Cooking in My Sleep

I have been awakened by the smell of a 16-bean soup that I cooked overnight in the crock pot. It is the strangest thing—to be woken up by food. It’s like I’ve left something cooking on the stove. It always takes me a few seconds to remember I planned this.


Have you seen the beautiful cover of Kelli Russell Agodon’s second poetry collection, titled Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room? I love reading how authors decide on the cover art because there’s usually a good story behind the selection. And many times, their stories end with, “this art was the best representation of my work.”

For the Underlife cover, I had two excellent choices, but the publisher liked the mannequin legs over another very strong image. It worked out for the best. In the end, the cover is an extension of the work—which is an extension of the poet. So cheers to Kelli for selecting her cover. I bet the book feels much more real now that the cover’s in place.


What can you do to increase your chances of getting editors to accept your poetry submissions? Start by visiting Martha Silano's blog.


Valentine’s Day is upon us. For those who don’t know, that’s my birthday. I’ll be 41 on February 14. I’m sure there’s some meaning there. More on that tomorrow.


Martha Silano said…
Hi January,

Just jumping on to say hi and I love your blog! Thanks for posting a link to my site.
Anonymous said…
Hello January! I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed Underlife. I feel like with this book and your blog you are trying to be an artist that is very accessible to people in different walks of life. For the book to make me, someone who "hates" poetry and would rather read a novel, enjoy reading poetry is quite the accomplishment. I really think that is the epitome of what an artist's goal should be!

-Luke Curran
Jessie Carty said…
ya know that opening paragraph really read like a poem waiting to happen :)

now i need to come up with an answer about my cover art..hmmm
January said…
Thanks Jessie. Leaves me wondering--why not 15 beans. Or 17 beans. :)

As for cover art, I hear a lot about writers not having any or very little input into the cover selection. So I'm always interested to hear the process behind the art.

Can't wait to read your collection.
January said…
Luke, thank you. I think that might be one of the nicest complements that I have ever received.

We spend so much time writing alone that it's hard to know if the work is reaching the audience. I'm glad you enjoyed Underlife.
January said…
Martha, the feeling is mutual. Thanks for stopping by!

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