My father always said, if you feel nervous, it just means that you care. Tomorrow marks the first book launch I’ve ever had. Many thanks go to National Park College, in particular the library there, for hosting this event. NPC has been so kind to my family and me as we moved from Little Rock to Hot Springs. Good people are doing good work at NPC, and I’m looking forward to spending time with them tomorrow.
I’ll be reading and discussing poems from Underwater Panther. This book wouldn’t exist without the dedication of Susan Swartwout and Southeast Missouri State University Press. My book was the first to win SEMO’s new Cowles Poetry Book Prize, and I don’t take that lightly.
When NPC interviewed me about the event, I tried to explain what might tempt people to come to hear these poems. You can read the full article here, but they got a good quote from me that I’d like to end with by sharing:
“This is a book about how place relates to identity. It’s important to me because it deals with where I was born and raised, but it applies to us all because we all must face questions of origin and community and how the past connects to the future.”