Florida Man: Poems with a Heat Advisory

A lot has changed – both in Florida and my writing – since the original publication of my collection Florida Man: Poems in 2018. To reflect this reality, the publisher of Burrow Press Ryan Rivas asked if I might want to include new poems in an “extended” section for the “revisited” 2024 edition.

I originally thought I might add a few poems to bring some of the book’s themes (like climate change and LGBTQ+ issues) into our current moment. But I’m extra. So, I wrote a whole chapbook worth of material to make the new edition two books in one.

Table of Contents: Heat Advisory

Shutta Crum at the Florida Writers Association describes a chapbook as “a small collection, anywhere between 15 and 50 poems” that “needs to capture the attention of your readers, keep that attention through the middle section and give the reader some satisfaction by the end.”

A chapbook’s poems often center on a theme as they work in unison to pull together threads of these to form a cohesive unit.

At Poets & Writers, Nancy Reddy says the most successful chapbooks “sit deliberately together to create a world” as “their shared concerns, their order, and their relationship to one another make something greater than the sum of their parts.”

Table of Contents: Heat Advisory

I approached the sequence of poems for this chapbook addition, titled Heat Advisory, with a similar impulse. The poems connect to the original work and build on it through callbacks to previous lines/ideas or images.

I’m interested conceptually in the poetry sequence as a connective device and practically to satisfy readers who move through the poems in order.

Essentially, I want the poems to dance on an individual level. But I’m also excited about the possibilities of what they can do for readers when they step in sequence together at the party.

image via Tombolo Books

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