"Cadets are keen observers of social cues from their professors, retracting behind the protective formalities of rank at the first whiff of 'agenda,' regardless of its political stripe. It’s easy enough, and they have little social capital invested in the humanities. Nor do they know many people who do. . . . Unlike most of us, though, Cadets will flat-out ask in public how reading poems matters to future practitioners of their trade.
It’s a sincere question, a vital one. It belonged in the public sphere the first time I heard it in October 2016. . . . poetic speech can, at its thorniest, frame problems that cannot be reduced to partisan accolades, commodification, claptrap. It can render the crisp shadows of power under the thorns.
But this is work. Like most hard work, it is also humbling, if not downright humiliating."
Primarily an online publication of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and photography, Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices also provides the community with unique essays on its SolLit Blog. Recent features include:
"A Writer-Photographer’s Poignant Essay about Smelter Town" by William Crawford
"Women Writers’ Roundtable: Judy Juanita, Melinda Luisa de Jesús, and Dr. Raina J. León on Life-Changing Art" by Rochelle Spencer
"Misogyny and the Acceptance of Violence Against Women" by Patricia Carrillo [pictured]
"The Immigrant Experience Then and Now — and Hope for the Future" by Diane O'Neill
"Neurodiverse Students Need Creative Arts" by Donnie Welch
"Protesting Police Brutality: From Taking a Knee in the U.S to Striking in Catalan" by Chetan Tiwari and Sandell Morse
"Writing, Meditation, and the Art of Looking" by Marilyn McCabe
Guest bloggers are invited to contribute: "We seek inspirational and informative content from diverse voices on writing craft, writing process, diversity (or lack thereof?) in the lit world, recent trends in writing and/or literature, brief author interviews, and more." See full submission guidelines here.
Bellevue Literary Review Editor-in-Chief Danielle Ofri welcome readers to the 35th issue with a newly redesigned journal, "a remarkable collaboration with students at the Parsons School of Design, under the direction of their teacher, the incomparable Minda Gralnek. The students were given free rein" to change the seventeen-year-old design that has been slowly morphing over the past few years: ". . . we moved from archival photos on the cover to contemporary art, in order to broaden our reach."
Ofri assures readers that "it's the literary content that really makes the journal, and we'd never conflate content with presentation. Cooks, though, know that food is always just that much tastier when you pull out the special-occasion china. So we offer up this first course to you, and hope that you find it savory - inside and out."
This issues theme , "Dis/Placement," brings together an introductory essay by Ha Jin, as well as new writing from Barron H. Lerner, Myra Shapiro, Hal Sirowitz, Sue Ellen Thompson, Eric Pankey, Dan Pope, Rachel Hadas, Prartho Sereno, and others, as well as cover art by Jonathan Allen.
BLR is looking for submission on the theme "A Good Life" - deadline January 1, 2019.
In his introduction the the Fall 2018 issue of Creative Nonfiction, Editor Lee Gutkind writes on the theme Risk as it relates to a writer's life: ". . . although we may be safe from physical harm, all of us who write know that every hour we devote to our notepad or keyboard, every moment we stop and think and dwell on the thoughts and ideas that will, in one way or another, find life on a page or computer display, involves monumental risk."
Read the full essay here.
"And the question is why are people so numb? I think they are awakening, and I’m very happy about that. But awakening has been so slow. And that’s the dark age. People are having a hard time gaining knowledge and wisdom. The educational systems are completely unreliable and full of land mines for most people. So, yes, it is a dark age, and you can only hope people will come out of it, but they have to turn off gadgets and start to talk to people. And the time is very short."
From "A Conversation with Alice Walker" by Erik Gleibermann, World Literature Today, November-December 2018.
The issue also includes an excerpt from Walker's "My 12-12-12" and a web exclusive interview “Translating Alice Walker: A Conversation with Manuel García Verdecia,” by Daniel Simon.
