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Rattle Poetry on Civil Servants

Published March 01, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
rattle v55 spring 2017 blogIssue #55 (Spring 2017) of Rattle includes a selection of poems on the theme "Civil Servants." "The collection features seventeen civil servants — poets who have worked for various government agencies, including the EPA, the FDA, the CIA, the Census Bureau, and many more," write the editors. "Apparently working for the public produces a dry sense of humor, because many of the poems lean sardonic. These poets are also smart and down-to-earth, and just may restore your faith in bureaucracy." Some of the writers included: Lisa Badner, Dane Cervine, A.M. Juster, Bruce Neidt, Pepper Trail, Jane Wheeler, John Yohe. See a full list of contributors here.

Black Warrior Review 2016 Contest Winners

Published February 28, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
black warrior reviewIssue 43.2 (Spring/Summer 2017) of BWR features winners of their 2016 Contest:

Fiction judged by Sofia Samatar
“Videoteca Fin del Mundo” by Ava Tomasula y Garcia

Nonfiction judged by T Clutch Fleischmann
“Whatever” by Rocket Caleshu

Poetry judged by Hoa Nguyen
“The Autobiographical Subject ”Kirsten Ihns

Each winner received $1,000 and publication, and each runner-up received $100. For a full list of winners and runners-up as well as judge's comments on each, visit the BWR website here.

Cover image: "The Art of Sealing Ends" by Nakeya Brown.

Copper Nickel Becomes Paying Market

Published February 27, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
copper nickelEditor Wayne Miller has announced several changes to Copper Nickel with its recent re-launch, including paying contributors: "starting with issue 24, we'll be paying $30 per printed page. (We wish it could be more!)" Indeed, it is more than nothing, which is a great step for any literary publication to be able to take. Additionally, issue 24 of Copper Nickel includes a flash fiction portfolio featuring 22 works selected by Fiction Editors Teague Bohlen and Joanna Luloff. Cover image: "Tape Loops" by Eleanor King.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published February 27, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
sewanee review "This iteration of the Sewanee Review [Winter 2017], designed by Peter Mendelsund and Oliver Munday, signifies the first substantial redesign this magazine has undergone since Allen Tate's commissioning of legendary printer P.J. Conkwright in autumn, 1944," writes Managing Editor Robert Walker. He thanks the designers "for their beautiful, idiosyncratic vision, which so seamlessly incorporates the old into the new." NewPages agrees.
gettysburg review spring 2017The Gettysburg Review Spring 2017 whimsical cover is a detail of "The Young Owl" by Kevin Sloan.
missouri review"Stress Test" by Eugenia Loli is the eye-catching cover art on The Missouri Review v39 n4 (2016)

2017 CutBank Prose Flash Contest Winners

Published February 27, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
Winners of the CutBank 2016 Big Sky, Small Prose: Flash Contest, judged by Chad Simpson, can be found in issue #86:

alysia0sawchynWinner
"Riverbanks and Honeysuckle" by Alysia Sawchyn [pictured]
[Sawchyn's story is available to read online here.]

Runners-Up
"Planning to Be Amazed" by Daryl Scroggins
"At the Dog Park" by Derek Updegraff

Drunken Boat Black Panel Comics

Published February 15, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
nick potter db 24"It bears acknowledging that Drunken Boat 24 arrives in the wake of a substantial loss," opens Nick Potter's editorial to the comics section of the newest issue. "Amid the varied responses," he writes, "I’ve noticed a subset of my friends on Facebook who have updated their profile pictures to a black square. In our increasingly globalized, increasingly visual culture, this act seems intuitive, marking absence, marking erasure, marking the digital equivalence of donning black in mourning, marking a kind of death. In comics, the filled-black panel has often been used as contextual shorthand for death—a kind of visual euphemism in the structural language of the form."

Potter goes on to offer several panels of black squares, acknowledging the loss of famous people, those whose lives taken made news for their injustice, and for victims of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre, as well as a couple personal losses from Potter's family. "And so," he closes, "as we’ve endured so many black panels this year, it’s worth noting that, in comics, all panels, black or otherwise, are given meaning by the panels that surround them. And how we choose to fill those panels, as artists and patrons, comprises the politics with which we envision humanity."

