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2016 Willow Springs Fiction Winner

Published August 16, 2016 Posted By

willow springsThis year's winner of the Willow Springs Fiction is "Gorilla Love Story" by Chelsea Bryant. The award provides each entrant with a one-year subscription to the publication; the winner receives $2000 + publication in the annual June issue. Willow Springs offers some of their publication's content for online reading along with comments from the author about the work.

[Cover image by Marta Berens from Dream Chapter]

The Poetry Marathon is Complete

Published August 15, 2016 Posted By
finishJust like the foot race marathon, you don't get bragging rights until you actually do it. And, appropriately, this year's Poetry Marathon took place during the summer Olympics. So while I was toiling away at my poetry prompts and posting poems to the official marathon blog, runners from around the world were competing for gold, silver and bronze medals in Rio.

Unlike the Olympics, the Poetry Marathon is an annual event. I originally posted on it here, and the PM website offers a complete history and FAQ of the event. While I've known about the event for several years, this is the first year I  participated. Luckily for me (and many others), the organizers have created a half marathon, which is what I completed. Both marathons start at 9:00am ET on writing day (Aug 13 this year), then every hour for 12 or 24 hours, participants are expected to write a poem and post it to the PM website. Each participant gets their own login on a group Wordpress site, then as each participant publishes a poem, which is housed on their own blog space, it is also posted to the whole group blog. If you look at the site now, what you see are the poems posted by the participants as they came in.

If this sounds like a big commitment of a day, it is - or it can be. The organizers are flexible in letting participants commit to (on their honor) writing one poem every hour and then posting them when they can get to a computer. Some participants commented on having to go to work, so while they were writing the poems, they wouldn't be posting them until later. Even for me, with a day "off," I couldn't be at the computer every hour of the day.

Bottom line: Was it fun? Was it engaging? Was it worthwhile? Yes, yes, and yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Until you do it, you don't quite "get it." Write a poem an hour? Anyone can do that on their own. But it was motivating (even a bit demanding) being in the community, committed to having to publish poems up to the website, having to be responsible every hour of the day. In fact, even while I was just sitting working at the computer, I almost missed one of the hours because I was so caught up in my work. I realized it with only five minutes left in the hour and scrambled to catch up! The pressure! It was wonderful. As were the prompts, which the organizers provide at the top of every hour. I admire those writers who had their own ideas for poems, but I relied heavily on the prompts to give me something to write about and get the writing done. There were many who did the same, and it was engaging to see the various interpretations of the prompts - a lot of really creative writers.

When it was done - 12 hours and 12 poems later - I felt a deep sense of pride and accomplishment. Not that I believe I wrote 12 astonishing poems that will shake the world. But because I wrote 12 poems in 12 hours as part of a community of people who were just as eager and committed as me. Surrounded for a whole day by an entire community of poets - reading, writing, commenting, and then doing it all over again, and again, and again. I think immersion is the right word.

I also learned that not everyone will be able to appreciate the experience if you try to share your joy at the accomplishment. "I just finished a poetry half marathon!" I exclaimed to my husband as I walked away from the computer at 9:00pm after just having posted my final poem. "Okay," he said, not turning away from his laptop.

What you get out of it is definitely personal. Unlike the foot race, and unlike the Olympics, there aren't throngs of people cheering your completion, no competitors there to hug you for a good race won. Though the organizers and participants do post encouraging comments for one another and have chat groups running to motivate one another, in the end, the sense of whatever it has meant to you will be completely up to you to generate and to own.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I was challenged, I accomplished my goal, and I hope to be back to do it again next year.

Thank you Poetry Marathon! Congratulations to everyone who completed the half 12 hours of writing and the full 24 hours of writing. I get it: You are amazing!

[Applause]

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published August 15, 2016 Posted By
river teethThis week's covers just say "summer" to me, starting with this Spring 2016 issue of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative. The cover photo is of Chipmunk Creek, Richland County, OH by David FitzSimmons.
gettysburg reviewThe Gettysburg Review Autumn 2016 issue features The Letter A, detail by Alexandra Tyng, 2012, oil on linen. The publication also includes a full-color portfolio of eight of his works.
ragazineThe online publication Ragazine features Castles in the Sky, oil on watercolor paper by Laura Guese, and also includes an interview with her in the issue here.

