Friday, May 30, 2014

Acceptance: Negative Capability


Such a great honor to have my poem “A Lack” accepted by this longstanding and top-quality press, which focuses primarily on book publishing these days, but is running an anniversary issue that honors its formidable presence as a literary magazine, too. From what I can tell, the new issue will be absolutely packed with great poets and poems. The prodigious Marge Piercy will be included. And also Lissa Kiernan, a fabulous meticulous resonant bard whose first book of poems will be coming out soon with NCP.

The mighty mental force behind the scenes is Sue Brannan Walker, who is so humble yet so accomplished, as a poet in her own right as well as a leader, in many ways, in the literary world. I can’t even begin to do her justice here. Walker is the Poetry Laureate of Alabama, has published nine books of poetry and is the Stokes Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama. Negative Capability has been publishing poetry since 1981, and in the early 1990’s was ranked third in the nation in poetry by Writer’s Digest. Brannan has been there all along, a soft-spoken yet effective mover of mountains, promoter of brillance, and shining beacon of perseverance. You have to google her name to even begin to see what this incredible woman has done to help so many writers, and advance and empower the realm of poetry with her own craft.

Every once in a long while--longer and longer, it seems--I get a rare acceptance that completely regenerates my morale and gives me a tremendous sense of recognition for all the hard work I pour into creating drafts and editing my work month after month, year after year. It’s the kind of acceptance that makes it all seem worthwhile; that bolsters the hope of purpose and ethos we obsessive artists foster and reinforce within ourselves, by ourselves.

This is truly a moment of tears for me. I don’t get many of them anymore. Too grizzled, I guess.

Thank you Editor Brannan! Thank you, indeed.


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