Monday, July 28, 2008

Chapbook Semifinalist and More

More news! (I do love it when the news starts coming in - even if it's rejections, at least it lets you know the wheels are turning and something is happening.) I received an email from Diane Goettel, editor of The Adirondack Review, to let me know that my chapbook manuscript Warsongs came in as a semi-finalist in the Fall 2007 Black Lawrence Press Black River chapbook competition. I also made semifinalist for the Spring 2007 competition with The House That Falls Down. I'm particularly pleased because they're both collections of war poetry, which I know is sort of a no-no for a non-soldier chick to write about. But I did make sure to vet them through my brother, who is a U.S. Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He shared them with his buddies (without my knowledge or say-so) and said the guys thought they were good...and if it's good to the folks who experience it, I count them as not half-bad.

But yes, two semi-finalist position for the chapbooks, so I feel like I'm close. Unfortunately, hand grenades and horseshoes and all that. Either way, it gives me the gumption I need to actually work on revising those pieces, and I believe I'll send a bevy of them to Greg in my next packet along with some Lilith pieces. Poor Greg. I hear of other people who struggle to fill a packet with 8 poems, and here I am sending the man chapbooks every time. Ah well, if he wants a break, I do hope he'll let me know. I should be getting packet #2 back from him any day now, as I'm due to mail packet #3 out next Friday.

I should also be hearing from Diane Goettel again soon, since it says the Spring 08 competition should be judged (or at least the finalists announced) by July 31, and I did submit three different chapbooks for this round. sheepish I know, I know. But, I mean, I have a number of chapbooks, and it does me no good to have them sitting and collecting dust instead of out at a publishing house. And semi-finalist status made me think maybe they like me. (Unless they only had a handful of people in the competition and everyone who didn't make it got called a "semifinalist." But let's not think that way.)

So yes. Plans include polishing up the Lilith collection, hoping to hear back from Bellowing Ark (I just sent out those solicited materials), going back and tearing through the war poems to get them hale and hearty enough for journal submission, and getting through the rest of the MFA semester, which is rapidly drawing to a close.

I have also been considering approaching the woman who directs the freshman writing program - apparently in the MA program you can adjunct and teach a course if you have 18 hours in. I was biding my time since I'll only have 9 hours of MA work done by the end of this semester, but I forgot that I've already finished 16 hours of MFA work (and it'll be 32 hours in October). I wonder if that'd count and they'd let me teach, given that I already have the MLS and can teach the kids not only how to write decently, but how to do research as well. Must ask, and then must run it past boss to see if I'd even be allowed. But I think it would be a great idea to have a Literary Librarian teaching the incoming kids.

So, yes, much on the plate, and choices to be made as to what I want to write my MFA critical thesis on - I'm currently considering doing it on Komunyakaa, but we'll see. My next post here will be an attempt to sketch out my idea for designing an independent study on national epics that read as poems - more research required on that front though.

So, in short, very happy at semi-finalist status even though in the end that means I'm just the first (or thirty-second) loser. Also happy to have solicited work out of my hands - at this point, the editor either likes it or he does not, and there's little I can do about it. And now, for the waiting...


Helen Rickerby said...

Congratulations! Every time I check your blog lately you seem to have been so busy writing and sending work out and getting work accepted. Phew! You're an inspiration.

Colleen said...

Thanks, Helen! (Although I wonder if I blogged more about the rejections and the nights that my pen echoes with all the writing I haven't done you'd be as impressed *grin*). I'm really looking forward to the release of My Iron Spine, congratulations on having that baby wrapped up!

Tom said...

Very, very cool. Congratulations!

Colleen said...

Thanks, Tom :)