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Teaching Resource :: Poetry Now

Published April 21, 2015 Posted By
Poetry Now Program is a free online resource for educators from Trio House Press. "In order to promote the understanding and appreciation of poetry, our Poetry Now program provides educational materials and resources for use within classrooms, book clubs, or for individual usage. Utilize our poetry lesson plans or poetry prompts."

There's only a few contributions to this page, but it's a nice addition to lession plans and discussion points. "Discussion Links" provide lesson plans that encourage analysis, reflection and discussion about poems published by Trio House Press as well as influential public domain works and the "Write It" section encourages the writing process by providing prompts and writing exercises developed in conjunction with our Trio House Press poetry and other influential public domain works.

Call for Lit Mag Reviewers

Published April 21, 2015 Posted By
NewPages is looking to take on a few more literary magazine reviewers for both online and print journals. If interested, please follow this link to review the guidelines.

Those interested in reviewing magazines should contact Review Editor Katy Haas at katyhaas[at]newpageswork[dot]com.

2014 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize Winner

Published April 20, 2015 Posted By
Erin-Adair-HodgesEditor Stephen Corey opens the Spring 2015 issue of The Georgia Review commenting on Erin Adair-Hodges, whose work "Of Yalta" won the 2014 Loraine Williams / Georgia Review Poetry Prize:

"The pleasant kicker for us here in the Review office came after we contacted Adair-Hodges last August to apprise her of the good news, and she wrote back to say we had just given her the first poetry acceptance of her writing career. (Three resulting side notes: newer writers, take heart in the democracy of our evaluation process; veteran writers, take the same; . . . )" The third note: The third annual contest is open to submisisons until May 15. See full guidelines here.

Tuesday Returns (With Your Help!)

Published April 19, 2015 Posted By
tuesdayI was thrilled to see Tuesday; An Art Project at the AWP Minnesota Book Fair. Tuesday is THE most gorgeous poetry postcard publication I had ever seen, each issue a neatly wrapped treasure of letterpress postcards featuring poetry on some and art on others (the flipsides are blank for writing/mailing). However, the publication ceased with issue 11 in 2013. Okay, well, not "ceased," but perhaps worse, the H-word: Hiatus. This conjures up all kinds of wonderings of what went wrong, will the publication come back, if it does – for how long this time? From my view at NewPages over the past decade, I've seen a lot of hiatuses (hiati?) – some with reason, some not – but very few ever return. While "hiatus" to some might mean hope, I know it better as a long, drawn out death, usually finalized because someone stops paying the web site domain name bill.

Not so says Tuesday Founding Editor Jennifer S. Flescher, who has a Kickstarter campaign going to sell advance subscriptions to fund the publication (along with other premium goodies). [NOTE: Until 4/21 a donor will match all contributions!] When I met up with her at AWP, I was happy to talk with her, but also concerned about the whole hiatus thing. She was glad to offer me some clarity on her perspective, especially when I wouldn't stop hammering her with questions.

NP: Why did you go on hiatus? No need to get personal, but for some, it is very personal (health issues, family issues, etc.), which I think is important for others to understand, since so many literary publications are small (very small) businesses. If one person can't function for whatever reason, that can put the whole publication in jeopardy. You did allude to some reasons in your farewell note to readers, but nothing terribly specific. So, spill. Why hiatus?

JF: Of course, this is a very difficult question. It makes me go a little white and cold, though I know you are right, to hear you say that hiatus is often just a hasbeen rockstars comeback tour... I didn't want to come back for a year; I don't want to come back for a year.

In terms of why I stepped away, there are two answers.

The first was actually entirely personal. I'm not sure if this is of any interest to your readers, but I had a sick child and I really needed to be home with him. That had been taking a toll for a few years, and finally I simply needed to put absolutely everything aside and be home. There. For him. I am grateful every day this was an option for me, and I send love and compassion to all the mothers and children who do not have that luxury. That remains a decision I am very proud of, even if it cost me the journal.

The second is really the more on-point answer, I suppose. Yes, that darn domain bill. I had been paying for the magazine largely by myself for many years. This is my dirty little secret. I remember hearing a very young publisher years ago at AWP confess she had sold her car to pay for her press - I thought she was crazy! But I did too, truly; I still have my car, but I didn't take my kids on vacation, I didn't do a lot of things. In the beginning I felt like it was a lot like graduate school, and that it was money I spent to create something I believe in. Tuesday has a ridiculous business model simply because of the price of its physical parts. It simply didn't feel sustainable anymore. I needed to take a few years to really decide where I wanted to go next.

