A Playful Song Called Beautiful utilizes poems “that are either formally rhymed and metered or written in syllabically structured three-line stanzas,” poems that “are elegant and earthy, sometimes profane, and sometimes lovingly playful.”
While waiting for the collection's April 2016 release, check out some samples via the University of Iowa Press website before preordering a copy.
"Borderlands" is the theme of Hayden's Ferry Review Fall/Winter. Issue 57. "Borderlands are complex spaces filled with treacherous enthymemes, conflicting traditions, and a certain loneliness and search for identity," writes Editor Chelsea Hickok in her introductory letter. The cover art (which extends to the back cover as well) by Bobby Neel Adams seems a fitting entryway to the borderlands within.
Now that Antioch Review has your attention... "Funny Bird Sex" by John R. Nelson is the opening essay that the issue takes as its subtitle as well as influencing the cover photo by Dennie Eagleson.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
I suppose some of the newspapers which carry this column still employ young people to deliver the news, but carriers are now mostly adults. I had two paper routes when I was a boy and was pleased to find this reminiscence by Thomas R. Smith, a Wisconsin poet. His most recent book is The Glory, published by Red Dragonfly Press.
The Paper Boy
My route lassos the outskirts,
the reclusive, the elderly, the rural—
the poor who clan in their tarpaper
islands, the old ginseng hunter
Albert Harm, who strings the "crow's
foot" to dry over his wood stove.
Shy eyes of fenced-in horses
follow me down the rutted dirt road.
At dusk, I pedal past white birches,
breathe the smoke of spring chimneys,
my heart working uphill toward someone
hungry for word from the world.
I am Mercury, bearing news, my wings
a single-speed maroon Schwinn bike.
I sear my bright path through the twilight
to the sick, the housebound, the lonely.
Messages delivered, wire basket empty,
I part the blue darkness toward supper,
confident I've earned this day's appetite,
stronger knowing I'll be needed tomorrow.
We do not accept unsolicited submissions. 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 ©2015 by Thomas R. Smith, “The Paper Boy,” from The Glory (Red Dragonfly Press, 2015). Poem reprinted by permission of Thomas R. Smith 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.
In 2014, Shannon Tate Jonas took home the prize with his collection Battle Sleep, which was published January 21, 2016. This is Jonas’s first book-length collection of poetry with copies available from the Brick Road Poetry Press website.
The filmmakers are looking to extend the reach of the movie through an Indiegogo educational campaign to do the following:
- Hold over 50 public screenings across the US (see the website for information on how you can host a screening).
- Release the film digitally and on DVD for consumers.
- Partner with an educational distributor to maximize our reach to schools.
- Secure broadcast distribution (TV presentation) for the film.
- Provide the film, curriculum, and workbook materials to over 100 schools, prisons, and organizations.
- Partner with prison reform organizations to use the film as an activism and awareness-raising tool.
Li discusses both the arbitrary and reasoned decisions writers make, from character names to plot points. She explains using a fire as a “placeholder” event for a story she’s writing. An arbitrary choice that, as her writing progressed, became more central to the story. But, to ignore the question of Why a fire? - “the event would have stood out, like a lump of flour unincorporated into the narrative gravy.” Li writes, “When American writers arbitrarily decide the race of their characters, and then ignore the question of race, they are courting the same conundrum, even if they phrase it a different way.”
Read the rest online in Glimmer Train Bulletin #110, which also includes essays by David Minzer and Christine Grace.
It's a dog. Enough said. Margaret Darling is the artist for CutBank 84.
Definitely an eye-catching slight of hand, Cimarron Review Winter 2016 features photography by Bradley Phillips, "Feather," from the series Abolition of Man.
The second published collaboration between Schaefer and Whitney, Radio Silence is now available from the Black Lawrence Press website.
[quote from SPD]
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
After my mother died, her best friend told me that they were so close that they could sit together in a room for an hour and neither felt she had to say a word. Here's a fine poem by Dorianne Laux, about that kind of silence. Her most recent book is The Book of Men (W.W. Norton & Co., 2012) and she lives in North Carolina.
Sometimes, when we're on a long drive,
and we've talked enough and listened
to enough music and stopped twice,
once to eat, once to see the view,
we fall into this rhythm of silence.
It swings back and forth between us
like a rope over a lake.
Maybe it's what we don't say
that saves us.
We do not accept unsolicited submissions. 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 ©1994 by Dorianne Laux, “Enough Music,” (What We Carry, BOA Editions, 1994). Poem reprinted by permission of Dorianne Laux 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.
