Two days ago I received the news that US poet Erik Vatne had passed on about a month back. I have been too shocked and depressed about it to process it. Erik and I became friends on Facebook around 2010, just after I became friends with Yannis Livadas and Subhankar Das. It was Yannis who introduced me to Erik's collection Cartographies of Silence. And Sub published chapbooks by all three of us.
For a while Erik and I were very close, exchanging messages, emails, poetry and music videos almost daily. But about four years ago he abruptly left all social media, and would not even reply to emails. I was extremely worried about his silence, especially given Erik's history of addictions and breakdowns. Finally, I managed to get someone to trace Erik down - he was fine - he just needed to withdraw and get some privacy.
Then a year ago he messaged me out of the blue, thanking me for my concern, but again saying he just needed to get privacy. I decided to respect his wishes and did not reply. Then two days ago came the news of his death. I don't know the details.
Here is an interview I did with Erik just after the publication of his collection Mormon Heroin.