After months of waiting it finally arrived. “A Single Throat Opens,” a lyric exploration of addiction, is now available here! Part memoir, part epistolary experiment, this collaboration (written with Meghan McClure) means so much to me.
It’s my debut nonfiction book and Meghan’s debut book period. I have tried to be as vulnerable and open as possible in these words. I have tried to be honest about addiction, what it looks like, and what it does to a family. Despite the subject, the heart of the book remains filled with love for those who struggle. As a reviewer said, “While the emotional aspect of the book is raw in subject matter, the prose/poetry is so beautifully crafted that it makes the subject matter radiantly alive despite the nature of the thoughts.”
I’ve been able to move beyond some of the conflicts I’ve held onto from my childhood. Addiction is never something in the past; it’s a continuation. I hope in writing this I have been able to continue toward something bright and lovely. I hope I have been able to provide those dealing directly or indirectly with addiction some comfort.
I’m happy to have one of my poems featured on the Crab Creek Review blog! It owes a debt to Kevin Young’s beautiful poems in his “Book of Hours.” If you missed this book when it first came out, I highly recommend going back and remedying that. It is gorgeous.
I don’t know what hunger is for
or what to hunger for.
You can’t give me
any more anymore.
Read the rest of the poem here!
My debut full-length poetry collection “Blood Song” was longlisted for the Julie Suk Award (an award for best book of poetry from an independent or university press) not too long ago and that felt tremendous. It’s an amazing honor to be recognized like that. But equally humbling was the fact Stephen Furlong not only bothered to read my book but felt compelled to write a review of it. Reviewing seems to be an especially thankless genre of writing; I see why hardly anyone does it. Which makes this all the more heart warming to me.
“Vulnerability in Schmeltzer’s writing is one of his poetic strengths,” Stephen writes. As an artist who aims toward the vulnerable, who wants to enact vulnerability not just as craft but as a lifestyle, Stephen’s compliment means the absolute world to me.
Thank you Stephen, and thank you to those involved in the Julie Suk Award process. You all make the writing world a better place.