When Did This Happen? Melanie Whithaus


I’ve noticed that I tend to write a lot about the future when it comes t o these blog posts. What I’m going to do with my life in ten years from now, or even what I’m doing in one year from now. Or even what I plan on doing tomorrow. But the one thing that I never thought would happen within a year from now, or especially in a week from Saturday, is my own book signing.

When Robin first mentioned the idea of me having my own book signing, I didn’t understand. I thought she meant that I was running another book signing, like the launch of PAWS, but no. It wasn’t until the second time she mentioned it that I realized she was talking about my own book. She laughed at my face of complete and utter shock, let alone confusion. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would get a book signing for a “silly” chapbook. I don’t even have my own ISBN, and here I am preparing for my own book signing. I have so many friends and family who are asking me for copies of these handmade books. It’s quite liberating. I never thought this simple idea of throwing a chapbook together would lead to this.

I first created a chapbook in my Small Press Publishing class. Our final project was to make a chapbook. Without that class, I never thought making this book would be possible. After my first internship working with SEMO’s small press and taking various classes, I knew I was ready to make my own book, but of course with no inclination that it would lead to this.

Many of the poems in the book are ones that I wrote back in high school. At the time, I was overwhelmed with inspiration. I wrote nearly every day and I never felt the need to go back and edit. I was told that I was a decent writer throughout the years, and the poems in “Enigma” are many of the best I wrote during that time period of my life. There are two published pieces in “Enigma”, the poems “Bluebirds” and “Undertaker”. Both were published with Scapegoat Review back in December of 2012, and ironically unlike the rest of the book, they were written after high school. “Bluebirds” is about an abusive family and the effects it has on each member, while “Undertaker” is about love consuming a person much like death can. “Undertaker” was originally a prose poem I wrote for class. I remember my friend reading it out loud and thinking to myself: “Wow, I write some strange things.” The overall themes of “Enigma” are sex, love, and death, and how the three are connected to one another. According to me, they all influence each other equally and I think that my poems can do the rest of the explaining.

But before I sign off, I just wanted to give a big thanks to Robin for giving me this opportunity. I’ve really enjoyed working with her this summer and this internship has given me some of the best experiences to look forward to in my own publishing career.

My book signing of “Enigma” will be on August 3rd at 1:00PM at All on the Same Page Bookstore in Creve Coeur, MO. Hope to see you there!


One comment on “When Did This Happen? Melanie Whithaus

  1. Congratulations, Melanie! I wish you great success with your book signing and with your publishig career.


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