The Spring 2016 issue of The Missouri Review is titled “Wonders and Relics” and some of the wonders readers can find in the issue include the winners of the 2015 Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize.
Emma Törzs, “The Wall”
Phillip B. Williams, Four Poems
Genese Grill, "Portals: Cabinets of Curiosity, Reliquaries, and Colonialism"
Excerpts from the winning pieces and a foreword by the magazine’s editor, Speer Morgan, can be found on The Missouri Review website.
Image: Slab City desert, part of a collaborative project with photographer Aaron Huey for the forthcoming book Shelter. The home Canilao built also doubled as a set for a short film called Bring Water, in which she played a role.
The Spring 2016 issue of The Fiddlehead features the winners of their 25th annual literary competition:
Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem
Michael Eden Reynolds, "False Dichotomy or Monocot"
Alison Goodwin, "Consumed"
Jeff Parent, "Made By Robots"
Short Fiction First Prize:
Brent van Staalduinen, "Skinks"
Sarah L. Taggart, "The Way It Is In A Place Like This"
Cathy Kozak, "Dirty Girls of Paradise"
These works can be read on The Fiddlehead website along with commentary from Editor Ross Leckie on the winning entries.
Rattle editors write, "Los Angeles is our home city, but we’re an international magazine and not especially sociable, so we wanted to peek in and see what’s happening in the local scene. Greater Los Angeles is home to almost 20 million people, including a very eclectic but widely dispersed poetry community: Take your pick of the many poetry readings and open mics happening daily—but good luck driving there! It’s also a city full of complicated history and cinematic beauty. As always, we put out an open call for submissions, and were impressed with what Angeleno poets had to offer, including a love poem for Los Angeles by L.A. Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez."
Other Angelenos featured inclue: Resa Alboher, Allan Aquino, Chanel Brenner, Brendan Constantine, Jack Cooper, Alejandro Escudé, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Alan Fox, Jack Grapes, Ron Koertge, Deborah P. Kolodji, Lester Graves Lennon, Ruth Madievsky, Risa Potters, Raquel Reyes-Lopez, Lynne Thompson, Amy Uyematsu, Charles Harper Webb, Mari Werner, and Cecelia Woloch.
Like many who respond to this man-made disaster, Freedman points the blame directly as it should be: "The real impurity, then, extends from the polluted water to the polluted political system that allowed emergency managers to run cities without being answerable to them, to the cover-their-ass bureaucracy, to the governor who reverses Harry Truman's credo by whining that the buck stops everywhere but his desk. The real impurity is the stupidity, selfishness and racism that is structural to the politcal system in this and far too many states."
Included in the issue is "Flint and Beyond," a special section on the Flint water crisis: Flint native Kelsey Ronan explores the effect on her family in "Blood and Water," Tarfia Faizullah dedicates her poem “I Told the Water” to Flint, fiction by Matthew Baker, "Pheasants of Detroit," and Jack Driscoll, "Calcheck and Priest" look at life in Michigan today.
Readers can preorder copies of Antiquity from the Sarabande Books website, where advance praise can also be found.
With summer lurking around the corner, let’s hit the “pause” button and take a look back at some Spring 2016 books.
In March, Adrian C. Louis’s Random Exorcisms was published. Winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize from Louisiana State University Press, Random Exorcisms is deeply rooted in Native American traditions and folklore, in a style entirely Louis’s.
The Girls in My Town by Angela Morales, published in April, was chosen as a past NewPages Editor’s Pick. The autobiographical essays in The Girls in My Town create an unforgettable portrait of a family in Los Angeles. Poignant, serious, and funny, Morales’s book is both a coming-of-age story and an exploration of how a writer discovers her voice, and won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Book Contest.
Also published in April, is the poetry collection lore by Davis McCombs, which won the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry through The University of Utah Press. Linda Bierds, who selected the winning piece, says, “In thirty-eight haunting poems, McCombs offers that something to us—a wholeness attained not only through the stories and traditions of a culture but through the fusion of poet and place, poet and past.”
Check out the three titles above and order copies for some beach reading.
