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Lit Mag Cover :: Picks of the Week

Published May 25, 2015 Posted By
stoneboat-spring2015The Spring 2015 issue of Stoneboat Literary Journal features "Creation" by Gordon Gohr, a stunning image which will draw interested readers to the photo essay within by Mariko Nagai, "Hiroshima: The Occupation Period."
main-street-rag-spring15Main Street Rag Editor and publisher M. Scott Douglass also contributes to this issue's cover. A dog will always make my pick for the week, and this one, with animals stacked lazily about just looked too comfortable to pass up.
mamalode-shybaI guess the theme for this week's covers could be "things that are stacked" or something like that. Mamalode makes it for its special edition "Better Together." Jessica Shyba's photo models are two of her four children and her dog, Theo.

Open Season Award Winners 2015

Published May 25, 2015 Posted By

The Malahat Review #190 features the winners of the 2015 Open Season Awards:
Rebecca Salazar, "synaesthesia"

Wanda Hurren, "Rain Barrel"

Creative Nonfiction/Memoir
Michael Carson, "The Neanderthal and the Cave"

The publication includes an interview with each winning author which are also available on the publication's website here.

[Cover Art: Étant donné: the Loris perched on his neoclassical plinth, 2008. Polystyrene, concrete adhesive, paper, paint / 68 in. × 24 in. × 21 in. / Collection of the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art / Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay]

Owl of Minerva Award 2015

Published May 23, 2015 Posted By
ChelseyClammer 02Minerva Rising literary journal "Celebrating the creativity and wisdom in every woman" offers a $500 scholarship to provide one woman with financial support to further her writing endeavors, awarded during Women's History Month. The Owl of Minerva Award application requires women writers to answer the questions provided on the award page here. The judges will read for clarity as well as creativity. Writers may answer the questions in the genre they feel best represents each applicant. The application period ends June 1, 2015. Winner will be announced Fall 2015. [Pictured: 2014 Owl Award Recipient Chelsey Clammer]

Books :: Miller Williams Poetry Prize

Published May 20, 2015 Posted By
reveille-george-david-clarkThe Miller Williams Poetry Prize is annually held by the University of Arkansas Press. Each year, three finalists are announced with one winner of $5000 and publication.

George David Clark, with his first collection of poems Reveille, is the 2015 winner. Editor-in-Chief of 32 Poems Magazine, Clark has also earned the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship in Poetry and a Lily Postdoctoral Fellowship, among other honors.

Published this past February, Reveille, the publisher’s website says, “is rooted in awe and driven by the impulse to praise. At heart, these are love poems, though their loves are varied and complicated by terrible threats: that we will cry out and not be answered, fall asleep and never wake. Against such jeopardy Reveille fixes our attention on a lightening horizon.”

Readers can pick up a copy of this prize winner from the University of Arkansas Press website.

Drunken Boat Open Positions

Published May 20, 2015 Posted By
Drunken Boat Looking For a Director of Development, Publicity & Marketing Director and Executive Assistant

Director of Development Position
The Director of Development is responsible for long-term financial planning for the organization in collaboration with the Founding and Managing Editors, including developing fundraising initiatives and campaigns; soliciting donations; writing grant statements and narratives; creating an annual grant application schedule; and working with senior editorial staff and advisory board to develop funding opportunities. This is a senior-level position, requiring a time commitment of approximately 5-7 hours a week.

Publicity & Marketing Director
The Publicity & Marketing Director is responsible for implementing our publicity and marketing strategy through traditional and new media outlets. This is a senior-level position, requiring a time commitment of approximately 5-7 hours a week. Responsible for overseeing promotion and social media staff in collaboration with the Assistant Managing Editor; selling and exchanging online ads; scheduling issue-launch publicity; maintaining Drunken Boat's Twitter and Facebook accounts according to best practices; and developing and maintaining ongoing social media campaigns.

