Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I rarely talk publicly about when people nominate me for poetry prizes. I don't talk about the *nominations* because if I don't get the prize I'm being nominated for, I get deeply embarassed. For myself and the editors who nominated me.

One can talk forever about how responses to poems (all art) is subjective and all that. But though I don't cringe if a journal editor doesn't nominate my poem(s) for, say, the Pushcart Prize, I somehow cringe when they do nominate a poem and it doesn't get the award. That doesn't even make sense, does it.

On one list serve, this topic came up a few months back and I was humored (even as I empathetically cringed) over a poet sharing how there was this one editor who consistently nominated his poems for the Pushcart for numerous years until, one day, they discussed it and just mutally agreed that the editor should stop nominating him anymore. Because it was just getting to be too much work for the editor to fill out the forms for that particular poet's work that consistently has not been to the Pushcart people's tastes. Because it was getting to be too painful for that poet and editor to discuss, year after year, that, cough, the poem didn't get the final Pushcart nod.

Anyway, I don't keep track so I don't know the exact number but I've been nominated for the Pushcart for probably more than a dozen times. This year, I have three nominations for the Pushcart and one for Best of the Net.

In the past, upon hearing of my nominations, I have felt grateful, said Thank you to the editors, but then pull in to my own embarrassment. I've never even publicly acknowledged, until this post, the Best of the Net Nomination by WOMB Poetry which was revealed this past September (and I do so now by publicly thanking them).

I'm writing this post now because I'm thinking -- what exactly is my embarrassment to the Grace being shown by the nominating editors? Nada. I want to show gratitude to those who've liked my work well enough to nominate them for such prizes. So thank you, too, to SENTENCE for its Pushcart nomination which I've just learned. I want to thank you within five minutes of hearing about it, hence this post. Because one should always never be ashamed of these moments of Grace.

I mean, I won't win (there she goes....sigh) but, truly -- sincerely and humbly -- I am grateful that you liked my poems.