Saturday, November 28, 2009

One of Those Days

Holiday has been tough on ,y writing. Just taking notes and reading. No formal, prolonged session at the keyboard. Too much company around for that. Of course, in the middle of this three- or four-day layoff, I get a chapbook mss. rejected by Big Table Publishing. Adding insult to injury, I paid a $15 reading fee, too. Not money well spent. I originally sent 8 poems, for which the editor/publisher went crazy. The editor asked me to send more before making a final determination. These tipped the balance to rejection. The editor -- named Robin, so I don't know which pronoun to use, he or she -- said he/she couldn't understand them. Apparently, he/she wanted a traditional narrative resolution to the poems, character-driven scenes, etc. Or else he/she just wanted my $15. Depressing.

I sent out yesterday a series of 10 prose poems to be considered for one of the mini-chapbooks that ml press published. I'm under the general impression that j.a. (who runs the press) doesn't like my work. But I'm also under the impression that the prose poems are good. Nonetheless, I expect another hurtful rejection shortly.


Kat said...

I found the internet-inspired pronoun (s)he often works well for editors (and others) of mysterious gender. It is at least simpler (and more fun) to type than the standard he/she and is just mysterious enough in itself to fit mystery genders.

Nancy Devine said...

this comment is unrelated to your post, but i don't see contact info on your profile.
did you teach at the university of north dakota in the early 1980s? if so, i was a student of yours.
now i'm not a journalist; i'm a teacher and poet.
i've been running into your poems on the internet...enjoying them, too.

Lynn Kinsey said...

I found your blog through The Sphere and just wanted to say thank you for this post. I guess it amazes me that someone would ask for more work from you and then hit you in the face with a clammy de-feathered chicken. I have never read your work, but I am very intrigued! Can you explain to a non-poet how to jump in and start understanding/enjoying poems? I have always avoided poetry classes and am beginning to feel like a poemaphobic! Any advice is greatly appreciated:-)

Howie Good said...


You can jump in anywhere. Some of the most celebrated contemporary poets are highly accessible. Billy Collins comes immediately to mind. Some poetry comes close to resembling prose on the page; in fact, there is a subgenre of prose poetry that you might find less intimidating than formal or free verse. I like the prose poems in Charles Simic's THE WORLD DOESN'T END and Robert Bly's THE MORNING GLORY. Hope that helps.