I was mesmerized by Ann Manuel's "Blur I" on the Winter 2017 cover of The Fiddlehead, Atlantic Canada's International Literary Journal.
And 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.
With 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.
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.
"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.
Next 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 Write Prize for Fiction
Final Judge Stuart Dybeck
Winner: "Passerthrough" by Victoria Mlyniec
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).
Pleaides 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.]
During the tail end of 2016, Southeast Missouri State University Press released the winner of the 2015 Cowles Poetry Book Prize: Everyone at This Party Has Two Names by Brad Aaron Modlin. Advance praise dubs the collection “Poignant, quirky, troubled” (Larissa Szporluk), “[a]n impressive debut from a poet who is as interesting as he is unpredictable” (J. Allyn Rosser). While this is Modlin’s first collection, his poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Denver Quarterly, The Florida Review, Indiana Review, and DIAGRAM, among others.
Read more about Everyone at This Party Has Two Names at the SEMO Press website, where you can also find more information about the Book Prize, which has an upcoming annual deadline of April 1st.
The contributions fill this annual issue of The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, including A.E. Stallings. Stephen Dunn, Jessica L. Wilkinson, Mira Rosenthal, Bob Perelman, Katrina Vandenberg, Jon Pineda, Laynie Browne, Rob Shapiro, Eamon Grennan, and many more.
Of the cover of Winter/Spring 2017 The Southampton Revi Editor-in-Chief Lou Ann Walker comments: "Because this issue's theme is the muse, all of the art in this issue was chosen for its emphasis on story and the fantastical places imagination can go. Take, for example, the cover, 'Stopping by Woods,' created by Corinne Geertsen. How did that ballerina in her tutu come to be juxtaposed with that extraterrestrial spaceship?" Indeed.
The Chattahoochee Review Fall2016/Winter2017 cover art "War Bonnets: Never Out of Style for Long" by Lucy Julia Hale is representative of her artistic approach, which she describes: "I am drawn to see deeply into paper artifacts / mass-produced photographic images of our interiors and exteriors - / where we have lived."
"Why our continuing attraction to Greece?" writes Keith Taylor in his introduction to the newest issue of Michigan Quarterly Review. "There is something in that small country out there on the edge of Europe that doesn't feel like the rest of the continent. Part of the attraction is certainly to the very different modern history, and to a landscape shaped by human use yet still oddly wild. . . . And, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, we continue to be drawn to Greece by the weight and presence of the classical tradition. We have tried to expand our canon and assume the influence of other traditions, but whether we like it or not, Western ideas continue to reflect the ideas first thought on those dry hills."
Michigan Quarterly Review Fall 2016 presents Returning to Greece: A special section of poetry on Greece with work by Lauren K. Alleyne, Christopher Bakken, Natalie Bakopoulos, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, Adrianne Kalfopoulou, and Allison Wilkins.
Thrice Publishing, from the editors of literary magazine Thrice Fiction, have published their first book: Our Dolphin by Joel Allegretti. In an interview with Thrice Publishing’s Editor-at-Large RW Spryszak, Allegretti discusses the inspiration for the novella, naming it a tribute to a few of his literary obsessions, including the works of Gabriel García Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Paul Bowles, William S. Burroughs, and Fellini.
In Our Dolphin, Emilio saves a dolphin that’s trapped on the beach, an act of kindness the dolphin does not forget. To learn more, check out the Thrice Publishing website for the full interview and ways to pick up some copies of the debut collection.
With cover art by Ric Best, the color scheme of issue 19 of Skidrow Penthouse is another kind of warming image - one that invites readers into what Editors Stephanie Dickinson and Rob Cook consider "our best issue yet."
The reproduction can't quite seem to do justice to the vibrancy of the blue, red, and orange hues on the Fall 2016 cover art of Crazyhorse. "City" by W. Case Jernigan provides a unique perspective, as does the content of this publication. A full list of contents for the current issue can be found here.
Buy a broadside; plant a tree.
I can’t imagine a more unique approach to both printing poetry to share with the world and planting trees to renew the planet. It is the creative genius of Under a Warm Green Linden, an online journal of poetry and poetics which publishes poetry (including audio recordings of poets reading their work), interviews with poets, reviews of poetry books, and poetry broadsides. Reviews and interviews are published throughout the year while the poetry journal featuring 24-30 poets is published twice a year, on summer and winter solstices.
Next month, readers can look forward to the publication of two award-winning books: Small Crimes by Andrea Jurjević and When He Sprang From His Bed, Staggered Backward, And Fell Dead, We Clung Together With Faint Hearts, And Mutely Questioned Each Other by Christopher Kang.
Andrea Jurjević won Anhinga Press’s 2015 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry with Small Crimes, which begins during the early 90s, the speaker living their adolescence during the Croatian War, and then moves on to post-war years and life in America. Judge C. G. Hanzlicek says the collection “is often dark but just as often beautiful” with language that “crackles with energy.” Learn more at the publisher’s website.
Christopher Kang’s When He Sprang From His Bed . . . is a daring book that challenges on every read. Made of 880 stories, the collection won the Green Mountains Review Book Prize, selected by Sarah Manguso. From the publisher: “Each story contains a world, tilted on its own axis, strange, remarkable and bursting with heart.” Read more about the book and Kang at SPD.
“Wallis-Wallace” by Myra Malkin
1st Honorable Mention
“Letteromancy” by Mark Wagenaar
2nd Honorable Mention
“Visiting Emily” by Michael Miller
A full list of finalists can be found here.
"In the following pages of this portfolio, each of the contributors approaches the topic with stunning attention in an exploration of the nuanced realities of food and the roles it plays in our lives. . . . To be sure, this topic is largely unending, woven so deeply into our very existence that we may never have enough to say about it. But here you will find a small sampling of the myriad ways we can understand the food of life through the food of language."
Authors whose works are featured in the portfolio include Craig Santos Perez, Uoumna Chlala, Evie Shockley, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Quincy Troupe, Chris Abani, LeAnne Howe, Aimee Nuzhukumatathil, Patricia Smith and Afaa Michael Weaver among others.
This issue is available for purchase in the NewPages webstore, which offers single issue copies of many great lit mags and a flat rate shipping option.
Fiction selected by selected by Ayana Mathis
"Destiny" by Mike Alberti
Nonfiction (Essay) selected by David Shields
"Witness Trees" by Cassidy Norvell Thompson
Poetry selected by Rick Barot
"Calisthenics" by Brandon Rushton
Winning author bios and a full list of honorable mentions can be read here.
Author Adam Ross has assumed editorial responsibility for the publication and plans to roll out a number of changes beginning in 2017. These include moving away from the traditional blue-covered publication to a cover that will vary with each issue, photo content inside the publication, and more online content for subscribers and purchasers to supplement the print copy. The staff has also expanded from three to five, and submissions are now being accepted online via Submittable.
Readers can most certainly depend upon the quality of the publication to remain high end, with content enhanced from contributors with Sewanee connections - both graduates and writers affiliated with the School of Letters and Sewanee Writers’ Conference.