The Next Big Thing

Thanks so much to Dean Rader for tagging me.

Here's my Next Big Thing

Author: Judy Halebsky

What is the title of your book?

Tree Line. (forthcoming from New Issues in the fall of 2014)

Where did the idea for your book come from?

From a long line of nature poets, mountain aesthetics, and travelers keeping diaries.  And from sleeping on a porch in the Sierra Nevada and Hakusan. The title references the natural world and names the dividing line between where there is enough oxygen for trees to grow and some wind swept other side. The word line points to the poetic lineage that I am writing myself into with these poems.

What genre does your book fall under?


What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

For this one, I’ll have to choose characters from novels. For the female lead, some combination of Bridget Jones, Elizabeth Bennett and Fujitsubo (who, seduced into infidelity by true love, cuts her hair and becomes a nun.) There’s also a mountain hermit, like the 1950s fire-watcher poets, and a clairvoyant, of course.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Girl uses dictionary, geology textbook, and Basho’s travel journal to try to make sense of the world.

How long did it take to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Six years.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The poems are working with ideas of song and series. Basho’s teachings on haiku inform some of the aesthetics concepts in the collection. There’s also a number of poems in conversation with poets such as Adrienne Rich, Emily Dickinson, Brenda Hillman, Issa, Li Po, Dean Rader, and Robert Hass.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Published in print copy by New Issues and traded by me with anyone for anything they can bear to share.

These great poets are tagged for next week are:

Giovanni Singleton

Dawn McGuire

Susan Elizabeth Sweeney