MR Music Issue

Published February 14, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
massachusetts review musicExecutive Editor Jim Hicks opens the newest issue of The Massachusetts Review: The Music Issue with this from his introduction: "For this particular quarterly, given that 'public affairs' is the kicker to our moniker, the first reaction of readers might well be, 'Why?' Certainly if you think of music as entertainment, as remedy or therapy, you might not see such a theme as urgent. And yet what social movement, what new political formation, hasn’t had its unforgettable soundtrack? Where, after all, do those in the struggle find the force and inspiration to keep moving forward, to get up, stand up, in this world full of tunnels and only occasional light? What brings them together, what lifts their voices, what beats the drum?"

The front cover features "The Music Issue, 2016" created for The Massachusetts Review  by Bianca Stone, and a full list of contributors with access to some of the works can be found here.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published February 13, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
boilerThe Boiler winter 2017 online quarterly of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction features this stunning scene "Horses in Winter" photograph by Ellumyne.
chargrin river reviewChagrin River Review online journal of fiction and poetry is edited by faculty at Lakeland Community College, outside of Cleveland, Ohio. The cover photo for their December 2016 issue, with its unique road reflections, is by Michael Kinkopf.
cleaverI'm pretty sure that's a cockroach orchestra portrayed on the cover of Cleaver online lit mag #16: "The Maestro” by Orlando Saverino-Loeb.

Spoon River Poetry Review 2016 Editors' Prize Winners

Published February 09, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
Issue 41.2 of Spoon River Poetry Review features the winners of the Editors’ Prize Contest, selected by final judge, G.C. Waldrep.

nancy hewittFirst Place Winner
“The Secret of White” by Nancy Hewitt
(pictured)

1st Runner-Up
 "Ramadan Aubade" by Leila Chatti

2nd Runner-Up
"Christ is a Great Blue Heron" by Jennie Maria Malboeuf

Honorable Mention
"Autumn Aubade with Pigeons" by Leila Chatti

2016 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Prize Winners

Published February 08, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
kenyon reviewThe 2016 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest as selected by final judge Jaimy Gordon are featured in the January/February 2017 issue of Kenyon Review. Included with an introduction by Associate Editor Kirsten Reach are First Prize Winner “Butter” by Eve Gleichman and Runners Up “Dance of the Old Century” by Dan Reiter and “The Babymoon” by Adam Soto. Information about the 2017 prize and a list of winners, including honorable mentions, can be read here, along with the full pieces as published in the print edition. Editor David H. Lynn comments on the history and philosophy behind this contest in his Editor's Note: What Place Literary Contests?

Brevity January 2017 Craft Essays

Published February 07, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
Schrand BrandonBrevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction January 2017 features three new craft essays: "The Essay and the Art of Equivocation" in which Brandon R. Schrand [pictured] considers our ability to equivocate artfully in the essay; "Truth & Delight: Resisting the Seduction of Surfaces" in which Peter Selgin examines the need to resist total seduction by sounds and surfaces; and  "Beyond 'Craft for Craft’s Sake': Nonfiction and Social Justice" with Rachel Tolliver and M. Sausun discussing nonfiction and social justice in the new political era. Brevity's full content can be read online.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published February 06, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
carolina quarterlyAimee Bungard is the featured artist in the Winter 2017 issue of The Carolina Quarterly, with "Eyeris" on the cover and a portfolio of her work inside, in a style which she describes as "ecological expressionist."
mud seasonMud Season Review publishes one story, one portfolio of poems, one essay or piece of narrative nonfiction, and visual art online monthly. The newest issue features artwork by Talal Alyan, who "renders loss into concise and vivid images that feel like an assault on the soul."
positPosit online publishes "finely crafted, innovative, contemporary literature and visual art. Our tastes are broad, but we lean towards the experimental." And the cover art of issue #12 is proof positive, featuring Steve DeFrank's “Big Hairy Mess."

Seneca Review Fall Issue :: Deborah Tall Poetry

Published February 02, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
seneca reviewThe fall 2016 issue of Seneca Review is a book of poems, Deborah Tall’s final collection, Afterings. "It is a remarkable volume by a poet and nonfiction writer at the peak of her powers. Eavan Boland has called it 'an essential collection,' and Mary Ruefle says the poems have 'not what is to be expected – hints of cessation – but an overwhelming sense of blossoming.'" Deborah Tall edited Seneca Review  for twenty-five years, until 2006. This winter, Seneca Review  will include a copy of Deborah Tall's final book of nonfiction, A Family of Strangers, with any new subscription to the journal.

