“Hold This Moment in Stone” published in the Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume IX: Virginia

I’m very pleased to be part of the Virginia focused issue of The Southern Poetry Anthology (Volume IX in a series), which includes poets from across the state. My poem “Hold This Moment in Stone” was selected almost two years ago (back when I was still a resident in my native state) to be part of the book. So it’s been a long wait! The anthology is available in print and ebook versions. Publication and ordering info here. (Also available on Amazon, etc.)

According to the back cover blurb, ‘This collection includes well-known, established, and celebrated poets such as Charles Wright, Claudia Emerson, Gregory Orr, Ellen Bryant Voigt, R. T. Smith, Forrest Gander, and Rita Dove, and the editors have dedicated equal focus on newer, diverse poets who continue to broaden and enrich the literary legacy of this beautiful state.” Although I’m not familiar with most of those “well-known” poets, I was happy to see my friends Mel Nichols and Rod Smith represented with generous samplings of their work.

“Hold This Moment in Stone” is part of my “Civilization’s Lost” series, and ironically it was one of the last of those pieces to be published. After I sent it to the Southern Poetry Anthology, Futures Trading accepted it–although editor Caleb Puckett suggested an edit, saying the poem “has a lot of potential. However, it does feel slightly rambling–like it could use a tighter focus as you move from stanza to stanza.” So I did change one stanza, the second to the last one on the page above, and he took it. The Southern Poetry Anthology was open to previously published work, so this wasn’t a problem. But I never changed the version I sent to the anthology, and they took it as is! I kind of think the poem is stronger with the edit, but it goes to show you never know what editors will like or dislike about a piece. You can read the edited version in Futures Trading here. No matter what, I’m pleased that two places accepted the work, and I think both versions work well. When it comes time to publishing the “Civilization’s Lost” series as a book, I’m not sure which version of the poem I’ll use.

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