As a kid (and adult for that matter) who was forever unable to remember her numerical lock combinations, what3words is the most brilliant invention of all time. And who among us readers/writers can't absolutely fall in love with this concept: The entire planet mapped out in three meter squares with each one assigned a unique three-word sequence.
Download the app to your phone, and no matter where you go, you can find you three-word location. Give your three-word location to someone, and they can find you!
I can only imagine that some poets have already gotten a hold of this and are integrating it into their writing - right? How about engaging young students in both geography and writing. Come up with three words, put them in, and see where that location is - the possibilities are endless and exciting! Check it out for yourself!
In keeping with Memoir Magazine's mission, "to be a witness to both factual and emotional truths that resonate with the human heart by supporting writers and artists in sharing their stories—whether personal, social or political– through publication, education, and advocacy," the publication offers Memoir Magazine University, "a safe space dedicated entirely to the development of writers and stories that need to be heard."
Two summer classes coming up are Anonymous Memoir Writing Workshop for Sexual Assault Survivors with Memoir Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief Mary McBeth (July 9 - August 20; open times) and Writing To Heal with Jerry Waxler [pictured] (July 10 – August 21, Tuesdays 7:30-9pm EST; July 12 – August 23, Thursdays 12 noon-1:30 EST).
Future classes will include Intro to Memoir and Memoir 101. For more information, visit Memoir Magazine's website.
Not to rush your summer, but July 4th signals the opening of registration for the annual August Poetry Postcard Festival!
This is a FAVORITE event for me and many others who have been doing it since it started over ten years ago, as well as for newbies - who are always welcome to join!
Visit Paul E Nelson's webpage for full instructions, but the basic premise is this: Registrants are grouped with 31 other participants and each group member gets a list of names and addresses. You start with the name below yours on the list and each day, write a poem on a postcard and send it to that person. The next day, you go to the next name on the list, write, send, repeat.
The idea is to be spontaneous in writing these poems. They aren't supposed to be prewritten (although some folks do type or reprint for the sake of legibility), and as much as possible, written in the moment. In the past, I've known a writer to focus on colors as a theme, another randomly landed on a word in the dictionary and made that their inspiration. Since the only requirement is to write and send a card a day, the rest is up to each writer's imagination and motivation. The postcards can be anything at all - some people make their own, some use photos, others are cheesy tourist postcards, some are vintage - it's totally up to the sender.
There is a $10 registration fee to help handle the oversight. I'm happy to pay this, and the domestic and occassional international postage - considering how much I spend on conferences each year, some of which I walk away from wondering what I gained from them. The APPF has never disappointed. Not only has it inspired my own writing in numerous ways, there is something so uniquely enjoyable about going to the mailbox each day, wondering what I might be gifted from another poet out there somewhere in the world.
Challenge yourself to do this. Participate. Enjoy it. Struggle through it. At the end of the month, you'll feel enormous satisfaction and even a bit a sadness that it's over.
Celebrating ten years and thirty issues of Still Point Arts Quarterly, Founding Editor Christine Brooks Cote's introduction to the Summer 2018 issue reads like an advice article for anyone with the idea to start up a journal.
Among the things she figured out along the way was what made for publishable submissions. She came up with these three criteria: "1) they have to be so interesting that I can't stop reading until I get all the way to the end; 2) they have to be well written - I shouldn't have to reread a paragraph or a sentence several times, or even twice, to figure out what is being said; and 3) they have to strike just the right chord inside me and make me feel that what I just read should be read by everyone."
Over this years, she notes, this search for quality submissions has not changed, nor her "aim to present them as respectfully and tastefully as possible. Each journal is a creation, a work of art."
Cote admits one thing that has changed over the years: "my respect, admiration, and gratitude for the artists and writers whose work we publish has grown exponentially. I never imagined when I started this work that I would have the pleasure of connecting with so many thoughtful and inspiring individuals who produce work that regularly stops me in my tracks. Truly, connecting with the people who contribute to this publication has been immensely joyful and fulfilling, and I've learned so much from them. That part I didn't expect - indeed, unexpected gifts are the best."
