Nuernberg goes on to explain, "Atakora considers himself to be among the third generation of Francophone Togolese poets, tracing his lineage back to the neo-Négritude writers of the 1960s and 70s. The content-driven and politically engaged writing that characterized the work of the neo-Négritude writers is tempered in Atakora's work by his interest in stylistic invention and by his commitment to liberating poetic language from formal constraints, a sensibility he shares with writers of the second generation, who came of age during the cultural renewal of the 1990s."
Poet Lore Spring/Summer 2017 is available for single issue purchase in the NewPages Webstore.
Recently chosen as a NewPages Editor’s Pick, Inside My Pencil by Peter Markus (Dzanc Books, March 2017) recounts poetry lessons taught to children in Detroit public schools. Markus, an award-winning writer and a writer-in-residence with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit, sees the magic children hold inside their pencils and shares it with readers in this nonfiction book.
We start with Markus on his first day in the schools and then continue on to read his lessons on similes, metaphor, on the verb to be, the power of imagination. In prose that is poetic in itself, he brings us into the classroom and feeds us lines his students came up with in response. The creativity and imagination of the kids is a joy to read. In one chapter they define what beauty is, and in another, they turn love into metaphors, each line a beautiful display of the magic inside their pencils.
Inside my Pencil is available from the Dzanc Books website where readers can learn more.
The Santa Fe Writers Project hosts their Literary Awards Program each year since 2000. At the beginning of April, they published the 2015 grand prize winner: Magic for Unlucky Girls by A.A. Balaskovits. Selected by Emily St. John Mandel, the winning short story collection retells traditional fairy tales, taking familiar tropes and weaving them into modern stories of horror and hope.
From the publisher’s website:
From carnivorous husbands to a bath of lemons to whirling basements that drive people mad, these stories are about the demons that lurk in the corners and the women who refuse to submit to them, instead fighting back . . .
Find out more about Magic for Unlucky Girls at the SFWP website, where readers can order copies, check out the author’s website, and stop by the Awards Program page, submissions currently open until the tail end of July.
Lawrence Foundation Prize
Ruchama King Feuerman [pictured] has won the $1,000 Lawrence Foundation Prize for 2016. The prize is awarded annually by the Editorial Board of MQR to the author of the best short story published that year in the journal. Feuerman’s "Kill Fonzie" appeared in the Winter 2016 issue.
Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize
John Rybicki has won the 2016 Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize, which is awarded annually to the author of the best poem or group of poems appearing that year in the Michigan Quarterly Review. His poem “A River Is Not a Watery Rope,” appeared in the Winter 2016 issue.
Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets
Eric Rivera has won the 2016 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets, which is awarded annually to the best poet appearing in MQR who has not yet published a book. The award, which is determined by the MQR editors, is in the amount of $500.
For more information about each of the winners, visit the MQR website here.
"Forgetten" by Jane Zwinger on the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Glimmer Train is a welcome symbol of spring that reflects the blossoming trees lining our city streets this April.
The cover of Ruminate Spring 2017 features an untitled piece from the 2017 Kalos Visual Art Prize Winner Lucas Moneypenny. More of his work as well as that from Second Place winner Chakila L. Hoskins and Honorable Mention Carolyn Mount is included in the issue.
The winner of the 2016 FIELD Poetry Prize, Chance Divine by Jeffrey Skinner, was published at the end of last month. The editors, David Young and David Walker, selected the collection from a group of submissions they say was one of the strongest in the prize’s 20-year history. However, Chance Divine made an impression, the editors “coming back to it with increasing admiration. It’s a notably ambitious book, unafraid to ask large questions about contemporary physics, poetry, and faith, and the relationships between them—but with a wit and inventiveness that lead to unpredictable, exhilarating results.”
On the Oberlin College Press website, readers can find three excerpted poems, more information about the collection, and a way to order a copy.
A detail of "The History of Nature" by Brad Kunkle on the Spring 2017 issue of Arroyo is from his Light & Leaf series, paintings "embellished with genuine gold and silver leaf, which reflects light in a room differently than paint.Therefore, they can appear contrastive and unique when the point of view or source of light has changed."
And for a dose of humor, Issue #49 of Pembroke Magazine features a photograph taken by Editor Jessica Pitchford at the annual John Blue Cotton Festival in Laurinburg, North Carolina. Love it.
Friends encouraged Hyong to create a website to commemorate his commitment to his wife, and now The #100 Love Notes Project: A Love Story book has been published by Lorimer Press. This beautifully crafted collection features the work of 17 artists commissioned by Hyong Li to illustrate his 100 three-line poems.
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.