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Published March 19, 2014
The new, Winter 2014 issue of Grain Magazine features the winners in the poetry and fiction contests.

judged by Stan Rogal

Dylan Levi King: "The 33 Transformation Bodies of the Bodhisattva Guanyin"

2nd Place Winner
Scott Bartlett: "The Proletarian"

3rd Place Winner
Seyward Goodhand: "We Harboured the Scholar"

judged by M
Published March 13, 2014
Sinister Wisdom's issue 91 features the work of one author, Cheryl Clarke. In an introduction, Nancy K. Bereanowrites, "It is absolutely clear to me that Cheryl Clarke was then, and remains now, a singular, powerful voice articulating the truths of fierce, independent women of color: lesbians who often live lives made triply invisible by their sexuality, their race, and their working-class realities. And she writes with the kind of precision and attention to linguistic detail that might have impressed those Republican ladies if they had had the emotional and political wherewithal to take on her work."

Co-published by A Midsummer Night’s Press and Sinister Wisdom, the Sapphic Classics Series publishes reprint editions of iconic works of lesbian poetry. The third Sapphic Classics will be issued in early 2015.
Published March 14, 2014
Book covers are skewed to poetry this time, by sheer chance. Enjoy!

The Dustbowl, poetry by Jim Goar, Shearsman Books

The dustbowl loomed. A book that
could not be opened. The bastard
son remembered a sword. This is my
body. All those angry lambs. Crows
go round and round. Ain't got no
home. A barn beneath the sand.
Here today. Gone tomorrow....

Dutiful Heart, poetry by Joy Gaines-Friedler, Broadkill River Press

from "Assisted Living/Caring for the Irreducible":

Sunlight breaks through the heart here.
It can barely raise its head,
its neck weak as an after-harvest stalk.
There are two sides to this life:
The side you nurture, and the side you fail.
The child you inspire, and the one you reduce.
Sacrifice. And the women you turn hard against.

Albedo, poetry by Kathleen Jesme, Ahsahta Press

from "Hard Believing Time":

Went hungry. For a long day longer than reasons, went out
to the garden and the garden was bare. Even the crows
stayed away. At first, a long sign of summer,
then second late frost dropping the buds to their knees.
I've been dropped to mine, too. Used to be
I'd pray when my knees kissed the dirt of my garden. But
now the ground says I'm the scourge of God, so I come
crashing down. When the end comes: even if

it's true, the end has a way of returning every favor, a way
of washing its hands of you.

Published March 11, 2014
"Fancy men in fancy clothes will tell you writing isn’t safe or to face our ugliness one must risk or any number of fancy things. I don’t know if writing can ever be safe but I do know there is nothing risky in telling the old stories about gender. The old stories I read and read that denied me access and made jokes at my expense. If I was lucky I would see a trans person (almost always a trans woman) be inspirational, Wow so uplifting, they say, but, more often, I saw them dead. Trans* folks' narrative legacy is almost always, at best, a warning sign.

"Therefore as a writer I've come to know that submitting a work means either outing myself and writing the inspirational trans* story or dead trans* story or lying about my gender. Betray what it means to exist or betray myself. THEM, a trans* literary journal I founded and edit, is an attempt to facilitate as safe a space as possible for trans* folks to write what they want, to avoid the pressure of how they ought to display or not display their gender."

Read the rest by Jos Charles, "Not In A Vacuum: On The Necessity Of Trans* Literature" published on The Quietus.
Published March 12, 2014
Cream City Review's Poetry Prize was judged by Rebecca Hazelton and was awarded to Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet, and the Fiction Prize was judged by Tom Williams and awarded to Lenore Myka. You can read them in Issue 37.1.

Hazelton writes, "In Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet's poems, motherhood is a transformative and even at times frightening event, one that redefines the self and one that threatens to subsume it. Her lines, ranging from long and loping to brief, almost frantic reports, mimetically capture the infatuation and the exhaustion the mother in these poems feels for her child, and most poignantly, the difficulties of remaining a writer in those circumstances."

Wiliams writes, "[Myka] seemed to never under write or over write or play coy. It maintains a magical combination of plot moves that unsettle and affirm. It answers questions just before the reader is prepared to ask them. And, to me, most importantly, its elements accrete in a way that establish this unassailable reality: the story is presented in the only way it could be told.
Published March 13, 2014
In Pilgrimage's "Grace" issue, Editor Juan Morales announces two new partnerships the magazine will take on. The first is with CantoMundo, "an organization that cultivates a community of Latina/o poets. Through workshops, symposia, and public readings, CanotMundo provides a space for the creation, documentation, and critical analysis of Latina/o poetry." The second partnership is with the SoCo Reading Series, "which brings poets and writers to the CSU-Pueblo campus for featured readings and classroom visits."

Additionally, Pilgrimage is now accepting submissions through Submittable but will still continue to check the mail for any postal submissions.
Published March 09, 2014
American Life in Poetry: Column 466

Li-Young Lee is an important American poet of Chinese parentage who lives in Chicago. Much of his poetry is marked by unabashed tenderness, and this poem is a good example of that.

I Ask My Mother to Sing

She begins, and my grandmother joins her.
Mother and daughter sing like young girls.
If my father were alive, he would play
his accordion and sway like a boat.

I’ve never been in Peking, or the Summer Palace,
nor stood on the great Stone Boat to watch
the rain begin on Kuen Ming Lake, the picnickers
running away in the grass.

But I love to hear it sung;
how the waterlilies fill with rain until
they overturn, spilling water into water,
then rock back, and fill with more.

Both women have begun to cry.
But neither stops her song.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©1986 by Li-Young Lee, whose most recent book of poems is Behind My Eyes, BOA Editions, Ltd., 2009. Poem reprinted by permission of Li-Young Lee and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 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 March 10, 2014
"In my first year of graduate school, I humiliated myself. A hip young male professor had us reading Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, a play that prominently features jail-cell torture, patricide, and countless other forms of violence. My professor said that this is what good writing does: uncovers the darkness in us all. I raised my hand and told him that I don't think I have that kind of darkness in me..."

Read the rest by Courtney Sender in her essay "The Ability to Desire a Thousand" available on this month's Glimmer Train Bulletin.
Published March 10, 2014
Poetry's March 2014 issue features 16 poets who will be attending and featured at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness in Washington D.C. In an introduction to the portfolio, Sarah Browning writes, "poetry can remind us of the true stories of our lives, rescuing those stories from the forces bent on shaping us to their purposes: that we become silent, fearful, distracted by mass entertainment and celebrity culture. Split This Rock celebrates and promotes poets doing this important work."

The poets are Sheila Black, Yusef Komunyakaa, Eduardo C. Corral, Natalie Diaz, Franny Choi, Gayle Danley, Joy Harjo, Maria Melendez Kelson, Dunya Mikhail, Shailja Patel, Danez Smith, Anne Waldman, Wang Ping, Myra Sklarew, Claudia Rankine, and Tim Seibles.
Published March 11, 2014
In Volume 4 of Raleigh Review, Editor Rob Greene announces the plan to switch the magazine over to a biannual publication cycle. "Our mission is to foster the creation and availability of accessible yet provocative contemporary literature. Raleigh Review speaks best through the works we publish. We believe fine art should challenge as well as entertain." The next issue this year is scheduled to come out in September.

The current issue, however, features C. Wade Bentley, Elizabeth Breen, John F. Buckley, Jill Coyle, Geri Digiorno, Panagiota Doukas, Jacqueline Doyle, Susan Frith, Karen Harryman, Gregory Josselyn, Alisha Karabinus, and more.

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