How to apply
Applicants with familiarity with working online and working in publishing are preferred. This is a great opportunity to be involved with an independent publisher that publishes books and a highly-acclaimed journal and that reaches over a hundred thousand unique visitors annually worldwide. If you're interested, please send a CV and cover letter describing your interest to Managing Editor T.M. De Vos at

Executive Assistant Position
The Executive Assistant will work directly with the Executive Director on a number of projects, including preparing books for publication, coordinating our reading series and partnering with other arts organizations. If you're interested, please send a CV and cover letter describing your interest to Executive Director, Ravi Shankar at

Happy 5th Raleigh Review!

Published May 19, 2015 Posted By
raleigh-reviewHappy 5th Anniversary to Raleigh Review Literary & Arts Magazine! Started by Rob Greene in 2010 while completing his MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University, Raleigh Review has evolved into a non-profit organization that publishes an award-winning literary magazine and offers literary programs to a broad audience. The premier anniversary issue features poetry by Mark Smith-Soto, Joseph Bathanti, and Ellen Bass, among others, and fiction by Carrie Knowles, Randall Brown, and Petrina Crockford. Cover art is by Geri Digiorno with full-color interior art by Laurence Holden. Congratulations Raleigh Review - here's to many more great years of publishing!

New Interview Series on NewPages!

Published May 18, 2015 Posted By
FanningWe are excited to announce the inaugural interview in our new series: NewPages Interviews with Creative Writing Teachers.

Our first interivew features Robert Fanning, author of Our Sudden Museum (forthcoming, Salmon Press), American Prophet (Marick Press), The Seed Thieves (Marick Press) and Old Bright Wheel (Ledge Press Poetry Award). His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Atlanta Review, and other journals.

In these interviews, writers who also teach discuss publishing, teaching, the business of editing and managing literary journals, and, of course, their own work and process. They offer advice and hard-won wisdom for burgeoning writers and their teachers. We also ask them about their favorite music, and who knows, maybe a favorite writer or two, and a great coffeeshop or beer to add to your "must try" list.

The interviews will be conducted by teacher/writer and editor of Pea River Journal, Trish Harris.

Please help spread the word!
shipbreaking-robin-beth-schaerThe Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry began in 1983 and is open to poets for a manuscript of original poetry in English. Held annually, winners receive $2000 and a reading tour of Florida colleges and universities.

Robin Beth Schaer is the 2014 prize winner with her first book of poetry Shipbreaking. Her work has also appeared in Tin House, Bomb Magazine, Paris Review, Denver Quarterly, Washington Square, and Guernica, among others.

From Schaer’s website: "Shipbreaking charts a beautiful and dangerous journey. It is an intimate and interstellar odyssey where seas rise, mastodons roam, aeronauts float overhead, bodies electrify, and a child is born as a ship wrecks in a hurricane. The speaker here is curious and fierce, consulting scientists, philosophers, ancient maps, fossil bones, and lovers in order to survive and understand the strange majesty of living. With empathy and exaltation, the poems collapse the distance between natural disasters and human struggles, interweaving relationships between the upheavals and renewals that both the heart and Earth undergo."

Shipbreaking will be published this August.

Happy 20th Aurorean!

Published May 15, 2015 Posted By
AuroreanThe Aurorean poetry journal celebrates 20th year of continuous publication as an independent, poetry-only New England journal with its Spring/Summer 2015 issue. In the spirit of "publishing the finest poetry possible," the issues features works from Ellariane Lockie, winner of The Aurorean 2014 Chapbook Contest, Steve Ausherman, John T. Hitchner, and Gus Person, who each have also had chapbooks released as of March 2015. The Aurorean, while enjoying its notoriety, does well to recognize the acheivements of others, with an Editors' Poem Pick from each previous issue, a Seasonal Poetic Quote published in each issue for which they take submissions from readers, and an Editors' Chap/Book Choice which mentions a chap/book of note from those submitted to the publication. With all that work in addition to their publishing others, it's a well-deserved Happy Anniversary Aurorean!

