Sunday, October 02, 2005


I just read the emailed results of the Tupelo Press first book prize (not that I entered this year . . .only so many checks you can write a year, you know), and in the finalists I saw the name ‘Jennifer Militello’. I’m astonished she doesn’t have a book yet . . .

When we lived in the Northampton/Amherst area, the year after our mfa and before I got really sick was when I was most actively reading journals and paying attention to what those publishing were doing/capable of. There were five non-book-published poets whose work seemed so clearly talented, just obviously there, and not only there but going. Exciting, like if I were an editor I’d want their abilities and intelligences to define what I published in my journal/series. They were Dan Beachy-Quick (though I think he was still just Quick then), Gabe Gudding, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Joanie Mackowski, and Jennifer Militello. So, four of those five have a book (and some books).

Since then, I’ve not been able to concentrate on such things so completely. Other concerns, you know, just now.

So I’m just surprised she doesn’t have a book yet. For reasons of personal vanity. That’s all. Not to mention the strange feeling attendant one gets when it is made clear that sometimes getting that book published takes a long time, even for good poets.

For reasons of personal vanity.
How so?
and I agree 100% that Jennifer Militello should have a book by now.
In fact, I was searching for one of her poems on Google and stumbled here. :-)

Oh, I was just being flip, kind of making fun of myself. I meant, 'well, I kind of culled these five out of my reading as poets of the first order, and I want my editorial eye to be affirmed by the publishing-industry-at-large.' Just being silly--they're great poets regardless of who/where/when they publish books.
That's funny, I had exactly the same thought when I saw the finalists. Just, because i've seen her poems in journals for what seems like forever, and god they are really really good.
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