keith montesano


First Book Interview with Keith Montesano

Keith Montesano is the author of the newly released and stunningly black and bracing Ghost Lights, his debut from Dream Horse Press. At his First Book Interviews blog, he conducts a series of interviews with writers upon the publication of their first book, detailing the experience and the feeling of the completion of a first work, and I asked him to do the same with his own questions.

How often had you sent out Ghost Lights before it was selected for publication by Dream Horse Press?

I sent the book out 60 times before I received an email from J.P. Dancing Bear telling me that I was a finalist for the Orphic Prize and that the press was able to publish the finalists that year.

Was the title always Ghost Lights? Did it go through any other changes?

A good chunk of the book was my MFA thesis at Virginia Commonwealth University, when it was called About Ravishment. I remember sitting with some friends at a bar near VCU, and when I told them the title of the manuscript I was sending out, which they knew was the title of my thesis, I got some weird looks. I was asked if other titles were kicking around, and I told them I’d been thinking about Ghost Lights. Then I got the looks that said, “I think you found your title.”


September 2nd, 2010 / 11:49 am

Keith Montesano is featured over at Anti-

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First Book Interviews with Keith Montesano

Although I’m not an expert on the poetry of Keith Montesano, I’m sure I’ll be reading his first book soon. I’m told it’s a killer manuscript that’s won all sorts of finalist spots in contests and such. And most of the poems from that manuscript have been published by now in some nice journals. So, it’s just a matter of time.

Unfortunately, that time has been filled with lots of rejection, revising, contest fees, increased postage rates, more revising, querying, and research. Also, I imagine lots of alcohol in there somewhere. I don’t know all the specifics – you’d have to click his blog to see how long he’s been working on this manuscript and to read some funny, if you could call it that, rejection situations. I only know that this whole thing has sort of inspired Keith to seek out other authors with first books, other authors who have gone through the whole process themselves. What follows, then, is First Book Interviews, an interview blog that continues the tradition of Kate Greenstreet. He’s just posted interview #1 with Matthew Guenette, and he soon plans to post interviews with the following people: Paul Guest, Jason Bredle, Mark Wunderlich, Sandra Beasley, James Allen Hall, Jennifer Chang, Alison Pelegrin, Brian Barker, Jericho Brown, and Dan Albergotti.

Author News & Web Hype / 6 Comments
October 1st, 2008 / 10:44 am