I'm happy to announce that my hybrid memoir, Space Heart. A Memoir in Stages, has been accepted for publication by Orlando-based Burrow Press for September 2018 (http://burrowpress.com). The story juxtaposes the wild natural world of palmettos and beaches on Space Coast Florida in the Fifties and Sixties with the cutting edge technology of Cape Canaveral. Those two threads intersected in my own body when I underwent open heart surgery at age eleven. I've found the perfect publisher for this book after eight years and five versions of work.
Burrow Press has published two of my essays (one long, one flash) on its on-line "Fantastic Floridas" literary journal. In addition to the journal and books, the press, which describes itself as a "nonprofit independent publisher," hosts a live reading series called Functionally Literate that features readings by contemporary writers.
When I was growing up, there was nothing literary about Orlando; I didn't find out until much later that Jack Keroauc wrote The Dharma Bums in a tiny house in the College Park section. (BTW: The Kerouac Project offers writer residencies at the house https://www.kerouacproject.org/history/
Back then, Orlando was just the big city two hours away you went to once a year for Christmas shopping. They had real department stores like Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Ward. We'd start early in the morning in my father's Chevrolet, my brother and I alternately squabbling and playing nicely in the the back seat. The road through the interior was long and flat, a barren swampy stretch though gator country, the wide open sky interrupted only by hardwood hammocks of oak, red cedar, and cypress among other trees. Of course, my family didn't know the names of such things, but I knew the way the passing scenery made me feel -- bigger than I actually was and smaller at the same time.
On another note -- My poem "Flowering," which seems to have a life of its own popping up on various websites, is in the forthcoming anthology Poetry of Presence. An Anthology of Mindfulness Poetry to be out by the end of the summer from Grayson Press (https://poetryofpresencebook.com).
The anthology is an outgrowth of the website "A Year of Being Here," which includes what the editors call mindfulness poems from contemporary and historical writers. Other contemporary Maine poets included are Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/stuart-kestenbaum) and Carolyn Locke (http://carolynlocke.com).
I'm honored to be in such esteemed company, which you can see from the book webpage's complete list of contributors. I never thought I'd be listed as a contributor to anything just before Charles Bukowski (and I bet you never thought of him as a writer of "mindfulness poems")!
And one more thing -- At some point in the not-too-distant future, my essay "Security Clearance" (first published in "Fantastic Floridas" and earlier on this blog) will appear in an anthology called What I Found in Florida to be published by the University of Florida Press.