I had a dream last night that I was taking some sort of class, a lecture course, history or statistics or something. It felt really useful and totally unrelated to my life; I was striking out in a new direction. Down the row from me the novelist Miriam Toews appeared and sat down and took a pen from her pocket. She had in her hands two books, and one of them was mine.
And it was enormous, my book: almost the size of a novel. Then it was the size of a coffee-table book. And I was shocked and a bit embarrassed. Nobody warned me it’d turn out that big! I thought. I watched as Miriam Toews leafed through my novel-sized poetry book. After the lecture, I talked with her in a dark, leafy atrium and she mentioned that she had received a review copy from Caitlin Press (which of course made sense in the dream), but she wouldn’t bring the thing out of her bag for me to look at, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask outright to see it.
And that was it. I woke up and couldn’t sleep for the next hour and a half.
This morning, I heard a truck engine coming up the drive and went skidding down the stairs. The Canpar guy met me at the door and handed me an advanced copy of my book. A couple of hours later another Canpar guy pulled up with twenty more contributor copies. He joked about how quick I was to answer the door. It was mere hours ago, but I can’t remember either of these dudes’ faces now.
Turns out the book is not the size of a novel (phew), though it does clock in at over a hundred pages. I am outrageously nervous. I hope I got this right. I have grading to do and classes to plan for, and another poet is waiting so patiently for my comments on her manuscript, in the midst of her own drumroll.
I’m learning that bringing out a book is a slow unfolding. Bit by bit, it emerges into the world. The drumroll doesn’t culminate; instead, it keeping rolling and eventually decrescendos. Today, the drumroll’s got a bit more english on it.
Settler Education‘s publication date is March 22. You can pre-order it now, or you can march into your local bookstore and ask them to order you up a copy. It’ll be launched in Toronto on April 13 at Harbourfront Centre, along with books by Jacob McArthur Mooney, Matt Rader, and my hero and former teacher Tim Lilburn. I’ll also be reading at Pivot in Toronto on April 20, and I’m aiming to put together small shindigs in London and Edmonton as well. If you’d like to buy one of the copies that came today from the faceless Canpar guy, you can send me a note and I’ll nervously sign one and dispatch it your way.
Welcome to the world, second book. May the drumroll be spirited for a decent spell.