Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Next Step: Big News

The other day I was in my office and my coworkers were discussing their various childhood dreams and the things they wanted to be when they grew up. It's typical for a young kid to want to be an astronaut, a police officer, a pilot, a doctor, or some famous actor or musician. I listened as they named all of the various occupations they once imagined for themselves and then they turned to me. I had remained rather quiet during the conversation because I didn't have much to add. I then said, actually, I've only ever wanted to be one thing and that is a writer.

It's true. From the very beginning, I imagined myself a published author. I had this imagine of myself almost before I could even write. I remember in 4th or 5th grade, we read a book about the underground railroad that was based on the actual history of it around the area I grew up. The author of the book came to our class to talk about it. Afterward, he autographed little pieces of white paper for anyone who was interested. Of course, I was. I hung his signature up in a cabinet I had in my bedroom. Every time I opened the door, I saw his name and thought I want to be a writer just like him and give out my autograph.

Some might think it is sad that my dream hasn't changed. Others might see me as stubborn or crazy, which I probably am. To be a writer in the 21st century is not easy or probably very smart. This is especially true when I realized I actually wanted to be a poet, which complicates things further.

Over the last three years, I've had a lot of writing success. I've had lots of poems published and my work has gotten some nice recognition from many people I admire, but today I'm writing this post to tell you all that my work is taking yet another step.

I just signed my very first book contract. Sibling Rivalry Press is going to publish my first book titled He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices. It will be published on March 15, 2012.

As many of you know, the last three years haven't been easy for me, but they have produced some of my very best work. This book manuscript is almost entirely made out of poems I wrote here in Orlando over the last three years. The book deals with violence and sexuality in various ways and I'm very proud of each of the poems. I'm thankful to all of my friends and to my partner, Dustin, for supporting me, inspiring me, and encouraging me.

I'm extremely excited to be a part of Sibling Rivalry Press. They have been publishing some great books in the last year and they are devoted to presenting poets' work in the very best way possible. I'm joining an amazing family of poets.

This is another step in my journey and I'm thrilled to share it with all of you. I will obviously be blogging about this more and more in the months to come, but right now I'm happy to announce you can all buy a copy of my first book next March and you better do it.

-Stephen (Grateful)


  1. Congratulations, Stephen! I'll look forward to reading it!! :)

  2. Congratulations! This is wonderful.

  3. Congrats! I actually let out a little squeal of glee when I read this. So happy for you and proud to know you and can't wait to read it!

  4. You deserve this, Stephen!

  5. I look forward to reading your new book.

    It's funny, I knew when I was a boy that I was going to be a musician. That has been a constant in my life, even when I worked as a graphic designer for years. I was always playing, and in bands, etc. Now I'm being commissioned to compose new music for a gay men's chorus, and loving every moment of the writing.

    But when I decided to transfer from geology to music school in college, almost everyone tried to talk me out of it. The only one who didn't was the composition faculty who became my mentor, friend, and advisor. Literally everyone else tried to talk me out of it. But I knew it was the right thing, even though it wasn't the best career move. And now I KNOW it was the right thing.