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Getting the BANG!

Published October 20, 2014 Posted By
RogerBonairAgardTNGThe independent print literary review, The New Guard, has a unique monthly featured entitled BANG! Run as a kind of contest, BANG! showcases individual authors for one month. Each author installment is made up of three pieces in any combination: poetry shorts (20 lines) or fiction or nonfiction (500 words each) for thirty days. Bang! pieces are not published in The New Guard; the work is meant to be very short—flash-short—so that the pieces on Bang! serve as a kind of calling card for the author. Bang! installments run from the first to the first of every month. Writers are invited to submit their previously unpublished works for this feature year round.

The October BANG! author is native of Trinidad & Tobago, Cave Canem fellow, and author of three full length collections of poetry, Roger Bonair-Agard. He is an invited contributor. Former BANG! authors include Alexandra Oliver, Mike Heppner, Marc Mewshaw, Timothy Dyke, Marcia Popp, Quenton Baker and Lissa Kiernan.

American Life in Poetry :: Robert Haight

Published October 19, 2014 Posted By
American Life in Poetry: Column 498

Here's a lovely poem for this lovely month, by Robert Haight, who lives in Michigan.

Early October Snow

It will not stay.
But this morning we wake to pale muslin
stretched across the grass.
The pumpkins, still in the fields, are planets
shrouded by clouds.
The Weber wears a dunce cap
and sits in the corner by the garage
where asters wrap scarves
around their necks to warm their blooms.
The leaves, still soldered to their branches
by a frozen drop of dew, splash
apple and pear paint along the roadsides.
It seems we have glanced out a window
into the near future, mid-December, say,
the black and white photo of winter
carefully laid over the present autumn,
like a morning we pause at the mirror
inspecting the single strand of hair
that overnight has turned to snow.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by Robert Haight from his most recent book of poems, Feeding Wild Birds, Mayapple Press, 2013. (Lines two and six are variations of lines by Herb Scott and John Woods.) Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Haight and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 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.

Poet Bruce Bond Wins 2014 Tampa Review Prize

Published October 15, 2014 Posted By
Bruce TFRBruce Bond, of Denton, Texas, has been named winner of the 2014 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Bond receives the thirteenth annual prize for his new manuscript, Black Anthem. In addition to a $2,000 check, the award includes hardback and paperback book publication in 2015 by the University of Tampa Press. A sampling of poems from Black Anthem will appear as a "sneak preview" in a forthcoming issue of Tampa Review, the award-winning hardback literary journal published by the University of Tampa Press. Bond's book will be released in the fall of 2015.

The judges also announced ten finalists this year:

Brian Brodeur of Cincinnati, Ohio, for "Persons of Interest";
Polly Buckingham of Medical Lake, Washington, for "A Day Like This";
Mark Cox of Wilmington, North Carolina, for "No Picnic in the Afterlife";
Tom Hansen of Custer, South Dakota, for "Body of Water, Body of Fire";
Judy Jordan of Anna, Illinois, for "Children of Salt";
Tim Mayo of Brattleboro, Vermont, for "The Body's Pain";
Robert McNally of Concord, California, for "Simply to Know Its Name";
Joel Peckham of Huntington, West Virginia, for "Body Memory";
Brittney Scott of Richmond, Virginia, for "The Derelict Daughter"; and
Carol Westberg of Hanover, New Hampshire, for "Terra Infirma."

The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry is given annually for a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. Submissions are now being accepted for 2015. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2014.

Winners of The Enizagam Literary Contest

Published October 15, 2014 Posted By
enizagamThe latest volume of Enizagam, a literary journal edited, designed, and published by the high school students of the School of Literary Arts at Oakland School for the Arts, features the winners of their annual Literary Awards in Poetry and Fiction.

