Thursday, November 15, 2012

Good News Department

I have won a contest! My poem "Original Sin" has received First Place in Naugatuck River Review's annual contest for 2012. I rarely enter contests these days, but obviously I'm glad I entered this one. Although this poem, when I wrote it, made my whole body happy in that way the keepers do, I was still delightfully surprised when I received an email a few weeks ago informing me that the poem was a finalist and on its way to the final judge, Pam Uschuk, and would at the very least be offered publication.

Then this past Sunday I was reading when the phone rang and I wondered grumpily, Oh, who the heck is that and it better not be a robot. It wasn't. It was editor Lori Desrosiers. So I thought maybe second or third, but she clearly said First Place! I was quite literally speechless and kind of choked up.

The prize is a joy-inducing check for $1000 and publication in the 2013 winter/spring issue.

Naugatuck River Review is a journal for narrative poetry, but the sub-title of the journal is Narrative Poetry That Sings. I knew that my poem had a story to tell and I worked hard to make it sing.

Once again my involvement with someone else's work stimulated my own. Several months ago Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea contributed a wonderful Craft Tip to my monthly Poetry Newsletter. I bought his most recent collection, Year of the Young (Four Way Books, 2011). The gorgeous rabbit on the cover reminded me of one of my childhood pets, an unfortunate rabbit named Snowball, a pet who'd left me a legacy of guilt. I worked out that guilt in the poem. And surprised myself in doing so, so I was gratified that the judge mentioned the element of surprise as something she admired in the poem. I think Frost had it right: No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.

The finalists and semi-finalists are listed at the journal's website.

17 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Good to hear from you, Richard, and thanks!

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  2. Great news! Congratulations! Another well-deserved honor!

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    1. I'd just been wishing that someone would send me some money. I need to practice more positive thinking. I have strange powers.

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  3. Diane, this is marvelous---and well deserved! I'm so happy for you! . . . I'm gonna start that positive $ thinking now---who knows. I think we all have "strange powers"---but you gotta earn the results :).

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    1. My wish was uttered aloud at noon, fulfilled at 4:30.

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  4. Big congrats! And so happy that you are recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

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    1. Thanks, Karen. Happy about the contest and happy to say good riddance to the storm.

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  5. Uhhh...Tha would be "Conga Rats"!!

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    Replies
    1. I'll skip the Rats, but thanks for the good wishes!

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  6. Uhh...That would be "That" Oi.

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  7. So happy for you! Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. Very happy. Thanks for your message, Jama.

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  8. Hi Diane,
    Good to be hear, and ha to hear the good news too.
    A BIG CONGRATS!!!
    Keep it up.
    Keep inform
    Best wishes
    phil

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