The newest issue of Black Warrior Review (Spring/Summer 2019) features winners of their 2018 contest:
Judged by Jennifer S. Cheng
Winner: “from Okazaki Fragments” by Kanika Agrawal
Runner-up: “Let’s eat baby the steak is getting cold” by Alice Maglio
Judged by Kate Zambreno
Winner: "Social Body" by Amanda Kallis
Runner-up: "Dark Grove, Shinng" by J’Lyn Chapman
Judged by Laura van den Berg
Winner: "Little Jamaica" by Ndinda Kioko [pictured]
Runner-up: "On Weather" by RE Katz
Judged by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal
Winner: “La Piedra de los Doce Ángulos" by David Joez Villaverde
Runner-up: “from Okazaki Fragments” by Kanika Agrawal
See judges' commentary on their selections and a complete list of finalists here.
Bright colors to welcome spring caught my eye this week, starting with the 2018 annual of Rathalla Review, just released this March 2019.
“Style Central” by Leah Dockrill, collage on canvas, is the featured image for the newest online Mud Season Review poetry issue.
Editorial insights abound at the Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing Editor's Blog. Home of the Colorado Review as well as several esteemed annual literary prizes, Center Director Stephanie G'Schwind has both breadth and depth in her staff contributors.
Recent posts include:
“Looking toward Spring with Place-Based Writing” by Editorial Assistant Jennifer Anderson
“Revisiting the Holocaust Metaphors of Sylvia Plath” by Editorial Assistant Leila Einhorn
“Procedures for the Slowpoke Poet” by Associate Editor Susannah Lodge-Rigal
“On Love Poetry” by Associate Editor Daniel Schonning
The blog also features links to monthly podcasts: February 2019 Podcast: Writing on Mental Health with Margaret Browne; January 2019 Podcast: Horror Poetry with Emma Hyche; and more.
Check it out here.
The Boardman Review
Issue 6, 2019
Review by Mitchel Jarosz
If your interest is in the outdoors as well as the arts, something fresh and new, The Boardman Review is an excellent choice. Subtitled “the creative culture & outdoor lifestyle journal of northern Michigan,” this print and digital journal includes literature, music, lifestyle profiles, and documentaries that focus on the work and lives of creative people who express their love of the outdoors without trying to promote their talent. This last issue of 2018 provides a promise of even more fascinating work during the coming year.
This month, find Luxury, Blue Lace by S. Brook Corfman at Autumn House Press. Winner of the 2018 Rising Writer Contest, judge Richard Siken notes how Corfman “examines the ways that presentation and representation conflate and complicate. Expansive, generous, deeply considered, and highly lyric, this book, with its transformations and overlaps, astounds.”
Learn what others have to say about Luxury, Blue Lace as you pick up a copy at Autumn House Press’s website.
As I write now, during the middle days of February, hard upon our Spring 2019 deadline, the dice are still not fully cast for my successor or my exact departure date - and so I will be brief again: the earliest I would step away is 1 June, at which time our Summer 2019 issue will literally be in press and the preparation of the Fall 2019 contents will be in full swing, so my ghost will be around for at least some aspects of the latter. The goal for me, for the rest of the Georgia Review staff, and for the University of Georgia, is a transition that will be as smooth as possible for our submitters, contributors, and readers.
I will close with a few words (because I have been asked for them) about the why of my departure from the place of employment to which I have given more than half of my life, and which I have served through almost (just one year shy of) half of the journal's life. I've been pondering and preparing for a couple of years, with no pressure from anyone other than myself. I'm seventy, I'm healthy, I have several books of my own writing to finish and begin - and I haven't even toured Great Britain yet, that realm so vital from early days to my being drawn into this literature/reading/writing/editing life.
To be continued...
Write Prize for Fiction
Final Judge: Bret Lott
Winner: “Vigil” by Anthony J. Otte
Runner-up: "A Man of Fewer Words" by Claudette E. Sutton
Write Prize for Poetry
Final Judge: J. Allyn Rosser
Winner: “Wildfire” by Lynn Marie Houston [pictured]
Runner-up: “Moorings” by D. R. Goodman
Finalist: "A Cormorant in Yangshuo" by Gabriel Spera
Shortlist poetry included in the publication:
"Zheduo Pass, Sichuan Province" by David Allen Sullivan
"Connecticut, After Dark" by Ann Thompson
"Memento Mori" by Melissa Cannon
"Somerset, 1972" by Rob Wright
For a full list of finalists and for information about the 2019 contest (deadline extended), click here.
