“Out of Nowhere Into Nothing,” Caryl Pagel’s third book, was officially released on Sept. 15.
Credit: Caryl Pagel
“Out of Nowhere Into Nothing,” Caryl Pagel’s third book, was officially released on Sept. 15.

Director of Cleveland State's poetry center unveils new book

Caryl Pagel reflects on writing and what it is like to release a book in the midst of a pandemic.

Caryl Pagel, an associate professor of creative writing at Cleveland State University and the director of the university’s Poetry Center, released her new prose book on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Her book, “Out of Nowhere Into Nothing," is a collection of essays that Pagel wrote and compiled over the span of a decade. 

“‘Out of Nowhere Into Nothing,’ is a book about many artists, places and ideas,” Pagel said in an email interview. “It is about walking, coincidence, community and getting lost.”

The book begins with an essay titled “Lost in Thought,” which Pagel wrote after being inspired by photographer Harry Callahan’s series “Women Lost in Thought.” 

“My writing process is different all the time, but it usually begins with a piece of artwork or text that I can’t shake,” Pagel said.

The coronavirus pandemic caused many artists, authors, singers and more to postpone the release of their projects until 2021; but postponement was not an option for Pagel, though she did not mind at all. 

“Delaying publication wasn’t an option presented to me by my publisher, but I didn’t mind the book coming out now, as strange as things are,” Pagel said. “While it’s disappointing not to be able to travel and give readings, it’s also a time in which people are turning to books for company.”

Pagel said she hopes that readers of this book gain “a renewed love of aimless walks, weird stories, and the long sentence.”

Those interested in purchasing Pagel’s book can find it at the University of Alabama Press, Bookshop or Pagel’s favorite local indie bookstore, Mac’s Backs.