If I wanted to cover 2012 with one word, it would be change. I'm at a completely different place than I was twelve months ago. Most of that change was amazing.
2012 will be a year that I'll always remember. My first book came out in March and it's been an unbelievable experience. I was truly humbled by the reaction to the book and all the support it received. Being a part of Sibling Rivalry Press has been a true honor. I'm amazed by all the talent that Bryan Borland is bringing to light. It was a nice surprise to be the top selling book of year for the press. It was also a complete shock when my book made the contemporary poetry best sellers list in August. To be on a list with so many poets I admire was one of the highlights of my year. I hope 2013 will bring more sales and surprises for the book.
It was fitting that I officially launched my book in NYC at the Rainbow Book Fair, because in October I moved to New York. This was a move that took a lot of planning and effort, but has been well worth it. Living here is so different than anywhere else I've lived. I feel like I'm in the right place to keep pushing myself and my work as a poet and teacher. It's been just a little over two months and I'm completely in love.
This year also marked my 30th birthday, which was celebrated here in NYC with my loving partner. I'm actually excited to be 30 and moving into a new decade of my life. It will be a full of new adventures and experiences.
Besides my book, my work has also appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies throughout the year. My poem "This Side Up" was nominated for a Pushcart for appearing in Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience. I'm also nearing completion of a second poetry manuscript called A History of the Unmarried. I'm also currently serving as Poetry Editor for a new literary magazine called Animal. Outside of poetry, my essay "A Tale of Two Closets" about being a gay atheist was accepted for a forthcoming book by Columbia University Press.
In my personal life, I celebrated nine years with my partner, who helped make our move to NYC happen. As I said, most of my year has been good. A lot of work, but good. My mother, however, was diagnosed with a form of leukemia this year, which has been my low point. She's doing well, but it's been challenging for my family.
In the end, 2012 truly changed my life. Completely. I don't know what 2013 will hold, but I'm ready to find out. I'm here in a city I've always longed to be in for New Year's Eve. I won't be in Times Square, but I'll be celebrating not only the prospect of a new year, but all that I've accomplished in the last one.
Happy New Year!
Stephen (Glass in Hand)