Monday, January 31, 2011

First acceptance of 2011

I had one day in December when I got 4 rejections in 24 hours. That wasn't much fun. I can handle them one by one, but that was a bit like being whacked... and then whacked again, and again! Well, 2011 is off to a better start with the first acceptance, sneaking in just before January ended: my poem, Moss, will be published in the next issue of Alba: A Journal of Short Poetry. So, my 5th published poem, what does this mean?

I've been reading the excellent Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry and feeling very inspired about poems that look a little like prose but aren't. Then J and I went to the TS Eliot prize shortlistees reading and I was blown away by Simon Armitage's odd and darkly humourous pieces from Seeing Stars, and Sam Willett's poems from New Light for the Old Dark (neither of whom, sadly, won). And then I bought Jo Shapcott's Costa-winning collection, Of Mutability, which is astonishing, and which suddenly taught me something about line breaks, the power of the word chosen to end a line, the word chosen to begin the next. Wow.

So I am being beautifully bombarded (by choice) on all sides by poetry, perhaps it's no surprise when sometimes that's what comes out when I write. I am remembering that as a kid it was always easy for me to makes up rhymes to impress classmates (it was the only thing I did that did impress them - my maths skills weren't really very cool). Maybe I am tapping into something that was always there? Whatever it is, I am enjoying playing around with other forms, all other forms. I am going on an Arvon Foundation course in Writing for Radio in the summer - another form that really appeals to me - and one of the tutors is Simon Armitage, so I am very excited about that! The other is Sue Roberts, executive producer for BBC Radio Drama in the North, I am really looking forward to meeting her too.

And on that note - yes, the wonderful Sarah Salway and I are teaching an Arvon Foundation course on the short story in May, and booking is now open! We'd love to meet you...!


Rachel Fenton said...

CONGRATULATIONS! It meanss you are a poet, my dear, and you didn't know it!

I LOVE Simon Armitage!! Huge fan!

I've listened the T.S. Eliot readings on vemo - would love to get to that one year!

Have a fab Feb!

astrid said...

Good work Tania! I also had my first piece accepted for the year in January - 'At the Malga', to appear in Tears in the Fence - which hopefully will set the tone for the next few months. And have just had a full short story manuscript request so I am whirling!

A warmly worded rejection somehow helps though, no?

I'm looking forward to reading Jo Shapcott and will keep a lookout for Alba.
best, cat

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I love Alba - it is such an interesting place! Congrats on the acceptance me dear -


Lauri said...

I think I'm having a poetry themed day. Woke up to my son watching Def Poetry on TV. Then on FB I was taken away to a wonderful site Badilisha Poetry Radio and now I hear my award winning short story writing friend Tania has morphed into a poet. Fab!

Congrats on the acceptance and the upcoming course too!

Rejections? Forget about them, quickly!

Sue Guiney said...

Funny how long it takes some of us to get around to poetry. I blame it on the schools....but I 'm thrilled (and not surprised) that you now have the poetry bug. I actually think the line between flash fiction and prose poetry is a pretty wiggly one, anyway. Xo

Jim Murdoch said...

Looks like a nice place. I might just have to give them a try myself.

Tania Hershman said...

Rachel, thank you! To be honest, I sat at the TSE Prize readings, 2000 people in the Royal Festival Hall, a little irritated at why there aren't this many people at a glitzy short story event!

Cat - congrats to you too!

V -thank you. I'd never heard of it until that lovely Coop Renner at elimae, in his swift and gracious rejection of my poem, suggested Alba might like it. Now there's a great rejection, very useful!

Lauri - I am not sure I'm morphing, perhaps growing an extra limb! Poetry radio? Oh my, off to check that out... Did your day end poetically?

Sue, yes, me too, I was not in any way enthused about poetry at school. And yes, wiggly lines!

Jim - go for it, good luck!

Ilana said...

Wow, that's amazing, congratulations! I would love to read your poetry.

Nahno McLein said...

Congratulation on the great start. 2011 will surely be an amazing year for you.

Tania Hershman said...

Hi Nahno, nice to meet you, and may it be an amazing year for you too!