Winner: Kat Harville
Finalists: Laura Jo Hess, Michael Mlekoday

Winner: Mirene Arsanios
Finalists: Alma Garcia, Mary Kuryla

Of Arsanios’s short story, Daniel Alarcon writes: “Mirene Arsanios has written a dreamy, sultry gem of a story. “B” is about love and desire and growing up; about the power dynamic between two girls on the cusp of being young women. I was drawn in by the careful, supple language, and the poetic rendering of a scene that is both mesmeric and utterly real. Bravo!”

Of Harville’s poems Eileen Myles writes: “Kat Harville #1 for me. I love the intense verbiness. It’s wild stuff full of sprung energy, shrinking and pouncing, full of animals and animalism, full of pronouncements: I am the terrible vanilla and you….It’s brave, passionate, fun dark work that is running on its own honor, its own steam and it does not let up and I am never once disappointed in this work. She plays it to the end, a real poet.”

From the Library of Congress, Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. Young authors in grades 4-12 can enter, with levels set at 4-6, 7 & 8, and 9 - 12. Different deadlines apply, so see the guidelines.

The Letters About Literature also provides a Teaching Guide with activities teachers can use to guide their students through the book discussion and letter-writing process. The guide addresses the LAL teaching strategies and ways in which the program can dovetail with national standards for teaching reading and writing as well as Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Also included are worksheets for duplication and assessment checklists.

"Geek Girls" issue of Room

Published October 13, 2014 Posted By
room-v37-n3-fall-2014Paying full notice to the current phenomenon of women pretending to be geeks to attract males and "the insidious 'Idiot Nerd Girl' meme," Meghan Bell introduces this special "Geek Girls" issue of Room to be in despite of all of "that noise." She writes, "'Geek Girls' includes Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Torchwood fandom, poetry inspired by comic books and fairy tales, as well as new work by acclaimed speculative fiction author Larissa Lai, an interview with horror writer and illustrator Emily Caroll, and comic book-inspired artwork by Sandraw Chevrier. Hockey nerds slip 'lightly homoerotic' fan fiction into the hands of a Canucks player, biochemists attempt to fit in with mathematicians and physicists, experimentalists and theoreticians, skeletons come to life , and zombies fall in love."

The cover, by Sandra Chevrier, is a perfect selection for this issue. The artist writes, "The cage series is about women trying to find freedom from society's twisted preconceptions of what a woman should or shouldn't be. The women encased in cages of brash, imposing paint or comic books that mask their very person symbolizes the struggle that women have with false expectations of beauty and perfection as well as the limitations society places on women, corrupting what truly is beautiful by placing women in prisons of identity. By doing so, society is asking them to become superheroes. I use collage or loose and heavy textures of paint that make the woman seem to be emerging from the surreal world within the canvas. A dance between reality and imagination, truth and deception."

In an interview with Emily Carroll, the issue of women interested in "geek culture" being called fake is brought up. However, Carroll says she has never seemed to have a problem with the issue: "I don't think I've ever really experienced being called a fake geek . . I have friends who have experienced it because I do have a lot of friends who are involved with video games. I hear reports of them being spoken down to or treated like they don't actually play the game. It's definitely a huge thing. I feel like I'm too much of a recluse to get the full brunt of it. Maybe it's because I draw Dune fan art that nobody has ever questioned my Dune cred.

2014 Ekphrasis Prize Winner

Published October 13, 2014 Posted By
Joseph StantonThe Fall/Winter 2014 issue of Ekphrasis features the winner of the 2014 Ekphrasis Prize for Poetry, winning $500 and publication. Editors Laverne and Carol Frith announce that it was selected among "a very strong field of contenders." The winner is Joseph Stanton for his "outstanding" poem "Thomas Dewing's Lady with a Lute." Here is a few stanzas from the beginning:

Dewing has a passion for the Lady with the lute
we cannot avoid
knowing that.

Though her almost classic face lifts to light
in full profile, her torso twists
ever so slightly

To show her décolleté,
her bosom surprisingly exposed
above her slender waist.

Men linger in front of this picture
in its corner of the National Gallery
till their wives pull them past.

