One of this year’s unexpected X-mas gifts was a rejection letter from (Will Remain Anonymous) Press’ poetry chapbook contest. A part of me is cool with this. I know the game and it boils down to the fact that there will be winners and losers and this time around I was not one of the winners. Kurits Blow summed it quiet succinctly: And these are the breaks.
Another part of me is kinds mad that I went through the time, trouble and environmental waste of putting together a SASE. Hey, if all you are going to do is send out a form letter, wouldn’t it be greener to give folks the option of an e-mail response?
Another part of me is smiling at the evolution of the Bronx Projects kid into a full fledged Nor-Cal Tree Dapper. Dap: a man hug. Shoulder dap: a true man hug. Tree Dap: not a full hug but a sign of eco- respect. Word.
And there is the part of me that is wondering why I spend energy, not to mention cash, on these contests. The answer came to me as I was reading through Wind In a Box and even before the poems hit I see this line— Sincere thanks … for first acknowledging the poems (and previous versions of the poems) in this book.
You know, I’ve seen and used the word acknowledgment a few times but never really looked at it dead up solo. Acknowledge. Recognize. See. Accept. Validate. That’s what it all comes back to. Hitting open mics, hustling for features, slamming, submitting, applying for fellowships, querying, blogging. All so that folks can acknowledge me as a writer.
Well, Im’a flip it a bit and acknowledge folks who read this blog on a regular basis and the folks who leave comment for recognizing this process of not just becoming a writer but also trying to contribute something unique to American letters. Even if it’s only to a small audience, it’s a start and the launch pad for bigger projects. So thanks again y’all and here is to a better New Years.