There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing a new package on the kitchen counter with the return address of a journal you’ve been waiting to hear back from ever since you learned they’d accepted one of your poems.
Then picking up that package, feeling the book’s familiar weight, then opening it to discover your work inside and feeling a sense of something that’s like validation, satisfaction and pride, warming you from the inside out.
I must say I’ve experienced this feeling every time I’ve had the good luck and privilege of having a poem accepted by a print literary journal. There’s pride and gratitude associated with every publication I’m fortunate to get, but there is something about the print journal that speaks to all of your senses.
Week before last, I received my contributors copies of the current issue of the Potomac Review, and experienced that sensory delight as if for the first time: the delight of discovering its vivid and evocative cover image; the cool smoothness of the elegant paper stock.
This is an absolutely gorgeous issue, and I’m so humbled to be in it with a poem I wrote soon after my dad died, called “Personal Effects.” Although the Potomac Review doesn’t upload its content for web viewing, I took a screenshot of the poem for anyone interest in reading it. Here it is: