First of summer

Happy Beltane! I write to you still smudged with the ash of last night’s bonfire. These days the frog chorus sings each evening, starlings bolster their nests with whatever fibers they can carry and rumors of morels spread among the trees like a redoubling of thrush’s summer song. May is here. I come to you with a few items of news.

A color photograph of a zine leaning upright against a driftwood log half buried in sand. The cover is a blue monochrome field with veils of white at the corners, like cloth billowing in the wind. At the center in white serif capitals, spanning three lines is 'DRIFT BODY ONE'. A tan blade of dunegrass casts a thin shadow over the cover. Behind the zine is turquoise water to the horizon.

Just in time for this first bright day of summer, the first issue of Drift Body zine is complete, arriving in three parts and with four corners. It contains two poems and one short essay about silence and the commons, as well as three Classical-era Orphic inscriptions and a series of line drawings I made in dialogue with the words — all printed on nice paper and bound with blue hemp twine. I’m really pleased with how it all came together!

If that stirs your interest, I invite you to subscribe and receive all four issues as they come out. I am especially pushing the pen pal option, which comprises a casual yearlong exchange of work. If you make things that can be reasonably mailed, consider it! A huge thanks to you who have already subscribed — I’ll get your zines in the mail on Monday. In the meantime, here is a PDF for your liquid-crystal reading pleasure.

Back at the beginning of March, on a violently windy day, I recorded a reading of seven poems, which after a bit of editing I released on Bandcamp a few weeks ago. I learned some things making these recordings — about performance, about the aerodynamics of human speech, about digital audio editing — and I look forward to making more recordings before too long. I’ve periodically considered what possibilities the podcast form might hold for me, but I have trouble getting past just how absolutely saturated it is. We’re all fairly drenched in podcasts — but once you’re already wet, what’s one more splash? We’ll see. I welcome your thoughts on this.

Finally, one last item relevant to this newsletter: I have taken a job for the summer doing field work on nearby North Manitou Island, where I’ll be helping monitor the population of Great Lakes piping plovers who nest there. I couldn’t be more excited. With the time I have around monitoring work, I’ll be treating my weekly stays on the island as a DIY writing residency. I’ve written about the island some already (most recently in the Rising water poems), and I’m keen to follow those threads farther yet. You can expect more on that soon.

Until then, I wish you a bright and propitious May. Happy first of summer!