Contests are hard, and I only send to journals I really love. I’ve entered Sweet Literary’s annual poetry contests for years with no luck, but I learned earlier this month that I had received a finalist nod for my poem, “Survival Guide.” Sweet!
Putting aside for a moment the truth that poems, if they’re poems, go beyond any summary an author might make as to what that poem was “about,’ if I were doing just that, I would describe “Survival Guide” as a poem that I hope addresses some of the things I think about a lot. One of those is how we can live so much of our lives in fear of, or worrying, about things that never come to pass (as if we don’t have enough to worry about that does!) And how despite the ever-present reality of loss, if we listen well, and observe mindfully our surroundings, we can find both extraordinary beauty and hope in other forms of life that will continue to dazzle and astound us.
Soon after I learned from Sweet’s wonderful co-founder and managing editor, Katie Riegel, that my poem had been selected as a finalist, I read about the journal encouraging past contributors to share updates about their lives and work since their Sweet publication. Last fall, my poem, “In the Hollow” appeared in the journal, so I filled out the form the editors offered and basically recapped what’s been going on with me since that time. I pretty much said my biggest accomplishment had been….surviving. But there has been some good poetry news, and that trip to Miami I made at the invitation of SWWIM to read my work at the Betsy Hotel in March was a remarkable adventure, so I mentioned that too. And they published it! If you’d like to read my “Sweet Connection” feature, click here.
All of the winning & finalist poems will go live on May 31. I’ll post a link to “Survival Guide” then. Can’t wait to read each one in full and savor the sweetness!