In honor of W.S. Merwin, Kenyon Review Poetry Editor David Baker writes, "No contemporary poet’s work has meant more to me than W. S. Merwin’s. We first met in 1979, when I was a twenty-four-year-old high school English teacher in Jefferson City, Missouri; we played pool at Dave’s Bar in Kansas City one night, and he told me I shouldn’t go do my PhD but stay out of academia and write."
Read the rest of Baker's comments here along with Merwin's works published in KR and a link to video interview with KR editor David Lynn and David Baker upon Merwin's accepting the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement in 2010.
There was a lot going on at the end of 2018, so maybe you missed out on some of the award-winning books published toward the tail end of the year. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.
October saw the publication of Earthly Delights and Other Apocalypses by Jen Julian, winner of the 2018 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction. Judge Kevin Morgan Watson says the stories “range from straight-ahead fiction to sci-fi or dystopian, all with a strong sense of place with well-developed characters whose challenges draw the reader in.” Order copies and learn more at the Press 53 website.
In November, BkMk Press published Sweet Herbaceous Miracle by Berwyn Moore, winner of the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry. Selected by Enid Shomer, Moore’s third collection of poetry arrives “like good news, like spring flowers from the garden,” according to advance praise from George Bilgere. Find out more at the publisher’s website.
BkMk Press also released When We Were Someone Else by Rachel Groves, winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by Hilma Wolitzer. Quirky characters in unlivable spaces occupy the stories in this collection. On the press’s website, find advance praise and links to reviews to learn more.
Another title out in November: The Good Echo by Shena McAuliffe, winner of the Black Lawrence Press 2017 Big Moose Prize. Readers can find an excerpt of the novel at the publisher’s website when they order their copies.
Wrapping up the month of November is UNMANNED by Jessica Rae Bergamino, winner of the 2017 Noemi Press Poetry Prize (with submissions currently open until May 1). UNMANNED features persona poems from the perspective of two Voyager Space probes as queer femmes exploring space. See what readers thought of the collection as you order your copies.
Glimmer Train March 2019 Bulletin offers an interesting selection of craft essays, each just at a tipping point of controversy.
"Words, and Barry Hannah, the Guy Who Taught Me to Love Them" by Marian Palaia shares how Hannah's voice and vernacular influenced her early on, although now she comments, "if Barry were writing the same stuff now, I can't imagine how he'd get away with it."
Devin Murphy's "We All Do It! Don't We? The Art of Reading Like a Thief" examines the fine line of "Did I plagiarize the novel I'd read?" He comments on his own teaching and trying to help student writers "understand the value of actively reading for material that will help them deepen their own stories."
"What interests me about politics in fiction," writes Siamak Vossoughi [pictured], "is how it informs the lives of characters." In his essay, 'The Political Lives of Characters," he asserts, "A writer only runs the risk of being preachy or dogmatic if he or she makes a character of one political belief less three-dimensional and human than that of another."
Pleaides Press annually hosts the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize, the winning writer receiving $3000 with the winning collection published by the press and distributed by Louisiana State University Press. Readers can find the winner of the 2018 prize published last month: dark // thing by Ashley M. Jones.
From the publisher’s website: “dark // thing is a multi-faceted work that explores the darkness/otherness by which the world sees Black people. Ashley M. Jones stares directly into the face of the racism that allows people to be seen as dark things, as objects that can be killed/enslaved/oppressed/devalued.”
Jones challenges form with more experimental pieces worked in throughout the collection, and if readers still want more of Jones's award-winning work after checking out dark // thing, they can find her debut collection Magic City Gospel at Hub City Press which won silver in poetry from the Independent Publisher’s Book Awards.
The 2019 issue is a 48-page chapbook of work by twenty poets age fifteen or under, but don't let the age line fool you. Rattle editors write that this "is not a collection just for kids—these are missives to adults from the next generation, confronting big topics with fresh eyes and a child-like spontaneity."
Contributors include Lucia Baca, Angélica Borrego, Olivia Bourke, April Chukwueke, Lexi Duarte, Josephina Green, C.A. Harper, Lily Hicks, Angelique Jean Lindberg, Rylee McNiff, Ethan Paulk, Lydia Phelps, McKenzie Renfrew, Ellie Shumaker, Emmy Song, Rowan Stephenson, Saoirse Stice, Zachary Tsokos, Layla Varty, and Simon Zuckert, with cover art by Noralyn Lucero.
Submission deadline for the next issue is October 15, 2019.
Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, a team of Kid Reporters from across the country and around the world that covers “news for kids, by kids” is taking applications. Students ages 10–14 with a passion for telling great stories and discussing issues that matter most to kids are encouraged to apply for the 2019–2020 school year. All applications must be received by May 31, 2019.
Kid Reporters gain valuable writing and critical-thinking skills in addition to hands-on journalism experience through their work covering local and national current events, and interviewing news-makers. Their stories are published online at the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website, as well as in issues of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, which reach more than 25 million students in the United States.
Past Kid Reporters have interviewed notable figures, including:
• Anderson Cooper, CNN news anchor
• Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund
• Dav Pilkey, creator of the best-selling Dog Man and Captain Underpants series
• Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
• James Corden, host of the Late Late Show on CBS
[From Royivia Ferguson, Publicist, Corporate Communications at Scholastic]
Of course, there's the iconic poster, this year featuring artwork by Julia Wang, a high school student from San Jose California, who won the inaugural poster contest. You can download the poster as well as order a free paper copy while supplies last.
April 18 is Poem in Your Pocket Day - carry around a poem (or two or three) in your pocket to share by reading to people throughout the day. The Academy offers a selection of pocket-sized poems to download and carry.
Dear Poet is a multimedia education project for youth in grades five through twelve who can write letters in response to poems they read. Teachers are provided a full curriculum which aligns with Common Core.
In addition to all of this, Poets.org has a full page of programming resources for teachers, readers, writers, students, and librarians. That pretty much means for all of us! So check it out and get geared up!
The cover photo, "A Couch with a View," by Dallas Crow on the Fall 2018 issue of Cimarron Review is both subtle and inviting.
Winners of The MacGuffin's 23rd Poet Hunt Contest along with commentary from guest judge Alberto Álvaro Ríos are featured in the Winter 2019 issue.
"Ed" by Matthew Spireng [pictured]
"Venetian Passageway" by Judith Rosenberg
This annual contest awards $500 and publication for first place and publication for up to two honorable mentions.
The Art of Protest: Art and Scholarship as Political Resistance is the theme for the 2019 Mayapple & Sarah Lawrence Summer Workshop, June 13-22 in Bronxville, New York.
Mayapple Center for the Arts and Humanities will host workshops focused on participants choice of activist art, and the daily schedule will include restorative and affirmative yoga and mediation practices in nature.
- Engaging Civically through Collaborative Art: Developing a Working Aesthetics of Protest Art with Michelle Slater
- Staging the Revolution: Protest, Performance, and Social Change with Dana Edell
- Writing and Exploring Songs that Matter to Us and the World with Dar Williams
- Writing and Social Action: The Power of the Personal Voice in a Polical World with Brian Morton
- Ekphrastic Politics with Mahogany L. Brown [pictured]
- Art and Activism: Creative Collaborations in the Public Sphere with David Birkin
Enrollment is limited and applicants must provide an explanation of their interest as well as a sample of their work. Some financial assistance is avaialable.
Since there is always a lag time created between contemporary news issues and publications of poetry, Rattle has created a quick-streaming solution.
Poets Respond takes weekly submissions (before midnight on Fridays) for works "written within the last week about a public event that occurred within the last week."
The poems then appear every Sunday on the Rattle homepage. The only criteria for the poem, the editors assert, is quality, "all opinions and reactions are welcome."
Selected poets receive $50, with poems sent before midnight on Sunday and Tuesday considered for a "bonus" mid-week post.
This week's selection is "In Defense of Those Who Harbor Terrible Ideas at Tax Time" by Alison Luterman [pictured], in which, yes, she considers "the young black gay actor who orchestrated / a fake hate crime against himself. / It must have seemed like such a good idea to him / at the time," and later in the poem offers, "I have to forgive this young man his terrible / idea, I have to because, in my own way, I’ve been him."
For more information about Poets Respond and an archive of past works, click here.
"Oh, plastic, scourge of the Anthropocene, shaped into adorable shapes and dyed multifarious colors; plastic, who will be with us forever: it’s easy to forget about you, but when I remember you’re here, I’m annoyed and freaked out all at once."
The opening line of From the Editor: Material Life by Anna Lena Phillips Bell creates a link between the theme for the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Ecotone: Body and our cultural abuse of plastics. Taking their own use to task, Ecotone announces with this issue they will no longer be shipping the magazines in 'polybags,' and the cover of the publication itself will now be an uncoated stock. Walking the talk!
And the contents of the publication focus on "The Body" including campus-carry laws, Indigenous students, the safety of women's bodies, queer identity, birth and postpartum depression, and much more.
See a full list of contributors and read partial content here.
Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their Family Matters competition. This competition is open to all writers for stories about family of any configuration. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.
