Between the Earth and Sky was originally titled Twelve Days from Transfer. It was a book containing poems about addiction and infertility. The two themes were woven together in an arc that spoke of deep loss. I saw the poems about the two subjects as connected to each other. The manuscript was a finalist twice, a semi-finalist, and an honorable mention in poetry competitions. I was encouraged. Editors who gave me feedback said they wanted more poems on infertility. Based on the title, I agreed that the number of poems was scant. Perhaps I had not yet fully dealt with that subject. So, I wrote a few more poems on infertility and continued to send the manuscript out. In the meantime, I started to write what I call the “river” poems which were about addiction. I thought the river poems would become a chapbook. A chapbook is defined as a small collection of poetry, generally no more than 40 pages, that often centers on a specific theme. My book The Offering is a chapbook. Another publisher read Twelve Days from Transfer and said to me that the heart of the book was the brother’s addiction. I knew it all along, yet having it said to me meant I had to be truthful with myself about whether I wanted the manuscript to be published as it was written. I woke one morning to the revelation that I had written seven river poems and the manuscript contained seven infertility poems—lucky seven. I took out the infertility poems, inserted the river poems, and renamed the manuscript. The book was then what it wanted to be. I’m grateful to C&R Press, especially John Gosslee, for believing in this book. I'm grateful to all the readers, family and friends, who are embracing the poems and sharing their thoughts and feelings with me.
Twelve Days from Transfer is now a separate manuscript with a focused theme on infertility. New poems are being written and added. Twelve days is the typical waiting time from in vitro fertilization and when one learns if they are pregnant or not. This waiting time is a metaphor for loss as well, and questions what we fill our moments with when we “wait.”
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