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On Being Found: Winter 2021-2022

On New Year’s Day in upstate New York, the scene that played beyond the colonial-style windows was a vision from a Norman Rockwell painting. A group of boys pulled a toboggan along the sidewalk toward a nearby hill. Coffee steamed from the cup between my hands, the earthy scent as rich as the sight of bark on the snowy bushes edged beneath the living room windows.

I sat with my laptop open, scanning emails before a mid-morning hike with my partner and his aunt.

Buried below a pile of junk mail, a subject line popped out at me, “Unlost Journal: Amy Davis acceptance”. Butterflies swirled in my stomach. An uncontrollable smile spread across my face. Sometimes, I’ll write something that surprises me without any effort. But that’s a rarity. Generally, I write a draft and revise until I’ve found its essential components. Then I workshop it in my head and revise again. At some point (some of it may be intuition) I decide when it’s ready to either be trashed or sent off for publication. I written a few poems lately that I’ve thought either someone is going to love them, or they are going to hate them, there is no middle ground so precise was the aesthetic that created them. It’s validating to receive an acceptance from someone you don't know. An acceptance from a publisher is like a peer review, or it should be. My found poem, Along the Edge of the World, was published in the February 2022 issue.

After returning to Missouri, I finished another poem I had started and submitted it to another journal that I enjoy reading, Dream Pop. (I could write an entire blog about the literary journals I’d recommend.) To my surprise, my poem was accepted by the Dream Pop editors that same day. This poem will be featured in the September 2022 issue.

I have held on submitting the last few months. My focus has been reading and subscribing to more journals in addition to generating and revising newer work. I will start submitting again this month.

Looking ahead to this summer, I will be attending the Kenyon Review Residential Writers Workshop in Gambier, Ohio. To say I’m elated is an understatement. My goal is to complete a full-length collection by the end of year and half of the material I plan to generate at the summer retreat. I have ideas for a title, but don’t want to put a label on it yet. There is still more to discover.

Here’s tipping a glass to the voices of human existence~

Amy Leigh

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