This book was going to open many doors and further my career, as well as provide new opportunities for my coauthor, Quraysh Ali Lansana. Somehow and with many bumps and trials, the book was made manifest, starting as a thought and a list of ideas nearly 6 years ago. It is a remarkable accomplishment. What I did not anticipate was that promoting it was going to be so dependent on the efforts of Q and myself. But we know how to do that. We have been promoting our own books of poetry for years. So we rolled up our sleeves and got busy. Most of our promotional efforts is through personal contacts and the internet; we are building our market and the books are getting into the hands of those who benefit from our pedagogy, even if at a slower pace than we anticipated.
I have lost one of my major contracts in the 2011-12 school year due to the impact of the economy on school districts. It is a travesty what our leaders is permitting and actually orchestrating in the realm of American education. I could go on for a long time about this issue. I Tweet about it regularly. And now it affects me directly.
School projects start in a couple of weeks. I will return to one of my favorite schools, the Watkins Glen Middle School. I will also be introduced to two new schools in Horseheads, NY, in a collaborative arts-in-ed project with the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY. This is a gem of a cultural experience in a small city, a surprise and a treasure trove of art.
I also continue with my efforts as managing editor of the Comstock Review. I have been very tardy in the publishing schedule as I learn how to integrate this important job into my life but we have come through our 25th anniversary and I am planning for the future while I catch up on the backlog. I only hope that all the poets will continue to be patient and forgive for the delays. I also anticipate that the quality of the issues will be satisfaction enough. I am proud of our journal and it is an honor to facilitate the publication of so many talented writers. Here's to many more years but that, again, is a lengthy discussion regarding building that future and all that it involves.