Since winning the World’s Most Exposed Poetry Contest back in June of this year, I haven’t known how to think of myself as a poet. It is hard to deny that being selected as one of 6 out of about 400 and then being elected by a plurality of the members is both an honor, and a little bit of “not such a big deal” compared to say being selected as “Poet of the Year” by the Pulitzer committee or getting a Nobel, or even winning a National Book Critic Circle award for poetry, and as there is no money involved, either in compensation or in cost for folks to get access to my winning poem, it is questionable how big a deal it actually is. Make no mistake, it is, by far, the largest audience and the most votes I have ever received in any kind of contest, but still of the millions who received the Goodreads Newsletter, how many opened it? how many of those who opened it read all the way to the bottom, and of these, how many actually read my poem?
no way for me to know. Am I a celebrity? Am I legitimately a good poet? Should I start seriously submitting to prestigious poetry journals? Does it matter?
It would matter if I started receiving a few hundred dollars per month in payments, and sold a few thousand books each year and made a few thousand more in speaking fees, but that is like a garage band hoping to get steady work, a record contract and a few gold records… (do they still call them gold records? how do you hang an mp3 on your wall? do they still make mp3s? I am totally out of the loop on music), I dont think my chances are very good, so i will probably focus on my day job and sink back beneath the waves of obscurity, never having known if I was almost in the majors, or did I hit a pop fly in a ball and get a sympathetic round of applause. but then, I wonder if most of us dont live with that question about something or some moment in our lives, and then of course, we are all dead soon enough:)
My point of the above ramblings is to say I was recently interviewed by S. Scott Whitaker! Whitaker published my interview, along with several other indie poets (means none of us are the famous category, though a couple are closer to the “making real money off of poetry” camp than I am)
Let me know what you think. I hope I didnt come across too much as the arrogant fool I so often am!