I want to find a sustainable model now. I needed to decide to be a publisher. We start these things - in MFA programs, in the middle of the night - we don't really know what we are getting into, and that's a good thing: we dive. Diving is so important for creation. But then comes the moment when you have to look around - is this water clean? do I like swimming?

I think there are real issues to be addressed in publishing. About diversity, about voice. Beauty. Access. Funding. Tangibility. I don't pretend Tuesday is big enough to tackle any of this, or the press I have a vision of will be, but I feel like that is the work I would like to address as an editor. Tuesday either needed to bigger or smaller. It's time to go bigger.

NP: Your Kickstarter campaign is asking people to pre-subscribe for two issues. What about after that? I mean, I'm sure you hope to have enough subscribers to continue the support – but...

JF: This is the $15,000 question. I feel like this is just what it was created to be - a kickstart. To get us back on our feet. Re-establish our base. Get us going for the next year. After that I want to pursue both traditional and non-traditional funding. Non-profit status and grants. Fundraising. Some sort of advertising. My real dream is to find corporate sponsorship. I don't like the model we have going now where poor poets pay more and more for the publishing of poetry. First off, they can't afford it. Secondly it exacerbates the money/publication gap. It prevents us from making the types of shifts in publishing that will open up publication to reflect the diversity of the important poetry in this country.

NP: Well, I'm a huge fan of Tuesday, so I'm giddy to see it come back (and, yes, have kicked in on the Kickstarter!). Thank you for all you've said here; I think you make some important statements about poetry and publishing that could benefit others.

JF: Thank you so much for all the support.
American Life in Poetry: Column 525
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Here's a fine poem about two generations of husbands, by Pauletta Hansel of Ohio.

Husbands

My mother likes a man who works. She likes
my husband's muddy knees, grass stains on the cuffs.
She loved my father, though when weekends came
he'd sleep till nine and would not lift
his eyes up from the page to move the feet
she'd vacuum under. On Saturdays my husband
digs the holes for her new roses,
softening the clay with peat and compost.
He changes bulbs she can no longer reach
and understands the inside of her toaster.
My father's feet would carry him from chair
to bookshelf, back again till Monday came.
My mother likes to tell my husband
sit down in this chair and put your feet up.


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 ©2011 by Pauletta Hansel from her most recent book of poems, The Lives We Live in Houses, (Wind Publications, 2011). Poem reprinted by permission of Pauletta Hansel and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2015 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. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Craft Essays :: On Writing Series

Published April 16, 2015 Posted By
rob-mclennanOn Writing: An Occassional Series curated by rob mclennan [pictured] on the Ottawa Poetry Newsletter blog celebrates two years of publishing craft essays by writers. Some recent posts include:

Sarah Burgoyne : a series of permissions-givings
Anne Fleming : Funny
Julie Joosten : On Haptic Pleasures: an Avalanche, the Internet, and Handwriting
David Dowker : Micropoetics, or the Decoherence of Connectionism
Renée Sarojini Saklikar : No language exists on the outside. Finders must venture inside.
Ian Roy : On Writing, Slowly
Monica Kidd : On writing and saving lives
Robert Swereda : Why Bother?

mclennan is planning forthcoming new essays by Catherine Owen, Peter Richardson, Sky Gilbert, Priscila Uppal, Carolyn Marie Souaid, Angie Abdou, Arjun Basu, Laisha Rosnau, Gail Scott and George Fetherling.

Books :: Press 53 Award for Poetry

Published April 15, 2015 Posted By
paradise-drive-rebecca-foustPress 53 has awarded Rebecca Foust the winner of the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry with her collection Paradise Drive, chosen by Tom Lombardo. Of his selection, he says, “Rebecca Foust has created a Pilgrim who leads us from the hardscrabble existence and despair of Altoona, Pennsylvania, where she was raised, to the ultra-wealth and despair of Marin County, California, where she lived in the first decade of this century. The poems of Paradise Drive are powerful and figurative, with a very strong voice. Though the judging was close for this contest, Foust clearly stood out among the excellent finalists.”

Foust was also the recipient of the 2008 Many Mountain Press Poetry Book Prize for All that Gorgeous Pitiless Song, the winner of the 2010 Foreword Book of the Year Award with God, Seed: Poetry & Art About the Natural World, and the winner of Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook prizes in 2007 and 2008 with her two chapbooks Mom’s Canoe and Dark Card.

Paradise Drive will be released at the end of the month. For more information or to order a copy, check out the Press 53 website.

