During the Great Depression, a New Deal program brought books to Kentuckians living in remote areas.
In 1936, packhorse librarians served 50,000 families, and, by 1937, 155 public schools. Children loved the program; many mountain schools didn't have libraries, and since they were so far from public libraries, most students had never checked out a book. "'Bring me a book to read,' is the cry of every child as he runs to meet the librarian with whom he has become acquainted," wrote one Pack Horse Library supervisor. "Not a certain book, but any kind of book. The child has read none of them."
Read the full article and see more photos here.
"Stylites Anonymous" by Maureen McGranaghan
"Very Many Hands" by Aaron Coleman [pictured]
Each winner receives $1000 in addition to publication.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
One of my favorite poems is Louise Bogan's "The Crossed Apple" which mentions two species, Meadow Milk and Sweet Burning, and since reading it many years ago I have made notes of the names of apples, a poet's delight. In this touching poem by Cathryn Essinger, who lives in Ohio, I've come upon yet another for my collection. Her most recent book is What I Know About Innocence from Main Street Rag press.
I planted an apple tree in memory
of my mother, who is not gone,
but whose memory has become
so transparent that she remembers
slicing apples with her grandmother
(yellow apples; blue bowl) better than
the fruit that I hand her today. Still,
she polishes the surface with her thumb,
holds it to the light and says with no
hesitation, Oh, Yellow Transparent . . .
they're so fragile, you can almost see
to the core. She no longer remembers how
to roll the crust, sweeten the sauce, but
her desire is clear—it is pie that she wants.
And so, I slice as close as I dare to the core—
to that little cathedral to memory—where
the seeds remember everything they need
to know to become yellow and transparent.
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 ©2016 by Cathryn Essinger, “Summer Apples,” from Alaska Quarterly Review, (Vol 33, No. 1 & 2, 2016). Poem reprinted by permission of Cathryn Essinger and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2017 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.
Elizabeth Girdharry writes of math and sciences with "Filling Empty Spaces," including the lines "Mathematical formulas, / on how to stay tangent to the line, / somehow slipped my mind," and "There Was Geometry" begins: "There is geometry in my junk drawer." And comes back around to, "More importantly, / there is geometry in my junk drawer. / Angles and tangents twist out of circles / the same way you smooth back flyaway wisps of baby hair / when you're pondering a hard science theory."
Elise Wing crafts strong imagery to draw her readers in. "The Microscope" begins "Dead diatom / Crisp as a leaf skeleton," and "The Living That Terrifies" begins with the amusing but poignant, "Your ears are the trees for egrets to nest in," and "Tomorrow, the Seagulls" starts, "The future is as frightening as a three-headed hyena."
NewPages includes Hanging Loose in our Young Writers Guide where we list publications written by and for young writers and readers as well as a vetted, ad-free list of contests for young writers.
You have to take a close look at this detail from "Iron Horse" by Kent Monkman on the cover of Brick #99 to get the full effect of the kind of cultural/historical mishmash that makes up this image and a great many of his works.
"Myth" by Eiko Ojala is a papercut illustration for the cover of the May 2017 issue of Hermeneutic Chaos Journal, an online bi-monthly publishing poetry and prose.
1st place goes to George Makana Clark [pictured] of Milwaukee, WI, who wins $2000 for “Pluto.” His story will be published in Issue 102 of Glimmer Train Stories.
2nd place goes to Madiha Sattar of Karachi, Pakistan, for “Mulberry Street.” Her story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train, increasing her prize from $500 to $700.
3rd place goes to Oguz Dinc of Istanbul, Turkey, for “The Hurricane.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train, increasing his prize from $300 to $700.
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadline soon approaching! Short Story Award for New Writers: June 30
This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5000. No theme restrictions. Most submissions to this category run 1500-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. First place prize wins $2500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. Click here for complete guidelines.
Self-Portrait as Girl Being Led On
By Clare Paniccia
I watched them do it,
their small, fat fingers taking
to the swell of chest a blunt scalpel
and peeling, no, sawing into stomach
their fitful curiosity, the frog’s
glass eye staring outward and empty,
staring toward the very mouths of schoolboys
who entered so brutally the crevice, the abdomen’s
silenced bell. . . .
Read the rest and hear the poem read by the author on TriQuarterly.
Translation Review is a forum for the discussion of the art, practice and theory of literary translation published by UT Dallas Center for Translation Studies and available online via Routledge Taylor & Francis Online. The full issue can be accessed here for individuals/institutions with logins. Without a login, the full preface can be accessed as well as beginning excerpts from each work published.
From Di Bari:
"We are seeking a freelance assistant for outreach to the literary community, strategize, manage and curate media content for social media and blog."
Artists have tremendous courage, a necessary quality when it comes to expressing personal dreams and emotions so all can see them.
Artists break down barriers of thought, time, custom, and expectation.
Artists make the intangible tangible.
Artists see the trees and the forest.
Artists challenge us to see and understand our world differently than we do now.
Artists are born with open hands and open hearts, courageously willing to accept whatever is given.
Imagine our world without artists, without their ability to see, dream, express, break down barriers, and challenge the rest of us to imagine our world differently.
