After a few years on and off of deep revision and submissions, and some very close calls with some great publishers of late, I am pleased to announce that the manuscript for my third full-length collection, Our Sudden Museum, featuring a decade’s worth of poems, old and new, was accepted for publication today by Salmon Poetry in Ireland. On the advice of poet Thomas Lynch, I went to see Salmon Editor Jessie Lendennie today at Salmon Book Shop in Ennistymon, County Clare, near the Cliffs of Moher. Though I had sent my manuscript to Jessie a week ago, in advance of my trip to Ireland, I simply looked forward to shaking her hand today, and to perusing the shop for some good books. Following a few hours of breathtaking hikes and jaw-dropping at the Cliffs of Moher, I drove southeast toward Ennistymon. Arriving at the bookshop, a very nice Salmon staffer called upstairs to Jessie, and she invited me upstairs, where she was busy at work at her desk in a wonderfully cluttered office, soft shag carpet and rugs, poetry books sprawled and stacked throughout, her black border collie Zeke sprawled before the fireplace, where turf briquettes crackled. Jessie and I made some rapid-fire small talk about Galway, Ennistymon, Tom Lynch, Ireland, poetry. But five minutes into the conversation, Jessie matter-of-factly said “I’d like to publish your work. I’ve read it. I like it a lot.” Her tone was sincere, direct, her look intense and friendly. My heart swung and hummed, the bright shops and pubs outside the window, the spring air, the sudden realization that like 30 minutes prior, when I stood inches from the edge of a precipice looking thousands of feet down into the ocean, here I was—on another cliff’s edge, the wind of this great moment making me buoyant, and lifting me and my long-hammered manuscript—into flight. Jessie printed the contract, said “Well, you can think about it…” and I told her I’d take the contract and go to a cafe nearby and read it, though I knew the answer was one million times yes already. My heart is in this country and has been contoured and shadowed and brightened in my first few days here to heights and depths I’ve never known. Salmon is a press with a 30-year history of publishing Ireland’s and the world’s great voices. Reading the contract was a formality. I left Salmon, and walked a few blocks away, needing WiFi, to the lobby of the Falls Hotel, and as luck would have it, stepped into the Dylan Thomas Bar. Within minutes, I called Jessie and told her I wanted to sign the contract today. Back at her office, we put the ink on the line, and she let me know that due to the press’s 30-year anniversary in 2015-2016—a busy launch year, she’d have to push my book’s arrival to 28 February, 2017, which—significantly—is also the birthdate of my daughter, Magdalena.

And, suddenly, with great surprise: there it is. My third book is due to have a spine and a face. Oh, and that phrase luck o’ the Irish? Don’t even get me started on how I feel about that now.


10 thoughts on “Our Sudden Flight

  1. Robert,

    One can never tire of the mental images your words inspire, you truly have a gift. We are so proud of you and your accomplishments; lets face it, it’s just fun to brag about you! I’m happy that you get to throw yet another one of your successes on to your pile of accolades. I hope that from your travels you find more inspiration, insight and imagination to feed your hungry readers. I’m always looking forward to the next thought provoking words of contemplating reflection you have to offer. Seldom few can make one want to gently lift the veil and peer into another’s paradigm on life as I find you can do.

    Love you brother


  2. Dad and I are supremely proud of you and thrilled for you! What a wonderful end to your sabbatical! We have so enjoyed spending time with your very special family while you have traveled and shared your wonderful Irish experience. And now to be able to rest knowing your years of writing, editing, submitting and anticipating have come together for your long-awaited third book. Congratulations, son, and enjoy these last days of soaking up your heritage! We love you so, Moon and Dad

    1. Thank you so much, Moon! And Dad! I’m so grateful to all the support you’ve given over the years to me, Denise, Gabriel and Magdalena. Emotional, financial, spiritual, and otherwise. You are two great hearts we feel wrapped around us. Thank you! –Robert

  3. Now the opportunity to celebrate the ‘birth’ of your beautiful daughter and your third beautiful book, on the same day…beautiful. So proud of you, Robert!

    1. Same day, I know!! Thanks for the reminder. It’s a stroke of magic that this book will be born on Magdalena Day. Makes it that much more special. Thanks Dawn for your kindness and support!! Robert

  4. Darling boy…my heart is singing a song of joy, thanksgiving, happy anticipation and great. never to end love! This song will never end and will repeat in my heart forever more! I am so proud and so delighted. Luck of the Irish has put you in the revered company of Yeats and so many beloved poets! How blessed I am to be your loving mother. MaMa

    1. MaMa! Great as it is to publish a book, true success for me as a poet would be to find the words to express how much I love you, but I don’t know that it is possible in this lifetime. Though I will continue to try. I love you!

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