How has your first book changed your life?
32. Aaron Kiely
UDP editors Anna Moschovakis and Matvei Yankelevich approached me in 2004 with the idea to do a book. They knew my work mainly from readings I'd done in Boston and New York, and also work I'd given them personally.
Were you involved in designing the cover?
Yes, Anna Moschovakis and I designed it.
What do you remember about the day when you saw your finished book for the first time?
It was prettier and more professional than I ever imagined. UDP does amazing work.
I also remember feeling like I'd left something out of the reading I gave during the release party, something I almost always feel after readings.
Could you tell me more about that feeling?
I often don't have enough time on stage and leave out reading pieces that I had planned to read. I have often felt like I didn't deliver what I planned to. But I'm getting better at that. Now, before the reading, I try to identify the piece or pieces that I HAVE to read, and I try to make sure I do read them.
Before your book came out, did you imagine your life would change because of it?
I think I did. I was thrilled to have my work distributed on a bigger scale than it had ever been.
How has your life been different since?
A lot of people I'd never met have contacted me, having read the book. People's responses to the work have inspired me and encouraged me to keep going.
What have you been doing to promote the book, and what are those experiences like for you?
UDP has handled most of the promotion, and wonderfully, bless their hard-working hearts. I have also been sending out more work to journals and magazines, poetic and otherwise, after having the book published. I like trying to get my work out there, I'm not discouraged by rejections or being ignored.
What advice do you wish someone had given you before your book came out? What was the best advice you got?
Kate, sorry, no answer for this. (didn't get advice)
How do you feel about the critical response and has it had any effect on your writing?
The response has been very positive. I am thrilled that my work is touching people, many I'd never met. Different reviewers respond to different parts of the work, though all have been positive. I think I'd like a negative review too.
Do you want your life to change?
I am hopeful that the world, and particularly people in political power, can turn around from where they are and start believing that every person has the same humanity and deserves to live.
Is there something you're doing now that you think will bring about a change that you seek?
Yes. My writing and spiritual meditation/visualization hopefully can have an effect on the world.
Do you believe that poetry can create change in the world?
Yes. 1000%. Look at the force and influence created by the words and energy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Also, the words of the Bush group are a big part of their effect on the globe: "endless war," "war on terror," "united we stand," "uranium enrichment," "Islamic fascists," "we will prevail," etc.
Do you want your own life to change--apart from the life of the world?
Yes. I try to be clear and honest in my personal relationships. It's not always easy.
judgement is in the soul
things are the way they are
the soul is filled with judgement
jump quickly to anger
obsessed with its borders
quick with anger
quick with self
if this moment
who will include everything?
who will be the one expanding?
who will be the one expanding
believe you are not alone
that it is dawning in them
that it is dawning
who doesn't deserve your honesty?
who won't you try to build the world you want to live in with?
who won't you even try with?
who deserves for you to try to build the world you want to live in with?
next interview: Karla Kelsey
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