One of this yearâ€™s unexpected X-mas gifts was a rejection letter from (Will Remain Anonymous) Pressâ€™ 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, wouldnâ€™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 lineâ€” Sincere thanks â€¦ for first acknowledging the poems (and previous versions of the poems) in this book.
You know, Iâ€™ve seen and used the word acknowledgment a few times but never really looked at it dead up solo. Acknowledge. Recognize. See. Accept. Validate. Thatâ€™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, Imâ€™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 itâ€™s only to a small audience, itâ€™s a start and the launch pad for bigger projects. So thanks again yâ€™all and here is to a better New Years.