As may seem obvious, the name Cherry Tree honors George Washington, but perhaps less well known, the editors share, is the fact that, “in 1782, Washington gifted ‘the College at Chester’ 50 guineas, consented to serve on its Board, and gave the educational institution permission to use his name. In the American imagination, George Washington is a figure who has come to represent both truth-telling and mythmaking. The famous story of the cherry tree—I can’t tell a lie, Pa; you know I can’t tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet.—reminds us that there is truth even in invention, that even apocrypha can convey the facts of life.”
Truth be told, Cherry Tree is extremely well-staffed for a start-up publication. Jehanne Dubrow is the author of five poetry collections, including most recently The Arranged Marriage (UNMP 2015). Her scholarly and teaching interests include creative writing, formal poetry, prosody, American Jewish literature, Holocaust studies, and the graphic novel. Managing Editor Lindsay Lusby, winner of the 2015 Fairy Tale Review Award in Poetry, is Assistant Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House and Assistant Editor of the Literary House Press. Poetry & Creative Nonfiction Editor James is Associate Professor of English at Washington College, and Fiction Editor Kate Kostelnik earned her Ph.D in English from the University of Nebraska and her MFA from the University of Montana and now teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Cherry Tree also involves a staff of student screeners serving the first round of reading for all submissions during the open reading period. Selected works are moved up to Senior Readers, and then Fiction Editor, and Poetry & Creative Nonfiction Editor. Dubrow makes the final determination about which pieces will be published. Student screeners are all undergraduate students at Washington College (or very recent graduates) who have successfully completed the English Department’s Literary Editing & Publishing class.
Writers interested in submitting to the publication will appreciate the publication's mission. According to the editors, "We are writers who value and publish well-crafted short stories, poems, and creative nonfiction essays that are not afraid to make us care. We want work that braves to be, that dares to be. We encourage well-informed work where the form understands its relationship with the content. We want pieces that seem wise, that are unafraid to confront topics that matter, and that speak with urgency, that beg for an ear to listen. We want to read vividly-drawn characters who challenge and enlarge our sympathy.”
Readers coming to Cherry Tree will find what the editors believe to be the best poems, short stories, and essays holding “the truth and lyricism of language above sentimentality and message-making” from both established and emerging writers. While readers may choose to “cherry-pick” pieces, the editors advocate reading a full issue from cover to cover, “because we always order the pieces in such a way as to create a sort of thematic story arc, making the reading experience more engrossing and meaningful.”
Previously published contributors include Rick Barot, Jericho Brown, Jennifer S. Cheng, Claudia Emerson, Vievee Francis, Anna Journey, Julie Kane, Roy Kesey, Matthew Lippman, Paul Lisicky, Matthew Olzmann, Emilia Phillips, sam sax, Bruce Snider, and Julie Marie Wade.
Cherry Tree opens for general submissions in the categories of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from August 15 to October 15 each year via Submittable only.
Alyson Hagy [photo: Ted Brummond] has won the thirty-eighth Lawrence Foundation Prize, joining, among other authors, Charles Baxter, Paul Bowles, Susan Dodd, Clark Blaise, Sena Jeter Naslund, Rebecca Makkai, Alice Mattison, and Lynne Sharon Schwartz. The prize is awarded annually by the Editorial Board of MQR to the author of the best short story published that year in the journal. A mature, finely crafted story set in Yellowstone country, Hagy's "Switchback" appeared in the Spring 2015 issue.
$500 Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize
Raymond McDaniel has won the 2015 Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize, which is awarded annually to the author of the best poem or group of poems appearing that year in the MQR. His poem “Claire Lenoir,” appeared in the Fall 2015 issue. This year’s judge, Paisley Rekdal, writes: “The poem marvelously captures, in tone and form, the very essence of the uncanny: one of the poem’s central subjects. The poem renders the process through which we gain knowledge of ourselves and others both mysterious and terrifying at once, recalling for me Howard Baker's plaintive question during the Watergate trials: What did you know, and when did you know it?”
$500 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets
Katie Hartsock has won the 2015 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets, which is awarded annually by the editors to the best poet appearing in MQR who has not yet published a book. Poetry Editor Keith Taylor writes about her poem “The Sister Karamazov,” which appeared in our Spring 2015 issue, “We were very impressed by this poet's ability to enter one of the classics and to reimagine it, adding another emotional and metaphoric level to something that a lesser imagination might see as fixed and impenetrable."
To hear Reese reading a selection from The Book of Hulga, or to order a copy, visit the University of Wisconsin Press website.
