Back in late March 2009, having just started writing poems in earnest two weeks earlier, my raw enthusiasm prompted me to buy a copy of the 2009 Poet’s Market and start figuring out places to send my new works. The entry for The Great American Poetry Show especially caught my eye because its editor, Larry Ziman (maybe the same as the poker player?), encouraged poets to send as many poems as they wanted, far more than the usual batch of three to five. I’d been experiencing a long bout of poetic logorrhea, so I had plenty of crappy pieces to send him and TGAPS; I think I started by mailing them 111 poems in a big manila envelope. They were all rejected within the week. Over and over, I sent TGAPS everything I wrote throughout the next few years, both my solo work and my collaborations with Martin Ott. Finally, 368 poems later, Larry called me in the summer of 2012 while I was driving back from Banh Mi Che Cali in Westminster, California. He mentioned wanting to shortlist a few of my poems, and was okay with the fact that two of them were or would be previously published.
Today, about sixteen or seventeen months later, I finally received the official email from Larry that he would like to include “Island Living,” “Reconquista,” and “The Romantic Stylings of G. Albert Touchstone” (a very early pastiche of Eliot’s “Prufrock”) in Volume 3 of The Great American Poetry Show, scheduled to hit the stands in January 2015. (And, of course, he encouraged me to send even more work in the meantime.) Wow, so almost six years after I first started sending this journal my work, it’ll finally publish some of it. That’s cool. I appreciate Larry’s periodic encouragement as much as my own persistence. But it does seem a little bit like the end of an era, or at least of a minor quest.