What I got in the mail today:
I am pleased to tell you that our judges have selected your poem, “Patriarchal Blessing,” as the recipient of the Mary Lythgoe Bradley Poetry Award for the best poem published in Dialogue during 2007. This award was established by Mary Lythgoe Bradley, a former editor of Dialogue and a highly esteemed poet. The amount of the award is $150, as you see from the enclosed check. An announcement of this award will appear in the summer 2008 issue of the journal.
I am personally pleased with the judges’ decision to make this award to your poem, which gets at the heart of the Latter-day Saint institution of the patriarchal blessing better than pages of prose. I appreciate very much the signal contribution that you make to Mormon literature on many fronts.
Thanks for your friendship and for your support of Dialogue.
Levi S. Peterson
And here’s what I sent to Levi via e-mail.
You can’t imagine the thrill of joy I got upon reading your letter, which informed me that my poem “Patriarchal Blessing” has been awarded the Mary Lythgoe Bradley award. Well, you were a beginning writer once—maybe you can imagine it. Anyway, poetry in our culture is a too often lonely and unacknowledged endeavor, and so the award was extremely heartening to this still-very-beginning poet. I want you to know that, in my case at least, this award is doing exactly what I’m sure you all have hoped it would: it is encouraging me to continue.
The check is also very welcome. Being on a tight budget, any money that I wish to spend on my writing (including subscriptions) must come from my writing, and I’m happy for the class this money will help me to afford.
More than that, though, I’m grateful for your kind personal note. Your letter made my day and will keep me going for many months. Thank you!