Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Publishing a Book

Sounds like a how to post, it's not, but as the process goes along, I might as well document it. Maybe something interesting will happen.

My first full-length poetry collection--flat spine!--will be coming out this fall from Stephen F. Austin State University Press. Here's the back cover copy, and a few images I hope will work in some way for the front cover:

From Oklahoma to Minnesota, Ohio to Nebraska, Benjamin Vogt traces his life through the echo of his ancestors, who settled the southern Plains in the 1800s. With poems based on black and white family photographs, past stories seep out from the worn edges: a boy standing where a tornado took the barn, a truck stalled on railroad tracks, a kiss before a lover ships off to war, a German chorus in the schoolhouse, a visit to a vanishing homestead. The past migration of Vogt’s family lingers in his own life as he moves from the southern to northern Plains and the eastern Midwest, where the natural world calls out through deep lakes and dark woods, and finally through transient moments framed by gardens: a butterfly nectaring on a coneflower, planting lavender with his future wife, or autumn leaves crashing against a morning window. In a rich array of forms and evocative imagery, the poems in Afterimage reach through prairie history until grass becomes skin, and light becomes shadow.

My dad at 10 months, with his dad and brothers

Pale Purple Coneflower
Swamp Sunflower Perhaps? Can't Recall.


compost in my shoe said...

Sign me up for a copy. I'm already there!

Anonymous said...


Andrea said...

I am new here, Congratulations. Thanks for picking my orchid post.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

What a wonderful idea for a book! I love the old photos. My parents have some photos of him as a boy with his parents in the beet fields somewhere in western Nebraska. They were migrant farm workers for a number of years.

I just wish there were pictures of their huge gardens in the bottoms. I've asked my parents to look for some, but they said they couldn't find any.

I want my parents to go for a car ride with us sometime, and show us the different places they've lived in.

I hope your book does well.

Charlotte Holmes said...

Congratulations on your book publication, Benjamin!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks for a teaser with the back cover copy. Can't wait to read this book. Love the photos as well!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Mr. Compost--Hey, with such enthusiasm, why not get two? :)
Andrea--Glad you stopped by! Coem again now, ya hear?
Sue--Fall of 2009 my dad and I went down to Oklahoma, and we walked around some homesteads, had my grandma's sisters drive us around to others. That's the project of my next memoir--tracing my family's immigration from Russis / Germany / Poland / Netherlands in 1874, and the history of OK Territory and the Plains ecosystem.
Charlotte--Many thanks! Hopefully, I can say another one is coming soon, too. Cross--your--fingers.
Sandy--I whipped up that teaser in one afternoon. I think I did ok! :)

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I don't know if I've mentioned my dad's parents are Germans who came to the states from Russia. My grandma was a year or two old when she came with her parents. When she was a teenager, they lived in Oklahoma for awhile. When they came back to the bottoms, she was called an "Okie" and her accent was different from her peers. I remember pain in her voice when she told me that. She died from alzheimers (sp) when she was in her 90s. My grandpa died of a heart attack in his late 50s.

Well, I didn't bother to look up that spelling, because I'm about finished eating my yogurt, and I'm going back outside. I'm gardening!!! Yippee!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Anyway, I think it's cool you're doing that research.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Sue--I remember when I moved to MN when I was 10; I had a very thick Okie accent that caused me trouble at school... pretty sure it vanished quickly. I never developed a northern accent, and my wife still makes fun of me for saying things like "rut beer." The research for my book is tortuous--I can't spend any block of time on it and make significant headway.