Those of you who know me well know that I’ve been writing it for a very, very long time.
Those of you who actually live with me (or are poets yourself) know that part of being a poet is sending out your book, over and over, to contests which then send you a nice rejection letter, or a form rejection letter, or occasionally a semifinalist-but-sorry letter.
Last month, I got a phone call that on my approximately 75th try (maybe a slight exaggeration) it worked: my poetry book, DIVINITY SCHOOL, won the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize and will be published on September 1, 2015.
I have been dreaming of this day since I was a teenager, and this exact manuscript has been rejected many, many times.
So to know that it will be in bookstores means more to me than I can say.
It's almost disorienting, after such a long creep forward, to jump into book-land so suddenly. And I wanted to be transparent about how it happened (revise, submit, receive rejection, rinse, repeat). To offer this as an example for why it’s worth forging stubbornly ahead. For you, for me, for the projects to come, for all the knock-downs along the way, and for holding on to the dream.