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  • Writer's pictureJan Carroll

My New Book Is Out!

My new book, Self-Portrait in Scraps of Paper, is out! While many of the poems address the various aspects of how we are made up of several selves—and how we interact with others who are also made up of several selves—some are simply stories or happenings from daily life retold in a poem. Some are funny, some are sad, some are (I hope) uplifting, and some are challenging. With fifty-two poems in all, you can read them all straight through, jump around as you wish, or spread them out, savoring one a week for a year!

Charlie Schaefer so well describes my writing process in his article “Poet Jan Carroll’s Latest Collection Is a Self-Portrait of Sorts,” in the arts journal Volume One. I’m grateful to Charlie and to Volume One for featuring this review and getting the word out about the new book.

I had a blast doing a reading to launch the book on April 11, 2023, at Artisan Forge Studios in Eau Claire. Kelly Speros and everyone at Artisan Forge Studios were wonderful hosts and provided a beautiful setting for the reading. I encourage you to visit them and check into their many exciting events.

Artist Terry Meyer did a great job sharing his insights into his art-making process and what art is to him in the first Artist Spotlight. At each future event of mine at AFS, I hope to feature one artist who creates there, so my readers can become acquainted with the marvelous variety of talent going on there and hopefully be reminded of it when the time comes to purchase a great gift for someone or add just the right art piece to a spot at home or at work.

Charlie Schaefer expertly ran the book table for me.

Sweet Driver Chocolates café provided a great cash bar.

Julie Majkowski graciously brought and ran her sound system for the event AND filmed the whole thing. Here is a five-minute clip of two poems, one memorized and one read, along with a brief explanation of the theme of the book. If you’d like to view the entire reading, here is the first half (about half an hour) and here is the second half (about half an hour). Terry Meyer’s gorgeous art can be seen arranged behind me! The event begins with an introduction from Kelly at AFS, followed by Terry Meyer’s art talk. Then I present several poems from this new collection. The last fifteen minutes or so, I tell about three ongoing/upcoming projects I’m working on and I even sing (with a fairly worn-out and dry voice) at the very end.

Ruth Lovejoy, JoEllen Burke, and Dan Zerr kindly agreed to each read (and did so very well) a short quotation about the Self during the event.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my work through the book and through the reading. And I’m very grateful for everyone who has been and continues to be so supportive of my writing and encouraging to me as I walk that path. It was so heartening to talk with folks afterwards and hear how the work touched them and connected with their own experiences and endeavors.

How would YOU create a self-portrait? What materials would you use? What would it say about you?

The book can be found locally in The Local Store or on their website and at the gift shop in Artisan Forge Studios.

Thank you!

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