Rejection Letter

Rejection is a red dodgeball
lodged in your gut.
Unless you’re a writer.
Then it’s just Tuesday.

This year I entered the 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship competition and was rejected. But ho! I just received a delightful email from them. As far as rejection letters go, this one’s pretty damn good.

Dear Eva Moe,

Thank you for participating in the 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship competition. The work you submitted was superior, with the result that you were placed among a small group of finalists selected from over 2100 applications. Your poems were read and reread with great admiration by our selection committee.

We were very impressed by the high level of accomplishment evident in your poems, which makes it very difficult to have to say that, after careful consideration of all the excellent finalists, you have not been chosen as a recipient for one of this year’s awards. We strongly encourage you to apply again next year if you’ll still be eligible then.

It was a genuine pleasure reading and thinking about your poems, and all of us wish you the very best.


Don Share
Editor, POETRY

I wonder how close I came to being a finalist? Was I top 50? Top 30? Either way, I made it past multiple cuts. And even though I didn’t make the finals, this letter is still going to be printed out and placed on my wall.

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