I submitted poems last month to The Normal School, a new literary magazine from CSU Fresno. The fledgling publication intrigued me a few months back when I first received word of its submissions call. Though I couldn’t have a look at a back issue (with the inaugural issue coming out Fall 2008), I figured the chances that this Normal bunch would come out with a nicely done pub were pretty good, especially since the website’s color scheme is a near-match to that of my living room (hmmm…tasteful!), and I thought I should try to submit something. Of course, I then promptly let that to-do slip away as so many others have. The last-call call came around last month by email, to which I submitted, and then just as promptly received an auto-reply stating that, due to the overwhelming number of electronic submissions, only postal submissions would be accepted and email submissions would remain unread. Oh.
But by then, I was inexplicably driven by Central Valley poetic ambitions, here explicated: I’ve lately felt nostalgic about seemingly disregarded or forlorn areas of California; true and imagined “vaca” “villes”; culture outside of major cities; my own origins in Sacramento; planned family visits to Modesto and experiencing nothing to do there; the biases I have about these places (and Fresno) as geographical punctuations for Wal-Mart instead of art and literature; and also reading about Lee Herrick‘s recent, heartening launch of another issue of In The Grove (also out of Fresno), which contains work by fellow Intergenerational Writers Lab poet, Oscar Bermeo, as well as Facebook friends with shared OCHO #16 pages, Craig Perez and Sasha Pimentel Chacón.
So, despite postal submissions being kind of a hassle and probably wasteful as to time, money and tree product, I printed out my former email submission and submitted via the post, with a SASE. Well, that envelope was returned today with a thinness that betrayed its sealed contents. The envelope contained a pleasant rejection (as shown here and here). And a sticker. First two reactions: 1. Oh well, a rejection. 2. Oh! A sticker!
It is way, way cooler than an “I Voted [American flag]” sticker one gets at their polling place on designated Tuesdays. Even those I don’t get anymore now that I vote by absentee ballot.
The point being, that, despite receiving a rejection slip so many poets and writers know all too well, my 5th-grade, sticker-album, Care-Bears self was totally won over by the fact that the editors sent me a sticker: