A Baby Picture, Author Photos, & My Second Book has been Published!

so my first book was published in 2008. the book has no author photo (my publisher said i was too ugly). but one day i received an email requesting an author photo. i had just come from the gym so i randomly decided to snap a pic with my computer's 'photo booth,' and this has become my standard author photo:

don't i look like such a cute ethnic baby in that picture! ah, i was so young and innocent and didnt even know that i was entering a poetry world where crazy people freak out about baby pictures. anyhoo, so a few days ago, i was emailed again with a request for a author photo. i had just come back from the gym so i sat down, and snapped another pic using 'photo booth':

do you notice the difference? besides the fact that i'm two years older & two years wiser, i'm holding my second collection of poetry! hot off the press from Omnidawn Publishing! although my book is a Fall 2010 publication, it's available--in advance--from the Omnidawn website here! i hope you will purchase a copy for your reading pleasure.

i've been working on my second book for the past three years and am so excited to share this news with harriet & all you harrieteers! since we've talked about blurbs, here's the first blurb for the book:

from unincorporated territory [saina] continues Craig Santos Perez’s epic investigation of Chamorro culture, language, and identity. It is by turns ferocious and elegiac, historical and lyrical; it is a book of generations, of sedimentary language, of the ability and power to say “us,” of how a human family might actually be claimed. Filled with tidal spaces, broken by waves, garlanded by islands of brilliant attention and sub-surface groundings, Perez’s poem convenes an oceanic poetics. But if the indigenous canoe that sails through the book is freighted with immigration and emigration, colonialism and national piracies, its real cargo remains cultural authority and the incontestable wonder of origin. Ancestors weep and dance to have generated such creative reclamation as this poem achieves. Perez inherits, inhabits… and a great poem flows…

–Aaron Shurin, author of King of Shadows

[to read the other blurbs, as well as the publisher's description of the book, go to my Omnidawn page here]

i must admit, i love my second book. it has a nice weight to it: 136 pages! i have a close relationship with my publisher (who lives like 15 minutes from me!).my favorite designer, jeff clark of Quemadura, did the typesetting and designed the amazing cover:

not only that, but the book was printed by Thomson-Shore, Inc--which not only prints high quality books, but they are also a part of the Green Press Initiative ("committed to advancing sustainable patterns of production and consumption within the U.S. book and newspaper industries and within the paper industry at large").

if you liked my first book, you will definitely like my second book. if you havent read my first book, then that's probably why your life feels so empty.

as always, i need your advice:

how did you transition from your first book to your second? how was it different? did you try to get readings at the same venues that you read at before? during readings, did you read from both book 1 & book 2? did you send book 2 to the same review venues? were you more or less active in promotions? Were there things you thought would happen that didn't? Surprises? How did your second book change your life, if at all? did you start right away working on the third book?

any other advice that you would give to a second book author? any warnings?

as a reader, what do you expect from a second book?


[p.s. no refunds]

Originally Published: February 22nd, 2010

Craig Santos Perez is a native Chamoru (Chamorro) from the Pacific Island of Guåhan/Guam. He is the co-founder of Ala Press, co-star of the poetry album Undercurrent (Hawai’i Dub Machine, 2011), and author of three collections of poetry: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (Tinfish Press, 2008), from unincorporated territory [saina](Omnidawn, 2010),...

  1. February 22, 2010
     Jason Crane | jasoncrane.org

    Congratulations -- great cover!

