I don't know about you, but I really have grown weary of snail-mail submissions. So far, I have decided against submitting to three different presses in the past two months because they require me to print up pages and trot down to the post office and mail by hand a fat envelope to them, complete with poetry and SASE---which no doubt would come back with fodder for subscription and contests, and book release notifications. It's not the money, either. It's the useless stuff I get with my rejections that keeps me from snail mail submissions. As evil as it sounds, I cannot submit to every journal to which I submit, and I think most of these journals could stretch their budget a lot further if they didn't spend so much money sending me requests for subscription with every submission I make. Well, used to make. It's the zero amount of anxiety I get trying to figure out ahead of time when I can expect one of my own envelopes back in my p.o. box, and if I will have to wait until Monday or Tuesday because I wasn't able to get to the post office over the weekend. The money is nothing when compared to all of the other stuff which accompanies the postal submission process, and I am glad to know other people do not submit by mail these days, too. Fewer submissions all the way around. So I don't get to submit to Poetry (Have they gone over to an on-line manager yet?) It's not like the editors were lining up to see if my poetry would go better before or after Richard Howard or Mark Strand.
Speaking of Poetry, how is it they have the gall to try and charge me full price when they ask for subscriptions? With all of the money they have in their pockets, they should be selling subscriptions at cost. I mean that. You can quote me on that because it's exactly what I would do if I was in charge. Cost + 0.
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I keep seeing lists of books which were the best of 2011, so here's my list:
Collin Kelley's Slow to Burn
Dean Young's Fall Higher
Got it? I bought more books than that, but I have to tell you I did not buy any books in 2011 better than these. That isn't to say no other books were well written, or I wasn't pleased to read other books, but those were the best. Those are the ones I went back to time and again, and those are the books I will remember past the new year.
By the way, Collin has a new book of poetry coming out from Sibling Rivalry Press. It's going to be called Render, and I am really looking forward to it.
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I think I am looking forward to a few other books coming out, but I am never good with these sorts of things, so I had better just let it go at that. I will be talking about books as they come my way.
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My own writing is coming along slowly but most certainly. I have had four poems from my new Springville book accepted for publication. I will keep you all informed as to that. Having written about 15 poems for the book, mostly the ones centered around the covenant of settling and work, I am trying to contextualize a few 'stories' into poems. In addition to finding my own voice for telling these narratives, I have to find a way to tell the best story, and that can mean me changing what really happened---essentially leaving the facts behind. Because there are people (my grandmother included) who prize their heritage and lineage through the town of Springville. this will certainly make some people upset. The fiction I have to create needs to be good enough for me AND my imagined critics.
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I have been pouring myself over my new chapbook manuscript since it was accepted for publication. I am looking for the words which stick in my side. I am looking for all of the sharp edges I don't want. I am looking at the ordering if the manuscript. What gets me is there are changes on all levels I suddenly want to make, and I don't know if that's good judgment or the jitters.
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Time to go, I guess.