Beth Spencer of Bear Star Press asked me to reflect on the concepts, characters and composition of The Kilim Dreaming and The Spear Lily (as well as the third poem in the trilogy/triptych, The Wire Garden, which inhabits its own separate book). You can read the resulting essay on her blog There’s a Bear There:


The Kilim Dreaming is now available from Small Press Distribution, directly from Bear Star Press, or signed/inscribed from me. Booksellers interested in discounted orders should contact SPD, or Beth Spencer at Bear Star Press. The retail price is $16/$20 Canada; standard bookseller discounts apply. Also possible to obtain Kilim from Amazon (last resort).

I can offer a single signed/inscribed copy postpaid for $16 anywhere in the US.  Two or more signed copies will be progressively discounted.

The Wire Garden, my Arlo Press companion book to The Kilim Dreaming, is also available as signed/inscribed copy. The Wire Garden is a clothbound limited edition that contains the third part of a trilogy begun in The Kilim Dreaming, and is available (signed/numbered) for $20 anywhere in the US. You can have a copy of both books together for $35 postpaid. Contact me here or at rohilong [at] gmail [dot] com for more details.

Kilim Dreaming jacket

Wire Garden jacket

The Kilim Dreaming originally included “The Wire Garden,” a sequence about my father’s last days juxtaposed with with the events of a summer when I was 15 and he was 46. Beth Spencer and the other Bear Star editors decided they preferred “An Indefinite Sentence of Exile in Florence, Massachusetts,” and I concurred. But I had also been looking forward to presenting my mother with a book containing “The Wire Garden,” since at 88 her reading days are numbered (as she’d be first to admit).

My timely solution was to create a book at that includes “The Wire Garden,” plus a number of other elegies for my father that were first published in Poetry, Seneca Review, Diagram, Del Sol Review, Whiskey Island, Cream City Review, and the Duke Medical Center health Arts Network. It’s a handsome cloth book of 40 pages, and retails for $21. You may order it directly from, but if you’d like a signed/inscribed copy, contact me here or at rohilong[at]gmail[dot]com. also offers the PDF for $2.74. Follow this link for more info:

Advance review copy, The Kilim Dreaming

Here’s a look at a draft of the front/back cover for The Kilim Dreaming, which should come out from Bear Star Press in California in September. Advance review copies are going out now, and if you’d like to review a copy this summer or fall, contact me. Distribution will be through Small Press Distribution of Berkeley, and of course you’ll be able to find copies in the tentacles of the giant octopus (Amazon). The book will retail for $16 ($20 Canada). Signed copies will be available through PayPal, too, with email invoicing, for approximately $2.00 more per single book: contact me here, or at rohilong[at]gmail[dot]com.

The Kilim Dreaming, slightly over 100 pages, consists of four long poems: “The Book of Joel,” “The Spear Lily,” the title poem and “An Indefinite Sentence of Exile in Florence, Massachusetts.” One of these (“The Book of Joel”) is an elegy and sonnet sequence; “The Spear Lily” and “The Kilim Dreaming” are also sonnet sequences, but are narratives about the romantic (dis)illusions found in the quest for an elusive earthly paradise. “An Indefinite Sentence of Exile in Florence, Massachusetts,” however, is in the Monty Python tradition–and now for something completely different (cue laugh track).

Portions of The Kilim Dreaming were published in Cream City Review, Del Sol Review,The Water~Stone Review; special thanks to Howard Junker of Zyzzyva for printing entire “An Indefinite Sentence of Exile in Florence, Massachusetts,” and to Ellen Dudley of Marlboro Review for printing most of “The Book of Joel.”

PS: if you zoom into the cover, you can hunt for the final typo we caught before the launch of the ARCs.

Recent good news: my MS of three long narrative sonnet sequences, plus one sonnet-sequence elegy, was taken by Bear Star Press in California as the winner of the 2010 Dorothy Brunsman Prize. The working title is The Kilim Dreaming. Go to for more prize/publication/ordering details.

The three narratives explore the Eden conundrum–how do you create or sustain companionship after you’ve been kicked out of paradise?–with three pairs of people, none as conventionally paired as Adam & Eve. They’re contemporary stories set in San Francisco, North Carolina, and Antalya (Turkey), and each involves some sort of garden. The 19-sonnet elegy, “The Book of Joel,” is for the son of friends who died just shy of his 19th birthday.