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In Memorium :: Okla Elliot

Published June 14, 2017 Posted By
okla elliottMAYDAY Magazine offers their spring 2017 issue (#11) in tribute to magazine cofounder, editor, writer, and teacher Okla Elliott, who passed away unexpectedly in his sleep March 19, 2017. Editors David Bowen and Raul Clement write in "A History of Friendships," the Editors' Introduction, "After the grief and shock—which of course still haven’t gone away and never will—and after all the immediate practical concerns, one thing became clear: Okla’s publishing ventures, including MAYDAY Magazine, should forge on. At MAYDAY, we were finalizing our spring issue. Okla Elliott was born on May 1st—Mayday, in fact—and the month of May was fast approaching. What better way to celebrate his life than a tribute issue in the birth month of his 40th year?"

The editors reached out to friends and colleagues of Elliot for their remembrances. Twenty-two poets, fiction writers, and academics in various fields responded and their works are collected in this issue. Also featured are several interviews both with (previously published elsewhere) and by Elliott.

MAYDAY Magazine is published by New American Press and its full contents can be read online here.

Gwendolyn Brooks at 100

Published June 13, 2017 Posted By
poetryThe June 2017 issue of Poetry features photographs and artifacts from the Poetry Foundation’s forthcoming exhibit, Matter in the Margins: Gwendolyn Brooks at 100, curated by Anna Chen, June 16–August 25, 2017.

Chen writes: "Gwendolyn Brooks’s literary archives, now in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, reveal that she clustered and bundled papers as well as life experiences: she tucked notes inside pieces of paper folded into makeshift pockets, slid photographs behind other photographs in albums, and pasted clippings on top of each other in scrapbooks. She added further layers of meaning with her copious annotations, like the detailed notes she wrote on the backs of many of her photographs (given in quotation marks in the accompanying images) in order to preserve the knowledge of the people and events they captured."

Read Chen's full introduction to this feature as well as view a slideshow of the photographs and artifacts here.

Prarie Schooner's Fusion :: Uganda

Published June 09, 2017 Posted By
NambozoFusion is Prarie Schooner's online series, which Editor Kwame Dawes says, "is an opportunity to create dialog across geographical spaces and cultures through the sharing of art and writing. It represents an effort to create bridges between the many silos that separate us, and to do so by asking writers to think about the very things that connect us and distinguish us in different parts of the world." Issue #11 is a collaboration with Ugandan poetry and art on the theme "Shoes."

In her essay, "Ngato! Ngato! Shoes!" Ugandan Poet Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva [pictured] writes, "It's often the most silent shoes that are the strongest. It's the shoes that allow thieves to stalk upon unsuspecting people and the shoes that enable a cheetah to pounce on its prey. The silent shoes do not desire unnecessary attention to detract them from their mission."

Read the full issue here.

2017 Lamar York Prize Winners

Published June 08, 2017 Posted By
Winners of the 2017 Lamar York Prize for nonfiction and fiction appear in the Spring 2017 issue of The Chattahoochee Review:

carol lahinesWinner in Fiction
Selected by Patrick Ryan
"Papijack" by Carol LaHines [pictured]

Winner in Nonfiction
Selected by Jill Talbot
"First Visit" by Vince Granata

A full list of the finalists can be read here.

Back to Basics :: Lee Gutkind

Published June 07, 2017 Posted By
creative nonfictionIn his introduction to Issue 63 (Spring 2017) of Creative Nonfiction, themed "How We Teach," Lee Gutkind writes about attending a yoga and creative writing retreat where he is teaching creative nonfiction to an "ecclectic" group of attendees. Just as varied is the group's experience with yoga, which the yoga instructor misjudged by giving too rigorous of a few first sessions. Gutkind writes that the instructor backed down after that, teaching technique and form basics, regardless of the participant's experience level. "We hard-core students thought we knew all of this stuff—some of us have been practicing for decades—so we were somewhat apprehensive at first. But as the lesson progressed, we began to realize that going back to the basics and relearning what we thought we knew was quite helpful."

Gutkind likens this to our need to review our own practice, weed out bad habits we may have developed over the years, and get back in tune with the basics: "In yoga or writing—or in practicing any art or skill—it does not hurt to start over once in a while just to make sure you know what you think you know. In fact, it occurs to me this is also why teaching can be reinvigorating—I know many writers who make their primary living by teaching and who often find their inspiration in writing prompts given to their students. But maybe there’s also something about focusing on the basics that can inspire innovation and transformation."

Read the full editorial here.

The Fiddlehead :: Norman Dubie

Published June 06, 2017 Posted By
dubie normanThe Spring 2017 issue of The Fiddlehead: Atlantic Canada's International Literary Journal includes a special feature on 2016 Griffin Prize international winner Norman Dubie. Editor Ross Leckie introduces the section of twenty-three poems, including five new ones, with "Norman Dubie: The Details of Winter That Upset Us."

