This week I attended the book launch party for the Heron Clan VI poetry anthology. I am very happy to have three poems included in this book. And yet, I am even more proud of the fact that I was able to contribute in another significant way to the book as an editor. (Squee!)
Last year I was honored to have two poems in Heron Clan V, (which was great, even with the typo.) A month or so after the book release I buttonholed Doug Stuber, owner and primary editor of the Heron Clan series, and peppered him with questions about the editorial process. Maybe he needed another editor; maybe he just wanted to shut me up; but he invited me to join the editor’s committee. (Squee!) I’ve copy-edited many books, and formatted many documents, but I knew this would be the largest project I’ve ever done, and I jumped at the chance to be part of it.
The whole experience was even more satisfying and rewarding than seeing my poetry in the book. Everything was educational as well as fun, especially sitting with the other editors in selection meetings. I’ve submitted my work to quite a few poetry journals, and, of course, received far more rejections than acceptances. Now that I see what it’s like on the other side of the process, I am much more relaxed about submitting. Poetry may be art, but publishing is still business. Don’t take it personally! After the selections were finalized and the poets notified, Doug and I got down to business on putting the book together. Lots of opportunity for personal growth!
I had met some of the contributors before this, and I’m getting to meet more. The HC anthology series showcases a great diversity of voice. In addition to local poets, there are poets from out of state, former poet laureates, a founding member of the Beat Poetry movement, poets from South America, and young poets just starting their careers.
If you are interested in getting your own copy, please email me or leave a note in the comments. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with one of mine that is included.
I want to build a wall
thicker than my skin
but thinner than stone.
The one I have is not working.
Organic and overgrown,
I want to replace this briar.
I want a wall I can see through
so I’ll know what’s coming.
Chain link is ok. Barb wire is not.
Don’t send a knight
with a shining silver sword.
There are no dragons here.
Give me a gardener
with callused hands in worn leather gloves
and a machete to cut down these weeds.