Winner 2015 Fiction Prize
Judge Laura van den Berg
Simon Han, "Be Tanly"
Winner 2016 Poetry Prize
Judge Camille Rankine
Alicia Wright, "His Father's Wake"
Finalists 2016 Poetry Prize
Anna Leigh Knowles, "The First Year We Lived Underground"
Talin Tahajian, "Hibernation"
"We want your writing and art in response to the Action at Standing Rock," write the editors. "In the past, we've provided art for you to spring from. This time, we want to open our submissions to visual artists as well as writers. Guest editor Tiffany Midge will help select final pieces. We waive submission fees for those directly involved in the resistance. Please help share the word."
Broadsided Press was founded in 2005 and publishes an original literary/artistic collaboration each month for download with the mission, quite simply, "to put literature and art on the streets."
Judge Dinty W. Moore [no relation] comments on the winning work: "'The End of the World' is a powerful, intricate, and compelling memoir essay. While other writers might have sensationalized the lurid aspects of heroin use and addiction, Kat Moore uses intimate detail and a matter-of-fact narrative to show just how quotidian the day-to-day life of a junkie can be. Superb writing and voice."
Contest Finalists: "Full Count" by Devin Kelly; "This is a Test of the Emergency System" by Jill Kolongowski; "Newmom" by Molly Pascal; "Pruritus" by JD Schraffenberger.
Profane is a winter annual print and audio journal of poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction. Every published poem and piece of prose is recorded in the author's own voice.
"Lion" by Cesar Valtierra draws readers in to Issue 6 of The Sounder Review, an online and print jounral of art, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. Based in Upstate New York, TSR "strives to question, redefine, and challenge conventional viewpoints; to usurp the definition of reality and truth."
The seventh season of Motion Poems has begun. If you're a 'series' watcher and love getting your installment fixes - then tag onto Motion Poems. This season's installments are being produced in partnership with Cave Canem, "a home for the many voices of African American poetry." Motion Poems combines works from great poets with outstanding contemporary filmmakers to create free films for everyone to enjoy. This season, Motion Poems will be releasing each new film monthly via Facebook and posting announcements of the release on Twitter and Instagram, so LIKE and FOLLOW Motion Poems to stay up-to-date with the series. You can also sign up for their quaterly newsletter which includes links to the films as well as other news and updates. The first film in the series is the stunning and leave-you-speechless "How Do You Raise a Black Child?" by poet Cortney Lamar Charleston and filmmaker Seyi Peter-Thomas.
With November practically over, let’s take a timeout to look back at award-winning small press and university press books published in the past few months.
In September, Rules for Lying by Anne Corbitt was published by the Southeast Missouri State University Press. Winner of the Nilsen Prize for a First Novel, Rules for Lying follows characters through a police investigation that makes them question their memories, allegiances, and actions, all while hiding secrets of their own. Check out the publisher’s website for more information.
Earlier in November, The Ashland Poetry Press released Life As It by Daneen Wardrop. The collection was selected by David St. John as the winner of the 2015 Snyder Memorial Prize Contest. The collection of prose poems (Wardrop’s third collection) features themes of music, family life, spirituality, and more. Check out the publisher’s website for multiple ways to order copies.
Also out this November is The Expense of a View by Polly Buckingham, winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. The stories explore the psyches of characters, most displaced and disturbed, under extreme duress. Judge Chris Offutt called the collection “a carefully rendered examination of memory, loss, and sadness.” University of North Texas Press’s website has a preview of Buckingham’s collection and ways to order.
Check out these three award-winning books and show your support to small and university presses.
Published out of Dublin, Ireland, this second issue of Into the Void Arts and Literature features "In the Dream I'm Falling" by Zach Moroney on its cover.
NewPages will always favor any lit mag cover that features the Detroit Tigers "D" on its cover. Though the black and white rendition of "An Ode to Farad #1" by Jamea Richmond-Edwards doesn't quite do it justice, readers can find the full-color image inside The Southeast Review v.34 n.2, as well as and interview with the artist by Jessica Reidy.
