Post-Gutenberg Book Launch
Initially, after such a long time of study and writing, I think the Post-Gutenberg launch of The Parliament of Poets is off to a good start. There has been a considerable amount of interest in the book through social networking and otherwise, on Facebook, Google+ and so forth. A fair number of review copies, digital and hardcover, were sent out during the summer; the summer serialization resulted in people hearing about the book and purchasing individual chapters for 99 cents apiece; many editors and intelligent readers have responded into the fall, and hardcover copies are selling. I managed to contact much of the old traditional review magazines, journals, and newspapers that count, in terms of serious literary discussion and interest, or thought of as such by many, and gave them the opportunity to consider and review what I believe can only rightly be recognized as what it is–the first global, universal epic poem, and the first epic poem in the English language in 345 years, though I’m well aware that it’s up to critics and readers to judge it. Inevitably, I am the thoroughly immersed and partial author of my child.
I’ve enjoyed immensely, too, exploring the possibilities of the Post-Gutenberg moment, finding what I hope are new ways of reaching readers and the culture, of making my book available for readers, as we all try to figure out where and how we go from here. It’s a very exciting time to write, just from that perspective.
I’m grateful, too, that there has been some interest among South Asian Indian readers and journals. While Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and so many other American writers, had to go east, back to the old world, if you will, to find and receive a hearing, I have always felt and experienced an attraction to Asia, Japan, China, and India, on many levels of my being. That interest is reflected in my epic. Often I have thought that perhaps for me, if anything like recognition ever finds me, maybe it has to come first somehow from Asia, given what literature and the academy have so often become in the US and Western world.
When I look back at 2012, I can only think it’s been a remarkable year for me, quite a journey on the lived level, really, covering a lot of ground, reading my epic as I finished various drafts, in Buffalo and Albany, and then in Austin, Texas, a number of times. With the epic finished and setup worldwide in hardcover and digital formats, I hope somehow in 2013 to be able to travel more and begin to live my dream of reading and reciting it throughout first Michigan and the United States, and, God willing, around the world, becoming a modern exemplar of that rhapsode on the Berlin Painter’s great and matchless amphora.