May Still Point Arts Quarterly enjoy another ten years - and more - of giving such beauty and joy to readers as well as receiving!
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) is a general term used to identify this non-profit resource that can be found in numerous communities across the country. VLAs provide low-cost or free legal aid and guidance to artists and organizations, and some will even provide consultation to artists from areas that do not have their own VLA. In the past, I've received phone consults from the VLA in New York prior to Michigan having its own organization. Some, such as the St. Louis VLAA include Accountants for the Arts as well. The VLAA website has a directory of VLAs with the advice that if you do not see your state listed to contact your state arts council.
[Pictured: Alma Robinson, Executive Director of Califorinia Lawyers for the Arts]
The Southeast Review spring issue (36.1) features winning entries from their 2017 contests:
Gearhart Poetry Contest
Judged by Erin Belieu
Winner: "The Truth Takes Lunch" by Jed Myers
Finalist: "Three Nails" by Christopher Childers
World's Best Short-Short Story Contest
Judged by Robert Olen Butler
Winner: "Friends" by Greta Schuler
Finalists: "Saint Barbara's Day" by Elina Alter
"Shpykiv" by Alexandra Brenner
The Southeast Review Narrative Nonfiction Contest
Judged by Matthew Gavin Frank
Winner: "Crywolf" by Erica Berry [pictured]
Finalists: "The Stone Grows without Rain" by Lee Huttner
"Soundings: Field Notes on Communication with Animals and God" by Sylvia Sukop
The Great American Read is an eight-part series from PBS that "explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience."
The series kicked off with a two-hour launch in May and continued with five one-hour episodes examining concepts common to the eligible novels. The finale - planned for October 2018 - will announce the results of the nation-wide vote to select America's best-loved book.
The Great American Read website includes all the programs for online viewing as well as the list of 100 books and directions on how to vote for your best-loved novels from the list.
This week's covers are from some of the many Alternative Magazines we have listed at NewPages as a reminder of this useful resource for both reading and submitting writing.
Earth Island Journal combines investigative journalism and thought-provoking essays that make the subtle but profound connections between the environment and other contemporary issues. Writers guidelines here.
The focus of Feminist Studies 44.1 (2018) is life writing and new approaches to studying women’s autobiographies, including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Gertrude Stein, Kamal Das, Gayle Rubin and Judith Butler, as well as works by Estelle Carol, Alexandra Ketchum, Olga Zilberbourg, Corey Hickner-Johnson, Hiliary Chute, and Ashwini Tambe. Submissions guidelines here.
The Progressive is a journalistic voice for peace and social justice at home and abroad, steadfastly opposing militarism, the concentration of power in corporate hands, the disenfranchisement of the citizenry, poverty, and prejudice in all its guises. Writers guidelines here.
One of my favorites, Parabola is published quarterly by the Society for the Study of Myth and Tradition, a non-profit, non-denominational, educational organization. Each issue devotes 128 highly illustrated pages to a universal theme. Submission guidelines here.
The Humanist magazine applies humanism — a natural and democratic outlook informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion — to broad areas of social and personal concern in pursuit of alternative ideas. Writers guidelines here.
And we all need to retain our ability to laugh and bring humor into our days. The Funny Times helps us fulfill this need as America's longest-running ad-free monthly humor publication in a newspaper format.
But the core inspiration behind this new publication was Founding Editor David Jordan’s “limited success” in getting his own work published. “I decided I would go to the other side and be the publisher and the person who says yes. I figured I might have more success in this role and get satisfaction from it.”
The Spring 2018 issue of The Missouri Review features the winners of the 2017 Jeffrey E. Smith Editor's Prize.
Tamara Titus of Charlotte, NC, for “Exit Seekers”
Meghann Plunkett of Carbondale, IL for several poems
Rose Smith [pictured] of Austin, TX, for “Rachel’s Wedding”
Each winner receives $5000 and publication. Runners-up will be published in future issues. See a full list of runners-up and finalists here.
This is an annual contest with a deadline in early October.
The long depressive curtain, the castle
stone limned in green, the thin insistent
incursions of rain that scarify the mortar,
what are they if not a promissory note,
the slung burden and authoritative bell
of dreams we take, in dreams, for dead.