[quote from book cover]
For Rattle #51, the editors put out the call for submissions from women poets with the same great uncertaintly every magazine risks when planning a themed issue or special feature. Rattle editors must have been pleased, as the issue features "a lengthy tribute to 31 feminist poets" selected from "the thousands of poems" submitted. Also included in the issue is a conversation with Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts. The feature explores the question, "What does it mean to be a feminist poet in the 21st century?" Rattle editors surmise: "There might be as many answers to that question as there are feminist poets—each of those featured provide their perspectives in an especially important contributor notes section."
Featured poets: Lisa Baird, Michele Battiste, Roberta Beary, Heather Bell, Claire Blotter, Leila Chatti, Ann Clark, Barbara Crooker, Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton, Julie R. Enszer, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Beth Gylys, Kelsey Hagarman, Sandra Kohler, Amy Miller, Abby E. Murray, Jenny Qi, Jessy Randall, Laura Read, Lucinda Roy, Yaccaira Salvatierra, Amber Shockley, Robin Silbergleid, Julie Steiner, Lisa Summe, Katherine Barrett Swett, Kelly Grace Thomas, Amy Uyematsu, Julie Marie Wade, and Sara Watson.
Co-founded by Tracy Bealer, PhD in American literature with an emphasis on 20th century masculinity, and Natalie Leppard, PhD in American literature with an emphasis on 20th century terrorism, Albeit publishes scholarly articles and "practical documents" such as syllabi, lesson plans, and book reviews that can be used alongside an existing course, as a theme, or upon which to build a course. The articles and documents are meant to be accessible to professors and college students alike.
Published twice a year, previous issue themes include Horror (1.1), Failure (1.2), and Women on War (2.1). The current call for proposals is for issue 4.1: Black Lives Matter. Abstracts are due by August 1 with complete articles by October.
Saranac Review 11 features cover and full color internal art by Canadian artists, Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber, formerly known as The Royal Art Lodge.
The Rag online monthly "focuses on grittier forms of contemporary short fiction," with this issue featuring Alan Shapiro's "Has and Have" with cover art by Matthew Laznicka.
Editor William V. Ray engaged a variety of professionals in the conversation, and while based in Massachusetts, the topic is pertinent nation wide. Participants include: Rachael Avery Barton, Middle School History Teacher; Michael Capuano, U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’ 7th District; Kenneth Hawes, Senior Lecturer in Education, Wellesley College; Phillip James, History Department Coordinator, Lincoln-Sudbury R.H.S.; Véronique Latimer, High School Art Teacher; Arthur Unobskey, Assistant Superintendent, Gloucester Public Schools; Isa Zimmerman, Executive Director, Massachusetts Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
The Courtship of Winds publishes two online issues per year of poetry, fiction, short dramatic pieces, essays, photography, art, and short pieces of music.
“Textures and Contrasts: Starting Points for Travel Writing” by Sheila Madary
“On Asking the Hard Questions” by Silas Hansen
“Becoming a Writer in Due Time” by Chelsey Drysdale
“On Keeping a (Writing) Notebook (or Three)” by Randon Billings Noble
Read these and the newest in brief nonfiction at Brevity.
First place: David Mizner [pictured], of New York, NY, wins $3000 for “Your Swim." His story will be published in Issue 99 or 100 of Glimmer Train Stories.
Second place: Ezekiel N. Finkelstein, of New York, NY, wins $1000 for “Clayton and the Apocalypse – scenes from an earlier life” and publication in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories.
Third place: Karen Malley, of Holyoke, MA, wins $600 for “Fragile.” Her story will also be published in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing her prize to $700.
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadline soon approaching for the Short Story Award for New Writers: February 29
This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5000. No theme restrictions. Most submissions to this category run 1500-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. First place prize wins $2500 (just increased from $1500!) and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. Click here for complete guidelines.
The American Indian Youth Literature Awards are presented every two years. The awards were established as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. Books selected to receive the award will present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts. For a full list of Honor Books as well as a printable color brochure of the award winners, visit the AILA website.
The theme for New Madrid Winter 2016 is "Evolving Islands" and features a selection of essays, poetry, and fiction in response to this theme. The cover art is courtesy of NASA, "Eluthera Island, Bahamas, 2002."
In keeping with Creative Nonfiction's theme "Let's Talk About the Weather," this cover image comes from artist and designer Mark Nystrom's "wind drawings" series. Driven by the weather, this series is a drawing process Nystrom developed using weather instruments and custom electronics that collect wind data that is then digitally interpreted. Nystrom's images accompany each essay in this issue of CNF.