My Writing Career Continues to Thrive in My Absence

Since Shane was born in April, I have written one serious poem (about baby poop) and one parody poem (ditto). However, like Noah’s dove, the contest entries I sent out in the winter and spring are still returning to me, bearing sprigs of green in their little beaks.

“Poem Written on the Side of a Cow” won the 2012 Betsy Colquitt Award for Poetry. This $500 award is sponsored by Descant: Fort Worth’s Journal of Poetry & Fiction, the literary journal of Texas Christian University, for the best poem published in the magazine in the past year. Their annual submission period is September 1-April 30. This poem, which I wrote in 2003, was inspired by an anecdote I read about Sylvia Plath setting out bread and milk for her children before she committed suicide. Adam suggested the title and I figured out a plot to go with it.

After a dozen years of trying, I will finally be published in the excellent journal New Millennium Writings, which selected my poem “Robot Deer Shot 1,000 Times” as an honorable mention in their winter 2012 contest, the 33rd New Millennium Writings Awards. This twice-yearly contest awards prizes of $1,000 for poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and essays. The 34th contest is currently open through July 31. The poem was based on a “news of the weird” story that Adam sent me, about a mechanical deer that game wardens use to entrap poachers.

My poem “I Wish I Were in Love Again” was one of 20 International Publication Award winners in the Poetry 2012 International Poetry Competition from Atlanta Review. The most recent deadline for this $1,000 prize was March 1. Late one night, last winter, Adam and I were driving home from some high-pressure, adoption-related event, and Sinatra’s song by that name came on the radio. The tongue-in-cheek ballad romanticizes what social workers would call a high-conflict relationship, complete with black eyes and broken dishes. Adam said, “‘Love’ sounds like it should be the name of a violent town in Texas,” and that’s what the poem is about.

The guy is pretty good luck, don’t you think?

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