It is that time of year again—time for Pulitzer entries…
As always, I readily acknowledge that, as an unknown, self-published poet, it is unlikely that I will win a Pulitzer Prize. As long as the competition is open to anyone who meets the qualifications, though, I see no reason not to enter.
This is my third year in a row submitting a book for consideration. Two years ago, I submitted Refusal to Remain Invisible; last year, my entry was This Is Fifty-three. This year, I chose to enter This Is Not the Book That Will Save Your Life.
With my previous entries, I used the final October deadline to spur me to finish the book I was working on. In both cases, this choice did not give me much leeway. Refusal… might have benefited from a more leisurely production schedule, and This Is Fifty-three would definitely have benefited from more time to work out the unexpected color printing problems (you may recall that the proof looked exactly the way I wanted it to, but the copies I ordered after approving the proof all came out too dark; it wasn’t until after I had no choice but to submit the copies I had on hand that I was able to make the adjustments necessary to compensate).
This time, rather than let an external deadline dictate my publishing and production choices, I opted to enter something I had already finished. …but for the thoughts running through my mind includes my alphabet poems and ‘Be safe out there’, but This Is Not the Book That Will Save Your Life feels to me like the stronger work overall.
So, today I went to the Pulitzer site, filled out the entry form, and paid the $50 entry fee, then drove to the post office to mail the requisite four copies to complete my entry—well ahead of the recommended June 15 submission deadline for books published during the first half of the year (the final deadline is October 1).
The only drawback to sending my entry in so early is that I’ll have ten or eleven months to wait instead of six or seven. Let the waiting commence!
(20 May 2017)