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Conium Collectible

Published January 27, 2015 Posted By
conium-reviewVolume 3 of Conium Review is one of the most unique collectible editions of a literary magazine I've seen to date. "This is a book for book lovers," say the editors. The "container" is a hand-stamped wooden box, conditioned with linseed, mineral, and orange oils. Inside are eight new stories from Olivia Ciacci, Tom Howard, D. V. Klenak, Jan LaPerle, Zach Powers, Christine Texeira, and Meeah Williams. Each individual micro-chapbook, broadside, and booklet is printed on unique paper, including parchment, linen, and recylced stock. This volume is also available in the standard perfect bound book form for non-collectors simply looking for good reading. Both can be ordered from the publication's website.

2014 Gulf Coast Prize Winners Featured

Published January 27, 2015 Posted By
The Winter/Spring 2015 issue of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts features the winners of the 2014 Gulf Coast Prizes:

"Engagement Party, Georgia" by Raena Shirali
Selected by Rachel Zucker

"Love Drones" by Noam Dorr
Selected by John D'Agata

"Kansas, America, 1899" by Edward McPherson
Selected by Andrea Barrett

The deadline for this annual prize is March 22, 2015. This year's judges are Sarah Shun-lien Bynum (Fiction), Maggie Nelson (Nonfiction), and Carl Phillips (Poetry). The contest awards publication and $1500 each to the best poem, essay, and short story, as well as $250 to two honorable mentions in each genre. The winners will appear in Gulf Coast 28.1, due out in Fall 2015, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on the Gulf Coast website as Online Exclusives. The reading fee includes a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast and submissions are accepted both online and via postal mail.

New Lit on the Block :: Bridge Eight

Published January 26, 2015 Posted By
bridge-eightBased out of Jacksonville, Florida, the biannual print Bridge Eight Literary Magazine publishes literary fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction.

The magazine is published by Bridge Eight, a small independent press that seeks to build the literary culture of Northeast Florida, while publishing work from writers all over the world.

Publisher Jared Rypkema is based in Jacksonville, a city known for its seven bridges. He says, "Bridge Eight provides an 'eighth bridge' that will take readers to new imaginative destinations, connecting new voices and new readers, and venturing far beyond the boundaries of the city we call home." Since its inception, Rypkema notes, Bridge Eight Literary Magazine has been wonderfully received both locally and regionally, earning the support of Jacksonville's cultural council and arts community. Others working to make the publication happen include Managing Editor Coe Douglas, Senior Fiction Editor Melanie Webb, and Senior Poetry Editor Teri Youmans Grimm.

Bridge Eight started as a community-building organization that sought to connect Jacksonville-based writers and create a movement of literary culture within the city. After a year of hosting workshops and community events, the literary magazine concept was born in order to publish outside influences alongside those grown in Jacksonville, FL. Since there were no other independent literary magazines in Jacksonville, Bridge Eight became the only one of its kind when it published its first issue in November 2014.

Rypkema tells me, "As artists and writers first, publishers second, we carry a commitment to bring our readers the best writing we can, presented in the best way possible. We work with amazing artists for our design and the best printers in the country. For readers, this is a magazine that will not only be a great read, but feel and look amazing as well."

Recent contributors include Mark Ari, editor of EAT Poems, Editorial Advisor to Fiction Fix, and author of The Shoemaker's Tale; Teri Youmans Grimm, author of Dirt Eaters and Becoming Lyla Dore (forthcoming); and Lee Matalone, whose writing has recently appeared in the Noctua Review, Verbaleyze's Young Writers Anthology, the Eunoia Review and the Stoneslide Corrective.

Bridge Eight continues to host workshops for Jacksonville-based writers and presents the semi-regular reading series, Abridged. Rypkema looks to the future of the publication: "As almost all other independent literary magazines, sustainability was key to our foundation. The decisions we've made and people we've worked with over the past year have set the magazine up for success in the years to come - where we hope to become a go-to for literary publishing in Northeast Florida. Bridge Eight Literary Magazine will always be on the lookout for excellent work that speaks to the very elements of humanity."

Bridge Eight Literary Magazine accepts submissions on a rolling basis. Submissions received on or before February 15, 2015 will be considered for Issue 2 (Spring 2015).

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published January 26, 2015 Posted By
Staring out the window at leaf bare trees, snow and ice, and grey skies threatening more accumulation to come, the cover of New Letters brought some much needed warmth of color to my day. "The Books of Common Prayer" by Margaret Brommelsiek is a hand-pieced collage, digitally scanned for archival printing.
Transference is the annual publication of the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University and is available in print and online for free downloading. This year's cover features Leticia R. Bajuyo's "Wow and Flutter: Noiseless" - an installment of player piano roll paper, typewriter, metal, and table (2012; photo by Darrell Kincer).
Stunning for its visual composition, The Literary Review (TLR) fall 2014 issue, "Women's Studies: Not by the book," features Achim Thode's 1972 photograph of German visual artist Rebecca Horn, White Body Fan.

