December 15, 2022
LIGHT has just nominated my poem “Corgis and Bess” for a Pushcart. In October, they submitted it for a Best of the Net. A double hooray and thank you to them.
I’ve updated—and upgraded—my “charmingly homemade” 2018 collection An Alphabestiary. This was my alphabet book of animal trivia and animal quatrains—light verse, but with short lyrical poetry mixed in. The new version is now available on Amazon (see PUBLICATIONS for the ISBN and AISN). It’s better written, better designed, better illustrated, and much expanded—more of the browsing book/semi-reference book I envisioned it as. An Alphabestiary was in four sections, and featured 110 alphabeasts, both true beasts and maybe-creatures; A Betabestiary has six sections and 150 betabeasts. Much of the returning material has been reworked also.
Even more excitingly, Kirkus has named Unsay Their Names as one of their top hundred indie books of 2022. Here’s a link to their December issue: see page 49 for the review. https://d1fd687oe6a92y.cloudfront.net/files/Kirkus_Reviews_121522_Online_Edition.pdf
And here’s a copy of the ad on page 36:
October 1, 2022
Saturday, October 1, all day: Derek reads, presents, and leads a writing session at the Appomattox Regional Governors School Writers’ Fest 2022. Go to ARGSWRITERSFEST.COM.
Saturday, October 8, all day: Derek will be attending the James River Writers Festival, where he will be moderating two panel discussions. Go to https://jamesriverwriters.org/
Friday, October 21, 6-8 p.m. at Blue Bee Cider: Derek will be at the River City Poets Halloween event, reading from The Memory Addicts and performing “Johnnie & Suzie’s Halloween.”
September 2, 2022
I’ve neglected this site recently. As I have much else. In July, my laptop crashed; so, almost immediately, did the replacement. Both required a wipe and rewire—no biggie for the new one, but a disaster in respect of its predecessor, which I hadn’t backed up for three years. The repair shop has been trying for eight weeks now to retrieve my data, but they don’t think they can. After treading water all summer, I guess I need to steel myself to move on.
I won’t lose everything from those three years: I’ve made books, some public, some just for me; I’ve posted files to this website; I can rescue writing submissions from my email folder, and photographs from my FB page and some thumb drives. But I’ve lost way too much work in progress and work newly completed. Gone also are my folders-in-waiting for petalridge. So I will be slower to add material than I had hoped.
Meanwhile, the new Artemis launches today; it looks glorious. Thanks to Jeri Rogers for including my poem “For the Fools of April.” https://artemisjournal.org/store/ On August 27, Dear Booze posted another of my pieces, “In Which I Jump Off The Right Train,” on their website: https://dearbooze.com/cocktales. And (with thanks to Jim Lewis), Verse-Virtual has come out with its September 2022 issue, featuring a poem I wrote in my late twenties: https://www.verse-virtual.org/2022/September/kannemeyer-derek-2022-september.html .
Even more excitingly, the trade paperback of my novel The Memory Addicts, now available for pre-order, will ship on September 13. The Kindle version will be released on that same date.
Less than 10% of the books reviewed by Kirkus get their review featured in the monthly magazine. "Unsay Their Names" did, and now "The Memory Addicts" has. This review is harder to find—you'll need to scroll through to page 205—but I'm so tickled that they liked the novel enough to include the review in the magazine.
For more about this novel, please go here: https://www.petalridge.com/the-memory-addicts
JULY 2022 PNEWS
My July publications include two poems in Verse-Virtual and an oddball piece (poem? you can be the judge) that appeared online in Dear Booze.
I will also have a poem featured in the September 2022 edition of Artemis, which is available now for pre-sale at the journal store.
And my novel, The Memory Addicts, will also be released in September. Interested in advance copies? Please ping me!"
No new journal publications so far this month. Except that I have been working on a new photography/non-fiction book, about China in 1992. Once I get the "just for me" version back from the printer, I'm hoping to cut it down to a publicly available 100 page tradebook. Watch this space! We're posting some of the images at the PHOTOGRAPHY tab as a mini-collection.
Two new readings, though! Catch me on the Verse-Virtual June podcast, where I get a 15 minute slot. Live on Facebook at 2 pm. on Saturday, June 17; podcast available on youtube shortly afterward. We'll post the link when it's up. And thus one is on June 29: "announcing the second virtual reading in the Connecting Our Community Series, sponsored by PSV's Northern Region. Email Cathy Hailey (email@example.com) to sign up for the open mic focused on poetry that connects with the arts and to get the Zoom link." I'll be reading a couple of pieces where I combine photography and writing.
