every other day


11 SEPT 06

How has your first book changed your life?

32.  Aaron Kiely


How did your manuscript happen to get picked up by Ugly Duckling Presse?

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.


:


an excerpt from "Poem" in The Best of My Love by Aaron Kiely:


what's in people?

judgement is in the soul

things are the way they are
because they are that way in the soul

the soul is filled with judgement
the soul will not expand

jump quickly to anger
the soul won't expand

obsessed with its borders
the country because the soul
the country is obsessed with its borders
because the soul is obsessed with its borders
judgement is in the soul
the person won't expand

quick with anger
quickly jumping to self
the soul quickly with self
the soul quickly judging
things are the way they are
because they are that way in the soul
quick with self
obsessed with it borders
the soul quick with self
trying to "flourish"
to "know"
to "have it all"
to "finally have it all"

quick with self
obsessed with its borders
the soul pushing with the heart
trying "to have"

----

if this moment
sacred
getting into the cab--
if this moment
getting into the cab
is not going to be sacred
what is?

who will include everything?

who will be the one expanding?

who will be the one expanding
to include everything
with no one to blame?

----

believe you are not alone
believe it is in everyone
believe that it can dawn in them
believe that other people can want the same things

that it is dawning in them
that it is dawning
that you are not alone

that it is dawning
that it can dawn
that it can be in everyone

----

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 show yourself to?
who won't you try to become yourself with?
who won't you love?

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 with?
who is included?

who deserves for you to try to build the world you want to live in with?
who won't you love with yourself?
who won't you try to become yourself with?
who won't you include?


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