This past summer I submitted a poetry chapbook to a contest sponsored by Accents Publishing, an independent press in Lexington, KY (http://www.accents-publishing.com/news.html). The subject of my chapbook, entitled Fertility Rites*, was my personal experience with the frustration of trying to conceive, the euphoria of finally becoming pregnant, and the devastation of losing my baby girl at 21 weeks. Most of the poems were written during the 5 months following the loss and working on this project was very therapeutic for me. I knew I was taking a big risk in submitting something with such personal and emotional content, but I really felt like I needed to share my story. When the results of the contest were announced at the end of August, Fertility Rites* was not among the chapbooks selected for publication. At first, I was really disappointed, but I knew deep down that my submission needed improvement. Some of the poems were written in a hurry in order to meet the contest deadline and I think it showed. However, the chapbook also included some of my best work which made me determined to revise and seek publication elsewhere.
While considering publishing options, I realized I already had an option available to me--my blog. And so I have decided to publish my chapbook here on Versions of Chai--one poem at a time. The poems will be posted in their unrevised versions, but I will also include commentary on each poem. I welcome feedback and suggestions on how the poems can be improved. Look for the first poem next week.
*I have decided to change the title to Infertility Rites as I think this better explains what the chapbook is about.