Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Garden of Verse Blooms in March: "Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty"

             My first collection of poems, "Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty" is scheduled for release in March. These are poems about plants, gardening, flowers, nature, talking to trees, getting stared at by a hummingbird. Seasons change and so do we. Also poems about family, places near and far, my father's near-fatal in World War II, family secrets, The Sacred Way at Delphi, Greece, Syrian refugees in Beirut, and a tricksy formal poem called The Slow Tritina.
            "Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty" is what's called a 'chapbook,' meaning a half-size volume. This is a common way to publish poetry. I'm not sure I know why, but it gets a bunch of poems between covers, so I'm very happy about it.
            All of the poems in this collection have been published before in journals, many of them in I am contributing editor to that online poetry journal, and my work appears there monthly.
            I asked two of my colleagues from Verse-Virtual to do me the favor of writing recommendations for this book, and their kind words (quoted below) for my efforts will appear on the volume. 

            Robert Knox’s well-tended garden of verses furnishes readers with elegant borders, unexpected vistas, gorgeous blossoms, and insights sharp as thorns. His themes are as local as the backyard and as universal as weather. The poet is tuned into the present, like the journalist he also is; he is as deeply read as a scholar, and the verses he produces simply aren’t biodegradable. Some are annuals, commentaries on the immediate; others are perennials, novel explorations of transcendent themes. No matter his subject, Robert Knox’s writing is never less than rewarding. His work is that of a gifted and generous writer sensitive to all the personal and public events enacted before nature’s scrim of seasons, to all that lives and grows and dies. -- Robert Wexelblatt, poet, scholar, author of the story collection "Heiberg’s Twitch" and other books
            Robert Knox is a brilliant writer whose bountiful work I am privileged to publish. His new collection of poetry, 'Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty,' blossoms with wonder, wisdom, and wit. I highly recommend it. -- Firestone Feinberg, editor of Verse-Virtual

            The publisher, "Finishing Line Press," has put lots of poetry between covers over the last twenty years. There are literally hundreds of items in the company's website bookstore.
            Here's the link for my forthcoming title:
            Any books purchased as pre-order sales will give me an added boost, because the size of my book's print run will be determined by the advanced sales. The more books ordered in advance, that is, the greater the total number of copies the publisher will print. 
            Then it will be my job to find places to read from "Gardeners." Nobody ever begins writing poems because they think it will pay. But it's a great pleasure to connect with an audience.