Poetry’s Possible Worlds for pre-order–so there, Three of Cups reversed!

One great thing this week: Poetry’s Possible Worlds arrived at the distributor, so you can pre-order it from SPD!

This is particularly excellent because of the great thing NEXT week: the first book launch event! Virginia’s Poet Laureate was kind enough to connect me to the Muse Writers Center, which is hosting a virtual event on Friday April 29th from 6-7pm EDT: “Exploring Poetry’s Possible Worlds: A Conversation with Lesley Wheeler and Luisa A. Igloria.” The link to register is here.

I confess to the usual nerves about whether all this would line up right. I know the tone of book promotion is supposed to be all yay-yay-gratitude-everything’s-going-dreamily–a beautifully produced book is a really lucky thing. It’s also a really frigging hard thing: to plan, to write, to revise revise revise, to find a publisher and revise again. Then tossing the published book at the world so that it produces even a tiny guppy-size splash is hard. I find myself riding peaks and troughs. Just so it’s clear, I spend way more time fighting anxiety and inertia about this promo stuff than feeling triumphant.

This week I read the tarot cards on the future of the book and they told me, eh, false starts, disappointment, it won’t go as you hoped. I then did a consolation reading next about something lower stakes–how about my May trip to Budapest?–and they said wow, amazing, the world (literally The World) is at your feet! Um, thanks, cartomancy.

More constructively, I also set out to write a short piece to pitch at the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Placing timely op-eds is good for a book, even if they’re tangential, as this would be. I owe this book the effort, even if it doesn’t pan out. I had jotted down substantial notes weeks ago so I went back, fleshed them out, realized that what I’d produced did NOT fit what they’re looking for, wrote it all over again, then realized that I’d strayed from the guidelines AGAIN and wrote it from scratch a third time. Maybe a couple of sentences survived from first draft to last, if that. It was torture.

But Thursday’s draft: I haven’t submitted it yet, but I think it’s on the nose. A worthwhile short piece containing devious product placement. The best I can do, anyhow. And when I finished it, I googled my book one more time and found it listed, finally, on SPD. That was literally the happiest I’ve felt in ages, just gleeful, relieved, smiling widely. It lasted a whole hour. Maybe even ninety minutes.

I ALSO found out on Friday (during an Earth Day Zoom reading hosted by Luisa and the Muse Writers Center) that the one previous op-ed I’d written for this book was taken by a cool venue and will be published the week of May 17, when the book officially comes out. A toast was drunk. More smiles were smiled. That kind of thing helps me shake of the low stuff.

In the meantime, if you can afford to order Poetry’s Possible Worlds, or spare an hour for my virtual Muse Writers Center event with Luisa, I really will feel yay-yay-gratitude for a solid little while, which is as good as it gets for a moody anxious introvert poet-essayist. Except when the little successes alight. Or she’s in Budapest.

5 responses to “Poetry’s Possible Worlds for pre-order–so there, Three of Cups reversed!”

  1. Congrats again on this book Lesley. I just went to order but they want you to register and keep a card on file. I’m not really keen on that. Will Downtown Books have copies when it comes out?

    Looking forward to seeing you and Chris Wednesday. Wear some walking shoes if you’d like a tour of our trails.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, thank you, but that’s no good about SPD! Yes, it will be available locally, and I’m having a little launch party with books for sale on 5/17, 4:45, W&L’s Reeves Center. Since it’s at SPD, anyone can ask their local bookstore to order it for them, too. As for walking shoes, I’m being REQUIRED to wear sneakers only for tendonitis! I can’t do a lot of rugged/ hilly walking yet but I’d love to look around.


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