The Eric Hoffer Book Award is an annual award given to recognize academic, independent, small press, and self published books that were released or copyrighted in the last 2 years, including unique books with small print runs.
In January 2013, I submitted Unmasked to be judged in the Eric Hoffer Book Award 2013. It was a risk, but one that I wanted to take to see what professional response my creation would have. It was an exciting and an apprehensive period of waiting. Then on the 29th of April 2013, I was formally informed that I am one of the 37 finalists (out of I do not know how many entries) in the category of the Montaigne Medal. The Montaigne Medal honors books that have a “thought provoking title” or books that “either illuminate, progress, or re-direct [human] thought.”
It was such an unexpected but nonetheless thrilling event! It was and still is an unbelievable event for me. And for my first book attempt ever!! But more than just the “ego lift” this award has given me some very important information about my book as a whole versus each of the poems therein. These professional judges alerted me to a larger vision of where my book is heading to. That the collective progressive manner that I laid out the 9 facets, the gestalt of it, where Unmasked is heading is “larger than the sum of its parts.” Somehow even-though I had conceptualized these 9 facets of affects so that I could triage my poems, I was not completely conscious of what I was doing on a more over-riding “higher” plane. It was only when I received the news of my being a finalist in the Montaigne Medal, did the light bulb lite up in my head.