My Book Is Finally Out!
I have just released my poetry book, "Near the Ragged Edge of Earth." For the astrologically inclined, the release data are November 25, 2006, 9:10 pm PST in Oakland, CA. My data are July 31, 1955, 9:15 am EDT in Manhattan, NY.
I went the online, self-publication route, but you will find that "Near the Ragged Edge of Earth" has the things you would expect to see in a book bought at your favorite brick and mortar shop, such as an introduction, a foreword, even an ISBN number. This 178-page paperback, which is available through my online store, contains three baseball poems that have been on the Byrnesblog since its early days: Down the Left Field Line, Home, and Young Girls with Gloves.
I’ve written a lot of poetry but it wasn’t until soon after writing Down the Left Field Line that I decided it was time to get serious about publishing a book. That was over a year ago. The process is not an easy one, and book design issues have held up the release, which was originally scheduled for June 10. But, at last, here it is.
The three baseball poems are all there are for sports in this book. As I stated in the store description, "Near the Ragged Edge of Earth" is an example of what happens when a socially-conscious investigative reporter turns her hand to verse.
Here’s an excerpt from the Foreword, by Susan Stone, former Director of the Arts and Humanities (now Arts, Humanities and Public Affairs) Department at KPFA:
Kéllia Ramares finds her voice as a radio and print reporter and public affairs journalist in progressive media, and as a poet writing from the front lines of deeply felt personal experiences. Her poems move from inside out: intimate musings on daily life interwoven with chronicles of political action and insight. Even seemingly commonplace topics –-baseball, housecleaning, answering machines–take on unexpected configurations in startling haikus, searing verse.
But this collection is not just a record of one woman’s experience; it’s also a plea, a rant, a protest against public complacency. The impress of social justice upon both her life and poetic imagination gives her writings their pulse, and urgency. She believes that something must be said about so much, and in doing so here, in the poems you hold in your hand, she reveals a clear eye and an indomitable spirit.
"Near the Ragged Edge of Earth" is dedicated to two people. One is a political activist in Oakland. The other is a baseball player. If you have to ask who the baseball player is, you just haven’t been paying attention.
The cover design, by Bev Conover, is based on photos taken by fine art photographer Katherine Westerhout. Now that the book is out, I have added to this blog an album of some of the other photos we took that day. They were taken on May 3, 2006 at the Sutro Bath Ruins in San Francisco, right along the shore of the Pacific Ocean. We call the group showing me climbing out of a ruin "The Whale Sequence" because Katherine thought that this particular ruin looked like the carcass of a beached whale.
(Poor Byrnesie! Someone blogs about him on MLB.com and it’s not some young hottie, it’s only me. What can I say, EB? It be’s that way sometimes. And that’s "La Verdad").
Aside to Mark Newman: Now you can add me to the MLBlogosphere Book Authors list!
Kéllia "Publishing a poetry book can now be crossed off my lifetime ‘To Do’ List" Ramares