Saturday, August 5, 2017

Yesterday I learned that my manuscript Songs about Women and Men is a finalist for the 2017 Autumn House Prize for Poetry. In early September, the contest judge, Alberto Rios, will announce the winner.

Songs about Women and Men was a semi-finalist for the Dorset Prize earlier this year, so I am relieved, overexcited, slightly hysterical to learn that it's crossed the line into final running for another prize. As you know, I haven't submitted to many contests over the course of my career . . . mostly because of the expense but also because I miraculously managed to place all of my earlier manuscripts with non-contest-running publishers. Those days are clearly over, however, so I've had to jump into the horrifying sea.

I dislike the contest and submission-fee models, yet like other poets I cannot avoid the fact that they dominate our publishing opportunities. If I don't enter them, I have little chance of placing a book with a national press. What's made this truth less horrifying is you. When I have been underemployed, transient, depressed, overwhelmed by son emergencies, etcetera, etcetera, your donations to this blog have helped me husband a small fund for promoting my work. Without it, I would undoubtedly have continued to talk myself out of participating.

So thank you. To say that I am grateful is an understatement.