January 17, 2022

The Year of Purple Lawn Furniture is Back in Digital Print

After a 20 year hiatus my little electronic book of poems is back. First published in 2000, this volume has always been digital, but some of the formats the book was originally published in are defunct, as are the operating systems and devices they were designed for (like Palm and Symbian). Sites where the book was originally posted are gone as well.

A bit of digital history

Back at the turn of the Millennium, it was the dawn of electronic publishing, it seemed that poetry was about to become an anachronism. After all, there’s nothing like sitting under a tree on a sunny day flipping the paper pages of a small, analog volume of poems. And it seemed digital was about to bring those days to an end. But that’s not the case. Though we didn’t have smartphones yet, poetry was thriving on this novel thing called the Internet. Poets had discovered a new medium where they could publish for free, even before blogs existed.

Why digital was good for poets

Analog poetry had always been a money-losing proposition. You couldn’t realistically charge what it cost to print your book and mail it. It became obvious to me that digital poetry books would let poets publish and distribute for free, getting their work in front of a larger audience and in the hands of more avid poetry readers.

Why the manuscript was left untouched

Looking back over the poems I was tempted to change some formatting, drop a few poems that seemed dated and add a few more that fit. That’s been a poet’s prerogative ever since Walt Whitman revised Leaves of Grass over 40 years until his death. But the time the poems are set in turns out to have historic value. People will look back at how truly amazing it was that the birth of the Internet happened on the cusp of a new Millennium.

Another factor was that these poems were published when I was 44. So half my life was behind me. In my 20s a friend’s mom who was an astrologer told me many changes would happen in my life about this time. And whether the stars willed it or she did, it turned out to be true. So this is a cryptic autobiography of younger days as well.

Free the poems

It was my intention that The Year of Purple Lawn Furniture in electronic format would always be free. And 20 years later with the reintroduction—it still is. It’s DRM-free as well so it can be read with any ePub book reader. I’ll be working on getting it in other formats, so it’ll likely show up elsewhere and I’ll post links in this article when available. Enjoy.

Download it at iTunes and Apple Books

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