Essays & Recipes from Bombay/Mumbai

Published May 14, 2015 Posted By

jehangirtPublished from Amherst College, Massachusetts, The Common #9 includes a unique section Bombay/Mumbai: India from Inside and Out—Essays & Recipes, which I thought was just a catchy metaphor. But, sure enough, Nonita Kalra, Suketu Mehta and Amit Chaudhuri each contribute essays, but "Mom's Dal" is a recipe from the kitchen of Nirmala Swamidoss McConigley handed down to her daughter Nina McConigley; "Pomfret Chutney Masala" is from the kitchen of Bijoya Chaudhuri handed down to her son Amit Chaudhuri; and "Bhel Puri" is from the kitchen of Jehangir Mehta, executive chef and owner of New York City restaurants Graffiti, Me and You and Mehtaphor. As a fan of the essay and Indian cuisine, you can't go wrong with this issue!

Books :: Serena McDonald Kennedy Prize

Published May 13, 2015 Posted By
magic-laundry-jacob-m-appelThe Magic Laundry, by Jacob M. Appel won last year’s Serena McDonald Kennedy Prize from Snake~Nation~Press.

From the editors: “Jacob Appel’s fiction book, The Magic Laundry, is superbly written with that quirky quality that lets the reader know that somehow Mr. Appel has experienced something close to what he’s written about. Love of children and spouses and acquaintances in all their beauty and irrationality is depicted with an eye to what makes them lovable and yet hard to understand.”

To get your own copy of The Magic Laundry, check out the press’s website.

Santa Clara Features Gerald Stern

Published May 13, 2015 Posted By
gerald-sternGerald Stern is the featured poet in the latest issue of Santa Clara Review (102.1), contributing several new poems for the publication. The student-edited publication includes poetry, fiction, nonfiction and full-color artwork, and is available to view in full online via Issuu.

Cathy Park Hong Against Witness

Published May 12, 2015 Posted By
Poetry Magazine May 2015 features Cathy Park Hong's essay Against Witness, in which she explores the role of witness in the visual artwork of Doris Salcedo, who was inspired by the poetry of Paul Celan.
cathy-park-hongTo make art representing another victim's pain can be ethically thorny. Susan Sontag wrote, "The appetite for pictures showing bodies in pain is as keen, almost, as the desire for ones that show bodies naked." Images of suffering can arouse our horror, simulating an illusive identification between us and the victim or "a fantasy of witness" before we are conveniently deposited back into our lives so that someone else's trauma becomes our personalized catharsis.
A note following the essay eplains that it was commissioned on the occasion of Doris Salcedo, curated by Madeleine Grynsztejn and Julie Rodrigues Widholm, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. It is the first retrospective of the work of sculptor Doris Salcedo. The essay is available in full online and includes numerous full color photos from the exhibit.

2014 Robert Watson Prize Winners

Published May 12, 2015 Posted By
The Greensboro Review Spring 2015 issue (97) includes the winners of their annual Robert Watson Literary Prize:

Leigh Camacho Rourks [pictured], "Pinched Magnolias"

Juliana Daugherty, "Aubade"

Each winner receives $1000 plus publication. The deadline for this year's contest is September 15, 2015. The entry fee includes a one-year subscription to the publication. See the publication's website for more details.

Ploughshares Transatlantic Poetry

Published May 11, 2015 Posted By
ploughsharesPublisher and editor Neil Astley, founder of Bloodaxe Books, guest-edits Ploughshares special transatlantic all-poetry issue, featuring poets from North America, Great Britain, and Ireland. The issue contains a stirring diversity of work, with writers who have roots everywhere from Guyana to Pakistan to Zambia, and also features poetry in Welsh, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic. Much of the work is from accomplished British and Irish poets who are still little-known in the States. As Astley writes in his introduction, the issue aims to break down "the illogical divide between readerships on either side of the Atlantic," and spark a conversation that will enliven and invigorate both poetic traditions. (Text from the Ploughshares website.)

