Chapbook #2—Angels & Adultery—Coming Soon

Title page of rough proof of Angels & Adultery, chapbook by David J. Bauman
Rough Proof Title Page

I’m way overdue announcing another bit of good news. On the heels of my first chapbook, Moons, Roads, and Rivers from Finishing Line Press, comes the release of Angels & Adultery later this year by Seven Kitchens Press. That’s chapbook number two!

I think I’ll talk a bit in an upcoming post about what I’ve learned from compiling poems into these little collections, along with their subsequent acceptances and rejections. I also want to discuss what other projects I’m still and newly working on.

For now, let’s just pause and celebrate, shall we? Poet Nickole Brown selected Angels & Adultery as Number 17 in the Robin Becker Chapbook Series for Seven Kitchens Press. I love Nickole’s work (Check out this recent poem in Thrush!) so you can imagine my weepy face when I read her kind words about my chapbook (My name in brackets because the original manuscripts were blind-judged):

Angels & Adultery opens with a sometimes impossible question, one posed by Robert Lowell in his poem, “Epilogue”: “Yet why not say what happened?” This, exactly is what [David J. Bauman] sets out to do in these aching, raw poems that tell a kind of truth beyond the typical confession to create a narrative that is culpable, terribly difficult, but not without humor and flashes of joy. Here you have the complexities of queer life caged by convention, loving “with a fist,” desire exiled to strip joints on the edge of town. As one poem says, “these are the pieces of my life; this is everything. Help me.” And this, of course, is just what I wanted to do as a reader—reach in towards the speaker of these poems and help—but ultimately, they ended up doing what most good poems do: They helped me instead. As [David] reminds us in “Genesis Retold,” “Don’t listen to the lies they tell you. Paradise was never lost.” This was what I needed to hear most, and this collection made me believe it.

This chapbook is a very different discussion than was Moons, Roads, and Rivers. A&A is arguably more personal, a poetic exploration of my coming out and subsequent divorce, my coming to terms with some larger existential questions, and some reflection on a series of good, bad, and dysfunctional relationships that followed.

One caveat: The speaker in a poem is not always the poet. I don’t mean this as a disclaimer exactly because most of my poems are spoken by me or some form of me. But the facts are not always reliable. Just ask any of my family members who sat through the reading at my old hometown library last Saturday! Still, the feelings and the spirit of the poems are totally real. And because of that some of them were very hard to write. More than just exes arguing over historical details, I’m expecting to take some criticism for the confessional nature of this collection. But I’m glad I wrote it. I think needed to write it.

So that’s the scoop on my second chapbook, Angels & Adultery. Look for it this summer from Seven Kitchens Press!

A River Town Homecoming, Reading at the Ross Library

Ross Library Benches in Snow
That’s what it looks like now,  but don’t worry. I think the reading will be inside.

I’ve been updating my Events page with more and more upcoming poetry readings and what not. One of the most exciting is rather poetic. Next Saturday, January 27th, I’ll be reading in my old hometown. Just weeks after starting a new job as a library director, I’ll have the honor of going back to my very first library, the one I used to hide in when I was a kid, the one where I taught myself how to use the old card catalog. And there I’ll be giving my first public reading from Moons, Roads, and Rivers, my debut poetry chapbook from Finishing Line Press. I’m so excited!

It’s miles away for most of you, thousands of miles for some, but if you can be in central Pennsylvania next weekend, I’d love to meet up with you at the Ross Library, 232 West Main Street in the riverside town of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania at 2:00 pm. Just between you and me, I confess to feeling tremendously tickled to see my name in the old county libraries’ upcoming events list. I’ll have books with me for sale, of course. Or if you’ve already pre-ordered one, just bring it along and I’ll gratefully sign it!

(The above snowy image is from the Ross Library website)

Submissions Open!

Word Fountain CoverI have been lucky to work for more than two years for a place that allowed me to edit their literary magazine. That’s right, allowed, as in they paid me. Granted, I still had to get all my library work done too, but it was assumed that I would work on the magazine while on the job. Holy cow! For a while, I was paid for my poetry—at last!

Tomorrow I start a new adventure, as the director of another library in the system, a few miles upstream, but I’ll continue to help to edit Word Fountain as a volunteer editor for as long as they can, or until they don’t need me anymore. And who knows, there may be more literary adventures with the new library. The board seemed very interested in what we did with WF.