The yellow eye wakes, and death’s antagonist—
let us call him scientist, father, creator, god—
draws back in shame and horror from his one
creation. He sees in him a miracle confusion,
drenched in the bile that is our birthright,
and says, in silence, hell. What did I expect.
Cover art "Dimming Superstition" collage on a book cover by Hollie Chastain.
Rhino: The Poetry Forum annual publication includes winning and selected entries from two annual prizes.
Each year, Rhino selects Editor's Prize Winners from among its general submissions to receive cash, publication, and nomination to the Pushcart Prize. There is no additional process; all submissions to the publication are considered.
"Worms" by Erika Brumett
"You Have To Be Ready" by Amanda Galvan Huynh
"betty" by Amy Bilodeau
The Founder's Prize is an annual contest (Sept 1 - Oct 31). Winners receive a cash award, publication, and Pushcart Prize nomination. These entrants are also eligible for the Editor's Prize.
"Asking for a Friend " by Abby E. Murray [pictured]
"Odysseus " by Joseph Fasano
"Amelia Earhart Folds Origami Cranes" by Adie Smith Kleckner
"Midden" by Paul Otremba
All of these works can also be read on Rhino's website.
Roland Petersen's "American Bathers, 2017" on the cover of Spring 2018 Catamaran captures the essence of summer; this publication belongs in every beach tote and travel bag to take along on your summer adventures!
Based out of Chicago, The Esthetic Apostle is a new online monthly of poetry, prose, artwork and photography which also releases print issues quarterly.
“Promoting creative individuals, self-realization/development, and beautiful ideas” are what motivated this start-up, as Founder and Editor-in-Chief Samuel M. Griffin explains. “The wit and wisdom of Oscar Wilde was a primary catalyst. As a tribute to our city and Wilde, we named the magazine The Esthetic Apostle after a Chicago Tribune headline describing Wilde's visit to the windy city.” And if you're wondering about the spelling...
Jann Everard [pictured], "Blue Runaways"
Judge: Carleigh Baker
Read an interview with Jann Everard here.
B. A. Markus, "How Can a Dog Help a Goose"
Judge: Betsy Warland
Read an interview with B. A. Markus here.
Barbara Pelman, "Nevertheless”
Judge: Evelyn Lau
Read an interview with Barbara Pelman here.
Open Season Awards is an annual contest that awards $2000 in each genre. It closes on November 1.
The Spring 2018 issue of The Bellingham Review includes two features: Who Are These Assembled Nations?: New Poems from Palestine with works from Sheikha Helawy [pictured], Najwan Darwish, and Anwar Al-Anwar, and Unbidden Stories: New Writing from Israel with fiction by Orly Castel-Bloom, Anat Levin, and Liran Golod, poetry by Shimon Adaf and Anna Herman, and a hybrid text-image collaboration between Etgar Keret and Neta Rabinovitch. Credit for this curation goes to international consultant Liran Golod who worked with S. Paola Antonetta to bring these collections to readers.
The Spring 2018 issue of The Bellingham Review features winners of their annual contests:
49th Parallel Award for Poetry
Contest judge Robert Cording
“The Art of Forgetting" by John Blair
Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction
Contest judge Julie Marie
“Mustard” by Susan M. Stabile [pictured]
Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction
Contest judge John Dufresne
“Escape Artist” by Janis Hubschman
The cover of the online Subprimal Poetry issue 11.0 is "Blissful Deletion" by Willow Margarita Schafer, about which the artist comments: "I wanted to try and visually depict what nothingness feels like on a human level: a sort of calm fragmentation that is very hard to shake."
American Life in Poetry: Column 686
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
I'm writing this column in the earliest days of another spring, and here's a fine spring poem from Rose King's book Time and Peonies , from Hummingbird Press. The poet lives in California.
I'm out with the wheelbarrow mixing mulch.
A mockingbird trills in the pine.
Then, from higher, a buzz, and through patches of blue
as the fog burns off, a small plane pulls a banner,
red letters I can't read—
but I do see, over the fence,
a man in a sky-blue shirt walking his dog to the beach.