Big Muddy 2016 Contest Winners

Published August 10, 2016 Posted By
Big Muddy: A Journal of the MIssissippi River Valley volume 16.1 features winners of two of Southeast Missouri State University Press's annual contests:

2016 Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Award
$500 + publication
"The Mockingbird" by John Blair, Texas

2016 Mighty River Short Story Award
$1000 + publication
"Teachers" by Elisabeth Doyle, Washington, DC

Books :: 2016 Perugia Press Prize

Published August 09, 2016 Posted By

guide to the exhibit lisa allen oritzLisa Allen Oritz took home the Perugia Press Prize for a first or second book by a woman (now open for 2017 submissions) in 2016 with the poetry collection Guide to the Exhibit

“Inspired by the displays at a small natural history museum” Guide to the Exhibit is “about what we set aside to examine and remember,” using a quirky, scientific lens.

At the Perugia Press website, readers can find an excerpt from the collection, which will be released and September, as well as preorder copies.

Amercian Life in Poetry :: Meg Kearney

Published August 09, 2016 Posted By
American Life in Poetry: Column 593
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Here's a fine, deftly made poem by Meg Kearney, of New Hampshire, in which the details deliver the emotions, which are never overtly named other than by the title. It's my favorite kind of poem, and it's from her book An Unkindness of Ravens, from BOA Editions. Her most recent book is Home By Now (Four Way Books 2009).

Loneliness

The girl hunting with her father approaches
the strange man who has stopped at the end
of his day to rest and look at the lake.
Do you like geese? she asks. The man smiles.
The girl draws a webbed foot from her pocket
and places it in his hand. It's late fall
and still the geese keep coming, two fingers
spread against a caution-yellow sky. Before
he can thank her, the girl has run off, down
to the edge of the water. The man studies her
father, about to bring down his third goose
today—then ponders the foot: soft, pink,
and covered with dirt like the little girl's hand.
He slips it into his coat pocket, and holds it there.

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. 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 ©2001 by Meg Kearney, “Loneliness,” from An Unkindness of Ravens, (BOA Editions, 2001). Poem reprinted by permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, LTD. Introduction copyright ©2016 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.

2016 Dogwood Literary Prize Winners

Published August 03, 2016 Posted By
dogwoodThe newest issue of Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose (Volume 15: 2016) contains nothing but the winners and runners up of their annual literary contest for 2016. Unique to this contest, once genre winners are selected for fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, one author is awarded the Grand Prize overall with $1000 award.

This year's Grand Prize winner was Anna Leahy’s essay “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.”

A complete list of authors as well as judge's comments for each of the winners can be found here along with a link for information about the 2017 contest.

Lit Mag Covers :: Picks of the Week

Published August 03, 2016 Posted By
It's been a while since we've done some cover art features, so thanks to you readers who let us know how much you appreciate this post!
colorado reviewIrresistable: Colorado Review's Summer 2016 cover image is just so summery with this full-cover-wrap photogray by Lenny Koh of Lenny K Photography.
themaThema's Summer 2016 cover is reflective of this issue's theme: "Lost in the Zoo." Cover photograph by Kathleen Gunton.
cimarron reviewAlong with Cimarron Review's Spring 2016 issue, I almost had a whole cat theme going. This one taps my appreciation for whimsy with Sabrina Barnett's photo "Greens (2)."

Amercian Life in Poetry :: Dorriane Laux

Published August 02, 2016 Posted By
American Life in Poetry: Column 591
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Dorianne Laux, who lives in North Carolina, is one of our country's most distinguished poets, and here's a poignant poem about a family resemblance. It's from her book Smoke, from BOA Editions.

Ray at 14

Bless this boy, born with the strong face
of my older brother, the one I loved most,
who jumped with me from the roof
of the playhouse, my hand in his hand.
On Friday nights we watched Twilight Zone
and he let me hold the bowl of popcorn,
a blanket draped over our shoulders,
saying, Don't be afraid. I was never afraid
when I was with my big brother
who let me touch the baseball-size muscles
living in his arms, who carried me on his back
through the lonely neighborhood,
held tight to the fender of my bike
until I made him let go.
The year he was fourteen
he looked just like Ray, and when he died
at twenty-two on a roadside in Germany
I thought he was gone forever.
But Ray runs into the kitchen: dirty T-shirt,
torn jeans, pushes back his sleeve.
He says, Feel my muscle, and I do.

