A successful kickstart campaign helped the publication of my collection of essays, poetry and short stories, ‘The Bob Sterry School of Burglary’. It represents a selection of my work over the last fifteen or so years and I cannot understand why I had not done it before. The content ranges from somber to hilarity and in between, with several Pacific NW references. Also confounding is why I had not thought to post the news of its publication here! Naturally I am seeking reviews.
There is never a good time to publish another collection of poetry and essays. But then again, there is never a bad time to publish another collection of poems and essays. And so I feel entirely justified and motivated to add my own work to the mountain of poetry already bending the shelves of bookstores and libraries around the world.
In the spring of 2012, I put together a very short collection or chapbook of poetry titled Wing Nut. So-called, because instead of any traditional binding, the pages were secured by a brass wing nut and bolt in the top left corner.
Not elegant, hard to stack, but certainly unique, affordable, and curious enough to cause comment at poetry readings. This new collection of poems, essays, and one short story contain a few of the pieces from Wing Nut and a selection of my work since then.
I am not capable of explaining exactly why poetry is important. It does not attract a lot of attention in our schools, and announcing that you are choosing to major in Poetry produces anxiety very high on the parental Richter scale. But it seems that poetry has not disappeared and the bookstores and libraries must make room for them.
Not quite so eschewed is the art of essay writing. But how many of us have been introduced to someone who calmly lets you know they are an essayist? Not even journalists who write for the New Yorker will easily admit this. The essay. It was indeed one of the horrors of my own education; the fear of having to write “an essay, three pages, single space, the subject is dogs and their owners” to be marked out of ten by a cynical worn out English master.
I did not exactly choose my education and somehow became a chemist almost by default. I did not even start reading poetry until I was in my forties and actually daring to write any until my fifties. It was not until I larded my cabaret-style singing show; another story; with poetry and saw the effect it can have on people that I began to read more of it and write more. Not exactly a power trip but a way of connecting perhaps.
The poems and essays in this collection do not have a theme although some are obviously very personal. I hope that they bring something to you or out of you. If you enjoy them I am doubly pleased.