Yesterday marked the five-year anniversary of when my first poem was published by Dissident Voice in 2014. I’ve remained a weekly contributor on the site’s Sunday Poetry Page ever since. I’ll be forever grateful to Angie Tibbs for the confidence she has continually shown in my work.
It has been an exciting five years so far on this journey. More than 1,700 of my poems have appeared in over 340 different venues around the world. Selections of my writing have been translated into Afrikaans, Albanian, Dutch, Farsi, French, Italian, Kurdish, and Serbian. I’m thankful to all the amazing editors, publishers, and other artists I’ve had the pleasure to connect with, collaborate with, and work alongside during the ride. I do my best to remain calm, steady, and centered in my lane.
A special thank you to everyone associated with these presses that published my six books: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015); Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016); Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016); Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017); Abstract Visions of Light (Alien Buddha Press, 2018); and Of Sand and Sugar (Cyberwit, 2019). Independent publishing is truly a labor of love.
Thank you also to all the owners, coordinators, and hosts who help organize events that I’ve had the pleasure of attending and participating at. Some of the great highlights of my life have been the opportunities to read my work here at home in Georgia, and in areas of Alabama, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Canada, and the UK. Two recent occasions during 2019 were presenting a speech at Georgia State University for the Atlanta Writers Club and being a part of the Setu Mag Bilingual Lit Fest held in Toronto.
I’m thankful to the publishers where I have served in an editorial role for their journals and other projects through the years, including the 2019 Western Voices special edition for Setu Mag and the upcoming anthology on the theme of hope & hopelessness for Culture Cult Press.
I’m thankful to all the writers whose words I’ve been able to publish and to all the people I’ve interviewed on my podcast (Songs of Selah) and here at my website (17Numa). You have helped keep me motivated, inspired, and focused.
Most of all, I’m thankful to the incredible soul friends I’ve met in the literary scene and other areas of life. Each of you has affected me in a positive fashion, and I appreciate the lessons you have taught me. What else can I say? The path is seldom easy, it’s not meant to be, but it’s always beneficial, and it’s almost always fun. I am thankful, and I believe that the best is still to come.