Within a year after The Man Who Kept Cigars in his Cap came out Sam Hamill with Copper Canyon Press asked me if I had a poetry manuscript. I did, one that I had been tinkering with for several years. It had almost been taken by Wesleyan University Press, but wasn't, so I no longer knew how much faith to have in it. Sam's invitation inspired me to work on the manuscript again, write a few new poems, revise some of the old ones--and the book happened. I was working at Centrum in Port Townsend at the time. Tree Swenson did the book design--and designed this book, sometimes coming to me with such particular questions as "Should we jump to the next page after this line or after this line?" Barbara Arnold was a fine pen-and-ink artist working at Centrum. She did the drawing on the cover and the sketches inside. I loved the group effort in making a beautiful book.
Of course, it is now out of print, but many of the poems in this collection are included in my new and selected poems. The reading sample poem I have here has not been reprinted, but it has had another life off the page. Jazz artist Kurt Elling used the poem "Approaching a Hill in November" in his song "Storyteller experiencing total confusion," Blue Note recording titled " Close Your Eyes," 1995.