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Published March 12, 2019

scholastic news kidsScholastic News Kids Press Corps, a team of Kid Reporters from across the country and around the world that covers “news for kids, by kids” is taking applications. Students ages 10–14 with a passion for telling great stories and discussing issues that matter most to kids are encouraged to apply for the 2019–2020 school year. All applications must be received by May 31, 2019.

Kid Reporters gain valuable writing and critical-thinking skills in addition to hands-on journalism experience through their work covering local and national current events, and interviewing news-makers. Their stories are published online at the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website, as well as in issues of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, which reach more than 25 million students in the United States.

Past Kid Reporters have interviewed notable figures, including:

• Anderson Cooper, CNN news anchor
• Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund
• Dav Pilkey, creator of the best-selling Dog Man and Captain Underpants series
• Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
• James Corden, host of the Late Late Show on CBS

[From Royivia Ferguson, Publicist, Corporate Communications at Scholastic]

Published March 11, 2019

nationalpoetrymonthposter2019The Academy of American Poets offers a plethora of FREE resources for celebrating National Poetry Month!

Of course, there's the iconic poster, this year featuring artwork by Julia Wang, a high school student from San Jose California, who won the inaugural poster contest. You can download the poster as well as order a free paper copy while supplies last.

April 18 is Poem in Your Pocket Day - carry around a poem (or two or three) in your pocket to share by reading to people throughout the day. The Academy offers a selection of pocket-sized poems to download and carry.

Dear Poet is a multimedia education project for youth in grades five through twelve who can write letters in response to poems they read. Teachers are provided a full curriculum which aligns with Common Core.

In addition to all of this, Poets.org has a full page of programming resources for teachers, readers, writers, students, and librarians. That pretty much means for all of us! So check it out and get geared up!

Published February 26, 2019

 The Art of Protest: Art and Scholarship as Political Resistance is the theme for the 2019 Mayapple & Sarah Lawrence Summer Workshop, June 13-22 in Bronxville, New York.

Mayapple Center for the Arts and Humanities will host workshops focused on participants choice of activist art, and the daily schedule will include restorative and affirmative yoga and mediation practices in nature.

Courses include:

  • mahagony l brownEngaging Civically through Collaborative Art: Developing a Working Aesthetics of Protest Art with Michelle Slater
  • Staging the Revolution: Protest, Performance, and Social Change with Dana Edell
  • Writing and Exploring Songs that Matter to Us and the World with Dar Williams
  • Writing and Social Action: The Power of the Personal Voice in a Polical World with Brian Morton
  • Ekphrastic Politics with Mahogany L. Brown [pictured]
  • Art and Activism: Creative Collaborations in the Public Sphere with David Birkin

Enrollment is limited and applicants must provide an explanation of their interest as well as a sample of their work. Some financial assistance is avaialable.

 

Published February 04, 2019

THAT DAMNED FENCE
By Jim Yoshihara

They’ve sunk the posts, deep into the ground
They’ve strung out wires, all the way around.
With machine gun nests, just over there,
And sentries and soldiers everywhere.

We’re trapped like rats in a wired cage,
To fret and fume with impotent rage;
Yonder whispers the life of the night,
But that DAMNED FENCE in the floodlight glare.

We seek the softness of the midnight air,
But that DAMNED FENCE in the floodlight glare
Awaken unrest in our nocturnal quest,
And mockingly laughs with vicious jest.

With nowhere to go and nothing to do,
We feed terrible, lonesome and blue;
That DAMNED FENCE is driving us crazy,
Destroying our youth and making us lazy.

Imprisoned in here for a long, long time,
We know we’re punished tho we’ve committed no crime,
Our thoughts are gloomy and enthusiasm damp,
To be locked up in a concentration camp.

Loyalty we know and Patriotism we feel,
To sacrifice our utmost was our ideal,
To fight for our country, and die mayhap;
But we’re here because we happen to be JAP.

We all love life, and our country best,
Our misfortune to be here in the West,
To keep us penned behind that DAMNED FENCE,
Is someone’s notion of NATIONAL DEFENSE!!!!!!!

The Densho Digital Repository is an open online resource which chronicles the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans with photographs, documents, newspapers, letters and other primary resources. Densho credits this poem to Jim Yoshihara, written while incarcerated at Minidoka concentration camp in Idaho, c. 1940.

