It’s finally here, the cover for Birds and Birthdays, the 34th volume of Aqueduct Press’s ongoing Conversation Piece series.
The design is a standard for the Conversation Piece series, but the image on the front cover is one made by the artist Kristine Campbell (you can find more of her work at her website by clicking here). It’s really such an honor for me to have this particular image as the cover for this particular book, because Kristine and I go back a ways, back to the year 2000, when both of us were working as library assistants in Lansing, Michigan. I was a writer who hadn’t really published a lot of writing yet, and Kris was an artist who had made quite a lot of art and had had a lot of exhibitions around the country and in other countries, too. Kris let me see some of her work at one point, and I immediately fell for it. She has this amazing ability to match up different kinds of textures and styles into this surreal fusion with an underlying mythic power. Back then, she had this long hanging that was made almost like a quilt, and it featured this red dress that was one of her obsessions at the time. I wasn’t able to afford it, though, and eventually, in 2001, I moved back to Youngstown, Ohio, wondering if I’d ever come across Kris and her art again.
Thanks to the internet, in particular social networks, that became a mundane possibility, keeping in touch with old friends. After I sold this little book to Aqueduct Press, I happened to see new images of Kris’s art appearing in the feed of my Facebook, and when I saw this one, I stopped, dropped, and rolled.
It was really perfect in ways that won’t be apparent until you read the stories in this collection (and I do hope you read them, you wonderful person reading this post at this very instant). The image is called “Birds are Not the Target” but for this book, this image hit the bullseye.
The physical book will be available in mid-August, and the e-books will be available in September. Once the book releases, I’ll be doing some more posts about the book, the stories, the essay, the artists, and how I put this particular collection together. I’ll catch you all then.
Thanks for reading,