Iron Horse NaPoMo Issue

Published May 08, 2015 Posted By
crazy-horse-napomo-2015Two aspects of the annual Crazy Horse NaPoMo issue (17.2) caught my attention. The first was the editor's note in which Carrie Jerrell comments on the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference and compares attending this event to writing poetry. Really. Read her comments in full here.

The second was just the titles of some of the poems in the table of contents. These would grab the attention of even the most reluctant poetry reader: "For Sale: Positive Pregnancy Test, Used"; "The Morning Police Found You in a Green Recycling Bin"; "Encounter in East Coker"; "Looking for God in a Panel of Stained Glass"; "Your Presence Was the Question"; "A Kite Addresses Benjamin Franklin"; "Eighteen Photos of Me Holding Up a Boulder"; "[If You are Squeamish]"; "We Were Warned" - and many more.

The poems behind these titles do not disappoint, though the Crazy Horse NaPoMo issue never has!

Poetry :: Cynthia Pelayo

Published May 08, 2015 Posted By
by Cynthia Pelayo

As soon as I wake the sun is dying
No matter what you believe that orb is the ultimate trickster
Making you promises that its brilliance will give you solace
It moves from you, slipping away and falling behind
. . .

Read the rest and several others by Pelayo on Danse Macabre #90 online.

Pulp Lit Raven Cover Story Winner

Published May 07, 2015 Posted By
pulp-literature-spring-2015Pulp Literature Spring 2015 features the winner of the 2014 Raven Short Story Contest, "The Inner Light" by Krista Wallace. The editors comment that this story is "a chilling tale of the theatre, and the sacrifices made for art." The story is followed by an interview with the author in which Wallace comments on places to find humor in writing, how her winning story came to be, current works in process, and advice for writers.

Writing Characters in Fiction

Published May 07, 2015 Posted By

glimmer-trainBoth Lillian Li and Cristine Sneed offer advice on writing characters in their Glimmer Train Bulletin #100 craft essays. The GT Bulletin allows writers published in Glimmer Train Stories to offer their advice to other writers in short essays availble free monthly.

Li's essay "I Want You Bad: Can Nice People Make for Good Characters?" shares advice she's received - and broken away from - about creating 'interesting' characters without navel gazing: "I've started creating characters first, without wondering how they'll benefit the pace of the story. I write the characters I want, and because I want them around, I also want to get to know them."

Sneed's essay "What a Character! Incorporating a Living Person into a Work of Fiction" explores that very complicated issue, sharing the one - and only time - she included a real life friend as a character in her writing.

Also included in the May 2015 GT Bulletin is Courtney Sender's essay "Narrative Arc in the Novel," rounding out a great installment of craft essays to guide writers in their work.

Books :: New Issues Prize

Published May 06, 2015 Posted By
trouble-sleeping-abdul-aliTrouble Sleeping by Abdul Ali, winner of the 2014 New Issues Prize, was published this past March.

From the foreword, written by Thomas Sayers Ellis: “Like a projection of testimony, like the shadows that run-off from the plan-projector-tation immediately after you’ve lived and left the theater, like the dark figures moving through the haunted noirs of Aaron Douglas, the widescreen stare of Trouble Sleeping is a mighty mise-en-concern.”

Ali’s poems have previously appeared in Gargoyle, A Gathering of Tribes, and New Contrast, among others. To learn more about Trouble Sleeping, check out the New Issues website.

