“How To Write an Acceptance Speech” – I actually googled this because, tomorrow, I have to give one. And what do poets know about such things? I’m sure there was good advice in the sites that popped up, but I’ll never know, because I started writing the poem “How To Write an Acceptance Speech” instead, which was full of not-very-useful advice on a lot of things not related to speechifying, like the correct color of a roux for your gumbo (chocolate-milk color, y’know).
Maybe there are poets who like to give speeches. I’m not one of them, but New England Public Radio is giving me their Arts & Humanities Award tomorrow, so I had to shape up. Over the past few weeks I briefly considered a call-and-response acceptance speech (nixed), then a poem acceptance speech in which the words “new” “england” “public” “radio” were part of a sestina’s end words (nixed), and I dreamed I had to sing my acceptance speech (woke in cold sweat). I’ve gone through all the grief-stages associated with loss as part of my need to write an acceptance speech, and here I am, 36 hours out, finally at acceptance. I’m even excited (which I’m sure is not part of the grief-stages).
NEPR has been fabulous – they even made a broadside of one of my poems to give out to everyone at the event tomorrow. If they let me put it online, I’ll do that in an upcoming post.
Hopefully I’ll see some of your shiny, happy faces tomorrow. I promise I won’t sing.