Huntington, Ind.—Brett Jenkins thought she was getting the cold shoulder. But when her friend Hayley Johnson sent her a text message early one morning reading, “You’re in Denver Syntax!” she realized she was wrong.
That morning Jenkins, a senior English major at Huntington University, saw her poem titled “Windex” in the quarterly publication of the “Denver Syntax” weeks after submitting it without hearing back. She e-mailed the editor and learned that he had tried contacting her through her school e-mail, but it didn’t work.
“So I gave up thinking I was too good for them,” said Jenkins of Pierson, Fla.
The poem came out of a game Jenkins and Johnson, a junior English major from Fort Wayne, Ind., played over the summer. They sat around and pulled words out of a word bag—random words Jenkins wrote on cut-up pieces of index cards and put in a plastic bag—and wrote poems about those specific words. One of the words that came up was “Windex.”
“I thought it was funny, which it is,” Jenkins said. “Some of the poems can be a little accidental, but some of your creative genius is always going to be involved whenever you sit down to write something.”
The “Denver Syntax” agreed. They publish “provocative works dealing with madness, sex, death, general mishaps, strange infirmities and unique situations” and enjoy “wit and clever pieces that play on words while keeping the focus on the storyline,” according to their Web site. And the editor told Jenkins to keep submitting and to stay in touch.
Jenkins said she’s excited about this because the publication will look good on résumés, and now she has something interesting to say at parties.
“I knew if I waited it out enough, I wouldn’t have to pay someone else to publish my writing,” she said. “It got picked because of its merit, which I’m really happy about.”
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