Cover Hunting

I have been trying to pull together the pieces that are necessary to go forward with the chapbook and one of those is the cover. The title I have chosen is “Acquiesce.” I’ve flipped through my photo albums here and thought about picking the image of me jumping off the bungee jumping platform in New Zealand… but it is so…. me centered. This collection isn’t really about me. If anything it is about getting me out of the way. So, I decided if there was one image from the book or one poem that I felt would capture that feeling of letting go, giving in to a higher power, driftwood is it.

I have paged through hundreds of images of driftwood (thank you, google image). Pages and pages of chunks of wood. And I keep coming back to the image I snagged from CoffeeWaffle that I’ve used as a header here. It is captivating, complex, tangled – a mess of limbs. It’s great. And there are so many others I’ve paged through on his site hunting for the shot – they are fabulous, if you have a chance to check it out. Anyway, I emailed Murray about the images on his site, and in the meantime have been paging through some more, searching his site for “driftwood”, when I came across this:

“Every time I look at this shot driftwood on Rabbit Island Beach, I can’t figure out how these two logs ‘grew’ like this.” — Murray, in reference to the header graphic above. I just love when this sort of thing happens – the poem, Driftwood, in my chapbook is about exactly this – the melding and merging of wood, people, God, whatever – so that you cannot tell where one begins and the other ends. So, I think that’s it – that’s going to be the cover. Now we’ll see what the publisher thinks 😉

It’s been a great week around here. Things are going well with work, Brandon and I have had a good week at home with the kids, this great opportunity with poetry has made my year, and I am just feeling blessed. Blessed blessed blessed. I have been trying to keep from getting an inflated ego about this book, because every time I look at the poems in it, I can identify what God was doing through the writing of it – I can see his hand moving the poem in the direction of truth rather than in the direction of what I thought was going on. I can see how he spoke into those poems. They are not about me. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the feeling of glory – this feeling that I’VE accomplished something now – look at me! look at me! Not good. I want to only be a vessel carrying the goods and I have to try hard to keep that in front. I’m just a rusty old ship, man. But I’ve got the GOODS.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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