Witness Trans/lation Issue

Published April 15, 2015 Posted By

witnessBlack Mountain Institute's print issue of Witness, Spring 2015, begins with the Editor's Comment on the theme of translation: "We always expect our themes to expand and change and present themselves in unexpected ways as we read submissions, but the theme for this issue – 'Trans/lation' – made itself felt everywhere. Seen broadly and metaphorically enough, any written work can be considered a translation, from a thought or an experience into a piece of writing, and so, a few times, we had to stop and refocus our intentions. We began with the roots of the word itself, which draw from actions like 'to carry across' or 'to bring across,' as well as the knowledge that translations are really transformations, new versions that are faithful to the original in many different ways."

Along with other content, specific works of translation (or about translation) in this issue include:

Poetry
Dario Bellezza, from Nothingness, Glamour, Farewell; from Notes for a Novel in Verse. Translated from the Italian by Peter Covino.
Arthur Rimbaud, "Seven-Year-Old Poets." Translated from the French by Donald Revell.
Maia Circe, "The Unfinished Spell"; "The Smallest Predictions"; "TV." Translated from the Spanish by Jesse Lee Kercheval.

Fiction
Hossein M. Abkenar, "Classmates." Translated from the Persian by Sara Khalili
Christos Chartomatsidis, "Alicia the Fat Witch." Translated from the Bulgarian by Velina Minkoff, Rayna Rossenova, and Borislava Velkova.

Nonfiction
Douglas Unger, "Strange Voices, Subversions, Killer Tomatoes: Literature in Translation."
Karl Ove Knausgaard, from My Struggle: Book Four. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett.

Witness makes some works available in full text on their website.

New Lit on the Block :: Bear Review

Published April 14, 2015 Posted By
bear-reviewBased out of Kansas City and Seattle, Bear Review is a new independent online biannual of poetry and micro-prose (under 500 words) as well as visual art. Between issues, Editors Marcus Myers and Brian Clifton also post Bear Review authors reading their work on Soundcloud and Tumblr.

In starting a literary magazine, Myers and Clifton say they like the juxtaposition inherent in those publications. "When reading one, you never know what will be on the next page--your new favorite poem? your best friend from childhood? a plot that destroys everything you though about storytelling? The possibilities are endless. We wanted to create a space in which this excitement could live and grow. Part of the fun for us is putting each issue in order and seeing how the text and images converse with one another. In a phrase, our mission is to keep our readers guessing."

And while the name Bear Review might seem to invite eco- or nature-themed writing, the inspiration expresses a more complex metaphor. When Myers was a teenager, he went hiking and came across a bear face-to-face. The experience was full of beauty that turned into danger and fear. Myers writes, "As readers, we crave that specific sort of encounter from each poem or flash piece we happen upon. Our favorite pieces, like literary bears, have a mix of beauty and danger that leaves us with a greater respect for what's real. And we want to share this vital wonder with our readers. "

Reader of Bear Review can expect to find this mix of beauty and danger throughout, though since the editors are both poets, the publication is bias to that genre. ("But we do love micro-prose," says Myers.) In both prose and poetry, Myers assure me that readers can expect to find a wide breadth of styles and contemporary modes as well as visual art from critically acclaimed photographers, illustrators, and painters.

Some recent contributors include Moikom Zeqo, Mathias Svalina, Jordan Stempleman, Lisa Russ Spaar, DA Powell, Rusty Morrison, Wayne Miller, Emily Koehn, Megan Kaminiski, Miriam Gamble, John Gallaher, Drew Cook, and Hadara Bar-Nadav.

Myers tells me that future plans for Bear Review are to continue making the journal "a beautiful place for the poems and prose we love; we want to continue to bring an audience there. We want to provide a place where established and soon-to-be established writers can share the same stage." A chapbook contest, website expansion for close readings, and book reviews and interviews are all in the works.

Bear Review takes submissions year round via submittable, and Myers and Clifton say they read each submission out loud. All work done as a labor of love, Bear Review is a welcome addition to the literary arts community.

[Cover: "Victim of Explosion" by August Sander, 1930]

Room "In Translation" Issue

Published April 14, 2015 Posted By
roomRachel Thompson's Editor's Note for the newest issue of Room Magazine (38.1) comments on the publication's theme of In Translation: "In this issue of Room we explore literature from languages other than English, and the act of translation in all its senses. . . submerging ourselves into another language can give us a greater understanding of the world. When we try new tongues, our own becomes richer with infusions and transfusions of new elements, and foreign turns of phrase.

"But just reading a good translation in English—and we also have some of those in the issue—gives us a lens to look through and understand (if only briefly) how writers from other times and places may think and feel. Because we know the impact literature has on our humanity, we see the potential for reading to dissolve preconceptions or misconceptions we have about another culture. More than ever before, readers understand how crucial it is to expand our repertoires, to find stories and ideas outside of narratives that dominate prescribed reading lists and literary review pages."

To read more from Thompson's introduction and see a full list of contributors, visit Room's issue web page here.
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