My novel The Memory Addicts now has a release date: September 13. I'll order advance copies at the end of July, and I'm really looking for advance readers who will blog about it, review it on Amazon, help spread the word. Let me know if you think you might fit the bill.
And I made it to the six name shortlist to be the next Poet Laureate of Virginia. This gets cut down by popular vote to three names, and then the Governor and his team have the final say. But being in the top six is a real honor!
1. Unsay Their Names has won a silver medal in the 2022 IPPY Awards, in the category Best Non-Fiction Book, Mid-Atlantic Region. Conducted annually, the Independent Publisher Book Awards honor the year's best independently published titles from around the world. https://www.ippyawards.com/
2. For National Poetry Month 2022, Mike Maggio once again hosted a "30 poems by 30 poets" feature on his website: http://mikemaggio.net/. The challenge this year is to write an eleven line poem, each line being of exactly eleven syllables, on the topic "Love on an Imaginary Boulevard." My poem "Two Sleepwalkers"* was chosen as the best of the month, and will be published by the Potomac Review. The winners and runners-up were interviewed by Dennis Price for his hour-long show on Radio Fairfax.
3. The new LIGHT Poetry Magazine is out. It features my tribute to Queen Elizabeth and her corgis*. With thanks to the editor Melissa Balmain and acknowledgments to Alexander Pope.
4. I have two poems in the May Verse-Virtual*, and will be a featured reader for their June podcast. Thanks to Joanne Durham, one of my co-presenters, for nominating me to read with her, and to Robbi Nester for hosting this Zoom event. Sign up to attend on Facebook!
*Links to these poems are given under POTPOURRI, at the PERIODICALS subtab.
To read my interview in the April issue of KIRKUS REVIEWS, please check out "Praise and Press" at the PUBLICATIONS tab.
For National Poetry Month, 2022, I wrote daily poems (or rather, very unrealized drafts) and participated in the usual array of online projects. I'd like to thank the other members of the Poetry Society of Virginia Facebook challenge poem page, and my co-members of the April group founded by the late Shann Palmer, and now hosted by Tom Prunier Sanchez.
Read my contribution to Luisa Igloria's wonderful postcard poetry project at her blog: http://www.luisaigloria.com/blog. The sampled works are wonderfully varied and inventive. Mine is the April 9th piece.
My contribution to Mike Maggio's annual challenge is up at http://mikemaggio.net/
March 23, 2022
MUTT SPIRITUALS, my first full-length poetry collection, is now available directly from the publisher! Here's a link to the website: https://www.sanfranciscobaypress.com// It's also available on Amazon, in the US and in the UK. If you use Amazon, could you leave a review?
UNSAY THEIR NAMES is also available from Amazon, except on weekends and on holidays.
Or ping me on this site, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
KIRKUS INDIE gave "Unsay" a starred review, and the Vice President of Kirkus Indie put a spotlight on it in her "Perspectives" column for their February newsletter. You can read both at the PUBLICATIONS tab, under PRAISE & PRESS. (April update: as well as a full interview!)
My Black History Museum exhibition closed in December 2021. The museum kept some of the fifty blow-up display boards, and may display some photographs again at a future time. Show catalogues are sold out, but the museum may still have a full book or two in their bookshop.
AND IN OTHER PNEWS
Visit the PERIODICALS file under the POTPOURRI tab to get links to my journal publications since October 2021. They include poems in Anmly, Light, Lucky Jefferson, Rat's Ass Review, Rigorous, The Pine Cone Review, Unzipped, and four issues of Verse-Virtual, plus photography in Riddled with Arrows.
My NOVEL The Memory Addicts will soon be available from Atmosphere Press. The final "not for sale" proof copy is already in my hands! But I've asked AP to hold off on the final printing for a few months while I sort out my approach on the publicity side.
* * * * * * *
UNSAY THEIR NAMES (2021)
Unsay Their Names is a record, in photographs accompanied by commentary, of the 2020-21 statue removals in Richmond, VA, and of a city's transformation in the context of the BLM protests. It is also an exploration, in commentary accompanied by photographs, of what brought us, locally and historically, to this summer of reckoning. And it becomes a voyage of personal discovery, as I compare the impact of Confederate and Lost Cause history on race relations in Virginia with my own struggles (as a mixed race immigrant) for racial peace and justice.
· ISBN-10 : 1006490183
· ISBN-13 : 978-1006490187
For sample photographs, visit the PHOTOGRAPHY pages.
Available now on Amazon. For more, see the DISTRIBUTION folder below.