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. 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 ©2000 by Dorianne Laux, “Ray at 14,” (Smoke, BOA Editions, 2000). Poem reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. Introduction copyright ©2016 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.
michael ananiaValley Voices Spring 2015 is a special issue on Michael Anania, guest edited by Michael Antonucci and Garin Cycholl, who write, "Anania's space is the river, the imagined city - a Chicago of relentless modernity, one capable of reinventing itself and making itself for sale again and again as the waters rise and fall. From here, the poet observes and reflects on this Chicago on the make - a sprawl of fresh water and wind, candy and steel."

Featured in the volume is an interview with Anania as well as several of his poems. Also included are essays on Anania's work: "Modernist Current: Michael Anania's Poetry of the Western Rivers" by Robert Archambeau; "'Out of Dazzlement'...Chiaroscuro Revisited" by Peter Michaelson; "'Energy Held in Elegant Control': Vortex Anania" by Lachlan Murray; "Another Italian-American Poet in Omaha: Italy in Michael Anania's Poetry" by William Allegrezza; "Michael Anania's The Red Menace: A Study in Self-Production" by David Ray Vance; "'Like Hands Raised in Song': Proper Names in Michael Anania's 'Steal Away'" by Lea Graham; "On Michael Anania's In Natural Light" by Reginald Gibbons as well as several more.

"This collection of essays and original work," the editors write, "offers a set of moments in lands (and waters) surveyed by Anania. That land pretends a relentless modernity - one that Anania has evidenced for readers, colleagues, and other artists page by page, line by line. Charles Olson argued that the poet either rides on or digs into the land. This collection of essays and Anania's writings attest that he has done both."

black anthem bruce bondWinner of the 2014 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, Bruce Bond’s Black Anthem, was published this month. The sonnets in the collection are “wide-ranging in their investigations of the body, the psyche, metaphysical hunger, and its place in human conflict.” Black Anthem is available from the University of Tampa Press website in hardcover and paperback.

2015 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards

Published July 27, 2016 Posted By
Issue 44 of Paterson Literary Review annual (2016-2017) features the winners and honorable mentions from their 2015 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards:

paterson literary review 44First Prize
Ann Clark, Dexter, NY, “Pretend” and Annie Lanzillotto, Yonkers, NY, “Diminished Capacity, an Indictment”

Second Prize
Lynne McEniry, Morristown, NJ, “Splinter”

Third Prize
Maxine Susman, Princeton, NJ, “Thirteen”

A full list of winners and honorable mentions as well as guidelines for this annual contest can be found here.

different wakeful animal susan cohenIn June, A Different Wakeful Animal by Susan Cohen was published by Red Dragonfly Press. Winner of the 2015 David Martinson - Meadowhawk Prize, A Different Wakeful Animal “takes on the profound questions in language that catches the ear and the imagination. [ . . . ] A Different Wakeful Animal investigates what perishes and what might remain.”

Readers can grab a copy of Cohen’s poetry collection, and writers can still submit to the 2016 David Martinson – Meadowhawk Prize until August 31.

SRPR Review Essay Feature

Published July 26, 2016 Posted By
Each issue of Spoon River Poetry Review print jounral concludes with “The SRPR Review Essay,” which editors identify as "a long analytical essay (20-25 pp) that blurs the line between the short, opinion-driven review and the academic article. Each review essay is written by an established poet-critic who situates 3-5 new books of contemporary poetry within relevant conversations concerning poetry and poetics. At least half of the books discussed in the review essay are published by small presses." The most recent issue (41.1) features "The New in the News: Poetry, Authenticity, and the Historical Imagination" by Bruce Bond, and includes critical reviews of The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out: Poems by Karen Solie (Farrar, Straus, and Girous, 2015) and Emblems of the Passing World: Poems after Photographs by August Sander by Adam Kirsch (The Other Press, 2015). A list of recent SRPR review essays can be found here, with some excerpted as well as full text.

Books :: 2015 Tenth Gate Prize Winner

Published July 26, 2016 Posted By

works on paper jennifer barberLooking back to May, Jennifer Barber’s Works on Paper was published by The Word Works. Winner of the 2015 Word Works Tenth Gate Prize. Her third poetry collection, Works on Paper “shows us the power of lyric restraint in the hands of a poet who draws from the well of the small moments of motherhood as well as the sweep of Jewish history.” This year’s Tenth Gate Prize just closed earlier in the month, with results announced on October 1st

2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

Published July 25, 2016 Posted By
Ezra jack keatsThe Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is accepting submissions from publishers for the twenty-seventh annual Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Book Awards (known collectively as the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award).

