the past 46 years, they have also run the Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition–an event divided into three different categories, for the young, the undergraduate and the young at heart.

My poem, Grand River, won first place in the adult side of the competition, and as a result I will be giving a public reading of it, alongside fellow poets, at the Grand Rapids Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA) on JUNE 7, 2014, from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Dearest readers, are any of you from Michigan? If so, you’re more than welcome to attend–the event is free of charge and everyone is invited!

Additionally, my work is going to be published in a chapbook. Print copies of the chapbook will be made available at the reading (and attendees can get us to sign shiny copies there as well), but they’ll also be made available online in late May, if you feel like waiting.

This is the point where I say: but wait, there’s more!

This little poet is also going to be on the radio. If you can stand my voice for even more time, there’s going to be an interview with me on 88.1 WYCE at an undisclosed future date–once I’ve made those necessary arrangements, I promise you’ll all be the first to know.

What all this boils down to is that the month to come is going to be quite a ride; I’m excited, I’m nervous, but most of all I’m looking forward to what all of this means. For me, this is my first (true) step into the professional side of the poetic sphere. Published author was already under my belt, but now I can add published poet to the plaque alongside it–and that’s enough to swell this creative heart of mine with bliss.

Never forget where we came from, and the dream of what once was.

There are friends I could (and shall) thank for all this–friends that helped me come to this. My family has never ceased in its support. What’s more, I can extend personal gratitude to what once was One Stop Poetry, and the dream it had embodied; I learned a lot there, and I’d like to think it helped me hone my trade. Of course, one also has to extend a hand to Michigan itself–my beautiful, if troubled state, which has always been a source of inspiration.

But don’t think that any of the rest of you have been forgotten. If blogging weren’t worthwhile, if I didn’t enjoy sharing with you all, and hearing from you, and doing these silly things I do–I wouldn’t do them. You have all helped me grow, and I hope you shall continue to do so in the future.

Onward!

Victory!: A Writer’s Tale

“He ate and drank the precious words,
His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book. What liberty
A loosened spirit brings!”
~Emily Dickinson

What a week! Weddings going viral (and purple) in Westeros (no really, I’ve been waiting for that GOT moment for far, FAR too long), Winter returning (and departing again) to Michigan just to make sure we didn’t miss it too badly, and a lot of serious progress made on As Feathers Fall. I’ve hit some roadblocks on that path in the last couple months, but I think I’m finally getting my footing back. I’m in a good place, and the scenes that are coming from that place are making this little writer downright giddy.

Speaking of writing, though, I’ve some rather serious news for my fellow blogophiles out there.

Monday evening, about 10 o’clock, I was sitting around the old apartment when I got a mysterious phone call. Private number and all that. When I pick up, who does it turn out to be? The good people at the Dyer-Ives Foundation.

What is Dyer-Ives, you might ask? They are an organization in Michigan dedicated to building grassroots, neighborhood organizations and fighting poverty and isolation, with a particular focus on my fellow Grand Rapids residents.

What might they want with me? Well, Dyer-Ives also happens to host an annual Kent County Poetry Competition—this year will mark their 46th year doing so. After consideration, my poem “Grand River” was selected as the winner of their adult competition!

Yet after some serious hopping, skipping and jumping for joy, the turn of phrase comes with certain other rewards as well. In addition to publication (winning poems and poets—that’s me!—will be posted online at dyer-ives.org later this Spring), the foundation will also be hosting a poetry reading at the Michigan Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, at which I have been invited to give a public reading of my poem.

Glee, I say. Sheer, unadulterated glee in this update!

Stay tuned for future posts on the when details, in addition to the above where, for the reading—and thank you all for the support that has helped me grow to this point. I wouldn’t be the poet I am today without you all.

Fireside Literature: The Hollow March

Because this mug just may have an opportunity in radio yet. Bust out your newfangled technology, whippersnappers, because I take some time this holiday season to plop down and give a little read-through of The Hollow March‘s opening segments. Breaking all the boundaries, Internet, just you wait–one day, I might even learn to draw for myself. (Stick figures are acceptable, right? Right?)

No one has thus far been crafty enough to catch this elusive author on moving film camera yet (at least with the books in question), so that, perhaps, shall come another time. Happy New Year; spread the video around to your fantasy-loving friends, and most importantly, enjoy!