Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hot Metal Press

Oh Happy Sunday!

Woke up this morning to hot tea already prepared, cats already fed and a brilliant sun shining through the balcony doors. What more can one ask for?

How about a poetry acceptance letter?

Got word about an hour ago that Martin Willitts, who is editing an anthology on Cancer for Hot Metal Press, has accepted my one and only offering, In Utero, for inclusion in his upcoming project which was sponsored by a grant from The Chenago County Individual Artist Grant Program 2007

YAY me!!

The acceptance letter was a bit different. I almost didn't finish reading it because it read very much like the standard rejection letter I've come to expect. It began with the familiar:

"Thank you very much for submitting your poem, ________________. I received many more submissions than expected and cannot possible include them all. Many good poems and poets had to be eliminated.

I am pleased that so many people from around the world participated. I hope
I provided a slight chance to represent some good poetry. Unfortunately I
could not accept everything.

But at the end of the familiar two paragraph explanation was the unfamiliar single stand-alone sentence:

"I would like to accept your poem."

Talk about a pleasant surprise!!!!

It's always gratifying to have a poem accepted for publication - always - and no matter how many poems get accepted there's always that same catch of breath and that same sense of wonder and pleasure at the proof that someone, somewhere, considers you good enough to publish so that other people can also read you.

When the poem is accepted by a publication with an underlying worthy cause, however, there's a special feeling of pride and an accompanying sense of fear that the poem will somehow not live up to the initial vote of confidence. The book will be reaching out to an audience other than poetry lovers - and this one will be reaching out to a group of people who have lived through fear and tragedy that I have only written of - to people with a courage I cannot imagine possessing. How will it meet with them?

I've always felt that being capable of writing poetry is as much of a responsibility as it is a gift.

Now I know it is.


Jilly said...


shann said...

This is great! I"m not sure i would have read that far into the letter.

Lo said...

Thanks, Jilly and Shann.

Apparently it pays to keep reading.