The video series provides supporting information for inexperienced grassroots advocates, covering everything from setting up in-person legislator meetings to the process of constructing a campaign. By breaking down oft-intimidating “inside the Beltway” language, Spark provides an accessible set of tools that can activate and motivate young advocates for the rest of their lives. The video series also includes information on writing press releases, staging social media campaigns, using library resources for research or holding events, and best practices for contacting elected officials.
Set within the resilient Great Plains, these award-winning stories are marked by the region’s people and landscape, and the distinctive way it is both regressive in its politics yet also stumbling toward something better. While not all stories are explicitly set in Oklahoma, the state is almost a character that is neither protagonist nor antagonist, but instead the weird next-door-neighbor you’re perhaps too ashamed of to take anywhere. Who is the embarrassing one—you or Oklahoma?In Fall, Kathryn Nuernberger’s poetry collection The End of Pink will be released. The winner of the 2015 James Laughlin Award, The End of Pink (Nuernberger’s second collection) is “populated by strange characters” and is “equal parts fact and folklore.” Copies are available for preorder at the BOA Editions, LTD. website.
In July, look for Maureen Millea Smith’s The Enigma of Iris Murphy from The Livingston Press. Winner of the eleventh Tartts First Fiction Award, Smith’s short story collection looks at “A prison’s visitation room; a veterinarian who understands the thoughts of animals; an Omaha police sergeant; a banking executive who consoles her dying friend; a librarian who sleeps with giraffes—all linked by the life of Iris Murphy.”
While awaiting its July release, readers can check out The Livingston Press’s website where they can find an excerpt from The Enigma of Iris Murphy and preorder a copy.
[quote from publisher's website]
The 2015 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation
Judged by Ammiel Alcalay
Winner ($1000 + Print publication)
Samantha Schnee for her translation from Carmen Boullosa's The Romantics' Conspiracy.
Honorable Mention ($250 + Online publication)
Rebeca Velasquez for her translation from Irma de Águila’s El hombre que hablaba del cielo, or The Man Who Spoke About the Heavens.
Brad Fox for his translation from Sait Faik Abasiyanik's novella Havada Bulut, or A Cloud in the Sky.
Jonathan Larson for his translation of Friederike Mayröcker's études.
J. Bret Maney for his translation of Guillermo Cotto-Thorner's Manhattan Tropics.
2015 Barthelme Prize for Short Fiction
Judged by Steve Almond
Winner ($1000 + Pring publication)
"Taylor Swift" by Hugh Behm-Steinberg
Honorable Mention ($250 + Print publication)
"The Deer" by Nickole Brown
"Threeway" by Wes Wrobel
First Prize ($500)
“The Comfort Weaver” by Alia Ahmed
“The Colonel’s Boy” by Timothy Dumas
Second Prize ($250)
“Leah, Lamb” by Dana Fitz Gale
“Shadow Daughter” by Leslie Pietrzyk
“Einhorn’s Kosher Palace” by David Klein
“Those Who Burn” by Lara Prescott
“The Wedding at Valocchio” by James Vescovi
Alia Ahmed's "The Comfort Weaver" is published in the spring 2016 issue of The Hudson Review and is also available full-text on the publication's website here.
Judged by Tayari Jones
"Y'all's Problem" by Beth Ann Fennelly
Judged by Dinty Moore
"Trip" by Audrey Spensley
The Lamar York Prize is an annual contest that accepts submissions between October 1 and January 31.
[Cover art: The Baron in the Trees, 2011 by Su Blackwell; detail and artist's statement included in the issue.]
To further encourage the genre, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop offers a nature writing session each summer. Collaborating with scientists at Kenyon College’s Brown Family Environmental Center, this workshop provides wrirters with guided scientific investigation, in labs and wetlands and woodland paths, along with time and strategies for writing. This nature writing workshop is one of several offered by the Kenyon Review.
[Cover art by Brett Ryder.]
Becky Hagenston brought home the 2015 Permafrost Prize Series Award with her story collection Scavengers, chosen from nearly 150 entries. As the winner, Hagenston saw her collection (her third) published by the University of Alaska Press this year in both paperback and digital editions.
From the publisher’s website:
These are the people and situations—where the familiar and bizarre intermix—that animate Becky Hagenston’s stories in Scavengers. From Mississippi to Arizona to Russia, characters find themselves faced with a choice: make sense of the past, or run from it. But Hagenston reminds us that even running can never be pure—so which parts of your past do you decide to hold on to?