In the meantime, this beautiful baby that we brought back from hiatus in 2016 will continue! I can’t wait to see what Ainslee has in store for the cover art this time. You can check out current and past issues at And follow the link below to send your poetry and short fiction for consideration for the Spring/Summer 2018 edition.

As of January 15th, we have begun reading your submissions of poetry and short-short fiction (1500 words) for our Spring/Summer 2018 issue. Please continue reading this page for the complete guidelines for sending your work to us!

We invite emerging and established writers to send us their previously unpublished stories, poems, flash fiction, and mixed genre work. We prefer very short pieces as we seek to pack quality and variety into 40 to 60 pages. We’re looking for concise writing with a strong, human voice.

Read the guidelines. They’re pretty straightforward and simple: Submissions

The Chapbooks Are Here!

Poetry Chapbook Moons, Roads, and Rivers by David J. Bauman. Cover, midnight blue looking up through trees with moonlight. books, desk, mac, laptop, micraphone
Ready to sign and record!

Finally, my author copies of Moons, Roads, and Rivers have arrived! The press was running behind, and the holidays slowed things down even more, but here the little lovelies are and I’m very happy with them.

Since my batch came straight from the printer, the preorder copies will be a few days yet before they arrive at your doors. Thank you! If you haven’t ordered yet, you can by visiting Finishing Line Press’s site, or by contacting your favorite, hopefully, indie bookstore.

I say all of this because several people have contacted me saying that they are worried that their order got lost. Probably not. Just a very overwhelmed press with a release time too close to the holidays. From what they are saying, it might be until the 16th before some of you have your copies. I am so very sorry about that.

If you don’t have yours by the 17th of January, please email them directly at Tell them you ordered Moons, Roads, and Rivers by David J. Bauman, and be sure to mention your correct shipping address. They will have someone look into this email daily in case of missing orders.

Cover image of poetry chapbook Moons, Roads, and Rivers by David J. Bauman. Dark trees, midnight blue and moonlight white lettering serif font
Cover by Michael B. McFarland

If you are new here and haven’t been subject to my incessant self-promotion, Moons, Roads, and Rivers is my first chapbook. It’s a collection of both old and newer poems. Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time on the road and a fair amount of time on, in, or by the river. I grew up along the West Branch of the Susquehanna and now live on the far North Branch. In between, I lived where the two branches meet. But the poems also recall college days in the flatlands of Indiana as well as the wooded hills of central Pennsylvania.

I was divorced from my sons’ mother for most of their lives, so I’ve racked up a lot of driving poems, and since much of that driving was at night, the moon showed up frequently in those pieces. It seemed like a good idea to combine these works and see how they might come together in a small collection, and I think I’m very happy with the result.

Title page of Moons, Roads,, and Rivers by David J. BaumanMostly, I think these are mood and memory pieces. From childhood to fatherhood, it’s the feelings evoked by those travels, those surroundings that permeate these poems, more than any particular “message.”

I hope you enjoy them and order a copy of the chapbook for yourself. I’ll be sharing some information about upcoming readings (You can also check my Events page) and, of course, as is my habit, I’ll be recording a few on SoundCloud and Youtube soon!


Janet Locke, Two Poems

These are the last poems from Word Fountain’s recent print issue to be added to their webpage. It was an honor to record Janet Locke’s poem, “Attention,” especially since she told us, after it went to print, that the friend she speaks of in the poem was my beloved Shakespeare professor Doctor Ervene Gulley. I had no idea that impeccably prepared and seemingly perfect woman had a reputation among friends for being late.

This seems a good time to bow in appreciation for the mentors and teachers we have lost. Please follow the link below to hear the reading.

Happy 2018 to you. May your year be full of serendipitous discoveries.

Word Fountain

Janet Locke

The microwave clock
tells me I’m running late,
even though it runs slow.

So also say my cell phone,
my watch, and my wall clock.

A good friend was late for
everything, and she was perfect

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Moons, Roads, and Rivers

Cover photo by Michael B. McFarland


Moons, Roads, and Rivers, my first chapbook, is about to be released from Finishing Line Press. Click here to order your copy!

The printer is running a few weeks behind, but it looks like any pre-orders should arrive by Christmas or the New Year at the latest.

Moons, Roads, and Rivers is a small collection of poems set along highways and side roads from Pennsylvania to Indiana, from backyards and bar stools to graveyards and broken-down cars. Continue reading “Moons, Roads, and Rivers”