2011 Roundup Year-in-Review

“How can I tell what I think ’till I see what I say?”

-E.M. Forster
Image: Wikipedia

Once again, I have taken a look over the past year, and selected one post from each month that stood out in some way.

January: The Fifth Year

Today, I said goodbye two our two-year-old Australian nephew, not sure when we will see him again. As we near the sixth anniversary of our son’s birth and death, I realise how far we have come, not only geographically, but psychologically as well. Passing the fifth year was a milestone for us.

February: Human Shade

In February, my debut short collection Human Shade was published by Lost Horse Press in America. It was extremely heartening to see so many orders arrive in such a short time. I brought a few copies with me to England.

March: London Calling

In March, we made the decision to move to London. Having lived my entire life in California, I had no idea just what a leap this would be for me.

April: Adieu, America

In April, I said goodbye to America, but not to being an American. In fact, living here, I have never felt so American as I do now. My father also bid me farewell in a very special way.

May: Through the Looking Glass

In May, we arrived with just our suitcases. We had one week to find a place to live before the start of my new job. After the whirlwind subsided, I began to feel like Alice, down the rabbit hole in a world that only superficially resembled the one I had known.

June: Notes on Contemporary British Poetry

In June, I began to take advantage of my circumstances by way of comparative Anglo-American poetics. So began an effort to overcome what I have deemed “poetic culture shock“–and come to understand the subtle differences between British and American poetry.

July: Discovering an Artistic Ancestor

In July, I discovered a remarkable book by another poet named Peake, which had a profound effect on me.

August: The Nature of Peace

In August, the London riots exploded not far from our home while we were on holiday in Wales with my parents. The contrast prompted this meditation.

September: An American Werewolf in London

In September, I began to put my finger on the sense of otherness that had been haunting me, and let myself howl a bit at the moon.

October: “On Being Straight (A Thought Experiment)

I wrote this piece in October, and within a short span of time my “thought experiment” turning the tables on identity politics had received over 95,000 views on StumbleUpon, and been republished in The Good Men Project.

November: “The Invisible Father

A colleague’s casual remark set off this mini-essay for The Good Men Project about the being a father without a child.

December: “British Matches

In December, Aperçus Quarterly published this short poem, inspired by the warning label on a pack of matches. Along with comparative Anglo-American poetics, I seem to be studying semiotic estrangement–the effect of “everyday” signs and symbols on a cultural outsider.

It has been a remarkable year. Wishing peace to you and yours in 2012!