Today I’m happy to host Marjorie Maddox’s next big thing. Without further adieu:
What is your working title of your book (or story, or project)? Local News from Someplace Else
Where did the idea come from for the book? As have many of us, I’ve been thinking more and more about our unsafe world and particularly how best to raise a family in such an environment. Society’s changing definition of what is and isn’t “safe” affects how we view “home,” as well as how we see ourselves, others, and the world in which we create that “home.” Often, after reading the newspaper or listening to the radio, I find myself returning to the same stories. A number of the poems in Local News from Someplace Else poetically examine such headlines. Ultimately, though, this is a book about how to live—joyfully and in community—in today’s damaged world. Thus, I also examine small pleasures—the ocean, a cup of coffee, an extra thick towel at a hotel—along with the deeper riches of family, friends, and faith. The book doesn’t have easy answers—there aren’t any—but it does, I hope, examine what matters most in our lives.
What genre does your book fall under? Poetry
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Jodi Foster, Helen Hunt, or a younger Meryl Streep or Judi Dench—someone able to handle the chaos and tragedies of life, but also with plenty of capacity for joy.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Because—in this unsafe world—we no longer define “home” the same way, Local News from Someplace Else confronts fear, embraces family, and rediscovers both grace and joy.
Who will publish this book? Wipf & Stock
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The book has gone through numerous versions (and been a finalist in 30 national competitions) over a span of fifteen or so years. I know because there are some poems about my daughter’s birth—and she just turned sixteen!
Who or what inspired you to write this book? Short answer: life, my children, current events. The title addresses our paradoxical horror of and fascination with local and national events and how, too often, we disconnect from our own lives. On a different level, I hope the poems emphasize how truly universal are our human joys and sorrows.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? In addition to the more well known headlines I address— the TWA Flight 800 plane crash that deeply affected my town; the Quecreek mine rescue; the Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse shooting; the Oklahoma tornadoes; etc.—I consider more lighthearted headlines: a man getting a tattooed wedding ring; a wedding ceremony at Reptiland; a woman suffering from amnesia who remarries her longtime husband—to name a few. I also look at such simple joys as riding a bike and greeting the morning sun with your children.
You can read/hear some of the poems in this collection here:
- ”Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGyAQmyG5C8
- “Meteorology” at T. S. Poetry Press: http://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/2013/06/03/poetry-classroom-meteorology/
- “Reoccurring Storms” in New Verse News: http://newversenews.blogspot.com/2013/05/reoccuring-storms.html
- “After” at T. S. Poetry Press: http://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/2013/06/10/poetry-classroom-after/
- “Anniversary Coffee” at T. S. Poetry Press: http://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/2013/06/24/poetry-classroom-anniversary-coffee/
- “Extra Towels” at T. S. Poetry Press: http://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/2013/06/17/poetry-towels/#comments
- “Appropriate” at Boxcar Poetry: http://www.boxcarpoetry.com/025/maddox_marjorie_001.html
And here is Marjorie’s bio: Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published Local News from Someplace Else (2013) Weeknights At The Cathedral (2006), Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (2004 Yellowglen Prize), Perpendicular As I (1994 Sandstone Book Award), five chapbooks, and over 400 poems, stories, and essays in journals and anthologies. She is co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (2005) and has published two children’s books with Boyds Mills Press, A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry (2008) and Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems (2009). The recipient of numerous awards—including Cornell University’s Sage Graduate Fellowship for her MFA and Pushcart Prize nominations in both poetry and fiction—she is the great-grandniece of baseball legend Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who helped break the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson.
Visit her web site here: http://www.lhup.edu/mmaddoxh/biography.htm
Marjorie tags the following writers (and, while I won’t be hosting these posts, you can learn more about the work of these writers by following the links provided):
- Susan Campbell Bartoletti: http://www.scbartoletti.com/
- Clara Gillow Clark: http://claragillowclark.net/; http://claragillowclark.blogspot.com/
- Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda: https://www.facebook.com/CarolynKreiterForonda;
- Colleen Clemens http://kupoco.wordpress.com/
- Tracey Cummings: https://www.facebook.com/tracey.a.cummings