Teasing the news on his social media for a week, Montgomery Maxton announced on Twitter today that he’ll release his fourth poetry collection this April.
Shipwreck, which contains an alluring dark blue cover of a nude man, will contain 30 new poems and five previously unpublished poems from the poet’s juvenilia period, a peculiar move for a mid-career poet that repeats a feature from his 2018 book, New and Selected, which contained four poems from 1999, then 19 years old, a time period considered a transition period from juvenilia to young adult for the writer.
Shipwreck will be his fifth book, and his sixth, a short novel, written 12 years ago, is scheduled for release in September. Maxton and his editor spent "many of Zooms" during the pandemic editing the book.
His previous poetry collections, This Beautiful Bizarre and Champagne, were released in 2010 and 2016, respectively. His 2018 retrospect collection, New and Selected Poems: 1999-2018, contained a dozen new poems that were largely overshadowed by the extensive and eye-opening chronology of the poet’s colorful life.
The book’s title comes from a poem included in the book, which was briefly featured on the poet’s popular Instagram stories in 2018.
It will be released in April, which is National Poetry Month.
Maxton tweeted that he is currently working on a new novel that came to him in a fever dream during the 2020 pandemic lockdown in New York City, where he calls home.
Considered an outsider in the American poetry scene, the at-times controversial writer has been focused more recently on writing novels, adding to the surprise element of the announcement of the new poetry collection.
He never gives poetry readings and rarely submits his work for publication outside of his own social media accounts. A journalist once remarked that, “Montgomery Maxton wouldn’t be out-of-place in a Bret Easton Ellis novel," which Maxton quipped "I love American Psycho."
Last week Maxton attended an international poetry reading via Zoom, during which he was briefly placed in the spotlight when one of the hosts noticed him in the audience. Turning on his camera and unmuting his microphone, he greeted his fellow attendees and thanked the host before turning off his camera. Throughout the reading he placed “Heart” and “Applause” emojis in response to the various poems being read.
For many in the poetry community it was their first time seeing him live and a rare glimpse at the enigma that he is.
Shipwreck, Montgomery Maxton's fourth poetry collection, will be released in April.
Referred to at times as the ‘poet laureate of tech’ for his near quarter-century career with tech companies like Google, Facebook, and AOL, Montgomery Maxton used the millennial- and Gen Z-popular platform TikTok last night to elude that a new poetry book may be on its way.
Keeping with the bizarre albeit colorful purpose of the platform, including smoke, rainbow confetti, snow, and flashes, the video seems to indicate that a new book may even already be here.
Accompanied by the haunting theme song of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things, the author of three poetry books, including the “iconic” This Beautiful Bizarre, posted the video Tuesday morning on his newly resurrected TikTok (he left during the China privacy concerns of the platform), which shows a disembodied hand moving his previous three poetry books aside and an empty space that the hand then makes note of.
A description, “can u swim, 1/23/21, 12pm new york time” accompanies the video.
His website, MontgomeryMaxton.com, was redesigned to show the author and his bewitching blue eyes in a swimming pool with an inflatable swan at the same time the video was posted.
Along with page-theming, the same video soon appeared on his wildly popular Instagram and his politically-charged Twitter where he amassed a dedicated cult following over the last decade.
In recent months the celebrated photographer has noted in cryptic tweets that he’s spent the pandemic, including the three-month New York City lockdown, in his Brooklyn apartment writing and reevaluating his life and careers.
As if a 21st-century Emily Dickinson, never giving poetry readings and rarely making public appearances, on Tuesday, January 19th, he’s reportedly to be in the audience of Limp Wrist Magazine’s ‘Dolly Parton Tribute Issue’ via a Zoom launch party, a highly publicized event in the American poetry community.
Since rising to noticeability via blogs in the 2000s decade, Montgomery Maxton has been somewhat of an elusive member of and strange anomaly in American Arts and Letters, passing on submitting his written work to magazines and journals, instead choosing to showcase his writings via interactive social media platforms. The move, at times drawing criticism, has seemed to work well for the business-savvy writer.
In 2010 he launched his own private publishing company, Moon Ice Press, which has subsequently published all of his books, including his 2018 graphic novel The Manhattan Man which sold the film rights to Hollywood two days after publication.
Moon Ice Press will also publish his forthcoming novel Moonlight on the Sunshine Roses. Written in 2009, the novel remained in the author’s private archives for twelve years.
Adding to the surprise element, in a 2018 interview Maxton eluded that his 2020s would be spent writing novels. Although he has noted that he’s “writing a novel that came to me in a dream during the pandemic,” it seems he has as well had his plans rearranged by “the 2020.”
Montgomery Maxton via this website