The awards are designed to recognize and encourage authors and illustrators starting out in the field of children's books who share Ezra Jack Keats' commitment to children and diversity. The award is given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator of picture books for children (9 years old and under). Publishers are encouraged to submit works by new writers and illustrators who are committed to celebrating diversity through their writing and art.

To be eligible, writers and illustrators must have had no more than three books published. A selection committee of early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators, and experts in children's literature will review the entries, seeking books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world. The award includes an honorarium of $1,000 for each winner.

Deadline: December 15, 2016
American Life in Poetry: Column 590
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

As children, just about everyone has experienced the very real fear of an imaginary monster. But what if our mothers could have spoken to our childhood fears? Carrie Shipers of Wisconsin, the author of Family Resemblances: Poems (University of New Mexico Press), depicts just that when a protective mother talks back to her son's Bogeyman in this fine poem.

Mother Talks Back to the Monster

carrie shipersTonight, I dressed my son in astronaut pajamas,
kissed his forehead and tucked him in.
I turned on his night-light and looked for you
in the closet and under the bed. I told him
you were nowhere to be found, but I could smell
your breath, your musty fur. I remember
all your tricks: the jagged shadows on the wall,
click of your claws, the hand that hovered
just above my ankles if I left them exposed.
Since I became a parent I see danger everywhere—
unleashed dogs, sudden fevers, cereal
two days out of date. And even worse
than feeling so much fear is keeping it inside,
trying not to let my love become so tangled
with anxiety my son thinks they're the same.
When he says he's seen your tail or heard
your heavy step, I insist that you aren't real.
Soon he'll feel too old to tell me his bad dreams.
If you get lonely after he's asleep, you can
always come downstairs. I'll be sitting
at the kitchen table with the dishes
I should wash, crumbs I should wipe up.
We can drink hot tea and talk about
the future, how hard it is to be outgrown.

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. 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 ©2015 by Carrie Shipers, “Mother Talks Back to the Monster” (North American Review, Vol. 300, no. 4, 2015). Poem reprinted by permission of Carrie Shipers and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2016 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.

Lorca's Glowing Moon

Published July 19, 2016 Posted By
POETRY MOONWell, this is a first for me in all the years I've been working with literary magazines. The July/August 2016 cover of Poetry is a special treat for those who can access the print version. Artist Chris Hefner has created a glow-in-the-dark moon to celebrate the “moon poems” by Federico García Lorca, translated by Sarah Arvio. The issue features "Two Evening Moons," "Of the Dark Doves," and "Ballad of the Moon Moon." Read more about the translations as well as a statement from the artist about his work and several other images from his collection here.

Florida Review 2015 Editors' Awards

Published July 18, 2016 Posted By
Issue 40.1 of The Florida Review features the winners and finalists of the publication's 2015 Editors' Awards. This is an annual contest which awards $1000 to each winner and publication to winners and finalists.

florida reviewPoetry
Winner Christine Poreba for “Negative Miracle”
Finalist Rachel Flynn for “America, February”

Fiction
Winner Matthew Lansburgh for “The Lure”
Finalist Jacob Appel for “The Dragon Declension”
Finalist Miriam Cohen for “Recess Brides”

Creative Nonfiction
Winner Melanie Thorne for “What We Keep”
Finalist Carol Smith for “Tearing Down the House”
American Life in Poetry: Column 589
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

We hope that you will visit, from time to time, our archived columns at www.americanlifeinpoetry.org, where you may find other poems by the poets we feature. Today's is the third we've published by Sharon Chmielarz. a Minnesota poet with several fine books in print, including The Widow's House, just released by Brighthorse books.

Fisher's Club

sharon chmielarzA roadside inn. Lakeside dive. Spiffed up.
End of a summer day. And I suppose
I should be smiling beneficently
at the families playing near the shore,
their plastic balls and splashes and chatter.

But my eye pivots left to a couple;
he is carrying her into the water.
He's strong enough, and she is light
enough to be carried. I see
how she holds her own, hugging
his neck, his chest steady as his arms.

I have never seen such a careful dunk,
half-dunk, as he gives her. That beautiful
play he makes lifting her from the water.

And I suppose I should be admiring
the sunset, all purple and orange and rose now.
Nice porch here, too. Yeah, great view.

But I have never seen such a loving
carrying as he gives her. Imagine

being so light as to float
above water in love.


We do not accept unsolicited submissions. 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 ©2015 by Sharon Chmielarz, “Fisher's Club,” from The Widow's House (Brighthorse Books, 2015). Poem reprinted by permission of Sharon Chmielarz and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2016 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.

