I’m fortunate to have poems and stories periodically published, but I like to remind people in my writing world that I generally get at least four or five rejections for every piece that’s accepted. Not a bad rate, but I target things carefully to journals/anthologies that seem particularly well suited to pieces I’ve written… or pieces I write to try to suit them. Still, editors get a LOT of submissions (I know… I edit a literary journal, too), so there’s a lot of luck involved in gaining an acceptance.
Every so often, though, someone invites me to submit a piece to something they’re working on, and though publication is not guaranteed, these feel like better possibilities. Such was the case when Jennifer Cox invited me to submit a poem on a harvest theme to the Clonmel Applefest in Clonmel, Ireland, where Jenny lives and works as a poet and writer. For four years she and her friend Eileen Acheson have asked poets to submit their work to be printed on plaques and posted on the outdoor Poetry Trail among the lanes of Clonmel.
I submitted a poem and didn’t hear anything for a bit. Then I got a group email about where the poems would be on display. I had to ask Jenny if my poem had been selected, and she said, of course, which both surprised and pleased me. I’ve had poems published internationally, but this is a first: to have a poem (one of 39 poems) posted on an Irish lane in Tipperary County. (You can click on the photos to enlarge them.) My Irish ancestors would be proud!
I’m honoured (proper Irish spelling) that Eileen and Jenny accepted my poem, “Crush,” which is a version of a poem I wrote as a wedding gift. Tomorrow (Sunday) Jenny will read “Crush” along with other local poets at a spoken word event. Thank you so much!