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Published July 09, 2014
The American Indian Youth Literature Awards are presented every two years by the American Indian Library Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association. The awards were established as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians.

This year's winners:

Picture Book Award
Caribou Song by Tomson Highway (author) and John Rombough (illustrator)
Published by Fifth House, 2012

Middle School Award
How I became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story by Tim Tingle
Published by The Roadrunner Press, 2013

Middle School Honor Book
Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner by Time Tingle
Published by 7th Generation, 2013

Young Adult Award
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac
Published by Tu Books, 2013

Young Adult Honor Book
If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013

AILA was founded in 1979 in conjunction with the White House Pre-Conference on Indian Library and Information Services on or near Reservations. At the time, there was increasing awareness that library services for Native Americans were inadequate. Individuals as well as the government began to organize to remedy the situation.

Membership is open to individuals (with student discount) as well as institutions.

[All information from the AILA website.]

Published July 10, 2014
In the editor's note of the latest issue of Pleiades, Wayne Miller announces that this will be his last issue with the journal. He will be teaching in the fall at the University of Colorado Denver and work on the staff of Copper Nickel. "I'm very grateful to the many extraordinary authors I've had the privilege to publish over the last twelve years," he writes, "and I'm indebted to the wonderful editors I've worked with..." Phong Nguyen and Kathryn Nuernberger will be in charge of most managerial items. "I have no doubt Pleiades will continue to be a vibrant and important voice in the world of contemporary literature under their stewardship, and I feel privileged to have played a role in the journal's history and development during my time here," he said.
Published July 10, 2014
In the Ottawa Poetry Newsletter feature On Writing #33, Marthe Reed comments on the changing landscape and environmental destruction of the birdfoot delta of the Louisiana coastline. Reed, who spent just over a decade in south Lousiana before moving to Syracuse, speaks to the impact we, including herself, have on the natural world around us. She confronts this in a form of "documentary poetry," which she says: "allows me, an outsider, to write my way into this beautiful, vanishing world without anger, without falling prey to the temptation to preach. Documentary poetics allows grief into the poem without bathos or sentimentality or feigned authority." Her poem in image "wasted" appears in the column, including painstakingly detailed tracing of the landscape in which to embed her text. Lines like "fecal coliform (sewage)," "chlorine, metal complexing agents," and "ammonia 17B-estradiol" seep out into the waterway space on the page, just as in real life. The combination of her personal narrative, environmental research, and this resulting work have a lasting impact on the reader, just as I'm sure she hopes to do, answering her own question: "Is it possible to bring urgency to the back page news item, the flickering story on the nightly news?"
Published July 11, 2014

Magical. That's the word I would use to describe this cover of Cutbank. It's called Cosmic Forest by Matt Green and was created with acrylic on a wood panel.

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Smartish Pace's cover is fun, with a mixed media piece called I'm Dying, It's Okay. Let's Go! by Rashawn Griffin with chocolates, fabric, needles, nuts, paper, pigment, plastic, reed, resin, screws, spray paint, and water soluble water paint.
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The design of the cover of The Stinging Fly summer issue is fun, and it just makes me smile. It's designed by Fuchsia MacAree. See more of her work here.

Published July 12, 2014
United Nations declared July 12, 2013 Malala Day to honor the fifteen-year-old education rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Malala Yousafzai. Every Day is Malala Day is a photography picture book created by Rosemary McCarny, leader of the Plan International Canada Team. The images are of young women from around the globe, each either labeled by country on the page or in the photo credits in the back. The text comes from letters written to Malala from youth around the world, and famously begins: "Dear Malala - We have never met before, but I feel like I know you. I have never seen you before, but I've heard your voice. To girls like me, you are a leader who encourages us. And you are a friend." A video of the letters that inspired the book can be seen here.

The book is designated by the publisher for ages 5-8, which I would say is in regards to presentation and language reading level. The text discusses the shooting, how bullets are used to "silence girls" but that they are not the only means: early marriage, poverty, discrimination, violence are all named in the book, each with its own symbolic photographic subject. The full color photography on each page is rich - visually and culturally. The compositions are simple, but the message and emotional impact of each is strong.

