Xlibris Publishing introduces John Zwerenz, author of Eternal Verse, A Lady Faire and Other Poems, Sonnets of Dusk and Dawn, Visionary Wonderings, and other books.
I began my formal publishing career as a professional poet with Xlibris who published my first 6 poetry books, prior to me being signed successfully to ATLA Books, a traditional publishing house based in London, England. My first published book of poetry, Selected Poems (2011) was basically a collection of my best romantic poems up until that time which I wrote in London and Paris some years prior to its publication. It was followed by Mist And Flame, (2011) a continuity of the first book in nearly every aspect. My third book however, took on other, more esoteric themes such as scholasticism, adventure poetry and theological verse. Entitled Visionary Wanderings, (2012) I received praise from high profile critics in regards to that book in a manner unknown to me before. My fourth published work, Sonnets of Dusk and Dawn (2012) was dedicated exclusively to the sonnet form and dealt mainly with odes and adventure poems with some romance poetry still to be found here and there.
The last two books I published with Xlibris, A Lady Fair & other Poems (2013) and Eternal Verse (2013) were very different thematically. A Lady Fair dealt with varied themes, while Eternal Verse dealt exclusively with the realm of heaven. Living in heaven, what heaven is like, etc, etc. In the later part of 2015 after several years being employed by Emage International Magazine as their official poetry writer, (which gained for my works wide world exposure) I was signed contractually to ATLA Books, a medium sized but nascent traditional press based in The UK. The subsequent three books which they published, Ecstasy And Other Poems, Elysian Meadows and The Gilded Sun were all very commercially successful, especially the second, Elysian Meadows which went on to become a #1 Best Seller on Amazon for all new poetry anthologies shortly after its worldwide release.
As a career poet, and as an individual who always loved verse as long as I can recall, back to when I was a young boy, I had the gift of understanding that for the poet his or her vocation is one of service to the common good of the society or societies he or she is writing for. Therefore the poet should work as a servant for the betterment of society, and not for selfish or egotistical motives. Also, my religious beliefs as a rather militant Roman Catholic has profoundly shaped my outlook on the world as well as my perceptions of the manifold purposes and importance of art. For it is in man’s artist endeavors in which he mimics his Creator to a certain degree who is, after all, the consummate “Artist.” My literary influences were broad in scope, and I realized my calling to be a lifelong poet in my junior year of high school when I read a short, simple but unforgettable work by the 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud entitled Sensation.
I was 17 years of age that spring, and from that day onward I immersed myself in just about any poet of renown that I could find. Aside from the French Symbolists of Rimbaud’s era, such as Verlaine, Nerval and Baudelaire, I also fell in love with the great romantic bards from Victorian England and America such as Byron, Shelley, and especially our own Edgar Allan Poe. By the time I entered undergraduate school at Queens College in New York, I was thoroughly proficient in my own poetic knowledge. Not in just being able to recognize good or great poetry from inferior verse, but in composing great metered, rhyming poetry I started to bloom.
The one message I would like very much to convey to my readers is that it is so imperative for all of us to give meaning, a personal meaning to our suffering in this life. The troubles which suffering and pain have wrought upon the human race since the beginning have been a common occasion for confusion and even despair rather than understanding and solace. One must go through hell to get to heaven. It is just that simple. So do not fear.
I wish to thank Xlibris for the great care they took in publishing my early works and I recommend to aspiring poets to give that company a try if other paths seem to be closed at the time. Keep working at your art with faith in yourself and in your abilities, no matter what bumps in the road may come your way, and you will certainly be a success.
John Lars Zwerenz, New York, 2018
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