12 January 2021

A rainy Tuesday, and finally admitting to disappointment.

It's Tuesday of Week 2 in Winter Term at UCC, and I'm already buried in grading. Last week's events in Washington, DC, has made it difficult to concentrate on work--I'm struggling, both with my own writing and with grading and communicating with students.

Fortunately, most of my students this term seem like self-starters. About 8 students across three classes completely checked out for the entire first week of classes--I communicated deadlines in 6-7 different ways, including an email that had a subject line that read "PLEASE READ." Those eight or so students still didn't do the work on time. I was frustrated yesterday, but today I'm moving past it. I have a department meeting on Zoom at noon, then a student meeting after that, so I'm putting most of my effort right now into mentally preparing to be "on" for an hour or two.

Writing is coming along, but I'm seeing a little decline in my motivation since school started back up. I drafted a few rough poems last night, and I hope to work on them some more this week, once I make a bit of headway with grading.

I received the first rejection letter on my book manuscript--I did not win the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. It was judged by Ada Limon, who I admire and whose work I really respect, and I had been hoping I had a real chance there. 

It is important to mention that the editors said that they received over 1000 manuscripts. They also said in my rejection letter that they hoped to see my work again soon. The winner was announced--Natasha Rao--in my rejection letter, so I take some solace in that I wasn't notified a month ago that my work was out of the running. 

That hit me a bit harder than anticipated--I do know that it's a long shot. I'm trying to be more realistic as I wait to hear from other presses over the next couple of months. 

At this point, Kenyon Review still has my work, too. : )

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