Certainty is the cage that keeps us safe from curiosity. I've been released from the cage. I am the songbird and I am flying for the window. I know it's closed but I plan on breaking through. – Charlie Coté, Jr. (1987-2005)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chapbook Update

Flying for the Window is my first published collection, poems about my son Charlie, who died of a malignant melanoma in 2005 at the age of 18, right after graduating from high-school and while the front man for a popular Rochester-area band, Fivestar Riot. The chapbook takes its title from one of the journal entries Charlie left behind:

Certainty is the cage that keeps us safe from curiosity. I’ve been released from the cage. I am the songbirdand I am flying for the window. I know it’s closed but I plan on breaking through.

To reserve a copy, click on the cover picture and scroll down to my book listing. These advanced sales will determine the size of the press run so it's important that you place your order as soon as possible, that is, if you'd like the book. Pre-sale period runs from now until October 17th, shipping and handling waived until then, with a ship date of November 17th.

All of my proceeds from the sale of this chapbook will benefit Melissa’s Living Legacy ─ Teen Cancer Foundation. Melissa’s Living Legacy seeks to improve the quality of life for all impacted by adolescent cancer – teens with cancer, their families, friends, and health care providers. For more information, visit http://www.melissaslivinglegacy.org./

Here's what other poets have to say about the book so far:

"Should some poetry break our hearts? Yes, there are heart-breaking things in the world. Can art ever diminish even one-billionth of the pain over the death of one's child? No. Can poetry be heartbreaking, beautiful, and necessary at the same time? Yes, Charles Cote has done that."

—Thomas Lux

“The brave and poignant poems in Flying for the Window speak of grief and the light than can be shed on the darkness that occurs after the death of a child. In image after image—“Morning chill rocks the empty chair on the cottage porch,” “We planted his Sunset Maple, one year ago today, a single Sunset Maple”—Charles Coté pays heartbreaking attention to the slightest details of the beauty that surrounds him and by honoring it, honors the beauty of his lost son. Each image in these intense elegies becomes an illustration in a Book of Hours about the life and death of his child. But the true power of this book is that it makes the life of Coté’s son part of ours.”

—Laure-Anne Bosselaar

"It may be the task of elegy to tell how death breaks us open and still we go on. Charles Cote’s poems in FLYING FOR THE WINDOW pay lucid and loving attention to the world and to loved ones as they go beyond the search for what will sustain into the realm of tragic celebration."

—Gregory Orr

“While ‘there is danger in descent’ and sorrow in such meditation, Flying for the Window moves beyond chronicling the cataclysmic death of the poet’s son to show us that elegy can also be a lyrical celebration of ‘the biggest arc / of his short life.’ Darkly beautiful, the volume itself is a finely made window on loss and its aftermath, the complexities of survival.”

—Claudia Emerson
For more on my son's story, check out: http://www.bostonliterarymagazine.com/win08interview.html