Rome native Francis DiClemente released his first self-published book, and sixth work of poetry, at Amazon.com on April 3.
DiClemente now lives in Syracuse, where he works as a video producer. He just released, “Outward Arrangements: Poems.” His blog can be found at https://francisdiclemente.com/. And he can be found on Twitter: @FranDiClem.
Outward Arrangements is a full-length collection of narrative, observational and meditative poems written in free-verse style and covering such topics as identity, self-esteem, health, family, parenting, advancing age, nature and the evanescence of existence. The work is a journey of discovery, as the author looks both within himself and in the outside world to seek meaning in every-day life.
One section of the book originated as the text in Instagram posts, with the poet sharing his delight in making odd revelations — like finding an empty baby stroller parked on the sidewalk, a pair of Chuck Taylor sneakers left underneath a city park bench and an old pay phone toppled and splayed on the ground.
Here the poet pays close attention to his surroundings, observing things that could be easily overlooked, and using those objects of chance as the starting point for stories. The photos that sparked the poems are included in the collection.
“The primary reason I decided to go the self-publishing route was because I wanted to offer a lower-priced ebook option, which was not available with the small presses that published my previous collections,” said DiClemente. “I think poetry can be read in small bites, which makes it well suited for smartphones and tablets. And through social media, I was introduced to a number of indie authors who launched successful platforms, and I saw self-publishing as a learning opportunity for myself, as well a chance to get my work in front of a new audience.”
Using raw and honest language, the philosophical poems in Outward Arrangements pose universal questions, reflecting on what it means to be alive today and addressing issues and emotions that people wrestle with in their daily lives. In this way, the collection is accessible to a wide range of readers.
“I tend to write shorter poems and I like the challenge of trying to say just enough to make a poem work,” DiClemente reflected. “As far as expressing myself and life experiences, poetry just seems like a natural avenue for me. I start with a line or an image, and the creative spark then takes the shape of lines of free-verse.”
He said, “By paying attention to things around me, mostly while walking, I often feel like a conduit for some force outside of myself. And I feel compelled to write down what I see, hear and feel.”
DiClemente is running an e-Book giveaway on Goodreads for Outward Arrangements, which can be found here: https://bit.ly/3uNd4vl. It runs until May 9.
DiClemente is also the author of: Dreaming of Lemon Trees: Selected Poems by Finishing Line Press in 2019; Sidewalk Stories by Kelsay Books, 2017; In Pursuit of Infinity by Finishing Line Press, 2013; Vestiges by Alabaster Leaves Publishing, 2012; and Outskirts of Intimacy by Flutter Press, 2010.
His writing has also appeared in Narratively, The Millions, Artnet News, Film International, Connotation Press, Primer Magazine, Stone Canoe and in the books “Air: A Radio Anthology” (Books by Hippocampus, 2019), “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength” (2014), and “Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak” (Harper Perennial, 2009).
His full-length stage play, “Beyond the Glass,” inspired by the Edward Hopper painting Nighthawks, was produced by a regional theater in Las Vegas, Nev. in 2017.
He received a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, and earned a master’s of arts degree in film and video from American University in Washington, D.C. He is employed at Syracuse University.