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!