8/8/11

Self-Publishing Two Collections: 'Pseudo-Masochism' and 'How Much the Jaw Weighs'

For various reasons, I’ve decided to self-publish my once-forthcoming collection of love/sex-themed prose/poetry, Pseudo-Masochism. A chapbook-length version of the manuscript was accepted by Medulla Publishing late last year to be published this past February, but that has not worked out as I’d hoped. So, I’ve decided to expand the original chapbook manuscript into a full-length collection and publish it myself.

I'm releasing it under the name of my own make-believe 'house', Anonymosity Press (a portmanteau of "anonymous" and "animosity," like being upset no one knows who you are—melodramatic, though apt for self-publishing...), a press I made up years ago while self-publishing handmade chapbooks to give out at readings. If you like love and (occasionally perverted) sex—which I think most of us are biologically obligated to (I can't be the only one)—, you'll maybe enjoy this collection. The cover art was done by my friend, Kenny Dumas. Here's what a few writers I admire have said about Pseudo-Masochism:
Pseudo-Masochism blends bodies together—sexually, cognitively, playfully—to express insecurities, joys, and hopes. The word weapons in Beeny’s arsenal are on full display here, and his greatest feat—and finest irony—is exposure: Beeny blasts the spotlight on his timid narrator who then raises his shyness like a gold crown, flinching, unflinching, eyes adjusting to the brightness.”

Mel Bosworth, author of Freight

“Eric Beeny says loads in a small space. His writing amasses more and more meaning through the repetition of objects and themes, culminating into something that speaks to the difficulties of sexual intimacy, any sort of intimacy, and maybe just intimacy with himself. Eric Beeny is a goddamn delight.”

Brandi Wells, author of Please Don't Be Upset

“Yes, there is some sex in Pseudo-Masochism, but it is writhing with themes of love, hate, self-worthlessness and a smattering of oedipal undertones. Beeny’s hand is steady and delicate and writes with penmanship that punctures like a tattoo artist’s needle. This collection made me want to tell someone, everyone, that they are worthy of love—my hands shaking their shoulders.”

xTx, author of Normally Special
I've also decided to self-publish my collection of socio-political poetry ("Poultry" [chicken-shit scribblings], as I've called it in the past, written mostly from 2001-2006, during the Bush Jr. administration [my early-to-mid 20's]) called How Much the Jaw Weighs. I've had some close calls, but it's been hard finding a publisher for this manuscript. (For example, Melville House wrote a detailed, page-long response explaining that they really liked it, but they ultimately couldn't accept it. It's those personalized close calls that are almost worse than flat-out, form-letter rejections...)

Many people feel poetry and politics are/should remain mutually exclusive. I don't. That's a whole other thing. Poems from this collection have appeared in lots of journals, both in print and online. Those editors liked and published these poems. People at readings I've done (readings I've done—not people) liked these poems. So, it feels safe to assume people who would read and enjoy this book do actually exist. If you're a left-wing atheist/humanist who likes wordplay (I can't be the only one), this is maybe the poetry collection for you.

I hope, if you're reading this, you'll consider purchasing either of these books (they're available now—why bother with a lengthy promotional process?), or any of my other books that have already been published by more legitimate presses. (You can also read my free e-books, Milk Like a Melted Ghost, The Dying Bloom, Ox Crossing Drawbridge, Gargling Cinderblocks and Watering the Fires [where you can read poems from How Much the Jaw Weighs].)

Self-publishing is, of course, frowned upon, but then I—as I'm sure most self-publishing authors do to justify their diversion from accepted (pun intended) publishing outlets—think about the many 'big-name' authors who published their own work (either because no one else would, or they just wanted complete control of their work): Twain, Joyce, Whitman, Woolf, cummings, Pound, Stein, Proust, King, Knott, and the list goes on. I'm not comparing myself to any of these people, my writing to theirs, only saying that, if you took the chance and scooped up a copy of Pseudo-Masochism or a copy of How Much the Jaw Weighs, you'd maybe find something, however small—if only a line—, you'd be happy you didn't miss out on. Thank you for your time.

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