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  • suzannahwatchorn

New poems, "The Intrinsic Lexicon," "Teatime" & a prompt

Vibe: whimsical, wistful, imaginative

Rejections: 1

Hands, gloved or naked,
crinkled or smooth, withered stumps or long and blushing
offer us everything, adept at their own language

Read more at Sky Island Journal.

This is my first time having two poems published side-by-side, and they do in many ways feel like a pair. I wrote them both in response to prompts at a local poetry class, edited them together, sent them out together. I wonder if they speak to one another in ways I haven't even discovered yet.

You may notice that I've listed the rejections at 1. Wow, right? Well, yes, but I also want to add that this was not my first time submitting to Sky Island Journal: they rejected 5 of my poems last year. However, they were kind enough to encourage me to submit again, and they told me which of my rejected poems they liked most.

I mention this because I know it's easy to take any rejection as huge and conclusive, i.e., they must hate my work! I shall never submit to them again! they are my enemies!

The truth is, rejection both is and isn't about our work. The 5 poems I sent Sky Island Journal last year were not as strong as this pair; in fact, that original batch remains unpublished. And there is undoubtedly some luck involved, such as whether your poems fit with the editors' vision for the next issue.

All we can do is keep writing, revising, submitting. (I'm currently at 61 rejections for 2024, how about you?) And if you're truly burned out, take a break and read something incredible.

Right now I'm listening to Chanel Miller's memoir, Know My Name. Like many people, I knew Miller first as the survivor of a sexual assault on Stanford's campus, and the person behind Emily Doe's transcendent impact statement. Now I know her as the tremendous artist and writer. Craft-wise, I would recommend her as a writer that can show us how to weave figurative language into prose and make it look effortless.


Write about a game you played as a child; step fully into your imagination again.


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