Still here, still much to do, but most importantly how do you handle rejections

Posted by Daniela Elza on Sep 24 2011

It has been an intense month. Most of the work of reading and selecting work for the Pacific Poetry Project anthology happened this last month. It was a challenging process, but also quite rewarding. I spent numerous late afternoons in the soft sun on my roof patio reading and shuffling poems. We invited 125 poets in honour of Vancouver 125. I read more that 20 books from Vancouver poets. (I have wanted to do that for a while but all that reading for the doctorate kept pushing this further into the future.)

We are winding down and compiling the manuscript of poems and bios to send to Ooligan Press. We are sending them 70 pages with 55 poets in them. And 10 extra pages as back up. I have already sent out the acceptances (so you should know by now) and the rejections (those were hard, never thought I would be sending rejections).

And I have already received a rejection to one of the rejections claiming that their poems are excellent and we should reconsider them for inclusion. Now I understand why people write: the editors’ decision is final. I was not prepared for this to get so meta. The three of us had to all agree on whether a poem made it in or not. If one of us said Convince me it was up to the other two to do so. If we failed, well, sorry rejected poems. It was not for lack of trying. Compiling work for an anthology is a multifaceted and complex process. Like a poem. You might be better off not explaining it.

This has inspired more thought around rejections and how we are with them.

Do you respond to rejections? What do you say, if you do?

Thank you for all the wonderful work sent and for the opportunity to be able to read it. It is inevitable that some of it will not make it.

In the mean time the kids went back to school, and I celebrated my first FaceBook Birthday. Also read at the TWS reading Series on September 8th and had a wonderful time at this event with the theme of childhood memories. The book of It found itself in the spotlight, and found a warm welcome. I also featured at Poetry Around the World and had an intimate reading alongside Pummy Kaur and Ashok Bhargava.

Also this month I heard back from two acceptances. (No need to mention the rejections, is there? Or to respond to them.)
qarrtsiluni online literary journal picked up my poem winter escapes for their Worship issue and Leaf Press selected my poem seven years later to be one of the 50 in their anthology on love. I was just beginning to get a bit antsy for not having heard back recently. Now the pressure is off.

The VOX newsletter I do every week (for the Federation of BC Writers) is ready to go tomorrow. The volunteers are lined up for the table the Fed. has at Word on the Street. (Thank you very much to all the volunteers. So much depends on us.)

And now I have to turn to editing my manuscript. Mother Tongue Publishing got back to me with revisions and I am going to dive right in tomorrow. That wheel has spun. Hopefully, I will be able to work on some submissions too. And read for fun. Still trying to finish The Philosophical Baby and I am also finishing A Strange Relief by Sonnet L’Abbé .

Don’t forget to check out 100, 000 poets for change today. They have events between 1 and 7pm. Also Word on the Street tomorrow. I will be at Word on the Street for sure since I am a volunteer co-ordinator as well as a volunteer. Hope I feel better to be able to go to both. I have been dodging and evading a cold that is determined to get me. I have already written a rejection letter asking it to reconsider not getting me. We are chasing each other around the house in circles. There it comes again. Aaahhh chooo.

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