Wednesday, February 03, 2010


So I’ve just received the books that I need to read for judging a poetry contest. Unlike with many other competitions, I accepted the invitation to judge only if I read every single book that entered the contest (i.e. no prior screening between the poetry books and my loving eyes). I am busy, but never too busy for Poetry -- without which I wouldn't be the fabulous Moi that we all adore.

That said, I guess I'm surprised to see how so many of the submitted books have already won national competitions in order to get published. Yet now, the authors or publishers or publicists submit them to a new book contest for published books?

Somehow, it strikes me as a bit much (like, such a neediness for awards!) -- it seems to me, if you already won one prize and got published as a result (the most important reward, it seems to me, unless the prize money is at least seven figures…), why continue to submit to prize-contests? But, lookit, I’m just observing, not really being that critical -- I’m like Philip Lamantia in this fashion: I don’t judge how poets make money. And it’s undoubtedly true that prizes can bolster resumes and affect how some poets pay their rent…

No coincidence, I'm sure, that there's a high preponderance of academic presses in the mix...

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