April 16, 2021 | By: Gloria Muñoz
This April–this week to be exact–my debut poetry book was published. I’ve worked on this book for years.
It was rejected many, many, many times; so many times that the word “many” would likely take up the word-count requirement of this entire blog post. I took the book apart, edited it, brought individual poems to my writing group, reworked the poems, and restarted writing the book completely. Some of the poems were written in Spanish (my first language), some were in English. I did not know if I would ever find a bilingual press to support my vision for this book.
After another year or so of working on the poems in both languages, I started to believe in my bilingual poetry manuscript a bit more and I began the submission process once again. I had a plan, a spreadsheet, and surprisingly, despite all the past rejection, I had a lot of hope for the manuscript. My spreadsheet quickly filled with red highlighter as rejection after rejection rolled in.
Once again, I considered stepping away from the manuscript. But, I couldn’t. I knew the book was ready was ready. It was a manuscript of my heart that I spent years writing and revising. I continued sending it out for submission.
Months later, I got the call from the Academy of American Poets. My manuscript had been selected for the Ambroggio Prize. My poetry book Danzirly / Dawn’s Early was going to be published!
Then, the pandemic came and publishing, like everything else in the world, came to a screeching halt. Months passed. Then a year passed. Eventually, things picked up again. The fabulous team of Arizona University Press put everything into motion. Danzirly would be out in April of 2021.
I never thought I would publish a book during a pandemic. This journey has taught me a lot about myself as a writer and its made me consider all the aspects of releasing a book. Now that Danzirly has officially launched, I want to use these posts as a Creative Pinellas Professional Artist to share bits of my journey to publication, particularly during this distinctly challenging time.
I look forward to sharing bits of my journey with you.
One more note, I’d like to invited you to Dazirly’s virtual book tour. Here are the dates for the next two readings:
National Poetry Month Reading at USF, 7 p.m. ET on Monday, April 19th, free: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1203706161035503887
Danzirly Celebration w/ friends at Tombolo Books, 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 29th, free:
Bio: Gloria Muñoz is a Colombian American writer, poet, and translator. Learn more at www.gloriamunoz.com. Find her on Twitter: @bygloriamunoz.