Excerpted from Christine Brooks Cote, "Imagine Our World Without Artists," from Still Point Arts Quarterly, Summer 2017.
The Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem
Dominique Bernier-Cormier's "Fabric"
Read an interview Bernier-Cormier here.
Poetry Honorable Mentions
Tammy Armstrong's "Blessing the Boats"
Kim Trainor's "Bluegrass"
Short Fiction Prize
Kate Finegan's "Blues Too Bright"
Read an interview with Finegan here.
Fiction Honorable Mentions
Steven Benstead's "Will There Be Clowns?"
Ann Cavlovic's "The Foundation"
Winning entries can be read on The Fiddlehead's website.
The editors reached out to friends and colleagues of Elliot for their remembrances. Twenty-two poets, fiction writers, and academics in various fields responded and their works are collected in this issue. Also featured are several interviews both with (previously published elsewhere) and by Elliott.
MAYDAY Magazine is published by New American Press and its full contents can be read online here.
Chen writes: "Gwendolyn Brooks’s literary archives, now in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, reveal that she clustered and bundled papers as well as life experiences: she tucked notes inside pieces of paper folded into makeshift pockets, slid photographs behind other photographs in albums, and pasted clippings on top of each other in scrapbooks. She added further layers of meaning with her copious annotations, like the detailed notes she wrote on the backs of many of her photographs (given in quotation marks in the accompanying images) in order to preserve the knowledge of the people and events they captured."
Read Chen's full introduction to this feature as well as view a slideshow of the photographs and artifacts here.
In her essay, "Ngato! Ngato! Shoes!" Ugandan Poet Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva [pictured] writes, "It's often the most silent shoes that are the strongest. It's the shoes that allow thieves to stalk upon unsuspecting people and the shoes that enable a cheetah to pounce on its prey. The silent shoes do not desire unnecessary attention to detract them from their mission."
Read the full issue here.
Winner in Fiction
Selected by Patrick Ryan
"Papijack" by Carol LaHines [pictured]
Winner in Nonfiction
Selected by Jill Talbot
"First Visit" by Vince Granata
A full list of the finalists can be read here.
Gutkind likens this to our need to review our own practice, weed out bad habits we may have developed over the years, and get back in tune with the basics: "In yoga or writing—or in practicing any art or skill—it does not hurt to start over once in a while just to make sure you know what you think you know. In fact, it occurs to me this is also why teaching can be reinvigorating—I know many writers who make their primary living by teaching and who often find their inspiration in writing prompts given to their students. But maybe there’s also something about focusing on the basics that can inspire innovation and transformation."
Read the full editorial here.
Leckie writes, "No poet I can think of writes as much about dreams as Dubie, and no poet ought to be able to, as dreams are so often adduced as the moment of epiphany, as the encoded truth that underlies all the banality that consumes our daily lives. In Dubie’s work, however, dreams seem as one room in the mind’s library, in which there is also an astonishing array of books and the lives of their authors, and details of plot and character that are not there, but could be. There are landscapes both from memory and from imagination, scenes of history in the grotesquerie of its filth and muck, and assorted friends and family who demand attention, or simply stop by for a chat."
A look back to fall, this macro focus on the cover of Cimarron Review #198 is "Ornamental" by Kathleen Galvin. This beautiful image decieves the trecherous nature of these "Sweet Gum Balls" that blanket the ground beneath their trees in the fall.
"Leaving Home Finding Home" is the Spring/Summer 2017 theme of Nimrod International Journal published out of The University of Tulsa. The photograph is "After Loss, The Photographer Collects Small Homes in the Hope of Finding Love" by Ashley Inguanta.
Today, Shanti Arts announced changes coming to Still Point Arts Quarterly.
Art submissions in response to calls will be free. Everything else about the exhibitions stays the same: 30 artists will be featured online and in Still Point Arts Quarterly with five winners awarded. “The Art of Structure” is the current, open call.
The journal is transitioning from a print quarterly, to an interactive digital magazine. Paid subscriptions to the print journal will be honored until they expire.
Because of these changes, subscriptions and single copies of the digital magazine will be free for readers. Subscription sign-ups for the digital magazine are now being taken at the magazine’s website.
Check out what else founder and editor Christine Cote has to say about the changes at the Shanti Arts blog.
Tim L. Vasquez of Ziva-Gato Impressions contributed this gorgeous photo for the cover of Concho Review Review: Literature from Texas and Beyond, Spring/Summer 2017.
Recognizing "the exciting literary, artistic, and scholarly work that is currently produced along the Wasatch and beyond" is the focus of the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Weber: The Contemporary West. Pam Bowman's "Becoming" is constructed of cotton rope and string, vinyl, steel, wood, paint, caulking cotton, and shown as installed in a 25' x 35' gallery space, 2013.
Mish used that 1992 date as the start point for the works she collected for this feature, "to avoid creating categories and to reaffirm the impact of Returning the Gift, I solicited submissions from United States Native writers whose first book was published after the 1992 festival. Despite the simple, temporal structure of this approach, I believe the aesthetics and thematics Native scholars and writers have identified are clearly present in the work." A full list of contributors can be found here.
Twenty-five years later, Returning the Gift Literary Festival returns to Oklahoma University campus (October 8-11, 2017). For more information about the festival, visit here.