From the Introduction: "This collaboration began when two friends decided to share an artistic conversation. Kes Woodward asked Peggy Shumaker to write a poem, and he created a painting in response to it. Peggy wrote in response, Kes painted in response, again and again. As each piece added its vividness to the conversation, both writer and artist found they were responding not just to the last piece, bu to the entire body of work. The work has taken many unpredictable and startling turns, adding to the intensity of this third art - an art that's not language alone, not purely painting, but the bonding of the two."
"Midwinter, My Mother" by Laura Apol
"Thirty and Out" by S.J. MacLean
"On Kindness" by Laura S. Distelheim
In addition to publication in the gorgeous full-size format print copy - which includes full color art throughout - winners receive $1000 each. This annual contest runs from August 1 - November 1 of each year.
Founded by Author and Editor Neil Aitken, Have Book, Will Travel is a searchable database of authors willing to travel, reading series currently seeking guest writers, and venues available for booking events. "Our goal" writes Aitken, "is to develop Have Book Will Travel into a valuable online resource that will make the task of planning a reading or a book tour easier and less confusing for all involved. We also encourage instructors and schools where budgets might be too tight to fly an author in for a reading, to consider bringing an author in via Skype for a classroom discussion or a video conference reading. By creating a central repository of information, we seek to simplify the search and to make more authors available to more venues."
Authors can add themselves to the database, as can hosts of reading series and managers of bookstores, galleries, libraries, theatres, restaurants, or other types of performance venues for authors. On the flip side, users can search or browse the full lists of authors, series, and venues or search each by state and province in Canada. Some of these links don't have much or anything just yet, which means there's room for you to get in there and "add"! Sign up authors, series and venues!
Interested groups may sign up for updates about the application period here. Learn more about the book group project and eligibility requirements here.
The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted the Thursday of National Library Week.
In previous years, nominations were limited to the official Teens’ Top Ten book groups while the voting process for the official “top ten” titles was open to the public. In efforts to ensure that the “top ten” better reflect the opinions of teens everywhere, nominations for the preliminary round of nominees is open to the public. Book title nominations submitted in the current year will be used for consideration of the following year’s list of nominees. Teens can submit a book title now through December 31, 2016 to be included in the pool of the 2017 nominee candidates. For books to be eligible for consideration, they must be published between January 1– December 31, 2016.
Submit a suggested title via the public nomination form here.
Fiction judge Alissa Nutting selected “The Twins” by Jill Rosenberg as the winner and “Fellowship" by Kimberly Parsons as the runner up.
Poetry judge Heather Christle selected “b careful” by Mark Baumer as the winner and “Wolfmoon” by Mary-Alice Daniel as the runner-up.
Nonfiction judge Mary Roach selected “Huron River Drive” by Will McGrath as the winner and “Three Great Lyric Passages” by Hugh Martin as the runner up.
Judges' comments on the winning works and a full list of all the finalists can be found here.
I liked this slightly dizzying photo on the cover of Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley. Credit goes to German photographer Sarah Katharina Kayß, whose work provides unique perspectives on architecture.
I want to believe it is the Blue Bird of Happiness that adorns the Spring 2016 cover of Colorado Review [no photo credit given].
Contest judge Bruce Beasley selected Ming Lauren Holden’s poem, “For My Aspirated,” as the recipient of the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry. Beasley said the poem “stunned me every time I reread it for its collision of mystery and absolute clarity . . . its insistent repetitions and piled-on rhetorical questions pounding against the unplumbable mysteries of loss.”
Eric Roe’s short story, “Notes From Lazarus,” earned the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction. Contest judge Kristiana Kahakauwila called the story, “a lovely meditation on love, devotion, and hope . . . finely crafted and controlled but never overwrought.”
S. Paola Antonetta, contest judge for the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, described the pleasures of reading Leigh Claire Schmiddli's work: “‘This Sonata, into the third movement’ is an essay that puns deeply to get at the deep truths of all those ways in which language, like life, evades our meanings for it. Divided, like a musical piece, into movements, ‘This Sonata’ evokes movement itself in all its forms . . . Piercingly lyric, haunting in its details.”