Poetry We Admire: Rejections


Unique to the writing community, rejection is a daily fact of life. A professor once told me, she sent out her favorite story forty times before receiving an acceptance. These tales of heartbreak for poets, and other writers alike, are common. So, with last month’s #shareyourrejection trend on Twitter, we set out to collect some of the best, most recent work centering on the theme of rejection. Dig into this month’s selection below.



there are many

ways to love

like Britney that

class act she went

high & shaved her

head for our sins


by Rachelle Toarmino in Cosmonauts Avenue

How about the out right rejection, or at the least a hardy critique, of the man in mankind? Rachelle Toarmino’s premise in “You Animal” is that the so-called Creator got cute in his offering of men. With a balanced serving of Britney and biting lines, Toarmino offers a vignette rife with the desperate minutiae of modern romance. By poem’s end, it’s debatable whether “You Animal” is glued together by love or rejection, but sometimes, we need both.



Attachment /

is the root of all suffering, sure



by Lucia Lotempio in TYPO

Lucia Lotempio’s [I REMEMBER THE GIRL] is written about the worst type of rejection—that is self-rejection. The narrator, like the best of us, peels herself back, claws inward, and toils over small moments of embarrassment and detaching, even if at times from the mundane. But we would write this only half-heartedly to pretend like Lotempio’s poem doesn’t offer a depth ripe with a multitude of themes. For a work of this caliber, you must explore it yourself.



        He says, says water means


        You did not learn this

        ache from me



by Nic Alea in BOAAT

The lines of Nic Alea’s “Father” are shrouded with rejection and finger-pointing. The narrator begins by asking, “has he taught me / not / but cold / & static silence.” In this, the narrator asks, How can he blame me for being just like him? This is the age-old argument of children vs. parents and the poem captures the vulnerability of children—even if presumably adult-aged—when rejected by their parents. Alea’s “Father” leaves the reader wanting more, but whose father doesn’t leave something to be desired.


Nicholas Brown