Canadian poet Daphne Marlatt is a plus around The Minuses! I love her poetry and person very much. On and off for the last 15 years, we’ve met for coffee and conversation about poetry and spiritual practice. Our conversations have been sites of candor and infusions of hope.
During the fall of 2018 our exchanges became more frequent. Her wise counsel and cheerful shoulder were of special support to me during the summer of 2019 when I was despairing that The Minuses was still publisher-less.
So, of course on September 3, 2019 (Labor Day!), when I learned from Stephanie G’Schwind that the Center for Literary Publishing wanted to publish The Minuses, Daphne was at the top of my list of those with whom to share the great good news. During that celebratory conversation I asked her if she would endorse my book.
I use the word “endorse” instead of “blurb.” Why? Because “blurb” sounds like spit up to me. I don’t want to associate spit up with my poems. This may be a form of superstition. Poets can be superstitious. I can be superstitious. I’d rather associate enthusiasm with my poems.
Anyway! Daphne said Yes!
After she read The Minuses Daphne sent me a note that included these words, which made my poet’s heart explode in bloom:
Hi Jami,-Daphne Marlatt
Well, you have a marvellous ms. here! I was totally immersed in it. A blurb has been difficult to word to do it justice…
Daphne uses the word “blurb.” So, I looked it up in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. I thought its first use would be quite recent. However, the first known use of “blurb” as a noun is 1907, while the first known use of “blurb” as a verb comes eight years later in 1915. The neologism was coined by American humorist Gelett Burgess. I’m not convinced. After typing the word this many times, my stomach is turning. You see? The word has that affect on me. I remain resolute in not using it.
Here’s the form of enthusiasm Daphne offered for the back cover of The Minuses:
Jami Macarty’s poems draw us into the vagaries of human love, just as they implicate us in the “menagerie of the surviving world.” These marvellously immersive poems of the Sonoran Desert and of our human deserts of the heart insist on each step taken, each present moment’s opening perception. Macarty’s lines nudge us toward non-dual Buddhist emptiness in each gap, each leap beyond wording. A must-read.-Daphne Marlatt
I wrote it once, but it’s worth writing again. I love Daphne Marlatt’s poetry. I have loved it for a long time. For me, Daphne’s poetry is a horizon. So, it’s especially special to have her endorsement and energy with me and the poems of The Minuses.
Even though I received the copy of The Minuses earmarked for Daphne in mid-February, travel and Covid-19 postponed our celebratory get-together for months.
On July 13, we finally felt it safe enough to commune at our favored outdoor café, Wilder Snail, for an afternoon coffee and conversation—and so that I could bestow on Daphne her copy of The Minuses.
Here’s the photographic record I made of Daphne unwrapping…
The Minuses is unwrapped and Daphne’s mask is off!
Don’t you just love the look on her face?
That’s my poetry book The Minuses in Daphne Marlatt’s hands!
A poet is happy!
: : : :
+ Thank you bows to Daphne Marlatt for her support to me over these years, for reading The Minuses, and for offering her special words in support of the poems.
+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, editor Donald Revell, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses with me.
+ Thank you bows to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!
2 thoughts on “++ THE MINUSES ++”
Nice to have this backstory. It and Daphne’s endorsement add value and dimension to a terrific book.