*squeeing internally*

So in addition to the incredibly kind folks who have reviewed RISK A VERSE: A Year in Daily Sonnets on Amazon and Goodreads (THANK YOU!!), my book received its first professional review from Kirkus Reviews, and it’s almost entirely good! And the criticisms (i.e., that the annotations tend to over-explain and that there’s a penis joke sonnet) are honestly the sorts of things that will appeal to certain readers, so I am absolutely thrilled! Here’s the take-away blurb:

An ambitious poetry collection that will defy readers’ preconceptions of what a sonnet can be. –Kirkus Reviews

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You can read the full review online here, or you can pick up a hard copy of the July 1st, 2018 issue of Kirkus Reviews, because the editors selected it to be a featured indie book review in that issue!

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Fewer than 10% of indie books they review get featured in print, so this is not a small deal. And the timing could not be more awesome, because July 1st is the day that Publisher reports that industry-standard institutional pricing goes live at Ingram, which means that any morbidly curious acquisitions staff at libraries and bookstores whose interest is piqued by the bonkers verse memoir that got written up in Kirkus Reviews will be able to easily order a copy or twenty.

This feels real. I like it.

In other news, my choirs are winding down for the season, after our final “Building Bridges Spanning Water” concerts with SACRA/PROFANA in May (review here!), getting to play an obnoxious, doomed Gossip (and thunder sheet!) in All Souls’ Episcopal Church’s production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde in early June, and singing on the West Coast premiere of Mozart’s incidental music for Thamos, King of Egypt with the all-star Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra last week (review here!). I have some fun Bayside Summer Nights concerts with the San Diego Symphony coming up (Star Spangled Pops this weekend, Gershwin on Broadway in August),  and I’m delighted to be joining the St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral Schola for summer Evensong services (videos/live stream info here!), which is always a joyful experience full of glorious music with good music friends.

July is also a special month because it means I’ll be descending upon the midwest with a dozen other wordsmiths for our annual writer’s retreat, and as much as I love all the singing I get to do, I am really looking forward to spending a week doing nothing but writing. Now that RISK A VERSE exists in real-actual book form, I can start thinking about my next big writing project… after I finish polishing my submission for an upcoming short story anthology for Story Spring Publishing, that is! *smiles innocently at editor*

Love to All,

Libby

Risk a Verse: A Year in Daily Sonnets by Libby Weber

Deeply touched and THRILLED by Lorrie’s kind words about my Snape sonnet!

Lorrie Kim

The Prince

From squalid soil a shriveled sapling sprang,

Which grew into a convoluted tree,

Whose listless leaves from blackened branches hang,

And twisted shape compels the birds to flee.

It gives no shade or succor to the tired,

And bears no fruits or flowers on its limbs.

Abhorrence and disquiet it inspires,

Except in those who offer it a hymn.

For though the tree fell many seasons past,

In falling, it revealed its fortitude,

For fire, disease, and drought did it outlast,

And by its loss, the forest was renewed.

And in the spring, when sunshine melts the snows,

Within its limbs, a silver lily grows.

I first encountered Libby Weber because of a shared interest in Snape. Over years of enjoying her writing, I was impressed by her deftness with poetry and the consistently high bars she challenged herself to clear, just for fun. I don’t know how…

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