Earlier this year, I gave the last poetry reading at Billy Corgan's Madame Zuzu's Tea Shop in Highland Park, Illinois. As a theme, I decided to read a handful of poems I had written about tea, coffee, champagne, water, and other liquids and liquid experiences.
In the process of reeling in the poems I'd read that night, I discovered I had written quite a number of poems not only on potable liquids, but also on waterfalls, sewers, pools, saunas and floods. Even blood. Because I had gone into my computer back-up drive of poems and keyed in search words for various liquid concepts, I found poems I had nearly forgotten about. Before long, I realized I had enough "liquid" poems for a chapbook-length manuscript. It was little like walking onto shore and finding a bottle on the beach filled with poems.
Songwriter and Beatle John Lennon said, "Life is what happens while you are making other plans." This year, I have been busy working on a play, writing a manuscript for another poetry book, and listing other goals on a to-do list, anything but coming out with a chapbook of poems about liquids, which was the farthest thing from my mind.
On a whim, I sent the "liquid" manuscript out to a few poetry publishers using the title "Drenched." Before long, Main Street Rag Publishing Company in Charlotte, North Carolina, contacted me with the news that they had accepted my manuscript Drenched for publication. Several years ago, I had a poem published in the "Main Street Rag" magazine, a literary periodical they regularly issue, in addition to their publishing of books and chapbooks. Not sure if that had helped me. Maybe.
I reached out to several friends and associates to read the manuscript and offer blurbs. Many thanks to Ana Castillo, Mike Puican, Jennifer Dotson, Charlie Rossiter and Raul Nino for writing such splendid words about the poems! Read their blurbs under "Comments."
|Reading at Madame Zuzu's|
Tima Fei & Julian Cumpian
The 40-page perfectbound chapbook Drenched is now published. You can order only at the Main Street Rag page for Drenched.
Read a few poems from the chapbook online now under "Samples."
Thank you friends, family and readers for your support! Look for my upcoming full poetry collection to appear early 2019, Epicurean Ecstasy: More Poems About Food, Drink, Herbs and Spices (The Poetry Box, Portland).
Note to my fellow poets: Take a closer look at all the poems you've written, and perhaps type in key words in your computer to search the poems in your files for recurring themes, like I did. You may have a chapbook manuscript or even a full collection manuscript in your hands that you weren't even aware of.