Category Archives: shameless self-promotion

#BlackDressPoetry Wrap-Up: One Month Later

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a month since my book launch. Planning this party was an extremely rewarding experience, and I couldn’t have done it without Britt Canty, my publicist partner-in-crime. Her energy, know-how, and creative ideas really made this event special, and I can’t wait for our next opportunity to collaborate.

The folks at Hell Phone Speakeasy were extremely welcoming, and even made me custom drinks to go with the cocktail names we came up with–thanks to Britt and Jordana Frankel,  who came up with some of my favorites.

The music, by Master Michael Quinn and Jeff Allyn Szwast, was the perfect mix of moody and sultry–if you ever get a chance to see this duo perform, seize it with both hands. They will simultaneously break your heart and make you feel redeemed.

The readings were a special pleasure. I was lucky enough to get Nancy Hightower, cohost of the Liar’s League literary series and author of The Acolyte, and Natalie Eilbert, author of Swan Feast, to read for me; both are poets whose work I love and look up to. If you haven’t read their work, drop what you’re doing right now and look them up. Buy their books. You won’t regret it.

The fallout from this event was especially exciting–I’m now reading at several more events in coming months in New York City; I’ll tell you all about them on my Events page soon.

Most of all, I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who gave to my Kickstarter campaign. None of this would be possible without your support.

#BlackDressPoetry and Party Planning!

13900150_739345482874590_536517557273602932_n.jpgBig news is afoot, you guys. The plans for my poetry chapbook launch party are finally coming together!

I dunno if you’ve been to a book launch party before. I’ve been to a few; the normal format is usually as follows: takes place in a bookstore; there is a cheese plate and maybe some wine; there are books for sale and maybe a few intro readers and maybe a musical act (or not); there’s some mingling afterward and maybe a Q&A. I’m not saying this is a bad format–it can be really lovely, and I love how intimate it can feel.

I wanted to do something different, though.

This is my first published book, and I wanted to introduce it in a way that felt very “me.” I didn’t want to follow a prescribed pattern. I wanted to feature some people I know who are extremely talented, and I wanted it to go with the breakup / heartbreak theme–but in a fabulous, sultry, sophisticated way. This is, in other words, going to be Not Your Usual Book Launch Party.

So here’s what you can expect:

  1. Music by the appropriately poetic Master Michael Quinn and Jeff Allyn Szwast; you can check out their tunes here.
  2. I was lucky enough to get both Nancy Hightower and Natalie Eilbert–two poets I really admire–to read with me, and I cannot WAIT to hear them both.
  3. Burlesque with Galatea Stone, one of my favorite New York City performers. She impressively manages to pull off badass-athletic, otherworldly, and funny at the same time, and sometimes in the same act. (If you wanna catch her perform before my book launch, she produces a regular burlesque event and the next one’s coming up August 10).
  4. Signature cocktails! And I’m letting you pick the names. Look out for our poll on Facebook!
  5. A bar napkin poetry contest. Guests write poetry on bar napkins; I pick my favorites and the winners get prizes! I may also publish some of my faves in mini-zine format after the event.

This party is a collaboration between me and poetry publicist extraordinaire Britt Canty, who I could not have done this without. Her endless creativity and ideas have just been astounding, and working with her has been an absolute blast.

I’ll be posting regularly on Twitter with news as the plans come together–follow it using the hashtag #BlackDressPoetry! (Oh, and this is my Twitter handle.) For details on the party, this is the event page–if you’re in town, I’d love to see you there!

Kickstarter Campaign and #CollectionofFlaws Twitter Project

I’m really excited to announce the launch of my first Kickstarter campaign! This is my first one, you guys. I hope I did it right.

In case you’re wondering, the video still is me with one of my prizes–the breakup-themed adult coloring book “Have a Nice Life, Asshole” by Creative Collective Design. I’m thrilled to be partnering with them!

I really believe in this project. I think breakup poetry is kind of a difficult subject; there is a lot of the bad, the cheesy, and the funny out there, but breakups are pretty much universal. Most of us have been through at least one. Most relationships don’t end in forever. We’ve all needed really good poetry that speaks to that pain at one point or another.

I’m dedicated to bringing this book to a wider audience—and that’s where the money would go. If you’re into it and feel like you want to contribute, your help will be wildly appreciated!

Also, to get the word out (and to just shower the Interwebz with words, which is what I live to do), I am going to be running a Twitter project. To whit: one line from the book per day, from now until the end of the Kickstarter. So if you want to get a daily dose, the hashtag is #CollectionofFlaws (also #Breakuppoetry). Come get it at my Twitter feed.

Have You Pre-Ordered My Chapbook Yet?

Williamson_Jenny_COV

Cover art by Emily Lubanko

Collection of Flaws in a Black Dress is a Gut-Punch of a First Chapbook

Poet and author Jenny Williamson is pleased to announce that her debut chapbook, Collection of Flaws in a Black Dress, will be coming out in May with Finishing Line Press. It is currently available for preorder here.

“I write obsessively about love and loss,” Williamson says. “I didn’t intend for the theme to go in this direction, but when I looked back at the body of my work over the past year, there was a definite common thread. There’s also a sense of grief, like I’m mourning my own death before it happens.”

Her debut chapbook could be said to be a map of emotional apocalypse, charting a course from epic first-sight to the inevitable heat death of the universe and finally, new hope. Mostly free-form, the language shows a clear sense of musicality and rhythm, with imagery that is frequently as brutal as it is beautiful.

From the chapbook:

Trepanation

When I woke they’d put a doorway
in my skull
round as a bone moon.

The ghosts gnawed through me, trailing
a terrible howling.

It was not painful. Quite the opposite,
this hole in the hull of my ship
rimmed with stars–

I could no longer tell where I ended
and the sky began.

About the Author:

Jenny Williamson writes primarily about sex and death. She is published in journals including East Coast Literary Review, Burningwood Literary Journal, and Vox Poetica. She is also an actress and fiction writer, and currently lives in Brooklyn. This is not her last chapbook.

Collection of Flaws in a Black Dress is available for preorder from Finishing Line Press here.