Pretty Serious Poet

Last year I came across a call for submission for poems pertaining to the night sky. The poems were to be collected and published in book form, and the proceeds would go to benefit a planetarium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Being a Ball State grad, I was instantly excited and started grinding the gears in my brain to see what I could crank out. I started ruminating over Indiana nights, clear country skies, and lightning bugs. Fireflies to be more precise.

My wife and I had been binging the wonderful science fiction television show, “Firefly,” and I knew right away that I had to come up with an ode to Captain Malcolm Reynolds. The words came naturally and flowed freely. It’s a beautiful dedication to cult pop culture.

From there, I went real deep. You know, like a real poet. “The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favorite paintings ever (much like everybody else on the face of the earth), so I really dug into the artistic process that went into creating that masterpiece. Weeks of thought went into this poem and weeks more of tweaking it to get it right. In the end, it turned out great – if I do say so myself.

A few months ago I was informed that due to the amount of submissions the editors received, my poems were unfortunately not selected for the collection. I was really disappointed. I’d been included in previous publishings from this particular editor and I had direct ties to the beneficiary of this collection. In addition, these poems were much better than my previous ones. Okay, well at least the Starry Night poem was anyway. It’s always an honor and a privilege to have your work selected to be published, and I had my hopes up that I would be included in this one. When it didn’t pan out, it stung. At the end of the rejection though, there was one final line: “Please consider submitting your work for another publication I am currently taking submissions for. The publication, “Bards Against Hunger: Indiana Edition” will be published in the fall and will benefit a homeless shelter in Anderson.”

A glimmer of hope. I don’t have a connection to Anderson, but I also don’t like the thought of people going hungry, so it didn’t take any convincing for me to give it another shot. I resubmitted my night-time poems, and jackpot! I received notification last week that both poems were selected and will be featured in the upcoming collection to aid people in need in Anderson, Indiana.

Keep an eye out this fall for more news on when and where you can get a copy of this fundraising effort and help people who aren’t currently in a position to help themselves!

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