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Much to Recommend Georgia Review

Published April 19, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
georgia reviewI normally try to focus my blog notes on one "something" per lit mag per post, but the newest issue of The Georgia Review has several somethings worth note. First, congratulations to the Review for achieving 70 years of continuous quarterly publication! Congratulations to Emily Van Kley whose poem "Dear Skull" won the 2015 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize and is featured as the first work in the issue. Editor Stephen Corey's "To Our Readers" takes a fun trouncing on the form when he declares: "I hearby announce the invention and likely demise of the 'braided editorial,' an offshoot from the 'braided essay' that has been rather de rigueur in recent years in some literary circles - to such an extent that people teach how-to classes, and anthologies of such works are probably imminent." Also worth note: William Walsh's interview with and inclusion of several poems by Rita Dove. And this among so much else to recommend.

Books :: 2015 New Issues Writing Prizes

Published April 18, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
her infinite sawnie morrisThe New Issues Poetry Prize is awarded annually for a first book of poems, and was awarded to Sawnie Morris in 2015 for her collection Her, Infinite. The annual Green Rose Prize is awarded to an established poet with Bruce Cohen as the 2015 winner with his collection Imminent Disappearances, Impossible Numbers & Panoramic X-Rays. Both the winning books were published last month.

Advance praise calls Morris’s collection a “polyvocal, strident book of immense intelligence” (Major Jackson) and a “sensual and imaginative evocation of the heroin’s journey” (Annah Sobelman).

Cohen “might be the keeper of some vast secret surveillance system” as his collection is filled with the our day-to-day, and our intimate thoughts and feelings (David Rivard).

More information on both these titles, as well as sample poems, can be found at the New Issues Press website.

[quotes from publisher's website]

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published April 18, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
hamilton arts letters"Ill Met by Moonlight" is the theme of Hamilton Arts & Letters Magazine issue 8.2, which features a collage of works from artists featured in the issue, including "Steve" by Lisa Wöhrle from the portfolio "Then and Now: The (Young) Contemporaries."
raleigh review spring 2016"Crow Chief" by Geri Digiorno is also a collage which invites readers in to the spring 2016 issue of Raleigh Review Literary & Arts Magazine. The publication's new, larger format provides a spacious canvas for this work.
arroyo spring 2016It helps to see the full spread on this cover art for the spring issue of Arroyo Literary Magazine: "Fiori Bacio (Lovers)" by ALE + ALE.

Books :: 2015 Able Muse Book Award

Published April 15, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
borrowed world emily leithauserThe Borrowed World by Emily Leithauser is forthcoming this July from Able Muse Press. Winner of the 2015 Able Muse Book Award, the poetry award presented annually, The Borrowed World is Leithauser’s first book.

Judge Peter Campion says of his selection, “Leithauser portrays the inevitability of loss, in romantic and familial relationships, and yet, without ever offering false resolutions or pat conclusions, she manages to make her poems themselves convincing stays against loss. I mean that this book is made to endure. The Borrowed World marks the arrival of a major talent.”

The Borrowed World is available for order at the Able Muse Press website, where digital editions will also be available upon publication.

New Letters 2015 Literary Award Winners

Published April 14, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
new lettersNew Letters (v82 n2) features the winners of their 2015 Literary Awards:

The New Letters Prize for Poetry
Judge Ellen Bass
Five poems by Elizabeth Haukaas

The Alexander Cappon Prize for Fiction
Judge Jayne Anne Phillips
"A Tzaddikah Goes on the Lamb" by Cady Vishniac

The Dorothy Cappon Prize for Nonfiction Essay
Judge Floyd Skloot
"Our Little Jewish Girl" by Mindy Lewis

The contest deadline for this year is May 18, 2016 and awards a $1,500 prize for the winner in each category in addition to publication.

Books :: 2016 Miller Williams Poetry Prize Finalists

Published April 14, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
univ arkansas pressEvery year, the University of Arkansas Press awards the Miller Williams Poetry Prize to four authors: one winner and three finalists, all of which are published with the winner receiving $5,000 in cash.

March 2016 saw the publication of the three 2016 finalists: When We Were Birds by Joe Wilkins, See You Soon by Laura McKee, and Cenotaph by Brock Jones.

Series Editor Billy Collins writes in each book’s preface:
See You Soon, the casual title of Laura McKee’s book, contains poems of powerful feeling that seem composed in the kind of tranquility of recollection. [ . . . ] [R]eaders will find in Brock Jones’s Cenotaph a new way of thinking and feeling about the reailties of combat. [ . . . ] Joe Wilkins’s [ . . . ] When We Were Birds, as the title indicates, is full of imaginative novelty as well as reminders that miraculous secrets are hidden in the fabric of everyday life.
All three titles—as well as the winning [explicit, lyrics] by Andrew Gent—are now available at the University of Arkansas Press website.

