Monday, February 1, 2010

What a Week

Last week was almost the best week I've ever had as a writer. I had a total of 23 poems come out in 7 different journals. First there were the poems "Absence of Animal Presence," "The Word for What Only 4-Year Olds Can See," and "After the Flood" in Joe and Chenelle Milford's new journal, Scythe, at

That was followed by "Light Falls and Runs Red" in the new issue of The Pedestal at Next was one poem ("Second Chances" and ("All I Want") in each of the two new issues of Waterways, in print only, but info is available at

One of my favorite "blog" journals,, at, then published one of my favorite new poems "Letter to Ahmadinejad," and I published my own poem "Relic" alongside Joe Young's photo "Time Goes By" in Outlook and then in my blog to help promote the Aroma of Art fundraiser going on this month in Hickory. That same day Outlook also published a profile of me written by Ann Fox Chandonnet.

A couple of days ago, Jane Crown released her latest issue of Heavy Bear, at, which contained the poems "Meat Jesus" and "Arse Poetica" and an audio file of me reading 10 of my poems, most of which will be in Paternity, due out in just a couple of weeks. And now, today, Helen Losse has released the February issue of Dead Mule, which includes three of my poems written in honor of Black History Month, "Soundings," "Primer," and "in which the poet speaks as a sixth-grade classmate."

Thank you to each of these editors and to the readers who support these journals.

So why was it just "almost" the best week I've ever had? Because my new manuscript, which I really thought was good, didn't win the contest I had sent it off to, and because like most writers, I suspect, I take the rejections more personally than I do the acceptances. I tell myself to use rejections as motivation, but they still hurt, they still cause doubt, and they still linger in my mind longer than they should. Call me sensitive. Call me insecure. Call me spoiled. Self-doubt is just a tough thing to overcome.


  1. that is an IMPRESSIVE week!
    after struggling to put together a 2nd manuscript, I am scared to even look at the 77 poems i finally selected as possibles. i think it is much harder when a manuscript is rejected than an individual poem, especially if you sent it somewhere you felt you were a good fit :(

  2. I agree with Jessie. And I think we all struggle with the need for more acceptance. I don't know how many people have praised my work but failed to my book. Even people who said they would. Maybe it's the economy. Maybe this. Maybe that. Call me spoiled, too. I just want to sell copies of my book. And to have the manuscript I'm working on scooped up in a heart-beat. (No one has seen it yet, and I'm still adding poems. That is, adding them as I write them.)

    Is this rant week? :)