Sunday, December 28, 2014

How You Like Me Now?

Recently, I read a Facebook post by poet Sean Thomas Dougherty as he looks back at his professional career and on being a literary citizen. He says, “... through hard work, sincerity, kindness, and a dedication to my art, and the support of so many friends, I continue to grow and accomplish a good deal. So much of success in literature is simply that: kindness and hard work.” I believe that wholeheartedly. (If I could add to Sean's sentiment, persistence is the engine of hard work. It gets you into those places that talent alone can’t reach.)

I can bitch and moan about the system as much as the next poet, but it’s important to convey my complete and utter gratitude for the year that was 2014. Sean also reminds me that we don’t do this work alone. Being a literary citizen mean supporting the work of others just because it’s the right thing to do. Without community, poetry becomes irrelevant. So, here’s my top-10 way-cool accomplishments/events/shindigs list, none of which would be possible without you, dear reader, dear literary citizen.

  1. In November, Misery Islands was released! Book #2 is alive and well in the world taking its first breaths. There were times this year when I didn’t think it would see the light of day, but CavanKerry Press came through with a beautiful book. I am ready to guide it into the New Year with lots of love and light.

  2. While I didn’t publish many individual poems, about 10 of them were picked up by online journals or lit mags, most notably the Academy of American Poets, New England Review, Paterson Literary Review, and American Poetry Review. APR should be out any day—the Jan/Feb issue. Fitting. I also published a few notable articles, including this one on the passing of Maya Angelou.

  3. Dodge, Dodge, Dodge, Dodge, Dodge! Need I say more? 

  4. It was another successful year for the Mass Poetry Festival and Mass Poetry. I’m often recognized for my work with the organization, but the unsung heroes of our group includes Michael Ansara, Laurin Macios, Jackie Malone, Brandy Moore, Nicco Mele, and a host of amazing, dedicated volunteers and visionaries.

  5. This was the year I felt most connected with my poetry circle of friends. Can’t explain it because we’re always moving in and out of each others’ lives. But this year felt different—good different. Maybe because there was a lot to celebrate for all of us. My tribe: Kevin Carey, Erin Dionne, Rona Jaffe Award-Winner Danielle Jones-Pruett, Jennifer Jean, Lis Horowitz, Jenn Martelli, Colleen Michaels, J.D. Scrimegour, and Cindy Veach. Special shout out to Afaa Michael Weaver, Joseph O. Legaspi, and Susan Rich. Love, love, and more love! 

So for the next few days, I celebrate myself. And you! You’ve given me the fuel to continue one more year. 2015 goals to come.

How you like me now?

2 comments:

Susan Rich said...

So glad to be one of your tribe. Sending love ~

January said...

Absolutely. Sending love right back to the West Coast.

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