The book ends, of course, with words of hope, courage, and empowerment. Also included in the book is an excerpt from the speech Malala gave on July 12 to the UN. I think it would be great to share this with young children, since the message is one that should begin at an early age for all if there is going to be any hope of changing attitudes across cultures.

The book was published by Second Story Press in conjunction with McCarny and Plan International, a charity organization started in 1937 to end global poverty. Because I Am A Girl is Plan's global initiative to end gender inequliaty, promote girls' rights and lift young girls out of poverty. October 11, 2012 marked the first international Day of the Girl which continues its campaign to ensure girls around the globe receive a minimum of nine years of quality education.
Published July 13, 2014
This seems worthy of reposting as we head full swing into vacation season:

American Life in Poetry: Column 425
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

If we haven’t done it ourselves, we’ve known people who have, it seems: taken a vacation mostly to photograph a vacation, not really looking at what’s there, but seeing everything through the viewfinder with the idea of looking at it when they get home. Wendell Berry of Kentucky, one of our most distinguished poets, captures this perfectly.

The Vacation

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.


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 ©2012 by Wendell Berry, whose most recent book of poems is New Collected Poems, Counterpoint, 2012. Poem reprinted from New Collected Poems, Counterpoint, 2012, and used with permission of Wendell Berry and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2013 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. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Published July 14, 2014
I love those little "Free Little Libraries" I see in people's neighborhoods. If you don't know what these are (yet), it's a structure of some kind where people can put books to give them away for free and others can take books for free - or borrow them to read and return with no system for checking in and out. I first saw one while visiting New Orleans and was happy to leave behind the book I had brought to read on the plane. Again, at a conference in Madison, Wisconsin, there was one in the neighborhood nearby the hotel where I was staying. I walked past it each morning, and though I didn't have any books to give away that time, I made some folded blank books and left them behind to share with others. In my own neighborhood, I want to try a free library, but unfortunately, where we live - so close to a bar district - our own yard, fence, neighborhood signs - are often the target of post-2 a.m. revelers. Alas, I've been hesitant to build and put out something that would make such a tempting target. However, I am impressed with and admire those who can do this, which is why I was so upset to read about the plight of Spencer Collins whose free little library was shut down by the due to an ordinance that prohibits free-standing structures on people's properties in Leawood County, Missouri. After petitioning the council, Spencer will be able to have his library back. Although the article says "temporarily" (ending October 20), I would hope that this becomes something the county, and any others like it with such ordinances, will look to make a permanent exception. For as often as I am distraught and depressed by the news that surrounds us every day, it only takes something like this for me to feel hope. Cheers to Spencer and all the other Free Little Library Curator!
Published July 15, 2014
What’s Your Normal?” is a series of personal essays, accompanied by resource lists, highlighting the different kinds and forms of identities within Asian Pacific American populations. The essays were started following the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on August 5, 2012.

An Asian Pacific American Library Association member sent an e-mail with basic information about Sikhism and links to resources asking for it to be shared with the public. From that, that APALA began accepting stories from the public that "give insight into your identity(ies) or what is normal for you."

The essays are published on the APALA website at regular intervals in the features section, with the resources lists being compiled in the resource section on the site. The APALA does this "Because we want to learn about you and from each other. Because we want to showcase the diversity within APA populations. Because we want to create resource lists that will be useful to librarians, other information professionals, and the general public."

For information about submitting essays and accessing resources, visit the APALA website.

Published July 16, 2014
The Center for Media & Social Impact has created numerous documents, codes, and teaching materials related to issues of fair use in the arts, including documentary, journalism, online video, visual arts, library science, poetry, dance, archiving, open courseware, and video. The publication Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry, among many other publications, is available free online or as a PDF download. "This code of best practices helps poets understand when they and others have the right to excerpt, quote and use copyrighted material in poetry. To create this code, poets came together to articulate their common expectations."

Teaching materials include fair use scenarios, fair use language for course syllabi, teaching fair use for media literacy education, and examples of successful fair use in documentary filmmaking.
Published July 17, 2014
In each issue of Frogpond, the Haiku Society of America honors one previously unpublished work from the previous issue and awards the writer with $100. In the current issue (37.2) they award Anne L.B. Davidson (piece published in 37.1):

air show . . .
the ice cream girls
compare nail polish
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