Rejection to Acceptance: 57 Poems That Finally Made It
by Patricia Williams
57 Poems ~ 145 pages
Price: $23.00
Publisher: Kelsay Books
ISBN: 978-1-63980-321-7
To Order: Kelsay Books & 


This is not a “How to Write Poetry” book. It’s an account of one poet’s journey from initial inspiration to ultimate publication. In all, Williams chronicles her experiences in moving 57 poems from rejection to acceptance. Notes on each poem’s backstory place readers “in the action.” Poetry enthusiasts spanning a range of interests and abilities will find in Rejection to Acceptance, practical insights to support their writing and inspire them “to never give up.”


“The book is eminently readable. I sat down to read it and couldn’t put it down. There is a lot to learn about persistence … Poet, don’t ever give up!”
–Karla Huston, Wisconsin Poet Laureate Emerita, author of Ripple, Scar, and Story

“This original book collects poems and stories about being a poet … her often wry and always captivating narrations … guide readers through … each poem’s history.”
–Angela W. Emmert, U of Wisconsin, Fox Valley. Winner, Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award, 2022



Patricia Williams retired after a 27-year career in the Division of Interior Architecture, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, preceded by eight years as a K-12 Art instructor. She planned to write a book on Chinese art after retirement but in 2013 began writing poetry instead. Over 300 of her poems have been published in literary journals, anthologies, art and poetry collaborations and embedded in a city sidewalk.
Her first book, a 27-poem chapbook, “The Portside of Shadows–Poems of Travel “(Finishing Line Press,). was published in 2017. Patricia’s 60-poem collection, “Midwest Medley: Places & People, Wild Things & Weather” (Kelsay Books, 2018) was honored for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry for 2018 by the Wisconsin Library Association. Patricia’s latest collection, also from Kelsay, Rejection to Acceptance, 57 Poems That Finally Made It, was released in July 2023. It is a combination of poetry and mini essays on the trials and tribulations of publishing creative work. She has won several prizes and been nominated for both Best-of-the-Net and the Pushcart Prize.
Patricia and her husband live in the Wisconsin countryside eight miles from a village of a thousand and 25 miles from any place larger. She has a website, and is at work on a new book.


by Patricia Williams

Three dozen doves rise in unison,
a gray-feathered canopy
winging toward a struggling sun
as red dusk saturates the sky.

Flightless, we wander–
drift in an earth-bound limbo,
searching for direction,
nomads roaming boulevards–
the act of travelling more important
than the destination.

Backstory note: The initial inspiration was a group of mourning doves in my yard. This led to memories of my father and grandfather who kept homing pigeons; then on to some World War I history concerning homing pigeons.


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