Poetry Book Release!! (chapters on ADHD and Grief)

“Provisional Conclusions” is now a reality!

The book contains 53 poems and is organized in 4 sections: “Thinking Out Loud”, “The ADHD Chapter”, “Loss”, and “Love and Nervous Energy.”cover_FINAL

This is from the back cover blurb:

“A diagnosis of ADHD at age fifty-five can make you stop and think. So can losing your daughter to a drunk driver two days after her eighth birthday—or looking up at the majesty of the Big Buddha in Phuket after getting lost in the mountains on the way there.

“Spanning a period from high school in the seventies until a few hours before it went to the editor, the poems in Provisional Conclusions explore these topics and more: being a parent, being a man, living with ADHD, the legacy of Howard Thurman, the myth of objectivity, the delight and terror of raising a family, the dreams of Korczak Ziolkowski, and even a quick peek into hell. Poet Mike Fedel also considers race, sex, love lost and found, philosophy, consciousness, and God—what is she like, anyway? Sections include “Thinking Out Loud,” “The ADHD Chapter,” “Loss,” and “Love and Nervous Energy.”

“Offering accessible observations on a wide range of topics, the verses in this collection consider the raw emotions associated with love, grief, and ADHD.”

If you do buy a copy, please post comments on the site where you made the purchase, it helps writers in the long run for them to see feedback.

AND feel free to make any other comments here or email me directly.

I hope you enjoy some of these poems. Find you favorites and let me know!

Thanks!

Quick history: Over a year ago now, my good friend Catherine Powers asked me “when are you going to put together a collection of your poems?” We’ve both been writing since high school (at least!) and she’d recently put out her own wonderful collection 28 Years Since My Last Confession (check it out!). I went through my writing, both old and new, and chose the ones I hoped would make people smile, think, and feel something.

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Poetry Book Submitted to Publisher!

About 2 hours ago, I decided I needed a break. I scanned the tabletop and among all the scattered papers and wires and pencil shavings was a printout of my cover idea for the poetry book I’ve been working on for just under a year. I did that almost 2 weeks ago and haven’t touched that project since. Which was silly, since it was all set to go.

So, I did it. I spent the 10 minutes it took to write a cover letter and ZIP up the files and pressed SEND.

Maybe I really AM more productive under pressure…

Daily Thought for Feb 3, 2015 – A Poem that Didn’t Make the Cut

I made another pass through some of the poems that didn’t make the cut for the book. For a lot of them, it’s obvious why they didn’t make it. Some are a bit more borderline. This is one of them:

 

UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

A white flower
in the middle of the table
resting on a perfectly ironed
white linen
cloth

A young child
standing on the back porch
seeing everything as a perfect
and exciting new
mystery

A couple
still in wedding clothes
lost in perfect love
and anticipation of their unscripted
future

A weed
warm and fragrant in an open field
destined to be cut and burned
because it is
useless

A teenager
shuffling through the hallways at school
avoiding the glares
of the kids who are
popular

A couple
many years later
taking desperate measures
backs against the wall
again

Update on Poetry Book Project

Seven months and counting.

When my friend Catherine encouraged me to collect some of my poems and make something called a chapbook, I initially resisted. Most of my effort over the last few years has been on devising Performance pieces, largely around Adult ADD/ADHD. Before that, my main focus was music and all of my writing was songwriting. But every so often, I’d return to one of my first loves: short fiction and poetry.

For most of 2013 and some of 2014, Catherine and I ran a “daily prompt poetry blog” for a small group of writers in and around Ann Arbor. It was called Ann Arbor Poets Online. That was a lot of fun and gave me the structure I need to produce work consistently. It was a great experience and I expect we’ll keep resurrecting it from time to time.

So, back in June, I contracted with a publisher and started going through my backlog of work.

There were a few obvious clusters: high school and early college, my writing after Amy’s death, coming to terms with my ADD, Robert Lee Browner’s Poem-a-Day prompt series, and, of course, our poetry blog. In between, there were a lot of one-offs, pieces inspired by some event that happened or some realization I’d come to. I went through over 400 poems and winnowed them down to about 80. Then, I asked some friends I trusted to help me validate my choices and rework some of the pieces I liked but weren’t quite there.

I am now in my third and, I hope, final pass through the poems. Putting them in order. Dealing with punctuation decisions. Choosing which photos or drawings I want to include. Wrestling (over and over) with whether or not to include the 1 page story fragments.

I’ve given myself a deadline of Feb 28. One year since I left my full-time job to focus on creating things.

Let’s see how it goes.