And all of a sudden, it’s pub day! (Forgive me for posting just past midnight. Call it a pub night, minus the alcohol.) Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz’s book of poetry, Love from the Vortex & Other Poems, is available on Amazon in print and in ebook, and will be in bookstores near you soon. It’s been a real honor to work with Yolanda and the team at Kaleidoscope Vibrations so here, briefly, are some thank yous I absolutely did not prepare in advance. (I should have; it’s late as I’m posting this.)
The book’s illustrator, 19, (we call them Nine) has done such wonderful artwork, and so many pieces. This one below, for The Risk of Love, is one of my favorites. I find a lot of power in the bold lines, and (as layout person) was very pleased with being able to make it come down off of the underline below the poem’s title. Nine’s been so easygoing, hard-working, and patient; I think we’ve both learned a lot about the process of putting together a book, but the learning curve’s never been cause for them to be anything but considerate and accommodating and utterly professional. I couldn’t have asked for a better illustrator to work with.
Vortex‘s editor is Christine Amrita, a poet in her own right; she published her book of poetry Relic some three years ago now and I’ve heard her read aloud some of her work, which is incredible. Count yourself lucky if you’re able to see her at some of the events Yolie has lined up this spring and summer, reading from her own work. Chrissy has a real ear for powerful lines that make you just want to pause and clap. She did some beautiful, thoughtful work with Yolie on this book, deep readings and careful line work, and I think we have a beautiful, thoughtful book in no small part because of her.
Yael Rosenstock at Kaleidoscope Vibrations has been a compassionate publisher through it all; extremely hard-working, understanding, and on top of her shit. And given how much she does day to day (and state to state), that’s really saying something. Her hustle is top notch, as is her faith in all of us. And much as I shouldn’t have to even say this: how forgiving! The number of typos we’ve caught seem to have outnumbered the words in the book, but she’s been nothing but kind.
Yolie of course has been a bedrock of positivity and love–this is utterly on-brand for her, let me just say, and precisely why this book is as open and vulnerable as it is. Yolie is of course the reason why we all gathered to create this book, to put it out there into the world, and I’m really taken with her metaphor of archaeology of the self, (not only because one of my double majors in college was anthropology but) because it takes real work to excavate and dig up and dust off feelings within yourself, and yet it’s the only thing that lets us grow from those experiences. (Maybe here is where the archaeology metaphor closes up, because the earth doesn’t need things catalogued and examined to grow, but the soul does. People do.) I’m very proud that I got to work on this book, and very proud to know these people.
Anyway, again I find myself on the wrong side of midnight and always in sleep debt. I’m just happy to report that Vortex is out and hopefully finding its way to hearts ready to receive it.
From the rankings so far, we’re optimistic!