NER Rediscovers Dickens

Published February 01, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
new england reviewIn its regular "Rediscoveries" section, the newest issue of Middlebury's New England Review (v37 n4) features "Two City Sketches" by Charles Dickens. Editor at Large Stephen Donadio provides an introduction, noting that after the serial publication of The Pickwick Papers, "there was indeed popular demand for a second selection of sketches. . . The complete collection of some fifty-six pieces came out in 1839, by which time Dickens's commanding presence on the scene had been securely established. In that 1839 volume, the pieces are grouped in four categories: 'Seven Sketches from Our Parish,' 'Scenes,' 'Characters,' and 'Tales.' The two city sketches presented here are the first two included under 'Scenes'; they are taken from the illustrated Sketches by Boz in the Standard Library Edition of Dickens's Complete Writings published in thirty-two volumes by Houghton Mifflin & Company (Boston and New York) in 1894." NER  treats readers to several selections from its current print issue to read online, including these sketches by Dickens.

Books :: 2017 BOA Editions Spring Publications

Published February 01, 2017 Posted By Katy Haas

gravity changes zach powersBOA Editions has announced spring publications of the winners of the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the BOA Short Fiction Prize, and the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize.

Gravity Changes by Zach Powers was awarded the 2015 BOA Short Fiction Prize. The collection of fantastical, off-beat stories views the quotidian world through the lens of the absurd. The stories take wide steps outside of reality as they find new ways to illuminate truth.

Bye-Bye Land by Christian Barter, winner of the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, “is a medley of voices in dialogue with each other [ . . . ] that represents a mind at work as it considers the destructiveness of human nature, the hypocrisy and artifice of the American dream.”

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. In this debut, “Chen Chen investigates inherited forms of love and family [ . . . ] all from Asian American, immigrant, and queer perspectives.”

Stop by the BOA Editions website to learn more about the individual titles and pre-order copies.

Constance Rooke CNF 2016 Prize Winner

Published January 31, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
lynn eastonLynn Easton's "The Equation," winner of the 2016 Contance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize as selected by final judge Lee Maracle, is featured in the Winter 2016 issue of The Malahat Review. A conversation with Canadian editor and poet, Kate Kennedy and prize winner Lynn Easton (pictured) can be read on the Malahat website here. A full list of finalists can be read here.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published January 30, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
malahat reviewLawrence Paul Yuxweluptun 's "Christy Clark and the Kinder Morgan Go-Go Girls" draws readers to the Winter 2016 cover of The Malahat Review, with guest editors Philip Kevin Paul (poetry), Richard Van Camp (fiction), Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (CNF) making selections for the theme "Indigenous Perspectives."
fiddlehead winter2017I was mesmerized by Ann Manuel's "Blur I" on the Winter 2017 cover of The Fiddlehead, Atlantic Canada's International Literary Journal.
salamander plainAnd just one more splash of color to brighten a winter's day: "Gouache on Newspaper" by Elizabeth Doran on the cover of Suffolk University's Salamander #43.

Able Muse New Imprint Press

Published January 25, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
sir gawainAble Muse Press publishes poetry and short story collections, and novels from emerging and established authors. Though not exclusively, their focus has been primarily formal poetry. They have just announced the launch of the imprint Word Galaxy Press, which Editor Alexander Pepple says "will be somewhat more inclusive, relative to Able Muse Press, toward poetic styles, and will lean especially toward fiction. Pictured: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - a new Modern English translation by John Ridland.

Books :: Brick Road Poetry Contest Winner

Published January 25, 2017 Posted By Katy Haas

lauren bacall shares limousine susan erickson blogWith the annual Brick Road Poetry Contest, Brick Road Poetry Press seeks a collection that fits their mission of publishing poetry that entertains, amuses, and edifies.

Winner Susan J. Erickson’s Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine was published this past December. The collection explores the lives of women across centuries and continents, including narrators like Lady Godiva, Lucy Audubon, Janis Joplin, and Marilyn Monroe, and gives voice to the critical moments of women’s lives.

This is Erickson’s first full-length collection. Sample poems can be found at the publisher’s website.

