Poetry has been a mainstay for me over the last two decades. I am a huge supporter of poetry. I believe poetry is among the last written art forms that speaks direct from the soul of the poet a message conveyed to the world. Poetry is very important in that it is a vehicle of truth and insight as seen from kaleidoscopic emotions, thoughts, dreams of the poet. It is like a magic spell, or an incantation, a shard of their essence. Of course, I have particular view points on certain types of poetry and its discourse, but ultimately, poetry is more direct (even if abstract) in speaking the truth of the soul, the heart of the writer, than a mode like fiction or non-fiction. To that end, poetry usurped my writing in a strong way from my teenage years on through college and beyond. The press I run, Virgogray Press, is a publisher of poetry. I started Virgogray on the D.I.Y. in order to house my own self-published creations beginning in 2003. I self-published my first book of poetry, Sad Height (2005), under the pseudonym Jacob Gray. The costs were huge for a young man of twenty years, but I went through the process, and though my endeavors were unsuccessful by market standards, I learned a lot, and carried on. I even organized, booked, and funded my own reading tour which took me across the great southwest United States. That was truly a worthwhile experience. After that I went on to self-publish several chapbooks of poetry: Limbo (2006), Ghost Roads (2008), and The Terrorist (2009). I was fortunate to have other independent presses publish my chapbooks: Green Tea America was released by New Polish Beat in 2009, and The Winter King, an epic-inspired poem, was released in 2010 by Shadow Archer Press. In 2011, I published This Reality of Man, my most recent poetry collection. I am currently working on a new collection of poetry, and am very excited to finally bring life back into my verse. The biggest take away for myself during this time, however, is that between the years 2007 and 2013, I was heavily involved in the publishing and sharing of other poets work. I released chapbooks, and then collections of poets work, Virgogray releasing just under 50 titles, some of which included poetry anthologies and serials. The majority of my creative work went into reading, selection, editing, formatting, and promoting the work of other artists. And up until 2010 all my publications were hand made by yours truly. Everything the budget of my independent press required came from personal funds. I’ve spent a lot of money, and a lot more time, on poetry and the press. The titles of the Virgogray library are a beaming success and boon to literature, creativity and the artists involved. I have built a library of poetry and poets of which I am proud. While I have scaled down the activity of the press due to time and financial constraints, and importantly because I now desire to focus on my own creativity, I still edit and publish the flagship poetry publication at Virgogray Press called Carcinogenic Poetry. But, even as my eyes return to my first love, fiction and storytelling, you can be forever confident I will continue to churn out new verse, new words, new truths, and you won’t be left thirsty. . .
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