Vagabonding—Against the backdrop of a burning world, a young woman writes honest poetry about discovering a new continent, new love, new meaning, and her own – sometimes confusing – hunt for ever more art, sex, and love.
This book is Creative Commons licensed and online for free. As a transparency activist and scholar, I believe in freedom of information. As an artist, it has always felt right to give away my best work to my favorite people. There is something intuitively gift economy about feeding people, creating art, and loving. This intuition is philosophically moored in Virginia Woolf’s insistence that—while we need financial autonomy, especially as women (A Room of One’s Own)—we also need professional autonomy from corrupt, war-mongering institutions in order to have meaningful independence, honest relationships, and political influence (Three Guineas). Doing gift economy work when it feels right is a big fuck you to the war machine.
Nonetheless, if you buy Vagabonding on Amazon, then you’re also materially supporting my art—which I greatly appreciate.
I’m not on social media, and I like it that way. If you want to promote my work there, that’s fine. Thank you!
But… I also want to suggest an alternative: If you like my book and want to recommend it to a friend, why not send them a copy? Consider it an art project, or a writing assignment: Write a poem of your own in the front and then give it to a friend… Or a beautiful stranger.
Some of my poems have melodies. I keep trying and would like help turning them into songs. But this probably remains something I have to do myself, in due time. Since I can hear them, and other people can’t…
There’s also an illustrated version of Push Coasts online here… Similarly, many of the poems in Vagabonding were previously published and illustrated here on my blog. The Nuremberg 2027 section envisioning future war crimes trials, for example.
I followed this publishing model for my first book after getting dozens of poems published in literary journals and other outlets for many years… And finding the pay-off of publication was often not much of a pay-off: a smaller audience than might be possible otherwise due to low journal circulation, a big time/effort loss from submission rounds due to low acceptance rates even if you publish consistently, and effectively zero payment—maybe $40 here, a few copies of a journal there. That model really does not make sense in terms of valuing your time, trusting yourself, or getting your work out there.
It makes more sense to just do your work and put it out when it’s ready. Especially once you’ve already demonstrated through publishing that you have a good ear for what works. This publishing model thus made sense and worked for my purposes last time. Similar models have long made sense to many authors I admire, like Charles Reznikoff, Mark Twain, Margaret Atwood, and others. So I’m doing it again.