Friday, May 19, 2006
Beware the Dog
I TRY TO SHARE ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS WELL AS disappointments in this space. Here's a minor downer.
Usually, I don't sweat rejection slips, but this particular one keeps growling at me from the nightstand. About a year ago, Cave Canem, America's premiere organization committed to the cultivation of new voices in Black poetry, sent out a call for poetry submissions about 'the Southern experience and its influence in contemporary poetry.'
Southern. Experience. Poetry. This has my name written all over it! I thought as I licked my submission envelope shut.
True, I expected that the anthology would attract a deluge of Black southern poets (and I personally know quite a few excellent ones), but I thought that surely, in my six page submission, that there would have been something that would have struck a sweet spot with the editor(s).
The rejection letter was polite enough. In fact, the rejection made me respect Cave Canem all the more. But this is an occasion for some serious introspection: If I, a contemporary Black southern poet, can't cut it for an anthology focusing specifically on contemporary Black southern poetry, then that says something.
Loud. Even if I don't hear it, I can feel it.