After months and months of planning, the book launch event arrived. The event was titled, Somewhere I am a Bird, after a line from a poem in the book. The title might be a little decieving, as it sounds that I’m completely free elsewhere; however, in reality, the meaning is not as clear cut.
The event, held at the beautiful Spitzer Art Center, was composed of a photography exhibit (based on themes from the book) by Brandy Somers, live music by Shenandoah Alley and the launch/reading/signing of my poetry memoir, Memory Chose a Woman’s Body.
The 30 printed books my publisher sent sold out within an hour, and more were paid for and ordered after my reading. That was a validation, and confirmation, beyond my wildest dreams. Since last week, the book has been selling online, three 5 star reviews have been posted, I have gained three upcoming book reviews, will have the book selling in a Staunton bookstore AND have received confirming messages/emails that have brought me to tears.
This book represents so much that even I, as a writer, cannot describe in words. Many are writing that they are shocked that I’ve experienced some of the subjects I’ve mentioned, some have apologized, some just wanted to send a message of empathy, some wanted to remind me that I am making a difference. For that, I thank you all from the top, side, center and bottom of my heart.
Some of the book does speak, unapologetically, of sensitive subject matter. With that said, however, I’d like to share the poem that gave a title to the book launch event:
Little Black Bird
Somewhere a bird hates her own beak,
despises her own color,
obsesses over it,
seeks reflections in windows and
side car mirrors.
She cannot fly from her own voice box,
so she punishes herself.
Too many worms.
She must get rid of the worms.
Somewhere I am a bird.
On this page.
Fighting to accept my own chirp.
Angela M. Carter’s first collection of poetry “Memory Chose a Woman’s Body” is not a typical collection of confessionalist poetry. She does not need to shock and scream to convey her journey and observations, and she does not need to hide her experiences deep in cryptic metaphors. She is pointed and visceral without vulgarity and she does not waste words. While her work is unrestrained and unapologetic, it shows poise and calculation (the sign of a poet who knows her craft). These are not mere snapshots of experience but turning points cataloged and filed, then brutally examined under a microscope of metaphor and honesty. Indeed, these are not mere memories but the sum of who she is as a woman and as a writer. She catalogs and conveys to cope – but it’s very clear that she never (ever) forgets. I look forward to re-reading this collection and I look forward to further releases in the future. -Dave A. Buracker, author of Dust
© 2014 Angela M. Carter