For some reason, I always get big news in transit. When Theories of Falling won the New Issues Poetry Prize the managing editor spent three fruitless days trying to get a hold of me--but I was in Switzerland. (Don't hate me. It's not a regular occurrence.) I received the call from my agent telling me that Crown had bought Don't Kill the Birthday Girl while waiting on a flight to AWP Chicago at National Airport (the one time a delayed departure proved fortuitous).
So a few weeks back I was staying at a friend's house in Charlottesville for a reading at the Festival of the Book. Even though he had long since gone to bed, I was still wired from the evening's Rita Dove/Boyd Tinsley performance. Realizing my friend had left his laptop in the guest room, I started restlessly deleting spam from my Webmail. Click...click...click...
I thought the fourth email was spam, too; it didn't have a subject line. I almost deleted it. Thanks god I didn't, because the email was telling me I'd won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize. I Was the Jukebox has been selected by Joy Harjo and will be published by W.W. Norton in spring 2010.
I had big news. I had big news at 2 AM in a house that wasn't my own, with no one to tell. I hopped around my friend's house in my socks, by myself, mouthing "O O O" over and over, before remembering I have a sister in college. And undergrads are ALWAYS awake, which is part of why we love them.
Then for the rest of the Festival, surrounded by fellow poets, teachers, mentors, I got to share...nothing. It was excruciating! But I'd been sworn to secrecy by the prize coordinators.
Up until today. More to come, but here is the official press release. And if you want first look at the details, you can find them on the revamped website. New book, new look.