I guess the green light has been given, and there is no more speculation, there are no more contracts, and as far as the first book goes, I thankfully do not have to send any future checks out for contest fees. I guess I can go ahead and put the future cash from the what-would've-been-how-many-more-years-of-contest-fees-for-the-first-book fund into the second book (which is not imminent, of course) fund. For that, I am beyond extremely grateful.
And I can now officially say that Ghost Lights, a finalist for the 2008 Orphic Prize, will be published by Dream Horse Press in 2010.
I'm very excited for many reasons. In addition to that finalist nod, I came in third place overall at New Issues this year. Because they only had the money to publish the winner and runner-up, I wasn't offered publication. I was also a finalist for the Crab Orchard Open Competition, but the judge didn't pick my book. Seven finalist nods in less than two years was many more than I had anticipated or hoped for from the start.
So when J.P Dancing Bear offered me publication, I knew I would be crazy not to accept. Lisa Lewis's third book is coming out imminently, and there are two other finalists, in addition to the winner, Kyle McCord, who I've very excited to share a press with. Not to mention all the other great books he's published over the last few years. I think there are nothing but good things in the future at Dream Horse Press.
In a few hours I'll be teaching my last class ever at VCU. On Wednesday I collect their essays.
Because I know, however, that it will be at least a year until Ghost Lights is published and in real hands, I'm already planning on going to the post office tomorrow to send out more poem submissions for manuscript number two. Poetic rest is for the weak. And if in a few weeks we're all dead from this mysterious swine flu, I'll at least be happy about what I accomplished up until this point in my life.
But if the swine flu doesn't kill us all, don't think I'm not going to keep on trying my best to make my presence known.