The Spring 2017 cover photo of Willow Springs is by Polish-born photographer Marta Berens from her ongoing series Suiti - documenting the culture of the people of Alsunga, Latvia.
While the ship in the bottle is the focal point of Justin Burks's image on the Winter 2017 issue of Carve, it was actually the Kit-Cat Clock that drew me in. Burks is a graduate of the Art Institute of Dallas and founder of Birdhouse Branding, a creative agency that helps develop and design brands, websites and illustrations for individuals and organizations.
The 100 Thousand Poets for Change website now features a Global Action Calendar open to everyone for posting creative actions planned to take place around the world, as well as the Resistance Poetry Wall, an open call for posting poetry about the recent USA elections. Poets from around the world are invited to post.
100 Thousand Poets for Change wants everyone planning now for their local September events and asks that organizers register their events on the 100 TPC website so your actions can be recognized.
Goldenberg Prize for Fiction
Selected by Ha Jin
Winner: “Do I Look Sick to You? (Notes on How to Make Love to a Cancer Patient)” by C.J. Hribal
Honorable Mention: “And It Is No Joke” by Conor Kelley
Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction
Selected by Ariel Levy
Winner: “Of Mothers and Monkeys: A Case Study” by Caitlin Kuehn
Honorable Mention: “Jacket” by Jennifer Hildebrandt
Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry
Selected by Kazim Ali
Winner: “Poem For A Friend Growing Lighter and Lighter” by Abe Louise Young [pictured]
Honorable Mention: “In the absence of birdsong” by Michaela Coplen
Odd Bloom Seen from Space by Timothy Daniel Welch will be published in April 2017. Winner of the 2016 University of Iowa Press’s Iowa Poetry Prize, Odd Bloom Seen from Space, according to the publisher, “looks at the self amid the ashes of fleeting exultation and uncertainty.” The poems in this debut collection offer wisdom and surprising humor, making for a collection that is “gorgeous, original, and baffling.”
Readers can find out more about Odd Bloom Seen from Space on the University of Iowa Press website. While there, they can find an excerpted poem, “On the Isle of Erytheia,” and preorder copies.
Bauhan Publishing LLC hosts the May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize each year, awarding their sixth annual prize to Zeina Hashem Beck for her collection Louder than Hearts. The collection was chosen by Betsy Sholl, former poet laureate of Maine, who says Louder than Hearts “has it all—compelling language and a sense of moral gravitas, personal urgency and the ability to address a larger world with passion and artfulness.” She continues, calling the collection “timely in the way it provides a lens through which to see life in the Middle East, and hear the musical mix of English and Arabic.”
The collection will be released in April, but in the meantime, readers can read more about Zeina Hashem Beck, or they can try their hand at the May Sarton NH Poetry Prize themselves: submissions are open until the end of June.
Each year, the Cleveland State University Press holds the Open Book Poetry Competition, the Essay Collection Competition, and the First Book Poetry Competition (all three open until March 31, 2017). The three 2016 winners are set to be published at the beginning of April 2017.
In One Form to Find Another by Jane Lewty was chosen as the 2016 Open Book Poetry Competition winner, selected by Emily Kendal Frey, Siwar Masannat, and Jon Woodward. Advance praise refers to the collection as “an heroically unsettling and compelling textual reenactment of feminine embodiments’ lament, contemplation, and recalibration of disturbed histories . . . ”
daughterrarium by Sheila McMullin, selected by Daniel Borzutzky, won the 2016 First Book Poetry Competition. Borzutzky says of his selection, “I admire daughterrarium for pushing too far, for making me cringe with its representations of what one human can do to another, of what a body can do to itself.”
James Allen Hall’s I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well won the 2016 Essay Collection Competition, chosen by Chris Kraus. From Kraus: "In these essays, Hall lives alongside, and empathically lives through, his family’s meth addiction, and mental illnesses . . . and considers his own penchants for less than happy, equal sex with an agility, depth, and lightness that is blissfully inconclusive."
Check out the individual links to learn more about each prize-winning collection, and pre-order copies of all three.
In mid-April, Gallic Books will be publishing Hell’s Gate by Laurent Gaudé. Gaudé’s The Scortas’ Sun is the winner of the Prix Gouncourt, the French literary award given to an author of the best imaginative work of prose each year. Hell’s Gate is a thrilling story following a father as he chases redemption for his murdered son. It explores “the effects of bereavement and grief on a family, and the relationship between the living and dead.”
Check out the Gallic Books website for more information about Hell’s Gate. Read advance praise, check out a downloadable PDF extract, and give yourself a chance to read work by one of France’s most highly respected playwrights and novelists.
A cento of Adrienne Rich
You’re beginning to float free
Toward a new kind of love
Burning itself, burning down
The blueprint of a life.
I wanted to choose words that even you
Intend to refuse shelter
With a lie. And each
A beautiful tumor
Feeding on everything.
. . .
[Read the rest and listen to the poet read his own work on Terrain.org]
The winner of the 2016 Orison Poetry Prize, Ghost Child of the Atalanta Bloom by Rebecca Aronson, will be published next month on April 4, 2017. Hadara Bar-Nadav, who selected the winner, calls the collection, “[e]xplosive, turbulent, haunting magnetic,” saying that “[m]ortality and death undergrid Aronson’s fantastical visions, where a child becomes a seagull, a woman turns tarantula, and a house threatens to fill with blood.”
Find sample poem “Wish” at the Orison Books website, where you can also find out more about Aronson and pre-order copies, which are currently on sale, a couple saved bucks you can set aside for even more poetry.
Parlor Press’s annual New Measure Poetry Prize (now open for 2017 submissions until the end of June) awards a poet a cash award of $1,000 and publication of an original manuscript.
The 2015 winner, This History That Just Happened, by Hannah Craig, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa, was published at the beginning of the year. Komunyakaa says of his selection, “This History That Just Happened places the reader at the nexus where rural and city life converge, bridging a world personal and political, natural and artful, in a voice always uniquely hers.”
Craig has also won the 2016 Mississippi Review Prize and her manuscript was a finalist for the Akron Poetry Prize, the Fineline Competition, and the Autumn House Poetry Prize. Stop by the Parlor Press website to learn more about Craig and purchase her debut poetry collection digitally or in print.
“Operation” by Scott Gloden
“White Out” by Caitlin O’Neil
“Malheur Refuge” by Rick Attig
“Little Sister” by Yin Ren
“Million and a Half” by Kevin Klinskidorn
“The Weight of Gravity” by Denise Schiavone
“The Caveman” by Rachel Engelman
“Good Listener” by Ally Glass-Katz
The Master's Review is currently accepting submissions for its annual Anthology Prize. This year's judge is Roxanne Gay.
Broadsided posters are available for free download and postering all about town. Become a Broadsided Vector today!
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.