This whimsical "Dinosaur Feeding Frenzy" by Robert C. Jackson on the cover of Vol. V of The New Guard is an oil on linen, three panels sized 48" x 36" or 48" x 108". The issue itself is a contest winners frenzy, featuring winners, finalists and semifinalists of the The New Guard Vol. V Knightville Poetry Contest and the Machigonne Fiction Contest.
I couldn't look away from this child's searching expression on the fall 2016 cover of Catamaran. "Via Mal Contenti" by Bo Bartlett is an oil on linen (82 x 56; 2006) is as haunting as Founder and Editor in Chief Catherine Segurson's closing words in her editor's letter: ". . . please remember to vote this November, because we are responsible for the world our children will inherit."
But frost is the last thing readers can expect to find settling on one of the hottest new online publications, Sink Hollow: An Undergraduate Literary Magazine. Publishing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art, Sink Hollow is edited by USU students who have completed introductory and advance creative writing workshops on campus. Founding co-editor and graduate student, Shay Larsen adds, “We don't like to brag, butour staff are truly USU's most outstanding creative writers.” And as genre readers interested in new forms, Larsen says they will consider “just about any subcategory of genres you can imagine (flash, comic, experimental, etc.); we're willing to give a shot!”
Sink Hollow entered the literary scene to be a springboard for emerging undergraduate writers. “Any undergraduate trying to get published knows how difficult it can be when going toe-to-toe with the big dogs,” Larsen comments. “Often, good work is buried under the noise of hundreds of submissions from authors who've had the advantage of playing the publishing game for years. With how the publishing world is shaping up recently, it's more important than ever for undergraduates to have a venue that listens to them, and only them. The other reason for Sink Hollow's creation was the overwhelming amount of support from USU students (soon to be staff) that felt our campus was missing the life-blood of creativity, professionalism, and passion that only a literary journal can provide.”
This editorial energy and professional intellectualism produce “quality, quality, quality” for readers to enjoy, Larsen touts. “The writers and works featured in Sink Hollow struck our genre editors and readers as truly special. We're very proud of all our writers and can only promise that each page of Sink Hollow is worthy of commemoration. These works surprise, linger, sink inside us, and stay there. They aren't going anywhere anytime soon.”
For writers, Larsen comments that, “Early on in the literary journal's creation we decided to feature quality over quantity. The pieces chosen for publication in Sink Hollow are simply the best.” Submissions are accepted through Submittable and reviewed blindly by genre editors and readers.
The future for Sink Hollow Larsen tells me is staying focused on building the publication’s publishing reputation. “Right now we're trying to get as many issues under our belt as possible before tackling other goals. Publishing an amazing journal twice a year is priority #1. Though there is no doubt that Sink Hollow's capacity for growth is beyond imagination.”
Sink Hollow publishes via Issuu twice a year (November and April) with the possibility of adding a summer edition.
Managing Editor Michelle Johnson [pictured] writes in the Editor's Note: ". . . several months ago [the editors at WLT] decided to dedicate the November 2016 issue exclusively to women writers—and women reviewing women writers. The editorial team briefly considered creating such an issue without comment—as if WLT existed in a utopia of parity where all writers in a literary magazine might just happen to be women. But in 2016, giving women the whole issue is still noteworthy even for a magazine like WLT with a strong track record of publishing women writers."
The collection opens with Alison Anderson's "Of Gatekeepers and Bedtime Stories: The Ongoing Struggle to Make Women's Voices Heard," part of The Puterbaugh Essay Series. See a full list of contents here.
This fall 2016 cover of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative features the photography of David FitzSimmons, "Sweet Gum and Moon, Ashland, Ohio."
In keeping with what seems to be a 'tree' theme, this acrylic on panel by Eric Green, entitled "Pole," is just sample of the kinds of stark yet lush images included in his full-color portfolio inside The Gettysburg Review, winter 2016.
