The (Updated) Scorecard

The Score
Originally uploaded by Koschy

Strike 1- Dropped from the movement workshop.
Strike 2- Did not get some scholarship money that I could have used.
Strike 3- Rejection letter from an anthology of political poetry.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that I submitted poems to a contest over the weekend thus satisfying my monthly quota for submissions.

Still waiting on word from one more poetry prize and also putting together a combined 20 pages of poetry/essay for Kearny Street Workshop and Achiote Press. Both of which have me mildly stressed cuz I am trying to break out of my bad procrastination habits.

Back to the three rejections, I am not really stressing any of them but am a bit curious as to what the anthology of political poetry will look like since I was fairly confident the work I sent in was making a political statement without it standing on a chair with a megaphone crying “I am a political poem.”

Of course the political statement made in the poems regards the Bronx of the 70s which means it may not be considered current but then again I think my work is speaking more about urban neighborhoods and that is gonna stay relevant for quite a bit of time.

This is the one frustrating aspect of submission- not knowing why the work didn’t quite do the job. At least in live poetry you can feel when you lost your audience and (if your aim is not to lose them) you can adjust your set halfway through. Then again, you can also just start relying on personality and humor to get an audience back and who wants to do that all the time?

Join the Conversation


  1. personally (and professionally) i think that it’s cheap to rely on your personality and humor in performance. i see that way too much: mediocre writing overcompensated by theatrics. which is not to say i believe this is true of all performance poetry. but this whole argument of ‘strength of presence’ will only get a poet so far if the writing is not tight. my 2 cents.

    that said, i do see how these kinds of impersonal rejection letters serve as a deterrent for future submissions to other publications. still, that’s the risk a writer takes when seeking publication. i really don’t think a writer can call him/herself a writer without publication credits. again, just my 2 cents on the matter.

  2. Way to stick with it man. Happiness is my opiate of the moment and that shit makes it impossible to get off of my fat and contented ass to do anything.

    I am all about personality and theatrics on the mic….it’s all about the jazz hands son….jazz hands….maybe your political poem needs some sparklers?

    I need to start submitting some stuff….even if only to do something with my writing, since I’m doing it now more out of sense of guilt for not doing it, which is a horrible motive for writing anything, let alone a poem.

    Oh…the address….

    124 Kingston Avenue
    Apt. 1A
    Brooklyn, NY 11213


  3. barb: i’m with you all the way on someone purposefully using theatrics to mask a lack of content but i am more interested in the writer who does that without realizing it. i remain optimistic that that writer will seek a workshop environment that will help them get to the core of their story and present it as poetry and not poetry+(smoke/mirrors).

    deb: thanks for the link. will be coming back to this conception more in the future and looking for examples of poems written as musical score. right off the top of my head, i am thinking of adrian castro, cecilia vicuña & quincy troupe’s work.

    francisco: thanks for the feedback. cant wait to hear more.

    matt: i’m tryin to flip the equation and have political poems imprinted on sparklers! what ya think of that?
    lemme know if ya need any tips on submission, i can send ya to the publishers who have turned me down ;-)
    and yr chapbook is in the mail.

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.