Press Release: Principles of Belonging


Red Dashboard, LLC Releases Principles of Belonging, a Book-Length Poem by Joshua Gray

November 22, 2013 — Red Dashboard, LLC Publishing is pleased to announce its release of Principles of Belonging by Joshua Gray, a book-length poem written in many different poetic forms, including sonnets, free verse, modernizations of several different ancient forms, and a ballad.

The poem, based on true stories about Gray’s parents and parents-in-law, follows four children who struggle for a sense of belonging that continues to elude them even in adulthood. Their lives come together despite large geographical differences and debilitating childhood experiences that include alcoholism, Indian Partition, poorly located hernias and a father with a big secret.

Joshua Gray was not satisfied with earlier prose drafts of the story, and then had the idea of a book-length poem. After reading several other book-length poems he realized there was no standard structure for the genre, and was then able to put his creativity to good use. Gray was inspired to write the book because, he says:

“In my twenties I noticed three common themes that ran through my parents and parents-in-law. First, there was a lot of travel, such as moving due to Indian Partition, being the son of a diplomat, and moving to another world altogether. Second, there was a lot of love for food in the family; all four parents were culinary students and masters in their own way, and so I grew up with a desire to cook good food. Third, they all had difficult and somewhat uncommon childhoods, but with very interesting stories that I felt needed to be told, even if fictionalized.”

Gray was excited when Red Dashboard, LLC decided to take on the project, because he had a previous working relationship with its Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Akin Stelling.

Stelling says about the book,

Principles Of Belonging is a unique piece of literary work, one Joshua Gray is very capable of handling and writing, since he wrote a poetic adaptation of the Beowulf epic. It is a wide portrait of his family life and its members. His book is not a work of dysfunction, as in most family tales, but is a work of threads, weaving in and out of life and on a rich canvas of Sanskrit form.”

Red Dashboard, LLC Publishing is a new small press, publishing authors within its house of three ezines: Z-composition, Cowboy Poetry Press and Annapurna Magazine; its first books, published in October 2013, were Mogollon Picnic by Rodney Nelson and Night-Crawl by M.V. Montgomery — two poets and authors who have many awards and titles behind them. Red Dashboard, LLC Publishing hopes to see Joshua Gray as another poet with an award winning book.

Joshua Gray is an internationally published poet whose poems have been published in many journals and magazines. He was the DC Poetry Examiner for for two years where he wrote reviews of books by local DC authors as well as reported on the local poetry scene. His book Beowulf: A Verse Adaptation With Young Readers In Mind was published by Zouch Six Shilling Press in 2012 and he is the editor of Pot and Sticks, a collection of poetry by Charles A. Poole. He currently lives in India.

Principles of Belonging is 166 pp and can be ordered from Red Dashboard LLC. It will be distributed to major online retailers in the near future. Contact Joshua Gray for more information on the book and Elizabeth Akin Stelling for more information on the press.

Joshua Gray

Red Dashboard, LLC Publishing
Elizabeth Akin Stelling