Prime Number 53-Word Story Contest

Published January 24, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
prime number magazinePrime Number Magazine runs a free monthly contest for writers to flex their skill at length limits. Published by Press 53, Prime Number holds entries to 53 words and a monthly prompt. Winners are published on the Prime Number website and receive a free book from Press 53. For December, the prompt was to write a 53-word story about 'chill,' and the winner was "The Last" by Greg Hill. New judges are named for each month's contest, and winning authors also get to submit a 53-word bio. The prompt for January is to "write a story about a penny" with the deadline being the final day of the month. Winning stories appear within a week of the contest end. Click here more information about the contest.

Books :: 2016 Autumn House Press Contest Winners

Published January 24, 2017 Posted By Katy Haas

apocalypse mix jane satterfield blogIn February, Autumn House Press is scheduled to release the 2016 winners of their annual Autumn House Press Contests in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry.

Nonfiction winner, Run Scream Unbury Save by Katherine McCord, offers brief meditations on family, language, art, and the act of writing.

In fiction, Heavy Metal by Andrew Bourelle took home the prize. This is Bourelle’s first novel and is set to the soundtrack of Metallica, Def Leppard, and Iron Maiden. Readers are pulled into the struggle of Danny, an adolescent dealing with extreme tragedy and the everyday conflicts of high school.

And in poetry, Jane Satterfield won with her debut collection Apocalypse Mix, which was selected by David St. John. Of his pick, St. John says, “these poems balance their raw psychological undercurrents with a calm and masterful stylistic authority.” The collection weaves the reader “into its fabric of individual and historical circumstances, as well within the dense foliation of personal experience.”

Check out the Autumn House Press website for more information about these titles, or stop by the contest page where submissions are now open.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published January 23, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
writing disorderThe Writing Disorder online quarterly literary journal continues to publish some of the most provocative artwork from emerging artists. Paintings by Cameron Bliss are featured on the Winter 2016-17 cover as well as within the issue.
superstition review 18 cover"My Beating Heart" by Rossitza Todorova welcomes readers to Superstition Review's issue 18, a fully accessible online literary magazine produced by creative writing and web design students at Arizona State University.

Books :: Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry

Published January 23, 2017 Posted By Katy Haas

novena jacques rancourt blogNext month, readers can look forward to the publication of Novena by Jacques J. Rancourt, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry. The poems are formed after the novena, a nine-day Catholic prayer seeking intercession from the Virgin Mary (recast as a drag queen in this collection). Rancourt invites “prayer not to symbols of dogmatic perfection but to those who are outcast or maligned, LGBTQ people, people in prison, people who resist, people who suffer and whose suffering has not been redeemed.”

Advance praise for Novena can be found at the Pleaides Press website, where copies can also be preordered. The Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry is currently open for submissions.

Able Muse 2016 Contest Winners Issue

Published January 19, 2017 Posted By Denise Hill
Able Muse #22 (Winter 2016) features the following winning entries and runners up from their 2016 writing contests. Full shortlists and judges comments can be read here.

victoria mlyniecAble Muse Write Prize for Fiction
Final Judge Stuart Dybeck
Winner: "Passerthrough" by Victoria Mlyniec
[pictured]

Able Muse Write Prize for Poetry
Final Judge Patricia Smith
Winner: "Shamrock" by Scott Ruescher
Runner-up: "From the School of Hard Knocks" by Fran Markover
Honorable Mention: "Not" by Colleen Carias

March 15, 2017 is the deadline for the 2017 contest with Judges Annie Finch (poetry) and Jill Alexander Essbaum (fiction).

Books :: 2015 Robert C. Jones Short Prose Contest Winner

Published January 19, 2017 Posted By Katy Haas

among other things robert long foreman blogPleaides Press annually holds the Robert C. Jones Short Prose Book Contest in honor of Robert C. Jones, a former professor of English at the University of Missouri.

In February, the 2015 winner, Among Other Things by Robert Long Foreman, will be released. The essay collection reveals the “depth and significance of mundane objects—a puzzle, a skillet, an antique cannon, an avocado sandwich” and the essays “trace the author’s fraught path from adolescence to adulthood, and contemplate the complexities of family and belonging.”

While Robert Long Foreman has seen his work published in magazines since 2006, Among Other Things is his first collection. Find out more information and pre-order copies from the Pleaides Press website.

[Quotes from publisher’s website.]

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