Books :: 2014 Hudson Prize

Published April 13, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
blood matthew cheneyBlack Lawrence Press annually awards The Hudson Prize for an unpublished collection of poems or short stories. In 2014, Matthew Cheney brought home the prize with his story collection Blood.

The stories in Blood, published in January 2016, range across various styles, modes, genres, and tones as they explore the worlds of family, love, memory, and loss.

More information about Blood can be found at the Black Lawrence Press website, where readers can also order copies of Cheney’s collection.

Wallace Stevens Feature

Published April 13, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
new england reviewNew England Review v37 n1 includes a literary criticism section entitled The Mind at the End of the Palm: Wallace Stevens Thinking. In a series of five essays, "five poet-critics consider Wallace Stevens, with a focus on Stevens as a 'philosophical' poet (or not). The first four were presented as a symposium at the AWP Conference in 2014 [by David Baker, Linda Gregerson, Carl Phillips, Stanley Plumly], then gathered by David Baker and edited for print; the final essay, by Carol Frost, came to NER serendipitously, at about the same time. They all look closely at Stevens's poetry and why it continues to engage us so deeply, more than a hundred years after he published his first poems." Baker's contribution can be read on the NER website here.

Dimitris Lyacos Feature

Published April 12, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
dimitris lyacosThe newest issue of The Bitter Oleander: A Magazine of Contemporary International Poetry & Short Fiction (v22 n1) features an interview with comtemporary Greek writer Dimitris Lyacos as well as a seletion of his poems from his Poena Damni triology, translated by Shorsha Sullivan. An excerpt from his interview with TBO's editor and a selection from his featured work can be read on The Bitter Oleander's webite here.

The Writer's Hotel :: 2016

Published April 11, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
writers hotel blogThe Writer’s Hotel, a hybrid writers conference that meets each June at a floating campus between three hotels in Midtown, Manhattan, is not just another writers conference. With an environment much like that of a Creative Writing MFA community, they work with each writer on a target manuscript from the moment of acceptance, for months before the conference, and offer the rare opportunity to polish manuscripts with professional editors before meeting with instructors, writers, agents, industry professionals and editors on site. There is no other writers conference quite like The Writer's Hotel.

Writers tend to arrive at the conference feeling an artistic momentum, and come ready to bring their work to market at the heart of the publishing industry in New York City. Writers will have reading opportunities at a well-known NYC venue, will attend daily events held in inspiring locations around the city, and will participate in several intensive writing workshops, attend lectures, pitch meetings and literary events, and go on historic literary walking tours.

This year’s conference takes place from June 1-7 and faculty includes Meghan Daum, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Scott Wolven, Shanna McNair, Marie Howe, Tim Seibles, Roger Bonair-Agard, Elyssa East, Wesley McNair, Bill Roorbach, Kevin Larimer, Carey Salerno, Elaine Trevorrow and Bethany Ball. Conference space is limited and the deadline for application is April 22, 2016Free to apply, writers may upload 20 -25 pages of writing with a brief letter of interest at TWH’s Submittable.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published April 11, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
fieldField: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics Spring 2016 issue features a strking image - no photo credit given - which shows I'm not always drawn to splashy color covers. You can read some sample poems from the issue here.

literary juice march 16Literary Juice is an online bi-monthly of all genres of prose, poetry, and art. As the editors note: "Lately, we've done away with all artistrict boundaries." This issue's cover photo is "We Almost Rejected the Barn But No One Wants To Be Trolled by Cows" by A. Riding.

hermeneutic chaos 13 march"Sad Cactus" by Netherlands photo artist Stanislaw Lewkowicz is featured on the cover of the online Hermeneutic Chaos March 2016 issue. Lewkowicz's mezmerizing image is the perfect match for Hermeneutic Chaos, which editors consider a collection of "beautifully crafted narrative mindscapes that move us with their linguistic, emotional expanse and powerful imagery."

Books :: 2015 A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize

Published April 10, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
trouble the water derrick austinIn 2015, Derrick Austin was announced as the winner of the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize through BOA Editions, Ltd. The prize is awarded to honor a poet’s first book, as well as honoring the publisher’s late founder. Austin's winning title Trouble the Water will be published this month.

Rich in religious and artistic imagery, Trouble the Water is an intriguing exploration of race, sexuality, and identity, particularly where selfhood is in flux, interrogating what it means to be, as Austin says, “fully human as a queer, black body” in 21st-century America.