Leckie writes, "No poet I can think of writes as much about dreams as Dubie, and no poet ought to be able to, as dreams are so often adduced as the moment of epiphany, as the encoded truth that underlies all the banality that consumes our daily lives. In Dubie’s work, however, dreams seem as one room in the mind’s library, in which there is also an astonishing array of books and the lives of their authors, and details of plot and character that are not there, but could be. There are landscapes both from memory and from imagination, scenes of history in the grotesquerie of its filth and muck, and assorted friends and family who demand attention, or simply stop by for a chat."

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published June 05, 2017 Posted By
river teethLove this summery landscape photo by David FitzSimmons on the Spring 2017 cover of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative.
cimarron reviewA look back to fall, this macro focus on the cover of Cimarron Review #198 is "Ornamental" by Kathleen Galvin. This beautiful image decieves the trecherous nature of these "Sweet Gum Balls" that blanket the ground beneath their trees in the fall.
nimrod"Leaving Home Finding Home" is the Spring/Summer 2017 theme of Nimrod International Journal published out of The University of Tulsa. The photograph is "After Loss, The Photographer Collects Small Homes in the Hope of Finding Love" by Ashley Inguanta.

Changes at Shanti Arts

Published May 30, 2017 Posted By

still point arts quarterly logoToday, Shanti Arts announced changes coming to Still Point Arts Quarterly.

  • Art submissions in response to calls will be free. Everything else about the exhibitions stays the same: 30 artists will be featured online and in Still Point Arts Quarterly with five winners awarded. “The Art of Structure” is the current, open call.

  • The journal is transitioning from a print quarterly, to an interactive digital magazine. Paid subscriptions to the print journal will be honored until they expire.

  • Because of these changes, subscriptions and single copies of the digital magazine will be free for readers. Subscription sign-ups for the digital magazine are now being taken at the magazine’s website.

Check out what else founder and editor Christine Cote has to say about the changes at the Shanti Arts blog.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published May 29, 2017 Posted By
cargoThis cover photo "Fête de la Rose" by Rebekah West introduces readers to Cargo, an online nonfiction journal featuring work with strong narrative and interior journey, such as immersion reportage, memoir, and personal essay as well as photography and visual art.
concho river reviewTim L. Vasquez of Ziva-Gato Impressions contributed this gorgeous photo for the cover of Concho Review Review: Literature from Texas and Beyond, Spring/Summer 2017.
weberRecognizing "the exciting literary, artistic, and scholarly work that is currently produced along the Wasatch and beyond" is the focus of the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Weber: The Contemporary West. Pam Bowman's "Becoming" is constructed of cotton rope and string, vinyl, steel, wood, paint, caulking cotton, and shown as installed in a 25' x 35' gallery space, 2013.

Paul Muldoon Interview

Published May 25, 2017 Posted By
muldoonThe American Poetry Review May/June 2017 issue includes a special supplement interview by Lance Rutkin with Paul Muldoon. Included in their discussion: Muldoon's thoughts on "commissioned" work; how to approach art when writing poetry about it; playing with linguistics in poetry; structuring a volume of poetry; the place of poetics in contemporary Irish politics; his poetic relationship with Seamus Heaney; and the sonnet form in the current day. Read the full interview here.

WLT New Native Writing

Published May 24, 2017 Posted By
world literature todayThe May - August 2017 issue of World Literature Today features New Native Writing: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock, guest edited by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish. The section includes "twenty-eight writers with tribal affiliations from throughout the continental US as well as Guåhån (Guam) and American Samoa." In her introduction, Mish writes about the 1992 WLT  feature "From this World: Contemporary American Indian Literature" in an issue "released just before Returning the Gift, a historic Native writers’ conference held on the University of Oklahoma’s campus, the home of World Literature Today." 

Mish used that 1992 date as the start point for the works she collected for this feature, "to avoid creating categories and to reaffirm the impact of Returning the Gift, I solicited submissions from United States Native writers whose first book was published after the 1992 festival. Despite the simple, temporal structure of this approach, I believe the aesthetics and thematics Native scholars and writers have identified are clearly present in the work." A full list of contributors can be found here.

Twenty-five years later, Returning the Gift Literary Festival returns to Oklahoma University campus (October 8-11, 2017). For more information about the festival, visit here.

Issue 40:1 of the Missouri Review features winners of the 26th Jeffrey E. Smith Editor's Prize. Winning entries in each genre receive $500 and publication.

skolfieldFiction Winner
“Instructions to the Living from the Condition of the Dead” by Jason Brown of Eugene, OR

Poetry Winner
Karen Skolfield [pictured] of Amherst, MA

Nonfiction Winner
“Swarf” by Tyler Keevil of Abergavenny, UK

A full list of finalists and runners-up can be found here.