At the beginning of the month, Washington Writers’ Publishing House published the winner of the 2016 Fiction Prize: Strivers and Other Stories by Robert J. Williams.
From the publisher:
Set between the 1920s and the present day, Strivers and Other Stories explores a range of African-American and Southern voices reflecting characters striving towards their versions of the American dream. In 13 stories, we meet teachers and doctors, train porters and factory workers, soldiers and musicians; mothers, fathers, children and spouses; mentors and mentees. With a mix of humor and heart, satire and sentiment, this collection captures their everyday struggles for better lives and their hopes for promising futures.
Learn more at the publisher’s website.
The fall season seems to be flying by, so let’s hit pause to look back at the award-winning books published in the past few months.
Back in September, Truman State University Press published Daughter, Daedalus by Alison D. Moncrief Bromage, winner of the 2016 T. S. Eliot Prize Winner. Jennifer Clement, contest judge, calls the collection “both original and very often masterful,” with an “elevated High Church intention [ . . . ] that T. S. Eliot would have recognized.” Copies are available digitally and in print at the press’s website.
Also published in September was the winner of Southeast Missouri State University Press’s Nilsen Prize for a First Novel: Rules for Lying by Anne Corbitt. Rules for Lying is a timely novel that explores the accusations and characters involved in an alleged rape, and how the families and the town they live in react, incriminate, and take sides. More information is available at the publisher’s website.
Moving on to October, Allegra Hyde’s Of This New World, winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, was released. Judge Bennet Simms calls it “an ambitious and memorable debut.” In twelve stories, Hyde writes with a mix of lyricism humor, and masterful detail. Check out the University of Iowa Press website for more information.
And finally, Josh Rathkamp won the 2016 Georgetown Review Press Poetry Manuscript Contest with his collection A Storm to Close the Door. Terrance Hayes calls the collection stunning with poems that “are often quick-witted and charming, but they never shy away from their meditations and quotidian American blues.” SPD has A Storm to Close the Door available for purchase.
This past October, Noemi Press released the winner of the 2015 Noemi Press Poetry Award: Bone Confetti by Muriel Leung. Leung's first poetry collection, Bone Confetti reveals "there are two types of survivors at the end of the world.” Ash confetti “floats between funeral and parade, wedding and hell. When all that is left is the terrible residue of memory, lovers and ghosts try their best to make do [ . . . ] in an attempt to fashion a new sense of humanity.” Check out the Noemi Press website for more information and copies.
Looking ahead to December, the 2015 Winner of the Noemi Press Fiction Award will be released. Uncountry: a mythology by Yanara Friedland. The novel is “a collection of narratives that aim to expand creative pathways into historical space, particularly histories of migration and displacement.” Divided into four sections, each section explores “The gaps bweteen ‘remembered’ official history and the more unreliable spaces of private memory and unspoken unofficial history.” Copies of Uncountry are available for pre-order at the Noemi Press website.
[Quotes from SPD website]
Pint-Size Publications, publisher of literary magazine Sport Literate, introduces their very first nonfiction, single-author book: A Proficiency in Billiards: Reflections from a Well-Traveled Life by Lance Mason. Mason first came to the editors’ attention with his essay “In the Lair of the Red Dragon,” published in an issue of Sport Literate earlier in the year.
A Proficiency in Billiards, Mason’s first essay collection, takes readers from his home base in South California where he stood “eyewitness to pool hustlers and drag racers in the 1960s” to travels throughout the world, including New Zealand, Ireland, Greece, and Yugoslavia, just to name a few. Readers are invited along Mason’s travels, all from the comfort of their homes.
Keep an eye on Pint-Size Publications to see what they’ll have on tap next, and head to their website to order copies of A Proficiency in Billiards.
