My first! Ever! Poetry! Sale!
And my second poem written, for certain systems of counting them. I had written poetry before: as an assignment in elementary school; for RPGs I played in and ran; as components for works of prose fiction; even, on a scattered few occasions — three, if we’re being generous — just because I had an idea. But it wasn’t until April 2021 that I wrote what my brain decided was My First Poem, one I not only wrote to be its own, stand-alone thing, but felt was Actual Successful Poem enough to be submitted to publishers.
Maybe there’s something about the number two for me. My first published novel was my second novel written; my first published poem will be my second poem written. It is thirty-three lines of free verse inspired by reading about the life of the Chinese author Pu Songling — or, more precisely, reading about the fact that he had sisters and daughters and a wife, and we know essentially nothing about any of them. The erasure of women from history worldwide except in passing notes about e.g. “a wife from the family Liu” led to this poem falling out of my head one night in October 2021, very much to my surprise. Polished up, it sold to Fantasy Magazine — my first-ever sale there, too — and will be coming out in a future issue!