My New Book!

The container of my life has been extra full these last few years — some startling lows but also some immense joys. As I said to a friend during these zigzags, I am practically a parasite on hope.

Still, I am downright startled when something amazing happens to me. And something amazing has indeed happened.

Last autumn I pulled together a manuscript of poems written since my first collection was published. I know it takes a long time to find a home for a book of poetry. And since I can’t afford to submit it to publishing houses that charge reading fees or contest entry fees, the list of publishing houses I might approach is smaller. But I pulled up my optimism socks and sent it to my first choice, Grayson Books. This is the publishing house that included one of my poems in their beautiful Poetry of Presence anthology last year.

Their submission guidelines warn they only publish a few books each year, so I expected to send the manuscript along to another publisher after I got the inevitable rejection. I didn’t even open their emailed response right away in order to postpone the disappointment.

Instead I got an acceptance! (I’m pretty sure I heard trumpets.)

I am strange about my own good news, suddenly more shy, and have only told a few people since signing the book contract back in October. Each step of the process —- editing, choosing a title, approving art commissioned for the cover — has been a testament to the professionalism and patience of Grayson Books publisher Ginny Connors. I still cannot believe my good fortune.

My good fortune doesn’t stop there. Four wonderful poets agreed to write back cover blurbs. Here they are, overflowing with the kindest words imaginable.

I admire and learn from Laura Grace Weldon’s writing. Her poems blossom from an inherent curiosity and grow strong under her compassionate treatment of the subject matter. Such fresh images and heartfelt insights move me to be a better writer.

Susan F. Glassmeyer, author of Invisible Fish and 2018 Ohio Poet of the Year

These poems touch me so deeply because they bring me home to the marvelous sacraments of the ordinary: a coyote howl at midnight, a bean in its fuzzy pod, water in a forest stream that “moves in patterns more ancient than philosophy.” When I take a few moments to read a Laura Grace Weldon poem, the sun comes out in my heart, and I know that the earth, for all its pain, is bathed in goodness.

Alfred K. LaMotte, author of Wounded Bud and Savor Eternity One Moment at a Time

Laura Grace Weldon invites us to engage our third eye, to truly examine “light in a window/ laundry flapping defiantly on the line.” Her words so intimate and lush, she guides us to spaces we pass by, take for granted, overlook in our super-charged lives. Without reprimand or judgment, Laura Grace ever so deftly reveals the secret: “it’s a matter of walking/ inside to out with someone capable of truly seeing… wakening skin and gut, summoning/ the long kinship we share with everything.”

Kari Gunter-Seymour, author of Serving and Poet Laureate of Athens, Ohio

On each surface our fingerprints linger.

They are too light to pack

too heavy to carry.

These lines from Laura Grace Weldon’s “Moving Day” remind us that the miraculous, the heartbreaking, the beautiful are always right in front of us, disguised as the daily messiness of our lives. I finished Blackbird and took a long winter walk through the park, seeing the world with fresher, keener eyes, and a feeling of gratitude.

George Bilgere, author of Blood Pages, Imperial, and The White Museum

I am endlessly grateful to these gracious poets, to my wonderful publisher, and to the dear writer friends who helped me workshop these poems: Laurie Kincer, Diane Kendig, Connie Gunn, Sarah Vradenburg, Margaret Swift, Patrick Davis, Roberta Jupin, Geoff Polk, and Virginia Douglas.

My book will be available at Cleveland’s Loganberry Books this spring or ask your local independent bookstore to order it. It can also be pre-ordered on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Or you can get a copy from me at one of my upcoming readings (so far, Loganberry Books on 5/19 at one pm and the Wm. N. Skirball Writer’s Center on 6/2 at two pm).

A portion of all book royalties will be donated to the Medina Raptor Center, a non-profit center in Spencer, Ohio which rescues, rehabilitates, and releases injured and orphaned birds.

 

29 thoughts on “My New Book!

  1. Congratulations Laura! Such lovely news. I love the chosen title (which reminds me about my favorite lines from “Blackbird” by the Beatles and I love that you chose a charity that rescues and rehabilitates birds since they are such awesome creatures. Those blurbs speak the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My heart is overflowing with Love & Gratitude. I can’t wait to hold the grace of your soul bound with such deep love , wisdom, & reflection.
    Love the reviews… take it all in, my friend. It is simply the truth!
    If you don’t know this already…. you’re my favorite poet in the Universe.
    Much Love & Congrats!!!

    Like

  3. This is exactly what should be happening! I just pre-ordered three copies – one for me and two for gifts. The world should continue to share in your amazingness!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, wonderful! Such good news… it must be a little like successfully raising a child and sending it out into the world; you know you’ve done good work, and have put everything into it, but now the child is under the eyes of the world and you’re anxious for everyone to love it as you do. I wish you the success with it you so richly deserve 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Kate. Your analogy is close to the mark, except that I unreservedly love the children I’ve put out in the world. A book is another beast entirely and I can’t help but see its faults and weaknesses more clearly once I’ve sent it off on its own. You’re a writer and an artist, you may know what it’s like, or you may have greater confidence. I could use some tutoring in that trait.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations Laura. What wonderful news! My sister’s first novel was published this week and the excitement of seeing it in bookshops, on Amazon, mentioned on Twitter, and seeing the first reviews come in, is truly uplifting.

    Liked by 2 people

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