TRURO – Scott Andrew Christensen will travel across an ocean to host a book launch in his native town.
Christensen, who lives and works in Saudi Arabia, is publishing the first collection of his poetry – the boundaries of return – and will be back in Truro this summer for a launch.
“I guess I’ve been writing poetry for almost 15 years,” said Christensen, who still has siblings in the area. “If I were to graph the amount of time I’ve spent writing poetry over that span there would be a spike during my time in New York City with another plateau when I was in Istanbuil from 2008 to late 2010. I didn’t really think about submitting poems to journals and magazines until 2011 when I was encouraged by George Messo, a very talented translator and poet in his own right.”
Since then, Christensen has had his poetry appear in the Poetry Salzburg Review, The Fiddlehead, The Comstock Review, Contemporary Verse 2, PRISM international and The Dalhousie Review.
“Oddly, the poetry has been a by-product of my first love, which is fiction. Fiction was the reason I wanted to study creative writing. I’ve produced three manuscripts and a handful of short stories, but none of these have been published. In between crafting fiction I turn to editing the poems I have “on my desk” at that particular time,” he said, noting the actual inspiration or moment the first few words quicken can hit you at anytime, anywhere.
When he first started showing his work to Messo, Christensen said his goal was to then have five to 10 poems accepted for publication and supplement them with enough work to form a book.
“So even though the time it has taken to amass the poems has been lengthy, the road to publishing ‘boundaries’ once we started narrowing down the selections has been a surprisingly and unexpectedly short process,” he explained.
Teaching English as a second language, the Truro native has had the good fortune of traveling to many countries, which is where most of his inspiration comes form.
“Walking along the backstreets of Istanbul or Bangkok, or strolling down 5th Avenue with a notebook and pencil waiting in your back pocket or backpack can provide all the inspiration needed to scribble a few words,” he said.
Alongside teaching and writing, Christensen, who is married and has two children, spends some time playing softball, in the spirit of his late mother who was a pitcher on the Truro Arcade Slugs in the early 1950s. He also plays a bit of tennis, having lost his first tournament last month, and still dabbles with 35mm black and while film photography.
With both of his parents deceased, Christensen said if he could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, he said he’d want to sit down with his mother.
“I need to know if she really threw a knuckleball,” he said. “Otherwise it would be my father, because I would want him to see the book. I would lay it beside his lunch and, after asking for some tea, he would head outside to fix the car, or go downstairs to work on an antique in the workshop – then I would know that everything was alright.”
‘the boundaries of return’ will be available from amazon.com and bookdepository.com on June 30. Christensen is hosting a reading and launch of the book at Roadside Willies on Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. The event will also feature Christensen’s wife, Yeliz, performing some jazz standards.