Cool Vermont Poetry Month Poster Idea

Published January 24, 2015 Posted By
poem-cityWhile the submissions for this are limited to Vermont poets, the idea is one that could easily be adapted for your own city or college campus!

The Kellogg Hubbard Library invites Vermont poets - professional or amateur - to submit their original poems for PoemCity 2015, a city-wide event, now in its sixth year, that displays poetry on local business storefronts as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month. Chosen poems will appear throughout the downtown district of Montpelier, Vermont, during April 2015.

"Poetry has an important place in the lives of Vermonters," said Kellogg-Hubbard Library Program and Development Coordinator Rachel Senechal. "PoemCity collaborates with many organizations, schools, and individuals, to read, hear, write, and discuss poetry, the language soul. With the many poems displayed in our downtown windows, it is our goal to make poetry accessible to our community, and to inspire new readers and writers of poetry," she said.

Along with displayed poems, PoemCity will also offer poetry workshops, public readings, panel discussions, and visual poetry and art displays throughout downtown. The month-long schedule of events and programming is free and open to the public.

Poets of all ages are welcome to submit up to three poems no longer than 24 lines each for consideration of public display. Each poem should be original work by the author, who must be a Vermont resident or student. Deadline to submit is January 31, 2015. Visit to submit.
Steven-Schwartz-1There's still time to submit conference papers, panel or roundtable proposals for the North American Review Bicentennial Creative Writing & Literature Conference, to be held June 11-14 at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. Keynotes: Martín Espada, Patricia Hampl, and Steven Schwartz [pictured]. The conference will look back at the NAR's long and storied past while also looking to the future of the literary world as organizers bring together a wide range of writers, critics, artists, and teachers from around the country to share their work. You are invited to join the celebration! Deadline for proposals: February 22, 2015. For more information, visit the submissions page here.

My Top Three Reasons to Read This WLT

Published January 22, 2015 Posted By
world-literature-todayI recommend reading World Literature Today cover-to-cover every issue, but if you need some extra incentive for the January-February 2015, here you go:

1. The article by J. Madison Davis: "The Idiotically Criminal Universe of the Brothers Cohen."

2. The special section of flash nonfiction featuring works by Brian Doyle, Josey Foo, Lia Purpura, Vikram Kapur, and Dmitry Samarov.

3. The "Suite of Contempory Ethiopean Poetry" with Misrak Terefe, Abebaw Melaku, Mihret Kebede, Eric Ellingsen, and David Shook.

And my two runner-ups: "Storytelling, Fake Worlds, and the Internet" by Elif Shafak and "Ping-Pong: or, Writing Together" by Sergio Pitol. And everything else in between. But I did say I would pick three to number.

Does Art Matter?

Published January 21, 2015 Posted By
robert-stewartNew Letters Editor Robert Stewart asks "Does art do much good?"

In his Editor's Note, "Making What Matters," Stewart shares, "In my home city recently, a 10-year-old girl named Machole and a 6-year-old girl named Angel, in separate events, were shot dead by gunfire. Machole was in her own living room when someone in a car shot several times into her house; Angel was walking out the door of a convenience store with her father. Other children continue to suffer abuse and violence, yes, but these two events, nine days apart, have caused many people here to examine the kind of landscape—city and country—we have shaped for our children."

Go to the National Art Education Association News page on any given day, and you'll see comment after comment from leaders across the nation proclaiming the importance of the arts in education, of turning and keeping the A in STEM for STEAM. It's not a new struggle among cultures, among communiites, as Stewart notes the Trappist monk Thomas Merton "in a 1962 letter, where he confessed to being disheartened by evil in the world, despite his own writings and art. 'Tell me,' Merton wrote to his friend, "am I wasting my time?'"

It's a question and concern that pervades and surfaces, resurfaces, confronts and confounds wirters, artists, educators, politician and policy makers. While Stewart answers the question in his commentary, an answer found through reading the works of authors in the journal and concluding on the worth and value of their efforts. A worth and value we need to retain and remind others of every chance we get.

National African American Read-In

Published January 20, 2015 Posted By
black-history-monthPlan your events now! The Black Caucus of National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and NCTE are hosting The National African American Read-In, February 1-28, 2015. There goal is to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month by asking groups and organizations, schools, churches, etc. to host an African American Read-In. Their website has lots of information about how to be recognized as a host, suggested readings and activities, and downloads for giveaways like bookmarks. It's free to participate.

Art :: Mequitta Ahuja

Published January 20, 2015 Posted By
georgia-reviewIn addition to the cover image, the Winter 2014 issue of The Georgia Review features what Editor Stephen Corey rightly refers to as "the striking art portfolio by Mequitta Ahuja" and notes this is the publication's "second-ever multi-panel foldout." This is both a generous and gorgeous dedication to artwork for journal readers to enjoy. Corey also footnotes the artwork introduction with this: "Mequitta Ahuja's Automythography marks The Georgia Review's first collaborative project with the University of Georgia's Lamar Dodd School of Art Galleries. Sponsored by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, Ahuja will be in residence at the school from late January to early February 2015, and an exhibit of her work will be on display at the Dodd Galleries."
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