Binghamton starts classes today, but my first day is tomorrow.
I didn't write much the first year, which I expected, but I'm hoping this year will change that.
I found out near the end of the reading tour that my new manuscript, currently titled Sirens and Wildfire, was a finalist for the Akron Poetry Prize and a semi-finalist for the Cleveland State Open Competition.
Like it was when I first started sending out what finally became Ghost Lights, it's just fuel for the fire. Late nights reading poems, thinking about order, feeling out if any should be cut or if new ones should be added. All of that will continue to happen with the new manuscript, and it becomes both fun and maddening at the same time.
I have a list of contests and open reading periods for 2010 and 2011, so it's back to getting it out again soon enough.
And somehow, since the tour, miraculously, I've been writing a lot of new poems. Since I wasn't able to send out a lot last year, I'm hoping I can have a good September to add more poems to the ones I've already written.
My goal, then, is to send out as many that I feel are ready for a big push at the beginning of October.
Maybe there's even the kernel of a third manuscript in there somewhere...?
Speaking of submissions, it's interesting to hear all the hullabaloo about New England Review and Ploughshares charging writers to submit their work now.
My take on it personally is this...
I haven't submitted to NER for one simple reason: currently I don't, and have never, sent to places who don't accept simultaneous submissions. If I wrote as much as Bob Hicok and had his reputation, I'd have enough poems to wait on a response before sending those poems to other journals. The simple fact is, however, that I don't write enough. So I respect the policy for non-simultaneous submissions. I know many others that don't feel this way, but I do.
I've sent to Ploughshares many times in the past, with form rejections following every single time, and with chances already slim to get in (because of the notoriety of the journal, the amount of submissions they get, and the guest editor usually soliciting a lot), I'd rather submit work to other journals at this point. But Ploughshares will be in my sights for the future.
If many journals follow with charging for submissions, which I hope they won't, I'll either go back to sending via snail mail or not sending to them at all.
With so many journals out there, I just don't think this is a huge concern for me. I know where folks are coming from as far as being annoyed, but alas, if I get the itch to send to some of these places, I'll just send via snail mail, or I'll look at other journals who don't charge.
Simple as that.
Bring on PhD year number two...