1st place goes to Marian Palaia [pictured] of San Francisco, California, who wins $2500 for “Wild Things.” Her story will be published in Issue 106, the final issue of Glimmer Train Stories.
2nd place goes to Peter Parsons of Riverside, California, who wins $500 for “Elvis, Alive and Limping.” His story will also be published in Issue 106 of Glimmer Train, increasing his prize to $700.
3rd place goes to Emily Lackey of Amherst, Massachusetts, who wins $300 for “Trust.” Her story will also be published in Issue 106 of Glimmer Train, increasing her prize to $700.
Here’s a PDF of the Top 25.
Deadlines soon approaching!
Final Fiction Open: February 28
This is Glimmer Train’s final Fiction Open. First place wins $3000 plus publication in the journal, and 10 copies of that issue. Second/third: $1000/$600 and consideration for publication. This category has been won by both beginning and veteran writers - all are welcome! There are no theme restrictions. Word count generally ranges from 3000 – 6000, though up to 28,000 is fine. Stories may have previously appeared online but not in print. Click here for complete guidelines.
Final Very Short Fiction Award: February 28
This is Glimmer Train’s final Very Short Fiction Award. First place winning $2000 plus publication in the journal, and 10 copies of that issue. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. It’s open to all writers, with no theme restrictions, and the word count range is 300 – 3000. Stories may have previously appeared online but not in print. Click here for complete guidelines.
"All of the work in this special Fall issue of Cold Mountain Review about a fair and just relationship between people and their society has great emotional impact," writes Consulting Editor Vivian Shipley in her Editor's Note. And the work strikes upon a variety of justice issues: the opioid crisis; transgender experience; the multitude of experiences of women from different identities, races, and classes; the continued impact of oppression created by colonial occupation; the impact of humans on the environment; ecological aspects; and the role of social media.
From her youth, Shipley shares, "I was taught that anything that had a negative impact on the dignity of life of any person, from their birth to their death, needed to be addressed and eliminated," and concludes, "This timely and very significant issue of Cold Mountain Review explores many ways to achieve social justice in our currently bitterly divided country."
See a complete list of contributors and read the full content online here.
The Winter 2019 online issue of Baltimore Review includes winners from their annual Winter Contest for fiction, CNF, or poetry, this year's themed "Tools," as well as the "Pop-Up Contest" for flash fiction or CNF in response to the collage art "The Tripwire of a Dream" by Bill Wolak.
Winter Contest Winners selected by Final Judge Geoffrey Becker:
Leslie Carlin [pictured], “Occasionally Good”
Christopher X Ryan, “Day Shapes”
Amanda Newell, “Because I Am Lonely and You Will Not Know My Pain”
Pop-Up Contest Winners selected by BR Editors:
Ian Mahler, "Lapse"
Robert Watkins, "The Little Girl and the Universe Tool"
This lovely cover of The Main Street Rag Winter 2019 just about sums it up for us here in Michigan.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Marge Saiser, who lives in Nebraska, is a fine and a very lucky poet. With the passing of each year her poems have gotten stronger and deeper. That's an enviable direction for a writer. This poem was published in The Briar Cliff Review and it looks back wisely and wistfully over a rich life. Saiser's most recent book is The Woman in the Moon from the Backwaters Press.
Weren't We Beautiful
growing into ourselves
earnest and funny we were
angels of some kind, smiling visitors
the light we lived in was gorgeous
we looked up and into the camera
the ordinary things we did with our hands
or how we turned and walked
or looked back we lifted the child
spooned food into his mouth
the camera held it, stayed it
there we are in our lives as if
we had all time
as if we would stand in that room
and wear that shirt those glasses
as if that light
would shine on us
and from us.
We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. 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 ©2018 by Marjorie Saiser, "Weren't We Beautiful," from The Briar Cliff Review (Vol. 30, 2018). Poem reprinted by permission of Marjorie Saiser and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2019 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.
“You will dig me from the earth with your bare hands” by Paula Harris [pictured]
"Our Hands Are Bowls of Dust" by Clemonce Heard
Shangyang Fang, "Marsysas Returning"
Kevin McLellan, “The Art of Fugue: Contrapunctus I”
Mark Wagenaar, "It Was While I Was Looking at the Oldest Wooden Wheel Ever Discovered"
Mark Wagenaar, “Oculi"
Renia White, “In this Village”
See a full list of finalists and judge's comments here.
The 2019 Prize is open until May 15 with Final Judge Craig Santos Perez. The winner receives $1500 and publication; second place receives $200 and publication.