WA 129: Over 2000 poems submitted

img_1275I apologize that I haven’t had the chance to update this in the last few weeks.  It seems that poets like to put off submitting poems until the last possible minute:  about 600 poems came during the last week that submissions were open!  Although the vast majority of poems came in via email, I also received a couple of hundred poems via postal mail.  Anyhow, I’ve been reading through the many, many poems that were submitted, and I’ve started to send out acceptance notes: I will send acceptances for the book manuscript first; I will send acceptances for online publication next; after I’ve finished those duties, I’ll send thank you notes to those that submitted whose work will not be included in the project.  So many admirable works–but I can only include a few hundred in the project!

Of course, the wild world keeps spinning in its wild journey through the wilderness of space.  Here’s a poem by Naomi Lazard that has been on my mind:

Ordinance on Arrival

Welcome to you
who have managed to get here.
It’s been a terrible trip;
you should be happy you have survived it.
Statistics prove that not many do.
You would like a bath, a hot meal,
a good night’s sleep. Some of you
need medical attention.
None of this is available.
These things have always been
in short supply; now
they are impossible to obtain.

This is not
a temporary situation;
it is permanent.
Our condolences on your disappointment.
It is not our responsibility
everything you have heard about this place
is false. It is not our fault
you have been deceived,
ruined your health getting here.
For reasons beyond our control
there is no vehicle out.


Okay–back to reading through submissions.





8 thoughts on “WA 129: Over 2000 poems submitted

  1. Tom Fortin

    Well…you ASKED for it!!

    And how very sweet that our state is just brimming with poets willing–eager even!–to share their work(s).

    Your task is a formidable one, and I can only begin to imagine the stress you feel as you read…and read…and READ through line after line of hope-filled expression.

    Not that all of the poems’ themes are hopeful, but surely their authors must be, reaching out to a larger audience.

    May their dreams soon be fulfilled, and may your eyes–and brain and heart–soon be at rest !!

  2. James Rodgers

    While I so very rarely submit poetry, I felt a pull to be part of this bigger thing, a collection that captures our state, and our State. I tend to dread the thought of having my work graded, evaluated, reviewed, rated and more, I am happy to be part of the 2000 to have our words heard, even if, in the end, it was by one person. Thanks to you for taking the tie to create this, to go through all 2000 entries, and to keep sharing the importance of poetry in our world. After hearing you read in Tacoma last month, I know your heart and mind are in the right place, and the future of poetry is in the right hands.

  3. Rosemary H. Slemp

    It was an honor to meet you today at the Poetry Scribes’ meeting. Your thoughtful advice and
    shared appreciation of all varieties of poetry was very encouraging. Even though many of us are
    in our later years, it is a great feeling to know that your love of teaching is reaching out to us, too. Your WA 129 will be the most read book of the year! Rest and refresh as it is deserved.
    Rosemary H. Slemp

    1. todmarshall

      Rosemary–I was honored to meet with such a dedicated group of writers. No rest–off to Moses Lake today! Words, words, words.
      I send my best and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

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