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Poetry Doesn't Pay the Bills


At Pete's Big Salmon Poetry Series on Friday, 4/13/18 with Nancy Reddy and Megan Fernandes. Series hosted by Michael Broder of Indolent Books. Photo Credit: Robert Carlos Garcia.

Or very few poets pay their bills with poetry.

But this past week, after four readings in six days and over 660 miles logged on my trusty Subaru, I sold enough books to pay for all of that travel, my meals, a week's worth of groceries, and a new dress for my upcoming release party for Girl Torpedo. This is a poetry first for me, and there have been many since my last blog post.

Sometimes it's hard for writers to count their blessings, especially in a discipline where one is bombarded with rejection; one doesn't want to be accused of bragging or risk jinxing one's good luck.

This past March, I attended the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference for the first time in ten years. It was my first time attending as a published poet (with books) and a full slate of my own readings and panels, and though I still fangirled over Leila Chatti, Alicia Ostriker, and Fatimah Asghar, among others, I felt like I belonged.

And here's where the imposter syndrome flairs up–who will tell me that I don't belong or that admitting this is self-indulgent or shaming to those who don't feel like they belong? Good grief!

I finally feel like a real poet, and I'm going to own it.

The truth is, I've been a real poet for a long time.

At the end of the day, when I sit down to write a poem, transcribing an audio draft I recorded on my phone after pre-K drop-off and before teaching my own 8:30am class, I am not thinking about you, reader, or my next bucket-list journal. I'm trying to write into my own obsessions and vulnerability. I keep trying to write the next best poem of my life. Most days, I fail, but some days I don't. And I'm still a poet every day, even when I don't have time or energy to write.

I'm excited to announce the release of my second full-length collection Girl Torpedo, which Allison Joseph selected for Agape Edition's 2017 Numinous Orisons, Luminous Origin Literary Award, and I'd like to invite YOU, dear reader, to the official launch party on Saturday, April 28, 2018, 4pm-7pm at the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University in Atlantic City, NJ.

Instead of a traditional book launch, I've invited twenty women, all of whom have played an important role in my life and/or the life of this book, to read/recite/perform one poem of their choice from Girl Torpedo. Readers include Ashley Ayrer, Stephanie Cawley, Pam Cross, Barbara Daniels, Micah Dela Cueva, Annette DiGiorgio, Olivia DiGiorgio, Lisa Hardy, Emily Heerema-Smith, Mandy Heck, Manar Hussein, Cindy King, Belinda Manning, Stephanie Polinski, Aubrey Rahab, J.C. Todd, Emily Van Duyne, Tara Van Nees, Syra Wolf, and Marci Zane. √ Badass women √ Cake!! √ Take-home writing prompt √ Book signing and Q&A

√ Temporary tattoos of the cover art!

Still on the fence about whether you should come?

Of Girl Torpedo Joseph writes:

Girl Torpedo is one brave book—it’s unafraid, unsentimental, brash but never stereotypically sassy—it’s a book to hold on to, to navigate all the savage seas of living with its “seedy motels bound by bay and intercostal waterway.” Emari DiGiorgio’s sure steps and deft handling of this unstable mass of human life is so compelling that you’ll want more than one copy of Girl Torpedo. Get one for yourself, to keep at your bedside table. Get one for your best friend, or for any “dangerous hum of a girl” you happen to know. DiGiorgio writes so beautifully that you’ll want hang on for the ride wherever her imagination takes her. She can even make a hammer sing! All hail Girl Torpedo!

What better way to sink the old battleships of the world, than to bring them down together?

Emari DiGiorgio

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