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Lots of writing, reading, signing, and painting going on around here...

How to Make A Writers Day, Week, Month!

I don't want to brag, but damn, I just got the best email from a much-admired writer and I am definitely sharing it, because DAMN. From Judy Goldman:

 

Oh, Christine, you have done it! This book is stunning! I so admire these poems — they're complex and accessible, questioning and wise, surprising and just what we would want to know. Well done, my friend! Every poem belongs; following one another, they create a strong, strong narrative.
 

So if you need another reason to check out my chapbook, do what Judy says. And while you're at it, Judy's newest "Child: A Memoir" is brave and wonderful and scary and fine. Go get it, too. 

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Storied Charlotte Story

Mark West, the former Chair of the English Department at UNC Charlotte (where I teach), has posted his latest "Storied Charlotte" blog and it's about ME!  Thanks, Mark, for the plug. 

 

https://pages.charlotte.edu/mark-west/blog/category/storied-charlotte/

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I'm officially a poet!

The box came today. It is THRILLING. The book looks beautiful. Thank you Finishing Line Press for publishing my work, and for putting my painting on the cover. 

 

Now, if you've pre-ordered, yu should be getting your copies in the next week or so. Please take a picture of yourself with the book and post in on Facebook, or Instagram, or here on this blog!

 

You can order the book directly from the publisher at www.finishinglinepress.com. I'm working on getting it into bookstores (you can ask for it at your local bookseller and they can order it for you), and it's available on Amazon as well. 

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COMING EARLY JUNE

Inevitably it seems, the release of my chapbook "The House Inside My Head" is delayed a couple of weeks. So, look for it in early June.

 

MANY THANKS to my friends and colleagues who purchased the book in the presale period. According to my Henry's research into small press poetry chapbook sales, I am already a best seller. :)

 

For fun in the meantime, check out this podcast POET UP, from some of my Charlotte poetry peeps - they are hilarious and usually drinking when they are recording. I am interviewed at about minute 22.32 for this episode, which is about the OF EARTH AND SKY exhibit and book. My favorite quote from this "...you motherfuckers woulda gotten a pamphlet..." 

 

Here's the link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/poet-up/id1505222998?i=1000557723231

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What Friends are For

Write a book of poetry and you'll find out who your friends really are. Here's what my friend, James Tabor, had to say for me. Damn. You'll hear more about James from me later this year when his newest book comes out. It's about Mary. 

 

https://jamestabor.com/the-house-inside-my-head-i-just-preordered-this-new-book/

 

 

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What else do I do?

The House Inside My Head: a poetry chapbook from Chris Arvidson

Presales for my chapbook of poetry - my first poetry book publication - are going pretty well, but I sure would like to get over that hump that nets me 20% on royalties. Yes I would. After a damn decent flurry the first couple of weeks, things are just trickling along now. Ah, poetry. It ain't going to make you rich, that's for sure. 

 

Henry looked it up, and for poetry chapbooks from small presses, my numbers actually put me in the "bestseller" ranks. Which is kind of fun to think about. The chapbook is due out May 20, although the publishers have cautioned me on setting up any events less than a month later, printing and whatnot have been impacted by covid, and there could be delays. But I've got takers anyway, and expect to be doing readings at Park Road Books in Charlotte, Main Street Books in Davidson, and the Old Orchard Creek General Store in Lansing, NC, at a minimum.

 

Let me know if you have a book club or fav bookstore you'd like to see me at and I'll follow it up. FOR NOW: if you are reading this and you haven't yet preordered my book, please do. You'll be making me rich!

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Visiting, Painting, Thinking

Lots of fun this week in the snow, with very cold temperatures, and seeing friends. Back when I lived up here in the Traverse City Michigan area, I worked at the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, with rhe smartest and most dedicated crew ever. 

 

I met up with Birgit and Glen at the 240-acre site of the new conservancy center, a rennovation of an old golf club in town. After spending 20 years above a grocery store, an office that was too small 15 years ago when I worked there, seeing the conservancy's new home was positively thrilling. In a happy quirk of fate, the Oleson family, above whose store we worked, funded the $1.2 million acquisition of the Mitchell Creek Golf Club. In addition to offices, they'll be a volunteer center/barn, and horticulture/greenhouse facilities. Oh, and they'll be goats. 

 

Painting with my sister, Lorie, is also on tap this week. You can see a painting I did today, from a picture I took out at the new conservancy home yesterday, at the top left.  It's called Fairway No Mo.

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Now in presale, out May 20.

My first poetry publication is almost here. The House Inside My Head will be out May 20, 2022 from Finishing Line Press. 

 

Now - it's in presale. So buy it. Please! It's easy. Just go here: https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/the-house-inside-my-head-by-chris-arvidson/

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Slow Down

I keep telling myself to slow the F down. Especially this time of year. It's all I can do, tell myself this, because no one else will listen. December is a loaded month. The semester is over and the dreaded task of turning in grades looms. I've been dealing with mysterious health things and they complicate the world for me. And the expectations and hype of the holidays seeps in, no matter how hard you try to keep it out of the mix. 

 

But, but, but.... there's much to look forward to in the coming year, and Omicron be damned. January will bring the pre-sale period for my upcoming poetry chapbook, "The House Inside Your Head" from Finishing Line Press. If you love me even a little, please be ready to pre-order. The publication date is May 20.

 

Henry and I are so hoping to do some traveling again in 2022 and I've spent a fair amount of time fantasizing over the 2022 Wilderness Travel catalogue. Working around that, at some point I'll get a new knee scheduled, and though that might seem a weird thing to be looking forward to, I am. My hiking companions and I have been putting up with crap knees for long enough. 

 

I'm part of a new writing group with some Goucher Gopher MFA pals and that is a welcome treat, even if it is on Zoom. We're to be motivating one another to get on with "what's next" in our writing lives. Accountability is everything, my friends, and these are the "good people" to be talking and working with in 2022. 

 

More writing, more art (I got into my first juried show this month at the Charlotte Art League), more travel. What's not to look forward to?

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Out with the old...

photo: Surhabi Kaushik

One of the first things I did when I moved back to Charlotte after being gone 13 years, was walk down the street to you, dear Main. I started attending workshops and the writers' group "Write Like You Mean It" weekly. That's when I really started focusing on writing poetry, something very new for me, and surprising. On this last weekend of a "goodbye" open house, the library played videos of authors reading from their books on a loop. They'll bring the vids back when it reopens, in 2025 or so. Sigh. I love you Main Library and I'll watch your destruction and rebirth with rapt attention. Maybe even write a poem or two about it all. 

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