In Track a Book, we follow one manuscript’s journey from creation to publication. This monthly series looks at Brent Newsom’s CavanKerry release Love’s Labors.
For my final blog post, I’ve been asked to answer the question, “What do you know now, that you wished you’d known when you started this journey?” Rather than expounding on a single possible answer to this question, a list seems in order:
I know that I have an amazingly supportive wife and family.
I know that I have exceedingly generous colleagues, students, and friends.
I know that CavanKerry Press is run by wonderful, poetry-loving people.
I know that I have the endurance to write a book.
I know that readers have connected with my poems (click and scroll down to read the first review of Love’s Labors, on p. 70 of this issue of The Oklahoma Review).
I know that readers have been puzzled by my poems (one—a family friend—contacted me on Facebook to ask for a reader’s guide).
I know that small-press publishing is a labor of love.
I know that publishing a book requires lots of collaboration.
I know that poetry can matter—and does—to more people than we think.
I suppose I knew some of this already, to some extent, before the journey to Love’s Labors began. But there are degrees of knowing. And the experience of writing, submitting, editing, and publishing my book has deepened my understanding of and my gratitude for all that I knew, and know better, and will come to learn more fully still.