HFR Chapbook Contest Winner

Published May 06, 2015 Posted By
flower-conroy Heavy Feather Review 4.1 includes the winning entry of the publication's annual chapbook contest, Facts About Snakes & Hearts by Flower Conroy. Judge Kristina Marie Darling, author of The Arctic Circle, had this to say about the winning entry: "Formally dexterous and luminous in its imagery, Flower Conroy's Facts about Snakes & Hearts skillfully situates the age-old tradition of the love lyric in a postmodern literary landscape. Presenting us with 'flames,' 'a wishing bell,' and 'a brass bed made of not,' Conroy shows us 'how longing is mapped,' restoring a sense of wonder to a familiar narrative arc. She offers us poems that are as sure of their singular voice as they are diverse in style and metaphor. This is an accomplished sequence and Flower Conroy is a writer to watch."

Getting the Whole Grist

Published May 05, 2015 Posted By
grist-journalGrist: The Journal for Writers published out of the University of Knoxville English Department has a lot to offer readers and writers in support of owning its subtitle to be THE journal for writers.

A visit to its recently revamped website reveals a clean and easy navigation design, leading visitors to one of three areas: Grist Essentials (information about the print publication); The Writing Life; Online Companion.

Grist promotes The Writing Life as "a place to learn about, hone, and discuss your craft as a writer . . . a dynamic discussion of contemporary writing—thoughts on craft, publishing, and the life that both shapes and is shaped by the words we put on the page." Features include news, craft essays, aspects of living the writing life, and Grist and writing-related events.

Grist Editors write that the Online Companion "allows us to showcase the highest quality writing we receive throughout our reading period while also allowing those less familiar with Grist and Grist's content to get a feel for the wide variety of work we champion. Grist: The Online Companion is also a way to expand what we're able to publish because the online arena is more hospitable to a wider formal variety than is often able to fit in the print issue's 6 x 9 format." The current issue, #8, features poetry, collaborative poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and collaborative creative nonfiction by Mary Jo Balistreri, Ashley-Elizabeth Best, Matt Cashion, Jacqueline Doyle & Stephen D. Gutierrez, Alex Greenberg, Jennifer Savran Kelly, Joseph Mulholland, Brianna Noll, Nicole Oquendo & Mike Shier.

Crazyshorts Contest Winners

Published May 05, 2015 Posted By
Crazyhorse Spring 2015 includes the winner and runners-up of the publication's Crazy Shorts! Short-Short Fiction Contest:

Emily Pease [pictured], "Foods of the Bible"

Landon Houle, "The Exterminator"
Caitlin Scarano, "Sick Day"
Lee Conell, "Matt's Comics"

The deadline for this annual contest is July 31 and the entry fee includes a subscription to the magazine. In addition to publication, the first-place winner receives $1000.

Books :: May 2015 Book Reviews

Published May 05, 2015 Posted By
In case you missed it yesterday, the May 2015 Book Reviews have been posted! This month, our reviewers tackled The Door by Magda Szabó translated by Len Rix, Fallen Attitudes by Patricia Waters, Fanny Says by Nickole Brown, Gephyromania by TC Tolbert, My Very End of the Universe: Five Novellas-in-Flash and a Study of the Form from Rose Metal Press, The Night We're Not Sleeping In by Sean Bishop, Pilgrimly by Siobhan Scarry, That That by Ken Mikolowski, and Wolfman Librarian by Filip Marinovich.

What're you waiting for? Go find your next favorite book.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published May 04, 2015 Posted By
Iodine Poetry Journal Editor and Publisher Jonathan K. Rice is also Poet and Visual Artist as well, and has been designing cover art for his iconic publication for the past 15 years. More of his work can be found here on the back list page for Iodine.
"Crow and Cloud," photograph by Carolyn Guinzio, on the front cover of Cimarron Review Winter 2015 is a similar image to what I witness on my walks each morning - the birds coming back after a long winter, filling the tops of trees with their songs, the leaves yet to fill in the sky.
And another for the birds, Beloit Poetry Journal Spring 2015 features a lovely, dark, lush oil on linen by Eleanor Spiess-Ferris, "Shoreline" (2006). The cover does not reveal the entire image, so it's worth a visit to the BPJ website to see what you're not seeing in this pile of birds.
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