He says he missed it, will keep an eye out.
Four barrows of mulch around the blueberry bushes,
I'm pulling off gloves, and he's back, beaming.
"It says, I LOVE YOU, MARTHA.
Are you Martha?"
We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright 2017 by Rosie King from Time and Peonies (Hummingbird Press, 2017). Poem reprinted by permission of Rosie King and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2018 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.
In addition to its regular content of poetry, the Summer 2018 issue of Rattle includes a Tribute to Athlete Poets. "The stereotypes about athletes and poets might make it seem like an odd combination, but poetry lives everywhere, and stereotypes need to be broken," comment the editors.
Rattle does this by bringing together twenty-two poets that include professional athletes from the NFL and NBA, tennis pros, soccer players, weightlifters, and marathon runners. Add to the mix an interview with semi-pro basketball player (did you know that?) and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn.
Athletes whose poems appear in this issue include: James Adams, Elison Alcovendaz, Chaun Ballard, Erinn Batykefer, T.J. DiFrancesco, Stephen Dunn, Peg Duthie, Michael Estabrook, Daniel Gleason, Tony Gloeggler, Alex Hoffman-Ellis, A.M. Juster, Benjamín N. Kingsley, Laura Kolbe, Michael Mark, Tom Meschery, Jack Ridl, Laszlo Slomovits, Brent Terry, Martin Vest, Arlo Voorhees, and Guinotte Wise.
The Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem Winner
Matthew Hollett, "The Day After the Best Before"
Judges: Jennifer Houle, Sonnet L’Abbé, Sachiko Murakami
Read an interview with Matthew Hollett here.
Poetry Honorable Mentions
Conyer Clayton, "Recurrent"
Conor Mc Donnell, "Qui vincit? (medicamina)"
Short Fiction Prize Winner
Kate Osana Simonian [pictured], "The Press"
Judge: Kerry Lee Powell
Read an interview with Simonian here.
Fiction Honorable Mention
Samantha Jade Macpherson, "The Fish and the Dragons"
In addition to its twice-a-year print publication of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, reviews, translations and now plays-in-progress, The Cincinnati Review features free online content, inviting writers published in their print issues to contribute to their blog. "We're especially interested in posts that can include an audio, visual, or video element, but we're open to everything."
One of those "everythings" is a beautiful recipe for scones shared by Siân Griffiths [pictured], which is as much personal narrative as it is recipe: "Let your mind wander as you sift and press the flour and butter in your fingertips. Remember the girl who told you that it doesn’t count as being the daughter of an immigrant if your immigrant father was only British. Remember the precision of your grandmother’s back garden with its perfect border of perfect flowers. Wonder why you even own that stupid pastry cutter."
The Cincinnati Review online also includes miCRo, a weekly highlight of flash fiction or nonfiction or poem under 32 lines each. Recent contributors include Cady Vishniac, Kelle Groom, Becky Hagenston, Joshua Kryah, and Lisa Fay Coutley. Submissions for this feature are open year-round (excluding during contest submissions).
Gerald Purdy is the featured artist for Weber Spring/Summer 2018, who comments, "Time and space have collapsed in art but not in the self of the artist. I happen to think we are still driven by the need to tell stories and to create illusion and order where none exists."
I love the striking simplicity of this cover photo for the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of The Aurorean, but it's the moose that drew enough favor to land it here! Appropriately enough, titled "Tulips in Moose Vase" is a photo by Cynthia Brackett-Vincent.
The cover of The Main Street Rag Spring 2018 is the intriguing collage "Extinction" by Sebastian Matthews.
The Kenyon Review will be accepting submissions during their open reading period (Sept. 15 – Nov. 1) for a special issue “to engage the possibilities, as well as the limits, of Literary Activism,” with guest editors Rita Dove and John Kinsella. “They share a belief that literary writing offers one of the most effective means for interrogating and challenging social oppression, inequality, and injustice,” writes David H. Lynn in the May/June 2018 issue. “Their goal will also include presenting a range of responses to a world whose soil and water and air are under grave threat.”
Read Lynn's complete Editor’s Notes: Literary Activism and the World We Live In.