“Mortal Beings,” my first book of poetry, is now well and truly launched into the world. And I’m even more in love with it than I was when it was first accepted for publication.

The launch celebration was held at Enso House, our island’s end-of-life care residence for people with terminal illnesses. There couldn’t have been a more appropriate venue; some of the poems in the book were actually written at Enso House, where I’ve served as a volunteer caregiver for many years.

The huge Enso House dining table was relocated and the dining room became our “salon.” We had just enough seating for the twenty-five who came to hear the poems, discuss the writing process, and nibble on the fabulous snacks that friends provided.

Long ago I learned that poems are meant to ingested in two ways: reading the words on a printed page, and hearing the words spoken aloud. In each way a poem enters the receiver through a different sense. And each way allows a poem to lodge in the body of the receiver in a different manner as well.

My preference always has been to let a poem in through my eyes, to savor the words and the construction, to see how the poem is laid out on the page, to think about its message. But it’s also wonderful to let go to the voice, to the cadence, and to the meaning the poet bestows through their particular emphases.

So if we get to read a poem AND hear it read to us, the poem becomes a much richer experience.

But there is yet another dimension to poetry. I discovered it at the book launch, and at the readings that have followed in its wake. It is another element that rises in the space surrounding the reader and the listeners. Is it the chemistry of pheromones? Is it the physics of electrical vibration? Some other kind of invisible energy?

Oh heck, let’s just call it magic. It is a spell, almost palpable, shimmering just on the edge of sensibility. It is cast by combining the receptive presence of listeners with the words carried by the author’s voice. This magic spell enables a poem to become more than it was in the mind of the poet, more than it seemed to the publisher, more than it could ever be on the page. It makes the poem become a living being.

Now that I’m aware of it, I want that magic replicated! I want it to happen once again, twice again – often – and in a variety of venues. It feels to me as if that magic spell just might contribute to replenishing the dwindling supply of JOY in our world.

Hint: if you’d like to become a part of the magic, I’d welcome your facilitating a connection with your book club, discussion group, library, favorite bookstore, place of learning or worship or healing.

Here’s to the joy of speaking poetry!

[I’ve had this cartoon on my office wall for ages, and don’t remember its source – probably “Funny Times.” I’ll be happy to attribute it correctly if anyone knows the source.]

Mortal Beings, a new collection of my poetry, is being published this May by Finishing Line Press of Georgetown, KY. 

Not surprisingly, the favor I’d like to ask is that you purchase a copy or two. And the favor is even more than that – I’m asking that you PRE-purchase copies before March 15, and here’s why:

It used to be that when an author’s manuscript was accepted, the publisher took over everything from that point on – all editing, interior design, title, cover design, press-run decisions, promotion, marketing, and probably a few things more that I’m forgetting now.

Those were, perhaps, the good old days. That system was far easier for the author who had less responsibility for the finished product. It was also more frustrating for the author, who had little further to say about the processes that created the book.

Now, especially with the smaller presses that currently publish poetry, the author is much more engaged in creating the book. For Mortal BeingsI got to choose the book title, the cover illustration (a wonderful abstract photo by my friend Corrine Bayley), the organization of the poems.

I’m also asked to participate in the promotion for the book, and here’s the benefit of your favor to me: The more books you and your friends buy during the two months of pre-sale, the more benefits the author (that’s ME) gets from the publisher – more author’s copies, more review copies, more promotional efforts by the publisher, more submissions for awards and recognitions.

If we can tally up 155 pre-publication sales of the book before March 15, I will be well-compensated and very pleased. And my poems will move further afield, making their way into the hands of those who appreciate moving, well-told stories.

Please link with  and click on either “Preorder Forthcoming Titles” or “Bookstore,” then input either Cynthia Trenshaw or  Mortal Beings  in the search box. Mortal Beings  costs $14.99. If you have friends or family who would be interested, please forward this blog post to them as well.

THANK YOU for considering a preorder of Mortal Beings. And thank you for tolerating this month’s totally self-serving blog post.

Other recent publishing news for me:

Five of my poems are in the January 2019 issue of the gorgeous online literary journal called “Peacock Journal.” They are at:

And the Winter 2018 Issue of “Redheaded Stepchild” magazine carries my poem entitled “Prism.” It can be found at:

This is an important time for me in my writing career, and I’m grateful to you for your enthusiastic support. Please let me know if there is a way I can reciprocate in the days ahead.