Chris D’Errico’s new collection of poetry Vegas Implosions is an examination of the sordid city of sin from this Massachusetts born poet. Now transplanted in Las Vegas and with many a mode and vehicle to cast his eye on, Vegas Implosions is truly a dissection of modern living in a space that is exceptionally colorful. Humorous ideas and images abound like one of my favorite lines from “man-boobs bouncing along Death Valley dune,” from the poem “Headbanging.” It’s just this unexpected vision that balances the books views on life in Las Vegas, which comes at readers with more realistic views swathed in bittersweet sarcasm and post-beat meditations. Reflections on the quality of life. Whereas early works like Debris of the Hearts (Off Center Press, 2007) focused primarily on personal subjects, D’Errico turns his eye outwards on the denizens of Las Vegas. In all this, there is a humanness that the poet maintains in keeping its humor even when ironically pointed at himself. These types of methodologies in writing, whether intended or not, are usually best recipes for eye-openers giving way to a bigger picture, one the reader can mirror against the rest of the world. Chris D’Errico’s warm reception to the human condition in Las Vegas intermingled with personal philosophies and sharp wit is both welcoming and candidly unpredictable.
April is National Poetry Month. The one month out of the year that we actually get to acknowledge and appreciate poetry as a whole should we be so fortunate to. In all reality, there isn’t too much coverage of poetry in the mass media about NPM, but perhaps on your local National Public Radio station, or something like that & in schools and libraries, as well. But, regardless of the coverage, there is always much to do during national poetry month. It is a time where the literati really get to come out and play. I, for one will be attending the Austin International Poetry Festival at the end of the month. AIPF has been going on for over a decade now during NPM and is the largest gathering of poets in the USA. Poets convene from all across the U.S. and internationally as well on Austin, TX for a handful of days to celebrate the art of poetry. Readings take place all around the city in local bookstores, libraries, universities and coffee shops. I had the distinction of reading there twice, one year at a reading held at St. Edwards U. and the another year at La Resistance Bookshop. Literally hundreds and hundreds of writers and poets flock to Austin for this event and Channel Austin will be holding it’s EXSE Spoken Word event in honor of NPM as well. The EXSE Spoken Word showcase is set to air April 24, 2009 from 12pm-12am. There will be an encore presentation of the showcase aired many times during 2009 and upcoming years on channelAustin’s Cable channels 10, 11, and 16. How exciting! The Austin International Poetry Festival will take place April 23-26, 2009 in Austin,TX. I recommend you try and make it out this year for AIPF– it’s looking to be a promising year. Don’t worry, there are a lot of things coming up for April and I’ll try to keep you abreast on the situation as the details roll in…
To be quite frank, I was unsure that I would return to publishing independently. Virgogray Press had been quiet for a few years already and I hadn’t done much in the wake of my brief reading tour in 2005 across the Southwestern United States. But what would I do? That three years after publishing Sad Height under the pen name Jacob Gray I would have my first publication of poetry a la Ghost Roads would never have crossed my mind. For reasons I shan’t disclose, I think I nearly gave up on writing after 2005. I still wrote poetry and doodled word phrases, but the writer/publishing game? Forget it.
So what changed in 2008? I’m not sure. The end result, however, is Ghost Roads, a 40 page poetry chapbook collecting poems that wander through the nostalgic avenues of my past. Not being one to enjoy the occasional rut, I retain these poems as evidence of progress and change. Transcendence. Ghost Roads, as with my latest collection, The Terrorist, is really a dissection of Sad Height in that it takes some of the themes, tones and poems of that experimental piece and breaks them down and revises them into new personal truths. Not bearing sequence, some poems like “Island” are throwbacks to older poetry, written as far back as 2002; where as “New Paths” or “Routine” are newer fresher faces amongst my words. Ghost Roads is my tribute to the heart, a fine place if any to start; it reconciles some of what I lost, some of what I miss, some of what I’m looking for. It is my “hello” to the world, at least for now.