When I was waking up today, I dreamed that there was only five years left until the end of the world. In my dream, I had a copy of an agenda of events handed to me in a meeting and I wasn’t that upset either. I remember looking at it and thinking, “Well, in that case I need to write more poems and eat more bacon.” I think the bacon was a life-aspiration that the dream self instinctively just knows. Writing more poems is always a good idea, but after the writing is done, I must also send them out and let others read them in journals and books.
I have been sending out poems regularly, but through discussion with other poets online, I’ve discovered that there is a difference in how most male-identified poets submit work, especially when getting an encouraging note that is still a rejection. When they read the words, “We’d like you to submit again,” they do it and they do it the same day or the next day. I have resolved to submit like a man.
As part of this resolve, I went through my rejections and looked for the “submit again” emails. There were far more than I thought, and far too many where I now believe they would have welcomed a quick turnaround submission. Instead, I mentally filed them in the “wait a year” category just because that was the rule over ten year ago. Of course, by then the impetus is gone and whatever they saw in my poems that they liked may have shifted to something else. All the same, I am sending again now to those who like my poems, even to the ones that now have a one-year gap.
The belief that some editors have that there are fewer (good) women poets than there are men poets may have more to do with a more aggressive submitting style that numbers or merit. There’s no reason I can’t do that too and I will.