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Hudson Review New Writers Issue

Published November 19, 2014 Posted By
hudson-reviewThe newest issue of The Hudson Review (Autumn 2014) is their New Writers Issue and features essays by Mara Naselli, James Santel, fiction by Asako Serizawa, Edward Porter, Lauren Schenkman, and poetry by Cally Conan-Davies, William Louis-Dreyfus, Trent Busch, Katherine Robinson, Guillermo Bleichmar, Anne Nance, and Susan de Sola. Some of the works can be read in full on the journal's website.

Shenandoah Takes on the Whys and Whatfors

Published November 19, 2014 Posted By
Two great back-to-back posts on Snopes: A Blog for the Shenandoah Journal : "Why I Write, and Why I May Not Hve a Choice in the Matter" by nash16 (Emma Nash?) and "The Power of Storytelling" by Anna Kathyryn Barnes.

Nash and Barnes both question the value and importance of writing and storytelling. Nash references Orwell's essay, "Why I Write" as well as Alice W. Flaherty's book The Midnight Disease which explores of the neurological reasons for the 'need' to write.

Barnes takes on the questions of why what we write matters, whether or not stories have a point or make any change in the world. Big questions, to be sure, but she calls upon Chimnmanda Adichie's TED Talk "The Danger of a Single Story" which supports the need for many stories in our lives. Barnes then connects this with The Facing Project, "a national non-profit organization that works with communities to connect through storytelling over a particular challenge or social issue." Her work with The Facing Sexual Violence Project combines the networking organization with her value of storytelling in an effort to address sexual violence in Rockbridge County, VA.

Both of these essays pose and respond to critical questions writers ask themselves time and again and together they make an excellent starting point for discussion and call to action. Snopes  has the helpful feature of print and PDF options on each of their blog posts, so these make it easy to assign as online reading that students to print and bring along to class.

2015 Bard Fiction Winner

Published November 19, 2014 Posted By
Laura-van-den-BergAuthor Laura van den Berg has been selected to receive the annual Bard Fiction Prize for 2015. The prize, established in 2001 by Bard College to encourage and support promising young fiction writers, consists of a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer in residence for one semester. Van den Berg is receiving the prize for her book The Isle of Youth (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013). Van den Berg's residency at Bard College will be for the spring 2015 semester, during which time she will continue her writing, meet informally with students, and give a public reading. Read what the judges had to say and more about the winner here.

Joseph Bathanti Gives MSR the Answers

Published November 19, 2014 Posted By
BathantiM. Scott Douglass, publisher and editor of Main Steet Rag, is one of the most doggedly and passionately persistent people I know, especially when it comes to poetry. His efforts turned a bit more political this past year with the controversy surrounding the annual appointment of North Carolina's Poet Laureate. In Scott's words:

"In Mid-July, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory bypassed the established protocol for selecting [former Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti's] replacement in the position of NC Poet Laureate. An internet donnybrook ensued because his selection seemed out of touch with the state's writing community. A spokesperson from the governor's office said the position was largely symbolic, didn't require qualifications, and called those who were complaining 'elitists.' The governor's selection for Poet Laureate then resigned. No replacement has been named. National news was made."

It turns out that Lisa Zerkle had just finished an interview with Bathanti for this issue of MSR during the news of this controversy, but said Bathanti didn't seem ready to talk about it yet. Scott would not be deterred when he later saw Bathanti would be speaking publicly on the issue. He attended the meeting, asked his own questions, then ask Bathanti if he would be willing to do a follow up on the issue with Zerkle. Bathanti agreed, and the resulting interview is published in this issue, with several pages devoted to the governor's treatment of the role of Poet Laureate.

25 Books That Inspired the World

Published November 18, 2014 Posted By
cheAs part of World Literature Today magazine's November 2014 cover feature focusing on central European literature since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the editors invited 25 writers to nominate one book that most influenced their own writing or ways of seeing the world. Nominations were open to any book-length work—written in any language and published since November 1989—as long as it could be read in English. The longlist was then published on WLT's blog, and readers were invited to vote for their three favorites. The top ten results, along with the nominating statements for the three winning titles, can be found in the most recent issue and on their website.

What Good Editors Do and How to Find One

Published November 17, 2014 Posted By
About Betty Kelly Sargent

betty-kelly-sargentWith a few credentials under her belt, including former Editor-in-Chief of William Morrow, Executive Editor of Harper Collins, and Executive Editor of Delacorte Press, Betty Kelly Sargent offers writers succinct and sound advice in her feature essay "What Good Editors Do and How To Find One." It can be read in the Fall 2014 online issue of Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published November 17, 2014 Posted By
Can I politely say there's just something compellingly creepy about this image on the November 2014 issue of Poetry that make it difficult to look away? Considering the image, I think that's a compliment to the artist's intention, expressed as well in the title of the work, "Entanglement Practice" (2011) by Lise Haller Baggesen.

East Coast Ink covers reflect the theme of each issue, a visual interpretation that can be both challenging and enjoyable. In issue 4, the editors note: "we explored bridges and connections of all kinds, whether they're being built or burned." The next issue: Bones.

The Fall 2014 cover of the online journal When Women Waken features Spirit Dancer, a beautifully flowing painted image by Leah Thompson, who says, "My art is about passion. The subject I choose whether figurative or floral is second to my passion for the application of paint and color." Read more about Leah here.

Fiddlehead Remembers Alistair MacLeod

Published November 17, 2014 Posted By
The Autumn 2014 (No. 261) issue of Fiddlehead features "Remembering Alistair MacLeod." Editorials by Ross Leckie ("Remembering Alistair MacLeod"), Mark Anthony Jarman ("A Master in the Heart of Cork"), Douglas Gibson ("A Great Writer and a Great Man"), and D.R. MacDonald ("Alistair MacLeod Tribute"). Immediately following this section is a work of fiction by Alistair MacLeod, "The Vastness of the Dark."

New Reading Series at Talking Writing

Published November 12, 2014 Posted By
talking-writing-fall-2014Talking Writing welcomes writer and teacher Wm. Anthony Connolly to its staff as the new reading series editor. "He'll scan the world of small-press print literary work for great pieces to republish in Talking Writing," write the editors on the blog. Starting with the current issue, there will be several selections in each issue. The current issue, Fall 2014 "Money," features a book excerpt by William Least Heat-Moon of Writing Blue Highways and a prose poem excerpt by Kim Triedman from Hadestown.

C. Dale Young's Top Final 20

Published November 12, 2014 Posted By
c-dale-youngThe most recent issue of New England Review (v35 n3 2014) begins with a farewell editorial by poetry editor C. Dale Young (which can be read here in its entirety). In it, he tells the story of his being called to "consult" on the massive backlog of poems the magazine received - to help sort the slush - and then his subsequent promotion to associate editor and then poetry editor. His comments on the responsibility of reading and selecting for the past 19 years are thoughtful, heartfelt and deeply genuine.

In his leaving, this particular issue features his final selection of 20 poems culled from past publications: ". . . there were at least ten poems that never left me alone, that haunted me, so much so I sometimes felt as if they were my own poems. I can even recite many of them. I wrote down these titles and then read through every issue I have helped put together in my time with the magazine to find another ten. I culled and culled until I had the twenty poems from my time with NER that not only never left me alone but actually changed me as a reader and writer. They changed my mind, and they changed my heart."

I cannot imagine a higher recommendation for reading this issue of NER. Several of the poems are available to read online. [Photo credit: Marion Ettlinger]

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