The good news:
Thank you for your submission to FIRST 2009 [university anthology]. We received almost 200 pieces [around 35 make it in], the overall standard of which was impressive. We are very pleased to advise that your work Friends is under consideration for possible inclusion in this year's publication...The bad news:
pending approval after some reworking.I got the 'suggested edits' later that week and they basically gutted it. I sent a rework that incorporates most of their suggestions, but argues against a couple that I thought were a bad idea. If they're only interested in it with all the changes made then I'll pass. In that state it isn't the poem I wrote and I wouldn't want my name on it. But I can live with the rework I sent them.
In truth it changes what the poem is about; what I was trying to express when I wrote it. For that reason it's a little bitter sweet that it will be published in that form. I can't post the poem here as it has to remain unpublished until the anthology is released, but maybe at that time I'll post all three versions and you can tell me if you think their revisions were on the mark or not.
The other interesting thing is that I submitted five pieces (two poems and three stories) and the only one that made it in is also the only one that was created from a real personal experience. Unfortunately this means I should probably tell the other person concerned before the anthology is published. I didn't think there was any point in doing so before, because I didn't know if it would be accepted anyway. Telling him then might have given the impression that the poem was supposed to deliver some kind of message to him, but in fact the poem was not written for, or in any practical sense directed at, him. It was just my way of expressing for my own sake how I felt at the time.
Of course now it's six months later and my feelings are completely different, so it will be a bit weird to bring it up. But I do still like the poem and I'm happy for it to be in the anthology, even if the committee's edits have made the whole 'finally getting published' thing a bit anti-climatic. But you know, yah and all. :)