Title is Everything: Born-Again Death Wish

Well, title might not be EVERYTHING, but a good one certainly hooks readers. My friend Jim Reese, a poet who teaches at Mount Marty College in South Dakota (and who I interviewed here), emphasized that to me when I was assembling the manuscript that eventually became my second IMG_3884chapbook, Real Boy Blues, in 2013. Jim told me that the title of my poem “Pinocchio in Reverse” was poetry gold. Since then, I’ve given the titles of my poems and poetry collections much more thought.

My new chapbook, Born-Again Death Wish, started out with a wishy-washy title that initially sounded poet-y enough to me. I had printed the manuscript and even had it in an envelope, ready to send to Finishing Line Press, when I impulsively decided to change the title. My thinking was that I needed something that would grab the editors’ attention.

I put the newly named collection in the mail — and then promptly second-guessed myself. Was the new title too provocative? Would it turn potential readers off?

Or would it pique people’s curiosity?

The feedback I’ve gotten so far suggests that people are curious about what Born-Again Death Wish is going to be about. To further pique your interest, the Table of Contents follows:


At Dawn I Stare Down a Raccoon from My Back Porch              

Jesus Eats with Matthew, a Tax Collector                                        

Kingdom Come                                                                                  

Unfed Hunger                                                                                    

A Question of Fire                                                                                  

Father Turning Blue                                                                           

The Barista’s Tale                                                                             

Seventy Times Seven, Plus One                                                         

Concerning What is Good                                                                   

Born-Again Death Wish                                                                     

Some Kind of Karma                                                                          

Deep Spot in the Creek                                                                      


Dream Catcher                                                                                    

Deer Poem                                                                                          

Remote Control                                                                                  

Dry Cleaners’ Blues                                                                           

Bayview Cemetery                                                                             


Epitaph, Early Spring                                                                         


Eve’s Beatitude                                                                                   

The Branch Will Not Break                                                                

The Pastor Parable                                                                             


Born-Again Death Wish is available for order now at Finishing Line Press. Order before April 17 for discounted shipping.


~ by ericedits on February 23, 2015.

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