Main Street Rag Needs Poetry

Published May 22, 2017 Posted By
main street ragIn his Spring 2017 Welcome Readers! section, Main Street Rag Publisher M. Scott Douglass offers readers a historical assessment of the publication's genre content. Having originally started as a poetry journal, Douglass says it was from the advice of Dana Gioia and others that he started publishing fiction and then later book reviews. Now, he says, with the Spring 2017 issue, "for the first time ever - the balance has been tipped in the favor of prose." He considers possible reasons for this, but the bottom line: "Main Street Rag needs poetry submissions. We need a lot of them. And we need them as soon as possible or the Summer issue may end up being a totally prose edition."

Whatever you can do to help, readers. The publication DOES accept simultaneous submissions, Douglass assures - though the website may not yet reflect this change in policy. Writers can expect a reasonable report time, and, according to Douglass, a review by "a tougher poetry editor than we've ever had before. . . but that only makes the magazine better." MSR  takes submissions via Submittable; there is a reading fee which is waived for subscribers.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published May 22, 2017 Posted By
field 96Field Contemporary Poetry and Poetics Issue 96/Spring 2017 from Oberlin College Press features the unique "Self Portrait in Single-breasted Suit with Hare" by Sam Taylor-Wood (2001).
kenyon reviewThis work by Jody Hewgill on the cover of Kenyon Review draws readers in to the featured poetry theme for this May/June 2017 issue, "Nature's Nature."
into voidThe dramatic "Suffering" by Virginia Vilchis is the cover art for the Summer 2017 of Into the Void Arts and Literature from Dublin, Ireland - available in print and digital copy.

2017 Jelly Bucket Contest Winners

Published May 18, 2017 Posted By

jelly bucket graphicJelly Bucket, the literary magazine produced by students of the Eastern Kentucky University Bluegrass Writers Studio, has announced their 2017 contest winners:

Grand Prize Winner:
Marianne Peel, “Huckleberries and Homebrewed Boilo”

Fiction Winner
Emma Choi, “What Happened?”

Nonfiction Winner
JC Lee, “Abbatoir Blues”

Poetry Winner
Marianne Peel, “Huckleberries and Homebrewed Boilo”

Fiction Runner-Up
Elizabeth Burton, “Blood Moon”

Nonfiction Runner-Up
Lynn Casteel Harper, “The Meaning of Sovereignty”

Poetry Runner-Up
Amanda Chiado, “Plummet”

Learn more about the winners and judges at the Jelly Bucket website.

Briar Cliff Review 2017 Contest Winners

Published May 17, 2017 Posted By
briar cliff review 2017 blogPick up a copy of the 2017 issue of The Briar Cliff Review to check out the winners of their annual contest (which—mark your calendars—opens for submissions every August): 

Fiction
Daniel Paul, “The Last Sun of Kansas”

Nonfiction
Lisa Lanser Rose, “Christmas in the Bitch’s Dollhouse”

Poetry
Jude Nutter, “Ianua: 19 September, 2016”

[Cover art: Michael Crowley, “The Stacks in Long Hall, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland”]
malahat review n198 spring 2017 blogThe Spring 2017 issue of The Malahat Review, published in memory of Richard Wagamese, features the Open Season Award winners:

Nonfiction
Matthew Hollett, “Kiki, Out of Focus”

Fiction
Rebecca Morris, “Foreign Bodies”

Poetry
Genevieve Lehr, “two tarantulas appear in the doorway during a thunderstorm”

Click the writers’ names above to check out interviews with each on The Malahat Review’s website.

[Cover art: Walter Scott, “Private Eyes”]

Podcasts :: 2 Month Review

Published May 15, 2017 Posted By

2 month review podcast imageThree Percent Podcast is now expanding from their weekly(ish) episodes to include weekly Two Month Review mini-episodes. Each season of the new mini-episode series will highlight a different Open Letter book, reading it over the course of eight to nine episodes. Rotating guests will join host Chad W. Post, using the reading selection as a springboard for further discussion on literature, pop culture, reading approaches, and more.

Two Month Review gives the feeling of a book club—weekly readings and discussions—but with an accessibility that doesn’t require listeners to read along. For listeners that do want to read along, Open Letter has set up a Goodreads group and is currently offering 20% off two titles (with code 2MONTH at checkout) that will be discussed: The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán and Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller by Guðbergur Bergsson.

All episodes of Two Month Review will be available from the same iTunes playlist Three Percent uses, and listeners can also check out the introduction episode here.