  2. February 22, 2010
     John Sakkis

    congrats Craig! i'll be ordering a ton for SPD...\r

    and dude...i really love you for this\r

    "i was so young and innocent and didn't even know that i was entering a poetry world where crazy people freak out about baby pictures"...\r


  3. February 22, 2010
     barbara jane reyes

    Craig, first thing: congrats again! Great cover, and I love the author photos; you're consistent, which is great. Next: ask Rusty to submit it for the Laughlin :-) \r

    To answer some of your Q's:\r

    I think of second book as a place to hone in on and build upon poems/themes the 1st book. Certainly you are doing this with keeping the title. \r

    My second book surprised me. \r

    I like the idea of traditions/rituals, so book launching or reading at some of the same places at which you read your first book is nice (of course, not limiting yourself to those venues, but honoring where you started). I think of this as continuing to cultivate those relationships with others in the industry. \r

    As a reader, I am interested in how the author has built upon (or departed from) previous work - in themes, form, music. \r

    Anyway, congrats again, and we'll talk more re: book events.

  4. February 22, 2010

    Congratulations, Craig! But what happened to the coy, over-the-shoulder shot with heart-dotted "i"s? Ah well... ;)

  5. February 22, 2010
     Adam Strauss

    Cheers to the new book! \r
    I prefer the second--current author photo,\r
    better angle/more of your face visible etc--\r
    I hope all's well!

  6. February 23, 2010
     B.N. McDougall

    Hi Craig! \r
    I can't answer your questions from a second book author as I haven't reached that glorious status, yet, but I can tell you that I expect more poetic girth from a second book, as well as a sense of graduated movement or progression in theme or reflection/meditation or craft. \r
    Having loved your first book, and now having read your second book thoroughly (and loving it, too), you've definitely exceeded my expectations on all accounts. Congratulations!\r

    p.s. I can see you have much better lighting now than 2 years ago--congrats x 2 ;)

  7. February 23, 2010

    thanks john! classic indeed.

  8. February 23, 2010

    thanks jason!

  9. February 24, 2010

    thanks roz! well, you know there's only so much i can get away with...

  10. February 24, 2010

    thanks adam!

  11. February 24, 2010

    thanks barbara! i think i will try to read at some of the same places, and then new ones as you suggest. yeah, it's always interesting to me to see those departures or extensions from previous work.

  12. February 24, 2010

    hey b,\r

    thanks for loving both my books! i'm glad you found my poetic girth and graduated movements satisfying. \r

    much love to you!\r

  13. February 24, 2010


    I love the fact that you didn't try to get some cheesy profesional picture done for your author photo. I like how the pics say "here I am, love me or leave me" I love your work! Keep up the good work! \r


  14. February 24, 2010
     Kent Johnson

    >I like how the pics say “here I am, love me or leave me” \r

    Except, Angie, how do we really know Craig didn't affect a pose and click multiple times until he got that “here I am, love me or leave me” Author effect just right?\r

    Answer me that one, Eh?

  15. February 24, 2010
     Don Share

    How come everything's backwards, Craig??!

  16. February 24, 2010

    thanks angie!\r

    kent, where's the trust?\r

    don, i ask myself that everyday ;)

  17. February 24, 2010

    he's being reflective

  18. February 24, 2010
     Kent Johnson


    Why didn't you put a smiley face beside your question to me, too? Why does Don Share always get the special treatment? Bacuase he's the Senior Editor of Poetry magazine?\r

    Where's the smile for me?? :~(

  19. February 24, 2010

    duh. i'll emoticon my way to the top if that's what it takes ;)

  20. February 24, 2010
     Don Share

    Emoticons are so 20th-century... :-|

  21. February 24, 2010
     Don Share

    Not even in a convex mirror...

  22. February 24, 2010
     Henry Gould

    Freudicon studied the effecticon of suppressed emoticons on the humicon psychiton. Today we callicon it Psychitonology. Civilizatticon, he tauticonaught, is a matterhornicon of successfulliconically suppressiconning the emoticons.\r

    I have gradually learned not to expressicon myself with my realicon emoticons. It is very embarassoconical, not to mentionicon inconvenienticon. As you canicon see, my writing has improviconned greatly since thenicon.

  23. February 24, 2010
     Kent Johnson

    :~) X 10!!!

  24. March 7, 2010

    cool head-thingy :)\r

    wearing it while reading...that's funny :D