2016 Mary C. Mohr Poetry Award Winner
Selected by Jericho Brown
"manhood" by Richard Thompson
2016 Mary C. Mohr Fiction Award Winner
Selected by Adam Johnson
"The One Good Thing About Las Vegas, Nevada" by Bradford Kammin [pictured]
Thread is an online "intersectional feminist arts collective" publishing visual art, poetry, prose and creative nonfiction bimonthly.
The work of artist and activist John Sproul is featured on the cover of Superstition Review #19.
Flowers & Sky: Two Talks by Aaron Shurin
Mary's Dust poems by Melinda Mueller with music by Lori Goldston
Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts poetry and art by Maya Jewell Zeller and Carrie DeBacker
Fiddlehead Fiction Editor Mark Anthony Jarman introduces this issue's contents as a showcase of "great, sensuous stories from the east coast and west coast and around the world," and adds that the issue also features a nonfiction work, "The Foxes of Prince Edward Island," by Matthew Ferrence. ". . . it is our desire," Jarman explains, "to include more creative nonfiction in future issues of The Fiddlehead." Readers can find Jarman's introduction and Eden Robinson's story "Nanas I Have Loved" available to read online.
While this may sound 'easy' enough at first thought, it's a far more grueling commitment than most can imagine - just like running a marathon or half marathon. I mean, how many of us can run? Run a mile? Run five or ten? It's when the miles - and poems and hours - start adding one on top of another that the breakdown enters in. In marathon running, they call it "hitting the wall." Even though running - or writing poetry - is something you love to do, the constraints of time and goal of a numerical accomplishment push that relationship to its limits.
Started by Caitlin Jans (Thompson) and Jacob Jans in 2011, there have since been six marathons. Every year, hundreds enter their names to compete, and every year, only a fraction of those actually do. This year, 95 poets successfully completed 24 poems in 24 hours and 123 poets successfully completed 12 poems in 12 hours. Congratulations to all on this accomplishment! See a full list of the 'winners' here, where the poems are posted via a WordPress site, and the organizers just closed submissions for the second annual anthology of winners' submissions.
If you missed the marathon this year - and the five other times it's been held - you may or may not still have a chance to enter. Caitlin and Jacob have announced that the future of the marathon is up in the air. They are looking for someone who might be interested in helping run it, or other options for keeping it going. It's clearly no 'easy' task on their end either, but their efforts to date have been immensely appreciated. I'm sure every one of us who has successfully completed this challenge will forever hold a sense of pride in that accomplishment. As well we should!
John Wall Barger, "Smog Mother"
Read the interview with John Wall Barger here.
Délani Valin [pictured], "No Buffalos"
Read the interview with Délani Valin here.
The Malahat Review is available for single issue purchase in the NewPages Magazine Webstore.
2016 Barthelme Prize
Judge: Jim Shepherd
Andrew Mitchell, "Going North"
Honorable Mentions - Both also received print publication
Molly Reid, "Fall from Grace"
Marya Hornbacher "A Peck of Beets"
The Gulf Coast Prize in Translation Contest is open to prose (fiction or nonfiction). The winner receives $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions receive $250.
2016 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation
Judge: Idra Novey
Carina del Valle Schorske for a translation of Marigloria Palma
Winner: Rebekah Taussig, "I Called Mine Beautiful"
Finalist: Robert Stothart, "Nighthawks"
Winner: Paige Lewis, "Angel, Overworked"
Finalist: Donna Coffey, "Sunset Cruise at Key West"
Finalist: Christina Hammerton, "Old Pricks"
Winner: Derek Palacio, "Kisses"
Finalist: Nicholas Lepre, "Pretend You’re Really Here"
Finalist: Terrance Manning, Jr., "Vision House"
The Florida Review is avaiable for single issue purchase on the NewPages Magazine Webstore.
May Willow Springs continue on another forty years - buoyant and thick with possibility!
Each year, PEN America grants one winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction a $25,000 cash prize, given in memory of Robert W. Bingham. The 2017 winner, judged by Jami Attenberg, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Randall Kenan, Hanna Pylväinen, and Akhil Sharma, is Rion Amilcar Scott with Insurrections (University of Kentucky Press, August 2017).
In the debut collection, Rion Amilcar Scott gives life to residents of the fictional town of Cross River, Maryland, a largely black settlement founded in 1807. Written in lyrical prose, Scott presents characters who dare to make their own choices in the depths of darkness and hopelessness.
Stop by the University of Kentucky Press website to listen to interviews with the author, learn more about the award-winning collection, and order digital or print copies.
There is no fee to enter this contest, prizes will be awarded for first ($3000) and two runners up ($1000) as well as print/online publication. Deadline: September 1, 2017.
Toni Beauchamp [pictured] was the president of Art Lies Board from 2002-2004. See the Gulf Coast website for more details.
Sandy Skoglund's "Fox Games" is the perfect image for The Missouri Review Summer 2017 theme "Mischief Makers."
I'm not sure if the cover images "Remote Lighthouse" by David Mark / "Delta Flyers" by Barry Jones was intentional - with the black and white lighthouse - given the special art feature in this Summer 2017 issue of Able Muse: A Zebra Theme - a photographic exhibit of zebra imagery from artists worldwide.
