Waiting for the mail

May 19th, 2011 by Dale Hobson

In the time since I was sixteen, I have disseminated poetry in newspapers and little literary magazines and anthologies, on broadsides and in slender chapbooks. I have declaimed poetry in the back rooms of liquor resorts, from pulpits, in bookstores and coffeehouses, standing on park benches, and sitting in radio studios. I have written poems on dollar bills and slipped them into circulation, and I have scribed them onto pottery and sunk them in the river. I've blogged them and tweeted them and shared them via Facebook.

But the one thing I have never done is had them published in a full-length volume, much less by someone who isn't my cousin or heavily in debt to me. In my life plan–as constructed in the early '70s–my first book would have been a Yale Younger Poets selection, but I passed their age cutoff decades ago.

This has been in the works quite a while. Here's an excerpt from the New Year's resolution poem I wrote for the December 2007 broadcast of Open Studio:

And if my book-in-progress remains
unprinted, still, it grinds on toward
publication at a steady glacial pace.
One can see how, given inexorable pressure
from new work behind, it must calve off
eventually from the vast shelf
of unsolicited manuscripts to join
the other bergs of words that obstruct
the sea lanes of contemporary literature.

I mention all this because–aside from shameless self-promotion–the Listening Post and its readers have had a lot to do with the publication. Absent the discipline imposed by this weekly writing task over nine years, and without the kind tolerance and kinder support of my weekly readers, I have little doubt my intermittent literary efforts would have sputtered out far short of goal. Thank you all.

And now I'm just waiting for the mail. The first copies of A Drop of Ink will be shipped from Foothills Publishing in Kenona on Monday. I considered driving down Sunday night to pick them up, but I didn't want to seem too crassly eager.

14 Responses to “Waiting for the mail”

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  1. Nelly Case says:

    Congratulations! When and where will the book-signing be?

  2. Wonderful! May you enjoy living the dream! :-)
    How may one purchase a copy? Details, please.

  3. kim repscha says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to reading more……

  4. Wow! Congratulations! I hope to get my hands on a copy. I remember your reading at a barn party; I was entranced. I like your poems.

  5. Carol Pynchon says:

    Sign me up for a copy, too. Congratulations Dale!

  6. Janet McFarland says:

    Congratulations, Dale. I don't see how poems could possibly outdo your little essays in the Listening Post, but I'm willing to broaden my horizona.

  7. George Nagle says:

    Giving birth, wow, or is it more accurate to say, giving many births. A splendid achievement, Dale. Congratulations.

  8. jill vaughan says:

    congratulations!!! I can imagine how you feel… good for you. Pat, stroke, and admire…

  9. Judy Gibson says:

    Hurray for you — and for all of us who know you as one of the finest wordsmiths around. I have a fat file folder filled with your Listening Posts. Now I happily anticipate a real book of your poetry. It's a great day!

  10. Sue Grimm says:

    Warmest Congratulations! I, too, look forward to purchasing a copy. Let's hear it for holding fast to one's dreams!

  11. Christine Tepper says:

    What an accomplishment! Your 'Listening Post' is a favorite in my inbox. I so enjoy your writing. I look forward to reading your poetry book. Congratulations!

  12. Cris says:

    Congratulations, Dale!

  13. I am so very very happy for you, Dale.
    And, I LOVE your publisher.
    Keep pushing that pen.

  14. Carmen says:

    Congratulations Dale !!!
    I knew it would happen someday. I always look forward to reading your Listening Posts.Please let us know where and when we can purchase copies of this gem!!!