OMGWTFBBQ! Wonderful news, everyone! After 45 rejections, give or take, my full-length collection of narrative poetry, What Magick May Not Alter, has found a home at Madville Publishing and will be released in 2020!
Being as you are one of my Five Loyal Readers, you might remember I wrote about the collection in a 2015 blog post, after my Mom had read it and was horrified. I had no idea that it would be a full three-and-a-half years later before it would get accepted at a reputable press. (Which is to admit, it got accepted at a couple of other presses, but I didn’t have a good feeling about them, not for this book, anyway, so I passed.) Considering that I wrote the earliest poems in 2012—the book will be 8 years old when it comes out next year. I’m so in a different head space now. (But I can slip back into that world, don’t worry.)
It has been an excruciating process, over all, submitting and submitting and submitting some more, only to have the rejections pile up (not to mention all the money I spent on contest and submission fees). Anyone who’s a writer is familiar with this repeated anguish of submission and rejection—I know this isn’t unique to me. A bright spot was the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize, for which it was a finalist, but even that was a long time ago.
I really had gotten to the point of abandoning it—how many times did I hear, “It’s too long” or “No one wants to read a verse novel” or some version of “It’s unwieldy—weird—just a tough sell.” (Like anyone “sells” poetry anyway.)
Even after the divinely generous, brilliant poet Ilya Kaminsky (basically a living patron saint of poetry) read through it and offered suggestions, I was ready to hang it up. I just thought that nobody really understood what I was trying to do, and maybe I should try to publish a more conventional collection of poems first. Heaven knows I have poems enough to spare to create a couple of (oddball) collections. And, I thought, maybe in a few years, WMMNA would be of interest to someone. After I had “proved” myself with a traditional book of poems.
But fortunately Madville came along—it’s absolutely been worth the wait. I’m so excited to be working with Kim Davis, the publisher. She’s been so positive and supportive and I have such a good feeling about this book coming out under her aegis. I’m just so happy.
And I can’t wait for you to read it in April next year…in the cruelest month that will no longer ever be the cruelest month for me!
P.S. I’m available for bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, and you know, just hanging-out-spontaneous-type readings… Just invite me!
P.S. #2 I still have to do a clean edit, and maybe rethink some organization, so it still needs some work, but OMG! So Awesome! Yay!