Showing posts from December, 2011
Water Song
It was heartbreaking.  I had hoped to win the Walt Whitman Award in 1983, but my manuscript, something entitled "City Folk," had only been selected as one of forty finalists out of a field of twelve hundred manuscripts.  I have only rarely submitted manuscripts to contests and have not done even that in many years, but at this point in my life I can say that was not a bad showing.  I was still in factory, working as a janitor in the warehouse at Baltimore's Procter & Gamble plant, and I wanted to escape.  I had a plan, but the best laid plans are only plans.  The imponderable civic of human activity and the intelligence that governs it have other plans.  
         In 1975 I wrote the first version of what became "City Folk," and that became "Water Song" in 1985, a sojourn of ten years between first draft of a manuscript and a published book.  In 1975, "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" was a box office favorite, and ten year…