Nimrod International LGBTQIA Issue

Published July 11, 2016 Posted By
nimrod internationalMirrors & Prisms: Writers of Marginalized Orientations & Gender Identities is the title of Nimrod International's Spring/Summer 2016 issue. Editor Ellis O'Neal writes in the editor's note:
Mirrors & Prisms feature the work of writers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual, or anywhere under the umbrella term MOGAI (marginalized orientations, gender identities, and intersex). While Nimrod has always published the work of such authors (and indeed James Land Jones, Nimrod''s founder, was himself gay and fought for gay rights in Georgia in the 1970s as a professor of literature), we have never before devoted an entire issue to LGBTQIA writers. To do so now, we believe, is not only to continue Nimrod's tradition of bringing less-heard writers to the literary forefront, but to make clear what Nimrod has always known: that LGBTQIA writers have stories that can make a differences to all readers, of all sexualities and gender identities.
See the complete table of contents here with links to some works which can be read online.

Bittersweet Brick

Published July 07, 2016 Posted By
nadia szilvassyIssue #97 of Brick, writes Publisher Nadia Szilvassy, if it had a theme, would be "bittersweet," as it pays tribute to the life and work of two of the magazines "longtime contributors and dear friends, C. D. Wright and Jim Harrison." The issue is also the last for Szilvassy as publisher. After over nine years with the magazine, she leaves Editor Laurie D. Graham, Managing Editor Liz Johnston and Designer Mark Byk to steer the publication. "You will..." Szilvassy promises, "find yourselves newly inspiried and delighted." Farewell Nadia. Our best to you.
write placeThis week marks the eight-year anniversary of online literary magazine The Write Place at the Write Time, founded July 3rd 2008. In those eight years, the journal has been read in 80 countries, and the editors have published 29 issues with over 338 contributors of ranging ages, cultures, and publication credits. More than producing a literary magazine, the editors have also organized projects throughout the years, such as a Filmed Poetry Reading, a Pay-It-Forward Initiative, a Twitter Tales experiment where a group of writers created a story via tweets, and more.

To celebrate the anniversary, check out the Spring/Summer 2016 issue, which includes new fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art, with an anniversary scrapbook that looks back at past anniversaries. The Writers Craft Box features an opportunity for writers to explore the significance of numbers for a prize, and in interviews, Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, discusses her latest novel, At the Edge of the Orchard, as well as the themes found in her work.

Happy anniversary, The Write Place at the Write Time. We at NewPages wish you many more years to come.

Of Rivers Chapbook Special Feature

Published July 06, 2016 Posted By
southern humanities reviewThe newest issue of Southern Humaniites Review (v49 n2) includes a special poetry section of selections from Of River, a chapbook edited by Chiyuma Elliot and Katie Peterson, who also each contribute a piece.The entire chapbook is available to read for free online here. The editors open the collection with this explanation:
We began with Langston Hughes’s 1921 award-winning poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and the charge to write something in response. There was something in the invitation about nature poetry and how that seemed important, but otherwise the instructions were open-ended (perhaps scarily so). We asked poets of very different styles and sensibilities, only some of whom were already engaged with Hughes’s work: F. Douglas Brown, Jericho Brown, Katie Ford, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Derrick Harriell, Dong Li, Sandra Lim, and Michael C. Peterson. We wanted to see what each of these writers would make. In both the individual poems and the group as a whole, we weren’t disappointed; the poems ask, reach, and posit literary relationship in phenomenally different ways.
marathon runnerThe Poetry Marathon is an annual event that challenges participants to write 24 poems in 24 hour, posting the writing online via a shared Wordpress site. This year's marathon begins at 9 AM EDT on Saturday, August 13, 2016 and ends at 9 AM on Sunday. There is also a half marathon from 9 AM until 9 PM Saturday.

The Poetry Marathon is run (no pun intended) by Caitlin Jans (Thomson) and Jacob Jans, two writers and web publishers living in the Pacific Northwest. There is no charge to participate in the marathon, and in 2015, over 300 writers participated from nearly every continent but one (c'mon Antarctica!).

The Poetry Marathon website has an FAQ that answers the burning questions, like: How do I prepare for the Marathon? What if I can't be at a computer all day? What happens to the poems once I post them? and more. The site also features blog posts from previous participants who offer commentary on their marathon experience.

This year, the organizers plan to publish a Poetry Marathon Anthology of poems written during the marathon.
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