In the most recent issue, #157 August 2017, Rowena Macdonald offers 10 tips for writing dialogue, offering this advice: ". . . remember, when it comes to writing dialogue in prose you need to convey the impression of reality rather than verbatim speech." Silas Dent Zobal [pictured] offers a meaningful exploration of finding the heart of the story and the difficulty of writing about what can't be written: "That's what I want to tell you. Here, right here, is where you can find the heart of the heart of your story. Not in a place but in no place. Not in clarity but in ambiguity." And Joshua Henkin provides commentary on developing character background: when Mia comes from Montreal instead of Maryland, it changes how her family got there and the impact of their choices on her character in story - and the writer's responsibility to the "seeds of a narrative."
Three excellent essays that would be great semester kick-off reading for any creative writing class, and some great basic craft conversation for all writers to consider. Signing up for the bulletins is free.
Given the times we suddenly find ourselves living in, is there even more pressure to write in the moment?
Yes, absolutely. I was thinking so much about how my next book, which is not out yet, is going to be called Scald. [The book came out in February 2017, after this interview.] It’s about feminism and it’s dedicated to three different great feminists. I was so in the zeitgeist of a Hillary Clinton presidency and women, and now I feel so unmoored. But I’m so glad I wrote it when I wrote it because, while I wasn’t thinking of Hillary necessarily when I was writing it, I felt this movement towards women and the feminization of power and saving the planet. Now, we really have to stay in the moment and not stick our heads in the sand. I mean you may have to stick your head in the sand for a week to survive, but then we have to come out strong.
I felt like I often heard people say, “We are having more conversations about race during Barak Obama’s presidency and we will talk more about gender with a female president.” Do you feel like we will talk more or less about gender given the president we ended up with?
He’ll talk a lot less about gender and even his wife will say less. I was reading something just this morning about how she wants to be more like Jackie O. It’s so retro and cultural regression to the max, right? She really wants to go back to the 1960s pillbox hat and not even say anything. We are in big trouble, but I also think because this election is so egregious and Clinton didn’t lose to a man who was moderate or even a Mitt Romney or John McCain, she lost to a misogynist who calls women the worst possible names, I think women are not going to give him a pass. We are going to come back strong, especially since we had a taste of what could have been. I can’t imagine women going, Oh well, we’ll let it go.
I think we’ve been letting it go for decades and centuries and I don’t think we can let it go anymore.
I think that’s also what I admired about your book. You didn’t let it go. You talked about it.
Read the full interview on Aquifer: The Florida Review Online.
Authors whose works are featured in this special issue include: Ocean Vuong, Chen Chen, Rajiv Mohabir, Hoa Nguyen, Kazim Ali, Khaty Xiong, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Zubair Ahmed, Cathy Linh Che, Kimiko Hahn, John Yau, Sarah Gambito, Li-Young Lee, among others. Read the full contents here.
Another slim design, "Serenity Overflowing" by Chris Ogden is the cover photo for issue 12 of One, an online journal of poetry.
The cover of Ragazine.CC, a global online magazine of arts, information & entertainment, is a photo of the German duo Shari Vari, whose music is featured in this issue's special section, "The Summer Seven: Listen to the Best Bands from Europe."
The film is about a former Marine - named Paterson (played by Adam Driver) - who lives a quiet, static life, driving a bus in Paterson, NJ, and writing poetry in his "secret notebook." Lines of poetry Paterson thinks and then writes appear in his handwriting across the screen intermittently throughout the movie; the poems themselves were written by poet Ron Padgett. There are references to one of Paterson's favorite poets, William Carlos Williams, with Driver delivering a delightful on-screen reading of "This is Just To Say."
Well received by critics, The New Yorker's Richard Brody wrote: "Paterson is the man of all endurance. He does his dull job without complaining and finds charm and enlightenment in the conversations of passengers and pleasure in repeated viewing of the cityscape of his route. His poetry is imbued with the modest substance of his life."
Some have described the movie as showing the creative process of poetry writing, but I'd say it more accurately reveals the kind of life poets live, with the process of writing poetry often inseparable from the day-to-day, moment-to-moment. And that is the beauty of what Jarmusch has created. He has absolutely nailed it in Paterson.
This past week, Maria Mazziotti Gillan's book of poetry, Paterson Light and Shadow, arrived in the mail. With photographs by Mark Hillinghouse, this beautifully packaged hardcover explores Paterson, NJ, "this once great industrial city, envisioned by Alexander Hamilton as the birthplace of manufacturing in a new nation, a city now home to countless immigrants who still struggle to build lives and survive." Fans of the film, fans of Williams and his own epic poem Paterson will appreciate the creative contributions of Gillan and HIllinghouse to this mystical yet wholly down to earth place.
But, alas, what about when there is NO response? What about the silence of a Facebook post? "Writers have always known that theirs is a lonely art," Kuebler comments, "but after spending time on Facebook it’s as if we have to learn this all over again. We have to remember that the audience for literature is largely silent; it takes its time."
Read the full editorial here, and Kuebler's closing comment of appreciation for writers, even if it is only ever offered in silence.