This is an open book in two senses of the term.
It is open because it is a work in progress. Over the years I have tinkered with most of these poems many times and have revised some of them quite thoroughly. Their publication here does not mean I am done with them.
Yet there are some poems which I have not altered in years, not because they are perfect, but because they reflect my intention at the time I wrote them. Just because I have changed into a different man with the passage of years does not mean I should expunge the traces of my earlier self that these poems represent.
So this open book is a collection of the poems I happened to choose for publication at this time, in the form I happen to prefer at the moment. This book is open in another sense, however. Since the days of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, poetry has been steadily dying as a public art form, because poets, taught to value obscurity and difficulty, have labored to make their verse less and less accessible to untrained readers.
I see little point in creating verse that has no readers except a tiny club who have learned a private code.
Anyone can be obscure -- all you have to do to achieve obscurity is to write incompetently.
To be clear and yet also say something worth saying is what I believe poets should strive for. The first reading should reward the reader. If later readings reveal new insights, so much the better; but if the first reading did not achieve Dryden’s recipe of sweetness and light, why should a reader return for a second pass?
-- Orson Scott Card
The Subterranean Press edition of An Open Book will be the only edition.
Trade: cloth-bound hardcover with full-color dust jacket