On June 2008, I was publishing poems at the International Library of Poetry’s website (Poetry.com), as I received an invitation to Las Vegas by the International Society of Poets, which was one of the world’s largest poetry organizations. I was invited in Las Vegas because I was one of the nominees as Poet of the Year 2007. I was invited because of my poetic accomplishments at Poetry.com. It was an opportunity for me to meet the Pulitzer Prize Laureate, W.D. Snodgrass, Academy of American Poets Past Chancellor David Wagoner and others. But I couldn’t go in the U.S. because I wasn’t well physically and I was sad about it.
Somewhere in July 2008, I was talking with one of my acquaintances about my poems, while we were at a library in Kolding (Denmark). I also showed him the letter I received from the International Society of Poets.
He recommended that I write a book because he saw a potential in me as a writer, but I didn’t. I was afraid to write a book because I thought that I would make a fool out of myself to the world. I didn’t think that I could write good books and I always dreaded that people won’t like my books.
And then I thought about it and I decided to get help from a Danish library, in Kolding concerning finding a publisher. I was willing to find a publisher everywhere in Denmark, but common sense told me that I had to try to find a publisher in the U.S. because most of my poems are written in English and the book market in the States is bigger than in Denmark.
On August 2008, I decided to give it a try. I decided to write my first book and find a publisher across United States and Canada. But I faced lots of challenges because some publishers wouldn’t allow me to publish my book, because I don’t live in either the States or Canada. But I didn’t give up and I still had hope that United States or Canada are the places for me to publish my books.
I contacted Trafford Publishing from Canada and they were willing to publish my book, but I realized that I realized that I didn’t have enough resources and it would be too expensive for me to get my book published.
I felt like hope was gone and I almost quit writing my book. In September 2008, I was publishing my poems as usual at allpoetry.com. Accidentally, I found I-Proclaim’s website. I was very skeptic about their services because many publishers always ask for money before they publish your book. But I decided to get out of my comfortable zone and take this chance, which I might never of gotten.
I-Proclaim was very supportive and they helped making changes, when they weren’t satisfied with the way my document looked. In January 2009, my first book of poetry, The Depth of my Soul was published. In February, my second book, The Struggle of Power and the Fight for Survival and other books, like Freedom of press the sitting duck and Silent Talking. Currently, I am working on my fifth and last book of the year, which going to be a non-fiction book, thanks to the opportunity, I-Proclaim has given me.
My hope is that you get published and that you may be happy, when you look at your first book. Don’t give up on yourself. I know it can be frustrated, but keep on moving and do something remarkable. Don’t let someone’s negative opinion become your reality.
Balthazar Rodrigue Nzomono-Balenda is not only an author and a poet, but also a student, multimedia designer and translator. His previous books include The Depth of My Soul and The Struggle for Power and the Fight for Survival. Balthazar became interested in poetry by accident in 2003 when he wasn’t satisfied with the way things were going in his early studies and in the Danish society. His latest book is Freedom of Press: The Sitting Duck. You can visit Balthazar on the web at http://www.redroom.com/author/balthazar-rodrigue-nzomono-balenda.