American Life in Poetry :: Jennifer Maier

Published October 12, 2014 Posted By
American Life in Poetry: Column 497

I'd guess everybody reading this has felt the guilt of getting rid of belongings that meant more to somebody else than they did to you. Here's a poem by Jennifer Maier, who lives in Seattle. Don't call her up. All her stuff is gone.

Rummage Sale

Forgive me, Aunt Phyllis, for rejecting the cut
glass dishes—the odd set you gathered piece
by piece from thirteen boxes of Lux laundry soap.

Pardon me, eggbeater, for preferring the whisk;
and you, small ship in a bottle, for the diminutive
size of your ocean. Please don't tell my mother,

hideous lamp, that the light you provided
was never enough. Domestic deities, do not be angry
that my counters are not white with flour;

no one is sorrier than I, iron skillet, for the heavy
longing for lightness directing my mortal hand.
And my apologies, to you, above all,

forsaken dresses, that sway from a rod between
ladders behind me, clicking your plastic tongues
at the girl you once made beautiful,

and the woman, with a hard heart and
softening body, who stands in the driveway
making change.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by Jennifer Maier from her most recent book of poems, Now, Now, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Jennifer Maier and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 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.

Florida Review 2013 Editors' Awards

Published October 09, 2014 Posted By
florida-review-v38-n1-2-2014The current issue of Florida Review features the winners of the 2013 Editors' Awards, which were awarded in essay, fiction, and poetry categories. As a new feature to this section, the editors invited the winners to contribute about "the creative genesis and evolution of their winning work." Editor Jocelyn Bartkevicius writes, "Dan Reiter, whose story of Holocaust survivors, 'All Your First Born,' won the fiction award, tells of viewing a videotaped interview with his grandparents, who, unlike other family members of their generation did survive the Holocaust, and how their testimony inspired his writing. Lisa Lanser-Rose, whose braided essay, 'Turnpike Psycho,' revolves around a friend's murder and her own harrowing encounter with a stalker, writes about transitioning from a simple retelling of a particular situation to an exploration of its deeper ramifications as a 'story.' John Blair, winner of the poetry award, writes of the links between his poems and history, autobiography, and memory, an eclectic continuum with such varied topics as atrocities in Somalia and Chechnya, the Roman Inquisition, leukemia, and hands-on labor in the garden.

Essay Winner

Lisa Lanser-Rose: "Turnpike Psycho"

Essay Finalist

Tanya Bomsta: "Traditions"

Fiction Winner

Dan Reiter: "All Your Firstborn"

Fiction Finalist

Rachel Borup: "Crash"

Poetry Winner

John Blair: "The Lesser Poet," "And Yet It Moves," & "Dirt"

Poetry Finalist

Tanya Grae: "Like Darwin's Finches," "Verbal Abuse," & "Cage Sonnet"

The Kenyon Review Transitions to Bimonthly

Published October 09, 2014 Posted By
kenyon-review-v36-n4-fall-2014The most recent issue of The Kenyon Review will be the last one printed on the quarterly publication schedule as, after 75 years, the magazine transitions to a bimonthly schedule with six issues out each year instead of four. In addition, the issues will be slightly smaller so that they are easier to browse; "the format of the Review has come to feel rather unwieldy, even intimidating. It's a lot of heft arriving everything three months," writes Editor David H. Lynn. He writes that these plans have been in place for a while, and that they spent the last year working on an innovative design.

"The new Kenyon Review will be fresh and inviting," promises Lynn. "...This reading is about pleasure, about relishing. But it will surely be easier to pick up one of these attractive, slender issues before bedtime or as you're heading out the door. We're surely not backing away from great writing, not relaxing our standards or our commitment one iota. Going forward, The Kenyon Review will faithfully publish literature that matters and to the standards we've proudly held all these years. Our future is brighter than ever."

The current issue itself features the winners of the 2014 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contests, a credo from Joyce Carol Oates, and a selection of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and reviews.
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