Copies of Trouble the Water are available for preorder at BOA Editions, Ltd.’s website.

Books :: 2015 Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Award

Published April 06, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
all the beautiful dead christien gholsonBitter Oleander Press has announced Christien Gholson as the winner of the 2015 Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Award. Gholson’s winning book All the Beautiful Dead was released last month.

Judge Anthony Seidman calls All the Beautiful Dead "a harrowing, razor-biting collection which addresses the wounded and the outcast, in a landscape of boxcars, poppies, crows, empty fields, the lights of Las Vegas which can't overpower the open black mouth of the desert night, and the rusted lives and emotional shrapnel ranging from Wales to Colorado, New Mexico to Gaza."

For more information, check out the Bitter Oleander Press shop.

Books :: Coffee House Press Meets Emily Books

Published April 05, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
coffee house pressLast month, Coffee House Press announced their partnership with Brooklyn-based feminist publishing project, Emily Books (part bookstore/publisher/book club). Together, they’ve created a new imprint for “original books that speak to the aesthetic excellence, experimental boldness, and social concerns of both organizations.”

July 2016’s forthcoming Problems by Jade Sharma marks the first book coming from the imprint, with two new Emily Books titles to be published by Coffee House Press annually.

More information about the partnership and the individual presses can be found at the Coffee House Press website blog.

Books :: 2015 Sawtooth Prize

Published April 04, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
stereo island mosaic vincent toroStereo. Island. Mosaic. by Vincent Toro was published in February. Winner of the 2015 Sawtooth Prize from Ahsahta Press, selected by Ed Roberson, Toro received a $1,500 honorarium and publication.

Stereo. Island. Mosaic. is, according the author’s statement:
Both a reconstruction of personal history and an examination of Caribbean identity through the postmodern lens of a mosaic woven from Latin American mythology and history, themes of urban migration, Caribbean literature scholar Antonio Benitez-Rojo’s theory of The Repeating Island, and Aime Cesaire’s application of Negritude in his work “Notebook of a Return to the Native Land.”
This is Toro’s first book of poetry, and copies can be found at the Ahsahta Press website, along with the full author's statement.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published April 04, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
writing disorder
The Writing Disorder Spring 2016 WAXenVINE Photography
The Beautiful Images of Scott Irvine & Kim Meinelt
WAXENVINE is the collective vision of husband and wife team Scott Irvine and Kim Meinelt. Their work centers around themes of light, shadow, texture and beauty. They are drawn to finding the unusual within the mundane and beauty in unexpected places. Their process often involves blending multiple images together – resulting in a haunting dreamscape that transcends reality and the singular image.

terrainTerrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environment features some stunning photography on its site that accompanies each written work. Header photo of goshawk in flight by Vladimir Hodac, courtesy Shutterstock.

Passages North 2015 Contest Winners

Published March 31, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
passages northPassages North #37 showcases the winners of their 2015 contests:

2015 Thomas Hrushka Memorial Nonfiction Prize
Judge: Steven Church
Winner: Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, “On Nostalgia”

2015 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize
Judge: Lynn Emanuel
Winner: Lindsay Means, “Antikythera”
Honorable Mention: K.T. Landon, “The Dead Go Bowling”

Included with the purchase of this issue is a separate book: The Deathmask of El Gaucho by Dan Mancilla, winner of the  Little Presque Books Novella Contest. Little Presque was founded and is run by former Passages North managing editor, Timston Johnston.

And an added bonus: two brand new flash nonfiction pieces by Ander Monson from his Letters to a Future Lover series are tucked in the journal, because, as Monsoon said, they were "written and designed to be read unbound and looseleaf, and tucked into books, as the reader desires."

[Cover art by Evan Prout.]

MĀNOA A Pacific Journal of International Writing

Published March 30, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
manoaMĀNOA publishes two volumes a year of contemporary writing, often the first time in translation, from throughout Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas. Past volumes have featured new work from such places as the People’s Republic of China, Tibet, Nepal, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Cambodia, French Polynesia, the Pacific Islands, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, as well as Canada, Mexico, and South America. The two most recent issues of MĀNOA are Story Is a Vagabond: Fiction, Essays, and Drama by Intizar Husain and The Colors of Dawn: Twentieth Centruy Korean Poetry. Husain, considered one of the greatest writers in Urdu, passed away at the beginning of the year in Lahore, Pakistan. His volume published just early in 2015 provides a fitting tribute to his impact on the literature of his culture.

