GPOYW: Author edition.
Remember a little while back, when I posted about my submissions spreadsheet and rejection? Well, it looks a little different now. As in, there’s a big fat acceptance at the bottom of it, and not just for an individual poem.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from Black Lawrence Press and a subsequent phone call. My manuscript was named a finalist in Black Lawrence Press’s Hudson Prize, and even though it didn’t win, they wanted to publish it anyway. I woke Chris up yelling incomprehensibly and he was convinced someone had died until he figured out I was smiling.
I’m going to have a book. A book! That bio on the author website they just set up for me is going to have a final sentence added to it: “Her first book, Nights I Let The Tiger Get You, was a finalist for the Hudson Prize and is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press.”
It doesn’t really feel real yet - the book won’t be out until April 2014, and there’s a lot to do before then. Revisions, cover art, blurbs, marketing, etc. I guess I’m still kind of in shock that this weird thing I set out to do four or five years ago—this whole “be a poet” thing—is actually happening.
Anyway, I couldn’t have done it without the people I love encouraging me and reading my poems and giving me feedback and listening to me rant over rejections and get discouraged and finally get hopeful again. If you are one of those people, thank you so much. And no matter who you are, GET READY FOR 2014, because there is going to be some real poetry shit coming out in paperback.
This could not be happening to a finer person or poet. Here is what you don’t know about Elizabeth which is that she is so incredibly talented in so many different ways; that she is the secret ingredient to BWDR’s success, the behind-the-scenes editorial voice that works her ass off for free to help shape most of the essays on the site, to finesse other’s essays into the best possible versions of themselves, and in the most artistic and delicate of ways (seriously, ask any writer she’s worked with), but that she can also turn around and write a poem that will knock your socks off or teach a class at USC or work on a dissertation that doesn’t even make sense to me when she mentions it but is no doubt brilliant. And, above all, that she is a kind and decent and wonderful person and I feel lucky to know her.
That this incredibly wonderful person is the proud recipient of unabashedly good news, that she is being recognized and rewarded for her writerly brilliance, this is the sort of thing that makes your heart happy and renews your sense of the world as perhaps a fair and decent place after all where good things happen to deserving people. So: many congratulations Elizabeth! You more than deserve it.