It's getting to be old news now, but my LOVERS & KILLERS won first place for a full-length book for the Elgin award. It was also on the Stoker ballot, plus one of the poems therein was a Rhysling nominee, and another of the poems, "The Hidden," placed second in the Dwarf Stars competition.
I'm a bit ambivalent about personal poetry; I don't always enjoy the raw confessional gushing I hear and read at poetry workshops and readings. But LOVERS & KILLERS is a personal book. Before my son, Jack Brizzi, Jr., died, I didn't realize how much his perspective had infiltrated my imagination. Several of the poems in L&K are about scary conversations Jack and I had when he was growing up. "Gacy" is an example. Some of his interests -- notably swords and SF movies -- are reflected in the poems. One poem addressed to Jack after his death, "The Hidden," struck a nerve with a lot of people. And, although I have always been fascinated by serial killers, I don't think I would ever have been as interested in Jack Unterweger, the "Handsome Jack" of the opening poem, had he not shared a first name with my son.
Other work in the collection reflects my personal biases and emotional attachments. My almost-religious advocacy in the exploration of the universe is reflected in poems like "Gift from Above" and "Diving into Uranus." I get attached to causes, such as education and freedom for women in all religions, and poems like "St. Theresa and the Fuck Me Shoes" demonstrate that interest.
The lunacy of love, and how it can create or destroy life, also is a personal obsession of mine, as revealed in "Proxmire's Complaint," which is incidentally an indictment of dear old Senator William Proxmire, who could never see beyond the end of his nose to what was really important in scientific investigation.
And then there are poems I just enjoy reading out loud because they release my inner crazy lady. One would be "Rapture."
Hats off to the brilliant other honorees: 2nd Place winner: NOTES FROM THE SHADOW CITY by Bruce Boston & Gary William Crawford; 3rd Place: COME LATE TO THE LOVE OF BIRDS by Sandra Kasturi and the chapbook winners, 1st Place: OUT OF THE BLACK FOREST by F. J. Bergmann; 2nd Place: THE HOUSE OF FOREVER: SELECTED POEMS by Samantha Henderson; and 3rd Place: The Edible Zoo by David Kopaska-Merkel. http://www.sfpoetry.com/el/13elgin.html
Enough. I loved writing this book, and I hope to share it with people who share my peculiar tastes and who empathize with my passions -- and my losses.http://www.darkregions.com/books/lovers-a