The College of Wooster Visiting Assistant Professor of English, beginning fall 2008. Three-year position. Jennifer Hayward Department of English. December 4, 2007.
Middlebury College. Established poet with Ph.D. and ability to teach introductory and advanced poetry-writing workshops, courses on the theory and history of poetic forms, and British and international authors and literatures.
Framingham State College English Department invites gifted writers & teachers to
apply for a position as a tenure-track Assistant Professor, to begin September 2008, to teach creative writing, literature, & first-year writing. Professor Elaine Beilin, Chair, English Department. November 30, 2007.
Wabash College Department of English invites candidates with primary specializations in fiction writing & American literature for a full-time, tenure-track position. Thomas P. Campbell, Chair, Department of English. November 16, 2007.
Nebraska Wesleyan University invites applications for a tenure-track position in Creative Writing (Poetry and Fiction). Sarah Kelen, Chair, English Department. November 16, 2007.
Adelphi University, tenure-track Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Fiction. November 12, 2007.
One comment I received supported not only my own concerns, but my sense of humor: “I think you're correct to be suspicious of these anthologies about left-handed mothers of triplets and dyslexic spouses of insomniac electrical engineers. Don't list them. You do a good job with your posts. More is not necessarily better.” (Pat)
From Dinty W. Moore, editor of Brevity :“I honestly don't know the answer, but thanks for asking all of the right questions. If an anthology ‘packager’ doesn't at least have a plan to find distribution, it seems unlikely anyone will read the book other than the authors and the authors' friends. Which begs the question: if a book falls into the forest of books, and no one hears it fall ...”
This note from Dave really takes a stand I hadn’t as fully considered, but have given thought to its merit since: “Good for bringing the anthology glut up, good for you and NewPages right down the line… Writing that’s merely thematic and anthologies of pieces organized thematically is writing that’s typically soulless. The oomph is in the inspiration, not the motive. Anthologies can be worthwhile as literary documents -- think of John Bennett’s classic old Vagabond Anthology out of the mimeograph era -- maybe in the way working manuscripts are valuable, but they aren’t literary creations.”
Evan was as curious as I had been in his consideration of the calls for submissions, and wrote: “What an interesting post! It never occurred to me that those anthologies might just be revenue generators. It's very telling that of all the anthologies you queried, you got only one response. I've seen their listings, calling for mss in the back of P&W, and they always seemed a little suspicious (i.e., 'Who are these guys, and why have I never actually seen one of these anthologies in a bookstore?'). If, however, a well-known and well-regarded magazine solicits for a theme, I might send something. “
Absolutely. This isn’t meant to knock the lit mags who run themed issues. Certainly, those publications are the most adept at being able to work with themed content to create strong, unified, lasting works of literature, since their purpose is, first and foremost – literature, not the experience of the theme itself as an entity.
Erika Dreifus, publisher of Practicing Writing Blog, admitted to facing the same situation in choosing what to post and not to post: “Typically, I do not post anthology calls for projects that a) do not yet have a publishing plan and b) do not pay their writers. And I'm also opposed to anthologies that require a 'reading fee.'" She also posted a thoughtful article on her blog about this very topic: Five Signs of Auspicious Anthologies.
My thanks to everyone who responded; though I didn’t mention all of you here, your feedback has been most instructive in this discussion.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English & Comparative Literature & the Creative Writing Program seeks to bring an emerging talent to campus for a one-year teaching appointment as the Kenan Visiting Writer, a position that alternates between poetry & prose. Contact: Bland Simpson, Director, Creative Writing Program/Visiting Writer Search Committee.
Wichita State University Director of Creative Writing & Assistant/Associate Professor of English in Creative Writing, tenure eligible, beginning spring or fall 2008. Contact Margaret Dawe, Chair, Department of English.
Western Washington University Tenure-track assistant professor of Creative Writing beginning September 2008. Deadline: November 6, 2007.
