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Each June, Rescue Press accepts submissions for the Black Box Poetry Contest for full-length poetry collections open to poets at any stage in their writing careers. The latest Black Box Poetry winner will be released later this month (March 15): What Was It For by Adrienne Raphel. Judge Cathy Park Hong calls the debut full-length collection “feral and full of feverish delight.” She continues, “Raphel takes Victorian nonsense verse into the twenty-first century and transforms it to her own strange and genius song.”
Readers can learn more about What Was It For at the publisher’s website, where they can also find Raphel’s bio with more information about the writer and pre-order copies.
Diode Editions recently held their very first full-length book contest and have announced two co-winners: Remica Bingham-Risher’s Starlight & Error, and Paula Cisewski’s quitter.
Starlight & Error retells through the lens of imagined memory the legacies of love between aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers, children and their children’s children. The poems ask how we transcend the mistakes of those who made us, and who will save us.
quitter is a “thoughtful protest in form, line, and ideology.” The collection invites readers to ask ourselves what we’ve tried, and if we’ve tried hard enough, challenging us to continue looking for solutions.
Learn more about the prize-winning collections at the Diode Editions website where readers can read advance praise and order copies.
"Pedro" by Elisabeth Murawski
"Things to Know if You Live Here" by Marc Sheehan
"A Woman, Conjured" by Janet Greenberg
The 2017 contest will be judged by Naomi Shihab Nye.
Cover image: "Happy Summer from My Ivory Tower" by Roopa Dudley.
Also released last month was the winner of the 2016 Georgia Poetry Prize, Sun & Urn by Christopher Salerno, chosen by Thomas Lux. Lux calls the collection “madly imaginative, and, ultimately, a brilliant and deeply human book,” imploring readers to read it three times. Salerno’s fourth poetry collection, Sun & Urn is now available from the University of Georgia Press website, a book made from “the wild stuff of grief and loss.” Check out the press’s website for more information.
Published in Ireland, this spring 2017 issue of Into the Void cover features "Two Boys in the Woods" by Refael Salem.
Unusual beauty seems to be my theme this week, finishing off with "Red Heart Boat" by Andy Levine on the cover of the online Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine.
The University of Iowa Press brings readers a real treat: the lost novel of Walt Whitman, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle. While we’re familiar with Leaves of Grass, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle was serialized in a newspaper under a pseudonym, read with little fanfare, and then disappeared.
It wasn’t until 2016 that it was found by Zachary Turpan, a literary scholar. While following a deep paper trail into the Library of Congress, he stumbled upon the only surviving copy of Witman’s lost novel.
Now, after lying in wait for over 160 years, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle is available for modern readers both digitally and in print at the University of Iowa Press website.
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.
The Gettysburg Review Spring 2017 whimsical cover is a detail of "The Young Owl" by Kevin Sloan.
"Stress Test" by Eugenia Loli is the eye-catching cover art on The Missouri Review v39 n4 (2016)
"Riverbanks and Honeysuckle" by Alysia Sawchyn [pictured]
[Sawchyn's story is available to read online here.]
"Planning to Be Amazed" by Daryl Scroggins
"At the Dog Park" by Derek Updegraff
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."
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.
Chagrin 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.
I'm pretty sure that's a cockroach orchestra portrayed on the cover of Cleaver online lit mag #16: "The Maestro” by Orlando Saverino-Loeb.
First Place Winner
“The Secret of White” by Nancy Hewitt
"Ramadan Aubade" by Leila Chatti
"Christ is a Great Blue Heron" by Jennie Maria Malboeuf
"Autumn Aubade with Pigeons" by Leila Chatti
Mud 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."
Posit 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."
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.