Has Had Paradise: A Poetry Collection (and Other Announcements)

You may recall that I announced, about two months ago, the possibility of a forthcoming poetry chapbook. You may also recall that I intended to call it, Flight of the Paper Birds, the concept behind which was a revival, or a breathing new life into, my older work. It’s a nice idea, I think, and an admirable ethos for a second chapbook…but it wasn’t right. And within the last few weeks, especially, I started feeling I needed to approach the project differently. I needed a different framework, a different aesthetic, and possibly a different set of poems from those I’d initially chosen.

So, I decided to put the project on hold until the right idea came to mind. And sure enough, a few days ago, as I was rummaging through a series of old poems, it struck me. And I knew what I needed to do: Has Had Paradise.

“Has Had Paradise” is a poem I published here in early February (and have since removed in anticipation of the new book). “Has Had Paradise” is sensual, philosophical, muted, and even polished when compared to the poetry that appeared in my first chapbook, Seven Road & Other Poems. And that’s what I want. What’s more, “Has Had Paradise” says something. Has Had Paradise is a curated collection. Is 20 of the best poems I have written so far. I immediately set about creating new cover art.

And voilà.

Like my first chapbook, Has Had Paradise will be printed and hand-sewn to order, available through my Etsy shop (hopefully) before the end of next week, but definitely within the next two weeks.

I also have another piece of exciting news I’d like to share with you. I have closed my Redbubble shop and am working with a local designer/print shop to sell art prints instead. I never realized how exciting it would be to see my work so big. But now that I’ve received my first 24″ x 19″ print of If the Sky Was Made of Oranges, I am completely obsessed.

I am currently selling prints privately and can ship within 3-5 business days. (At some point, I will probably move this over to Etsy, as well.) I’ve also uploaded some fresh designs to my Collage page. If interested, just contact or email: theusedlifeblog@gmail.com.

18 responses to “Has Had Paradise: A Poetry Collection (and Other Announcements)”

  1. Yay! Looks great. I do so love the idea of chapbooks.

    I’m not sure if this is quite the same thing, but when I was in my 20’s I used to write weird little stories and poems and hand stitch them together and gift them to friends. We’d make zines, too. That was when I had loads of creative inspiration, though. ( Times have changed).

    Reading your post here- and the enthusiasm you clearly have for what you’re doing- makes me want to get my shit together and make something. I always enjoy both your writing and your collages, so I’ll have to check out your etsy. Best of luck with cool project!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the wonderful comment! How funny—I used to write weird little stories (complete with crayon-drawn cover art) and give them to people when I was a kid, too. Now, I guess, in some sense, we just do more mature versions of the same thing. At any rate, I have to say, I very much enjoyed designing and hand-binding my first book. It made me feel connected to the project in a special way, and it also makes each book feel (to me) like a little gift.

      That said, it’s been my experience thus far that, while it’s rewarding and fun to publish my work here on the blog, I get a greater sense of pride and accomplishment when I take the extra step of compiling that work into a book and selling it. If you do decide to move forward in that direction at some point (and I hope you do because I very much enjoy your work), I hope you have a similarly rewarding experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The creativity of kids is so inspiring. I think that this is partly why I’m drawn to things like zines and chapbooks. It is, as you say, the adult version of those things we’d do as kids. I feel like I’m staying in touch with my “inner child” when I get to make things with my hands. Or when I see the results of others who do that.

        When I say “when I was young” I did, however, mean that I made these little things when I was in my early twenties. My little group of friends would meet up and drink wine and play surrealist writing games. It was all very artsy 🙂 I miss it SO much.

        Absolutely; I can see how it’d be satisfying and rewarding to take that step to create a beautiful little book which is then available to others in that tangible form. The stuff you have on etsy is really cool, btw.

        Aww, thanks so much for your encouragement. I find myself in need of that these days! You’ve definitely inspired me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, there is nothing wrong with drinking wine and playing surrealist writing games! 🙂 That sounds like great fun. In my life, I’ve had a very small handful of friends I could drink wine and talk art, psychology and/or philosophy with. Those are some of the most cherished memories I have. And I know what you mean about retaining a sense of playfulness and spontaneity when we create with our hands. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy it so much, too. I’m glad you like my Etsy shop, and thank you for the great chat. I hope you decide to move forward with a chapbook. I think it’ll be great! Take care. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so excited to purchase and read “Has Had Paradise”!!!! You had me at “sensual, philosophical and muted” :)…actually you’ve had me forever 🙂 I love your poetry and can’t wait for the release of your newest project!

    And it’s so very cool about your art prints! Well done, my friend 🙂 Your creativity captured on a large scale. Very awesome 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, friend. Your support means a lot. I consider it a blessing that we’ve been able to connect over our poetry and our experiences. 😊 I hope you enjoy the book…and yes, seeing my collages on a large scale is very exciting. It’s always thrilling when we see our work come to life in a new way.


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