I hate to be in the limelight, and I hate to promote my own work. Yes, I do know that I post links to my poems, but it still feels awkward to me. So, I almost didn’t post this recognition, mostly because, well, it sounds a bit self-serving. Yet, I wanted to thank those who support my work. So, here it goes.
In May, at a special faculty recognition meeting, I received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. I’m only now posting this bit of great news because JCC just published the official news release
. I found out about the nomination back in December and I was stunned. While my creative work is valued at JCC, I’m not in a publish or perish college, and indeed, teaching creative writing is only a very small part of my courseload. I can’t say that I didn’t think my colleagues paid attention to my work — many of them purchased Stealing Dust
and were always eager to hear my stories of readings — but I didn’t think they would take the time (it is a long process) to nominate me.
In a world where many writers (especially poets) feel undervalued, I feel very lucky to have a job where my colleagues and students appreciate my work. I also feel very lucky for the support I have outside my little college community. When I was nominated for the award, I was asked to find poets and scholars outside JCC to speak and write brief letters on my behalf. So at this time, I would to thank poets Todd Davis, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Sandy Longhorn, Jerry Wemple, and Gabriel Welsch for taking time out of their busy schedules to write a few kind words about my work.
I feel lucky and grateful to be part of such a supporting network of writers — both at JCC and in the poetry world at large. Although I am uncertain about what my future will be in the writing community, I know that I have found a readership that is important to me.