|April 6, 1981
I have just returned from a six-day trip to Washington, D.C., to
find your card asking about the publication of poems. I have not
published–nor have I sought to publish–any of the poems you named.
I do want to point out, though, that I have received a note
from the director of the Wilory Farm poetry contest (the note was in
the mailbox with your card), explaining that “Where I Live” has been
chosen for a fifth prize in the contest, and that the poem will be
printed in a booklet that will be sent out to other contestants only
and copyrighted in my name.
To clear up any possible doubts, I should tell you a couple of
things about this. One is that I wrote to the director before submitting
my poem to ask whether the contest would interfere in any way with the
future publication of the poem. The answer was no. The other thing I
want you to know is that I would have written you about the Wilory Farm
plans whether or not you had sent your card. I do not intend to repeat
my mishap of a year ago.
I do not think there is anything here that would prevent Joey
from sending “Where I Live” out, but I want him to know about the note
just in case he has any misgivings. Please let me know what he thinks.
No, “A Dream of Herman” is not finished yet. My Great Sadness and
the hectic schedule which the New Hampshire College course has caused
have limited time for revision or new work. I am sending a new version
of “The Fat People of the Old Days” with this, though. Please replace
the other version with this one if the poem comes back unpublished
and if you have no doubts about the changes I have made.
No word yet from the Academy of Am. Poets about the Walt Whitman
contest. Though I “expect nothing,” I do manage to check my mail.
I hope all is well with you and Jane–also that Joey is doing
better with the new medication.