To better understand what they are looking for, the editors note that some of their favorite graphic artists are Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez, Joe Sacco, Brecht Evens, Taiyo Matsumoto, Anders Nilsen, Jillian Tamaki, Christophe Chaboute, Eleanor Davis, Gipi, Simon Hanselmann, Michael DeForge, David Lapham, and Inio Asano.
Interested writers/artists are asked to submit a sample, partial, or full manuscript. The publishers do not match up artists/storytellers. This is a traditional, paid publishing contract arrangement.
For more information, visit the Driftwood Press graphic novels submission page.
The name comes a story written Zachary Doss, "The Village with All of the Boyfriends." Zach was an editor with BWR and beloved member of the literary community. He passed away in March 2018.
Brandi Wells writes, "Zach loved BWR before, during, and after he was editor there. It makes sense that he might be woven into the infrastructure in this way. I hope it is a space for weird voices and writers who are trying something new, something surprising."
She offers readers this excerpt from Zach's story: “The Village with All of the Boyfriends is where all of your boyfriends wind up eventually. You built this Village for them and they can’t leave and neither can you. You are not allowed inside, but you wait in the desert at the edge of town.”
Driftwood Press is kicking off their new Seminar Series with a five-week online Erasure Poetry Seminar lead by Jerrod Schwarz [pictured], instructor of creative writing at the University of Tampa. The seminar covers the history, practice, and importance of erasure poetry. The format is weekly video, writing prompts with feedback, a class-only Facebook group and YouTube channel. The course fee includes a copy of A Little White Shadow by Mary Ruefle. Students will contribute to a Showcase Booklet which will be made available for free on Driftwood’s website and via their social media outlets.
Writers interested in attending the seminar must apply with writing sample and statement of interest no later than October 31. After selection, the course will run from November 12 - December 14.
Writing Immigrant Stories by May-lee Chai [pictured]: "For American authors writing about a multicultural, globalized world, the issue of translation is unavoidable: what to put into English, what to leave in a mother tongue, and how to render the mixed-English that often is used in immigrant families."
Novel and Story by William Luvaas: "For years, the novel was dominant, with its loud, broad-shouldered personality. Novel was so self-assured—something of a bully, really—while Story scurried about, mouse-like under the furniture, speaking in a whisper, fearing Novel would step on it. Then something unexpected happened."
Tobias Wolff (from an interview by Travis Holland): "So when I would read a great story of Ray Carver's, like 'Errand' or 'Cathedral,' my thought would be, 'I want to write this well.' Not write like him, because I knew I couldn't. That was his world, his voice, all that."
This and all previous bulletins are archived here.
"Literature is not efficient," writes New England Review Editor Carolyn Kuebler in the Editor's Note to V39 N3. "Reading it, writing it, and publishing it all require a seemingly unreasonable investment in time. Journals like ours take part in this economy of inefficiency by keeping our doors open to writing from everyone, everywhere." She goes on to discuss the weight placed on editors to make selections from thousands of unsolicited submissions, which open publications with good reputations face.
"Because of this openness to new writing, we have to say 'no' far more often than we say 'yes,' which can give writers a kind of 'who do they think they are' feeling of resentment. It also sets literary editors up as gatekeepers, as if reading and evaluating manuscripts were in some way equivalent to being a bouncer at an exclusive nightclub or a troll under the bridge. To me, the problem with the image of a gatekeeper is that it implies that the lit mag is some steadfast entity that simply exists, and that editors are only blocking the way to it. But without the efforts of those same people who are reading the manuscripts, there would be no there there."
Instead, Kuebler entreats readers (and writers) to consider "lit mags and their staff of editors and readers in terms of service," with many of those working behind the scenes doing so for little or no pay, and putting "aside their own agendas and literary preferences, and often their own writing, in service of another’s."
I get it. I hope others do, too. Thanks Carolyn - and countless other editors, readers, and all of those who give selflessly in the service of literature to make these publications 'there.'