Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Terrapin Books Publishes Its First Book: The Doll Collection

Click Cover for Amazon
I’m pleased to announce that the first book from my new press, Terrapin Books, has just been released. The Doll Collection is an anthology of poems, the first-ever collection focused on dolls. Our first submission period resulted in an amazing number of submissions, so many that selection was very difficult. But I’m satisfied that the 88 outstanding poems by 89 outstanding poets make for an exciting and varied collection. Poets include Patricia Fargnoli, Ann Fisher-Wirth, David Trinidad, Richard Garcia, Cecilia Woloch, Michael Waters, and Alice Friman. Visit the website to see the entire list of poets.

I’m also very pleased with the cover. I initially had a cover image that I found on Fotolia. The image included some antique dolls in front of a dollhouse, but, while I loved the image, it just wasn’t working out in the cover design. So I went back to Fotolia, uncovered the photographer’s name, and googled him. The Google search led me to Emanuele Mazzoni on Facebook. It turned out that he lives in Italy. So I private messaged him at Facebook and asked if he had any similar images. He had many and was happy to send them to me. I fell in love with the one you see on the cover. The photo was taken at a doll museum in Provence, France.

Poet Nicole Cooley provided the Introduction and it’s wonderful. Dolls have an intriguing history and play a significant role in our lives—and not just the lives of girls. As Nicole writes,

          This wonderful anthology of poems Diane Lockward has edited asks us to 
          rethink dolls. Not just toys, dolls signify much more than childhood. Dolls 
          shape our thinking about the female body, about race and class. Dolls influence 
          our understanding of childhood. Symbols of perfection, they both comfort 
          and terrify. . . .They are replicas, simulacra, souvenirs and secrets. They 
          are objects we recall with intense nostalgia but also bodies we dismember 
          and destroy.

At this point I’ve sent out all the contributors’ copies and am planning some events. The official book launch will be on Sunday, July 17, at my local library in New Jersey. The librarian is working on lining up a doll exhibit to accompany the reading. One of the poets has offered her doll collection for loan. Several of the poets, it turned out, are also collectors. Save the date if you’re anywhere near West Caldwell, NJ. Right now it looks like we’ll have 15 poets joining this celebratory reading.

I hope you’ll pick up a copy of The Doll Collection. As many of the contributors have noted, the book also makes a great gift.

Nicole ends her Introduction with this invitation:

          The Doll Collection shows us that dolls are windows to other worlds.

          Dolls are portals to our pasts and to ourselves.

          Dolls open the doors to our imagination.

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