Books :: 2014 Cider Press Review Book Award

Published March 29, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
steel alison prineThe Cider Press Review Book Award annually offers a $1,500 prize, publication, and more to the author of a book-length poetry collection. In 2014, Alison Prine won with her collection Steel, which was released this past January.

Advanced praise called Steel “a work of memory and reverie. Both precise and transcendent . . .” (Laura Kasischke).  Readers can order a copy of Steel and check out an excerpt on the Cider Press Review website.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published March 28, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
weberI'm a sucker for rich, gorgeous, thick layers of color, and this cover image on Weber 32.1 absolutely satisfies. This "Untitled #1" is a mixed media by Ginger Wallace, whose work is also featured on a ten-page spread inside.
kenyon reviewKenyon Review Editor David H. Lynn tells readers, "Don't be fooled by the playful beauty of our covers . . . the changes that have come to Kenyon Review over the past year are more than skin deep." Indeed, while now managing their own electronic versions, writers will be pleased to know the publication has equalized its pay scale between online and print contributors. The cover by artist and illustrator Jon McNaught drew me in to read the rest.
still points quarterlyStill Points Arts Quarterly is the beautiful, lavish, journal of arts and literature published by Shanti Arts, which was founded in 2011 by Christine Brooks Cote to celebrate art, nature, and spirit. "Night Flight" by Charlotte Lees is featured on the front cover, while a portfolio of her sculptures is featured inside.

Books :: 2016 Miller Williams Poetry Prize

Published March 28, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
explicit lyrics andrew gentFor almost a quarter century, The University of Arkansas Press annually has awarded the $5,000 Miller Williams Poetry Prize. The prize and series, edited by Billy Collins, are named for and honor the cofounder and director of the press, Miller Williams.

At the beginning of March, the 2016 winner, [explicit lyrics] by Andrew Gent, was released: “As the title indicates, these poems are lyrics—musings on the small decisions required by existence in the modern world. They contain the grand themes of art—life, love, and mortality—but not where you expect.”
 
To buy a copy or to listen to a selection from [explicit lyrics], head over to the University of Arkansas Press website.

[quote from publisher’s website]

Wallace Meets Whitman

Published March 24, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
wallace stevens journalThe newest issue of The Wallace Stevens Journal (a publication of the Wallace Stevens Society) is themed: Wallace Stevens and Walt Whitman. Society Vice President Glen Macleod writes in his introductory essay: "When I first proposed an MLA roundtable discussion on Walt Whitman and Wallace Stevens, it seemed like a natural pairing. . . A panel on this topic might prompt some fresh perspectives on a well-established case of literary influence. The topic turned out to be more interesting and more controversial than I anticipated."

Macleod introduces each of the following essays, excerpts of which can be read on the publication's Project Muse page:

"A Prefatory Note on Whitman, Stevens, and the Poetics of Americana" by Tyler Hoffman
"Between Surface and Influence: Stevens, Whitman, and the Problem of Mediation" by Patrick Redding
"Whitman and Stevens: No Supreme Fiction" by Matt Miller
"Beach Boys: Stevens, Whitman, and Franco-American Modernism" by Lee M. Jenkins
"Whitman and Stevens: Certain Phenomena of Sound" by Roger Gilbert
And a questionnaire - in which Macleod and Journal Editor Bart Eeckhout ask Tony Sharpe of Lancaster University questions about Whitman and Stevens in the United Kingdom.


Books :: 2014 Madeleine P. Plonsker Prize

Published March 24, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
pike and bloom matthew nyeEach year, Lake Forest College awards its Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize to writers under forty with no major book publication. Winners spend three weeks in residence at the campus in Chicago’s northern suburbs. While there, writers spend their time completing a manuscript to be published by &NOW Books, an imprint of Lake Forest College Press.

Matthew Nye was the 2014 winner and his novel Pike and Bloom was published in February. An American odyssey in miniature, Pike and Bloom maps the trajectories of three characters—Pike, Bloom, and Bloom’s wife Clytie—as they spiral through “the serious blues of Indianapolis,” attempting to construct meaning from the absurd.

 Readers can learn more about Pike and Bloom at Northwestern University Press’s website.

Books :: 2015 Iowa Poetry Prize

Published March 23, 2016 Posted By Katy Haas
playful song called beautiful john blairJohn Blair’s A Playful Song Called Beautiful, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize in 2015, will be available for purchase next month.

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. 

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published March 22, 2016 Posted By Denise Hill
Copper Nickel 22I simply couldn't look away from Copper Nickel #22, even though I found it somewhat disconcerting. "Samy" by Christine Stormberg is an oil on canvas.
haydens ferry review"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.
antioch reviewNow 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.
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