I turn 27 today.
It may be weird or seemingly narcissistic or nonsensical or egotistical, but I find all I keep saying to myself is, "I have 3 years to get my first book into the world." Yes, my goal, like many of the folks under 30 who have a first manuscript floating around, is the age of 30.
But considering the state of the world, I'm lucky to have lived this long thus far. And now that I'm hopefully onto the second manuscript, or at least the seeds of it, there are many other things I should probably be worrying about or at the very least concerned with at this point in my life.
Speaking of first books, I received Sean Nevin's Oblivio Gate in the mail today.
He's doing a first book interview in the future, and I'm very glad he agreed. He won the 2007 Crab Orchard First Book Award, for which I was also a finalist the first time I ever sent out my "book."
Learning of Sean Nevin as the winner, I immediately started Googling his name and checking out his work, and from what I could find, I was pretty blown away. And I'm flattered and flabbergasted my book, as it was then, was thought to be good enough to be in his company.
Not only that, but there's a reason (probably many, actually) why my book wasn't picked. It wasn't ready. It had a different title. Many different poems. I think the idea and structure's guts and circuits haven't changed much, but it was in a very early and rough stage.
Maybe I'll be saying the same thing in a year or two, but I don't think so. I hope not at least.
Without entering the contest, I'm not sure I would've known about his book. I think it will be getting its due in the future. I've started reading through it already, and it's making me want to sit down and write: always a sign that I need to trust that instinct. And not all first books bring that kind of magic through first reads.
Anyway, be sure to check it out.
SIU Press not only does beautiful books, but they're consistent with quality also. I think they'll be an important press as long as people are still reading contemporary poetry.
Regarding this post a week ago, it looks like the faux pas has been fixed.
There's no reason to mention the journal, since it was of course an honest mistake, but the interesting thing is the next day I received an email from the Web Editor of another journal, who saw my post and contact the aforementioned journal about their security issues.
It looks like the problem has been fixed, thankfully, as I said. I was more worried about another email address getting out there and spammed more than anything else.
I did, however, take it upon myself to put the link in and grab all the other submissions that I could get that got through to Google. Many of the poets have books out and / or have been published in pretty prominent journals. It's funny how you never know who's sending work, and you never know what you're up against, since so many journals publish from the transom or slush pile and take around 2%-5% of the work submitted that isn't solicited.