Along with reading lots of 2016 resolutions, goals, and plans, I’ve read a lot of 2015 summary posts. I even contributed my WordPress summary post.
One of my poet-blogger-friends posted about her poem publications of 2015, which led me to the realization that 2015 is the year that I began to have poems published in competitive venues.
The one poem that I had had accepted in 2014 before joining the Bunn Hill Poets, my primary workshopping group, became available in the spring. The anthology, Candles of Hope, is a fundraiser for the UK charity Topic of Cancer. My contribution had been previously published on my blog. Generally, I don’t put poetry on my blog that I hope to submit as most editors won’t accept previously published poems, but this poem had been one I had written in the middle of the night as a personal cry and had never thought there would be an appropriate place for further publication.
With the help of the Bunn Hill Poets, further sessions of the Binghamton Poetry Project, and the new women’s writing workshop Sappho’s Circle, I was able to refine my poems and match them to publications well enough that I got a number of acceptances in 2015, which was very exciting after meeting with a number of rejection notices previously. Well, truth to tell, currently, too. While I do sometimes write about rejection notices, especially if they come with a compliment or encouragement to submit again, there are definitely lots of rejections when submitting for publication. One of the things I love about the stage of life I am in is that I know I can withstand the rejections and keep on trying. I would not have been so resilient in my younger days.
2015 saw my first appearance in a literary journal, Wilderness House Literary Review. My three poems in the fall quarterly are here.
I am pleased to have developed a relationship with Silver Birch Press. Besides their print anthologies and books, they publish series of poems on their blog, submitted to match their given prompts. I had a poem accepted in five series this year:
All About My Name
My Perfect Vacation
My Sweet Word
When I Hear That Song
Me, During the Holidays
All but one of these were written for SBP. You can hear a recording of my favorite of them “Lessons from Mahler” near the end of this video.
Which bring me to another point in my 2015 poetry story, the Mass MocA/Tupelo Press residency/workshop that I attended in November. It was my first ever experience with a poetry conference of any sort and an amazing, exhausting, overwhelming week. I’m going to be learning from and processing it for a long time. As the inaugural group in the partnership between the museum and Tupelo, we bonded with each other, named ourselves the Boiler House Poets after the setting of the video above, and vowed to have a reunion, which I’m pleased to say has been scheduled for fall 2016. I’m hoping to have the bulk of the poetry collection that is flowing from that experience and my life-long relationship with the North Adams, Massachusetts area finished by then so that the Boiler House Poets can help me refine and strengthen it.
There is one poem that was accepted in 2015 but will be published this year by Eunioa Review. Yes, there will be the usual happy squealing and posting of the link when it becomes available, although it is not a happy poem.
My last sets of poems published last year came through the anthologies of the Binghamton Poetry Project, to which I will be forever grateful for setting me on the path to publication. Our anthologies are not available online, but you can find my contributions here at Top of JC’s Mind, for Spring 2015 and Fall 2015.
Thank you to all my readers who have been encouraging me on the poetry front. 2015 was a breakthrough year for me and I’m excited to see what 2016 will bring.
This (perhaps way too long to be considered jotting) post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January. Join the fun! Find out how here: http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/07/just-jot-it-january-7th-robust/