15 April 2021

A rejection, but with a healthy dose of encouragement.

I was just speaking with my mom last week about migraines, and how I don't get them as frequently. I woke up this morning to a nasty migraine that is stubbornly hanging on, despite a few different medication attempts. I have about 45 minutes left in my Zoom office hours for the morning, and then I think I'm going to take some sick time for the rest of the day.

I know it's been about two weeks since I've last posted, but getting my manuscript out to those first book prizes was exhausting, and I've not been generating new work in the last month. I have work out--both manuscripts and small sets of poems--at 60 presses right now, so I'm just taking some time to rest. 

I have received a few rejection letters in the last two weeks, which is usually not something to crow about, but I received a really encouraging rejection email from Pokrbelly Press's Sugared Water. They had five poems of mine for almost six months, and they ended their otherwise standard form rejection with this:

While this particular work was not right for us, we were intrigued by what you're crafting, and would like to see more. Please consider submitting to us in the future.

To be honest, my newer work is a lot weirder than my poetry usually is. It is full-on crone poetry: full of dark fairy tale imagery and ghosts and gardening and being swept out to sea. Porkbelly Press is small--but I think of it as edgy and cool. It's the kind of place I don't often submit, because I tend to think I'm not pushing the boundaries of edgy OR cool. 

Despite their editors' decision to pass on the work I sent, I am immensely encouraged, and I will submit to them again in the future. I think the five poems they read were a bit of a mixed bag, and I look forward to curating another, stronger submission for them in the near future.

On the book front, my chapbook manuscript is still under consideration after being submitted during American Poetry Journal's fall reading period, and my full-length manuscript is still being held with submissions to BOA Edition's A. Poulin, Jr. Award. Those are the last two fall book submissions, and from what I can tell via Duotrope, those two contests haven't sent any rejection slips yet. I believe BOA announces in May. 

I will be waiting for results of the spring first book awards for quite a while, but my submissions at Ghost Peach Press/Birdcoat Quarterly, Trio House Press, and Elixir Press have all moved to "In-Progress" at Submittable. The deadlines for Ghost Peach and Trio House are April 30/May 1, so they're already reading the submissions they've received--Elixir's deadline was March 31.

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