As noted in a previous blog, Jessica Powers, author of the young adult novel The Confessional (Random House, July 2007) had been disinvited to speak at Cathedral High School in El Paso because her book contained "language" and sexual innuendos. The principal of the private, Catholic school spoke with an El Paso reporter for Newspaper Tree saying he felt "compelled to protect our kids [who begin attending at 13 years old] and our school." Has this guy walked down his own hallways lately? Where does he think Jessica got the realistic teen behavior material for her book? Not only that, but didn't these people actually READ her book before inviting her to speak?
Even so, it hardly seems the point, since Powers says she wasn't going to speak about her book, but rather on the issues she writes about in the book: "immigration (illegal and legal); underlying racial tension in a border society like El Paso's; violence and pacifism; social divisions between different groups of people; and faith or doubts about faith." But, as Cathedral is a private rather than public school, its decision was regarded differently by Bobby Byrd, co-publisher and vice president of Cinco Puntos Press, who "said the decision for a private school to cancel a book event is a 'whole different situation' from public censorship. 'The parents are essentially hiring the school to make certain decisions,' he said. 'If a teacher were teaching that book, then it would be a whole different decision.' The decision to cancel the discussion may not have been the correct one, though, Byrd suggested. 'To me it speaks of timidity,' he added. 'Literature is literature.'"
It was Jessica's contention that her visit had been cancelled because of a coinciding visit to take place by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The cancellation itself was brought on, not by school members, but by Former Chief Justice Barajas – who I also doubt even read the book. Ironically enough, on August 12, Jessica made note in her blog that the superintendent of the schools actually gave her approval of the book: "Because of all the brouhaha, a teacher made sure the superintendent of Catholic schools in El Paso had a copy of the book. She read it and called the principal up and said she didn't see what all the fuss was about. She said, 'I don't want our boys to talk this way…but they do.' Former Chief Justice Barajas, the one who forced the cancellation of the event, had allegedly said this was an attack on the church and a threat. But a teacher who read it said, 'Every time the boys get in trouble, they return to what they were taught. They pray, they go to confession….What else can you ask for?'"
Only what's left to ask: WWJD?
The Fiddlehead's latest issue may be mostly black, but the color of it is stunning. It's Black Tulip by James Wilson.
Fence wanted to stand out in the pile of literary magazines, they certainly have. The artwork is a video still from Priapus Agonistes by Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley.
Poetry Contest Winner, selected by Frank X. Walker
Roy Beckemeyer's "Tree Shadows"
their skeletal souls
Nonfiction Contest Winner, selected by Eula Biss
Anne Penniston Grunsted's "The Art of Not Turning Away"
"My five-year-old son Bobby has terrible, all-consuming anxiety at the doctor's office. Any doctor can trigger him—his doctor, my doctor, a vet. As soon as he realizes where he is, he starts to retch. I hold him. I distract him. I gently whisper calm assurances. His service dog sits near, providing comfort the best he can. Nothing, really, helps. We just wait together for the anxiety to pass..."
Fiction Contest Winner, selected Manuel Munoz
Penny Perkins's "Car Ride Through Corn Fields (1975)"
"She is sitting in the backseat of the family station wagon. Her father is driving an scratching himself. Her mother is in the front seat next to her father, wearing sunglasses over puffy, red-stained eyes and looking straight ahead at the lonely two-lane highway that stretches out before them on the flat, Midwestern plain. She is a child, almost a teenager. She is the almost-teenager child of her parents and there is no escaping that oppressive fact. Even now, especially now, here on a teary Sunday afternoon drive.
". . . In Science class movies, you puffed men like microwaved marshmallows, raked blood from their insides, and always I could feel your heat like a massive cloak around my shoulders."Edited by Elizabeth Bradfield, Sean Hill, Gabrielle Bates, Alexandra Teague, and Lori Zimmermann, Broadsided has been putting literature in the streets since 2005. Each month, a new broadside is posted both on the website and around the nation.
Writing is chosen through submissions sent to Broadsided. Artists allied with Broadsided are emailed the selected writing. They then "dibs" on what resonates for them and respond visually - sometimes more than one artist will respond offering a selection of broadsides.
Broadsided Vectors can download the poem in full color or black and white and poster it around town, campus, wherever! Become a Broadsided Vector today!