Books :: 2015 NOS Book Contest Winner

Published May 11, 2017 Posted By

irradiated cities mariko nagaiLes Figues Press held their NOS Book Contest every year from 2011-2015, awarding $1,000 and publication to a writer of a poetry or prose manuscript, which includes lyric essays, hybrids, translations, and more.

The 2015 contest was judged by author and performance artist lê thi diem thúy, who chose Irradiated Cities by Mariko Nagai. She says of her selection:

This book, a sifting and circling, a calm and masterful layering of voices and vantage points, a slowly emerging portrait of four different Japanese cities and their inhabitants, resists any effort at arrivals or conclusions. By doing so, it shows us that while we may have an accumulation of facts for what happened on a particular day in a particular place, perhaps even the names and words and pictures of the people to whom catastrophe struck, and would not let go, it is within the dark sedimentation and the feather-light drift of history that we might glean what yet remains, and gives off light, to summon and trouble us still.
Nagai explores the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. With lyrical fragments and black-and-white photographs, Nagai guides us through loss, silence, echo, devestation, and memory, creating a haunting piece of work.

Read through advance praise of the collection and order a copy for yourself at the Les Figues Press website.

from klail city to korea with love rolando hinojosaAt the end of April, Arte Publico Press released a two-volume collection from Rolando Hinojosa. From Klail City to Korea with Love contains Rites and Witnesses and Korean Love Songs from the Klail City Death Trip Series.

In Rites and Witnesses, the author “captures the complex relationships and unsettling power struggles in both civilian and military life.”

Korean Love Songs has long been out of print, first published in 1978. In this section, Hinojosa presents his only poetry book, capturing the horror of war through Klail City native Corporal Rafe Buenrostro’s recollections.

Rolando Hinojosa is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Casa de las Américas prize in 1976, the most prestigious prize in Latin America. Now readers can bring home two of his books in one collection, continuing the examination of life along the border.

Learn more about From Klail City to Korea with Love at the publisher’s website.

Animal Cover Art

Published May 08, 2017 Posted By
animal cover artAnimal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine is "an online lit mag where artists of word and image explore the ephemeral boundary between human and animal." Each month, Animal publishes one story, one poem, and one essay, and for each, there is an accompanying "cover art" image. The Cover Art page on Animal is a collection of truly amazing and stunning artwork that will have viewers on a slow scroll to contemplate and enjoy each piece.

New Lit on the Block :: Reverberations

Published May 04, 2017 Posted By
reverberationsArt is at the center of Reverberations, a digital publication of writing that “investigates the way that art echoes beyond itself and interacts with ourselves,” says Editor Linne Halpren. Editor Sage Marshall adds, “Art is often created in response to something else, and our thoughts on art are further reverberations.”

SHR 50th and Hoepfner Literary Award

Published May 03, 2017 Posted By
southern humanities reviewSouthern Humanities Review has been published fiction, poetry, and essays quarterly from the Department of English at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama since 1967. The newest double issue (Vol 50.3&4) marks their 50th Anniversary, and features the essay winner of The Hoepfner Literary Award “Time, Sight, Orbs, Memory” by Megan Kerns. Fiction winner “Landfall: A Novella” by Michael Knight and poetry winner “Epithalamium” by Brandon Amico appeared in Vol 50.1&2. Full text and excepts from the winning works can be read here.

Books :: 2017 PEN Debut Story Prize

Published May 01, 2017 Posted By

pen america best debut short stories 2017The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers recognizes 12 emerging fiction writers for their debut story published online or in a literary magazine during the calendar year. The twelve winners each receive $2000 and are to be compilated in the inaugural anthology published by Catapult in August 2017.

This year’s winners were chosen by judges Kelly Link, Marie-Helene Bertino, and Nina McConigley, and together “they act as a compass for contemporary literature; they tell us where we’re going.” Each piece is introduced by the editor who originally published the story, providing editorial insight to aspiring writers and curious readers.

The 2017 winning writers include: Angela Ajayi, Amber Caron, Emily Chammah, Jim Cole, Crystal Hana Kim, Samuel Clare Knights, Katherine Magyarody, Grace Oluseyi, Laura Chow Reeve, Amy Sauber, Ruth Serven, and Ben Shattuck.

Learn more about the prize, the judges, the honorees, and the journals at the PEN America website, and pre-order your copy from the Catapult website.

4th Annual Independent Bookstore Day

Published April 27, 2017 Posted By

independent bookstore day 2017Saturday is the day! April 29 is the 4th Annual Independent Bookstore Day. Indie bookstores across the United States are gearing up to celebrate with exclusive items, literary activities, readings, author signings, giveaways, and more this upcoming Saturday.

Find a great indie bookstore in your area on the NewPages Guide to Independent Bookstores and show your support.

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