Author Cass R. Sunstein introduces his 2016 book, The World According to Star Wars (HarperCollins) humbly enough:
I’m going to be covering some diverse topics here, including the nature of human attachment, whether timing is everything, how to rank the seven Star Wars movies, why Martin Luther King Jr. was a conservative, how boys need their mothers, the workings of the creative imagination, the fall of Communism, the Arab Spring, changing understandings of human rights, whether The Force Awakens was a triumph or a disappointment, the limits of human attention, and whether Star Wars really is better than Star Trek.
With the exception of that last point, which I still find open to debate, one of the joys of this book is that Mr. Sunstein accomplishes the tasks he sets out in a quick reading, well-documented short book that combines playful romps of unabashed Star Wars fandom with high level reviews of politics, psychology, sociology, behavioral economics, and film critique. The book is engaging for nerfherders and Jedi Knights, alike.
[Guest post by Chris Curtis. Chris teaches psychology at Delta College: www.delta.edu/clcurtis.]
First place: Mark Fishman [pictured], of Paris, France, wins $3000 for “Songwad Road." His story will be published in Issue 100 of Glimmer Train Stories.
Second place: Jessica Johannesson Gaitán, of Bath, England, wins $1000 for “Bad Language.”
Third place: Jill Rosenberg, of Montclair, NJ, wins $600 for “16 Days of Glory.”
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadline soon approaching for the Short Story Award for New Writers: November 10
This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5000. No theme restrictions. Most submissions to this category run 1000-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. First place prize wins $2500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. Click here for complete guidelines.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
We've been selecting poems for this column for more than ten years and I can't remember ever publishing a poem about a cat. But here at last is a cat, a lovely old cat. Ron Koertge lives in California, and his most recent book of poems is Vampire Planet: New & Selected Poems, from Red Hen Press.
No one would take her when Ruth passed.
As the survivors assessed some antiques,
I kept hearing, "She's old. Somebody
should put her down."
I picked her up instead. Every night I tell her
about the fish who died for her, the ones
in the cheerful aluminum cans.
She lies on my chest to sleep, rising
and falling, rising and falling like a rowboat
fastened to a battered dock by a string.
We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2016 by Ron Koertge, “Lily,” from Vampire Planet: New & Selected Poems, (Red Hen Press, 2016). Poem reprinted by permission of Ron Koertge and the publisher.Introduction copyright ©2016 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Emilie Buchwald was the co-publisher and founding editor of Milkweed Editions in Minneapolis going on forty years ago, and that press grew up to become one of the finest literary publishers in our country. Today she edits children's books at Gryphon Press, which she also founded. Here's a lovely remembrance from her new book, The Moment's Only Moment, from Nodin Press.
My Mother's Music
In the evenings of my childhood,
when I went to bed,
music washed into the cove of my room,
my door open to a slice of light.
I felt a melancholy I couldn't have named,
a longing for what I couldn't yet have said
or understood but still
knew was longing,
knew was sadness
untouched by time.
the music was a rippling stream
of clear water rushing
over a bed of river stones
caught in sunlight.
And many nights
I crept from bed
to watch her
swaying where she sat
overtaken by the tide,
her arms rowing the music
out of the piano.
We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2016 by Emilie Buchwald, “My Mother's Music,” from The Moment's Only Moment, (Nodin Press, 2016). Poem reprinted by permission of Emilie Buchwald and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2016 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.
1st place goes to Zehra Nabi of Baltimore, MD [Photo credit: Summer Greer], who wins $2000 for “Cow Killer.” Her story will be published in Issue 101 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be the first print publication of her fiction.
2nd place goes to Mark Watkins of Lawrenceville, GA, who wins $500 for “What I Know About Where I’m From.”
3rd place goes to Hank Snelgrove of Nordland, WA, who wins $300 for “Fire in the Foam Bin.”
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadline soon approaching for the Short Story Award for New Writers: November 10
This competition is held three times a year and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5000. No theme restrictions. Most submissions to this category run 1000-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. First place prize wins $2500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. Click here for complete guidelines.