 

Published January 30, 2019

I often run across commentary related to writers' frustrations with submitting to literary magazines, running into the Wall of Rejection, and rants against The Establishment perceived in many long-standing publications/academically-connected journals. Often, new publications are started by writers attempting to break down the barriers for other writers, promising to give consideration to those totally-unknown authors as well as those who do not come with a highly-acclaimed workshop/colony/MFA pedigree. Stick around literary publishing long enough, and the repetitions become easy to sort, but nonetheless, heartfelt and real for those going through them for the first time.

annette gendlerAnette Gendler, in her post "The Year I Gave Up Submitting to Literary Magazines" in Women Writers, Women['s] Books, took a look at her publishing record a few years back, "As 2015 drew to a close, I reviewed my submissions log and noted that 25 submissions to literary magazines had yielded zero acceptances." After considering the usual self-blame ("not enough effort, I should have submitted more"), Gendler considered her record for the years prior: 32 submissions/0 acceptances; 68 submissions/0 acceptances.

For many reading this, I know the first thought: Maybe she's just not that good.

Consider her previous publication credits: Bella Grace, Washington Independent Review of Books, Tablet Magazine, Thread, Wall Street Journal, and, for a period of time before this 'dry spell': Flashquake, South Loop Review, Under the Sun, Bellevue Literary Review, Kaleidoscope, Natural Bridge, and Prime Number Magazine.

She's been published. She just wasn't seeing the results that would encourage her to continue banging her head against that Wall. Yet, she asked herself, "Could I abandon the mothership?" She did, and instead, "I focused on the publications whose work I truly admired and loved to read, and that’s where I kept submitting."

The result? "It’s not that suddenly all my work gets accepted, but the rate is much higher," Gendler writes. "I now look at my submissions in terms of publications I want to get into. I think about what I could write for  them."

After reading Gendler's commentary and seeing it had been a few years, I wondered, "Where is she now?" with her stance on lit mags, so I reached out to her to ask.

"My approach has pretty much stayed the same since then," she wrote, "I don't submit to literary magazines anymore. Not doing so was essentially a course correction for me. Literary magazines are just not the right market for my work, even though I write literary nonfiction and memoir."

As well, since that time, she has published her first book, Jumping Over Shadows: A Memoir. Ironically, a lit mag editor, having read her post, asked her to submit something for their journal. She did, and they published The Flying Dutchman, an excerpt from her book.

Published January 16, 2019

jane austen conferenceJust what fans of Jane Austen need: Our own society of Austen lovers!

Started by Henry G. Burke, J. David Grey, and Joan Austen-Leigh, the great-great grand niece of Jane, the Jane Austen Society of North America "is dedicated to the appreciation of Jane Austen and her writing. Join us in celebrating her life, her works, and her genius."

JASNA hosts a three-day conference each fall that includes lectures by Austen scholars and JASNA members, exhibits, workshops, and a banquet and Regency ball. Yes, a ball! Each year, the conference is themed with a reading list provided in advance.

The 2019 conference (200 Years of Northanger Abby: "Real Solemn History") will be held in Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia on October 4-6, and the 2020 conference (Jane Austen's Juvenilia: Reason, Romanticism, and Revolution) will be in Cleveland, Ohio, October 9-11.

In addition to the conference, JASNA publishes peer reviewed journals, a  newsletter, book reviews, and holds an annual student essay contest. JASNA also has an International Visitor Support Program which provides a $3,250 fellowship to assist with travel and research expenses.

For more information, visit the JASNA website.

 

Published December 20, 2018
arc walkApproached by Canada's Arc Poetry Magazine, with a grant from the Community Foundation, rob mclennan created four, hour-long literary walks - Arc Poetry Walks - that take participants on a tour of several Ottawa neighborhoods, each featuring poetry-related sites. Following each IRL event, mclennan posted the text from the walk on his blog along with photos and related links. Above/Ground Press created a broadside "poem handout" for each event. A great resource for those interested in learning more about Ottawa literary culture/history, and a helpful blueprint for others who might be interested in replicating this kind of event. [Photo by Chris Johnson]
Published December 05, 2018

PolyphonicBroadsided Press recent call for “Multilingual Writing” resulted in In Praise of Polyphony, 2018, a folio of six broadsides from writers and artists who “think/feel/see in English, Spanish, Finnish, Yiddish, Chinese, Italian, Polish, and Russian. In narrative, metaphor, sound, ink, photograph, shape, and color.”

Like all broadsides from Broadsided Press, the folio is available for free download.

Writers featured: Maija Mäkinen, Jeni De La O, Piotr Gwiazda, Diana Anaya, Allison Escoto, Ching-In Chen.

Artists featured: Anya Ermak, Bailey Bob Bailey, Cheryl Gross, Antonia Contro, Undine Brod, Barbara Cohen.

Published November 06, 2018

imvotingToday is the day. Vote411.org for information.

“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Toni Morrison said, "The function of freedom is to free someone else."

“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.”

― David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."

"Too many people fought too hard to make sure all citizens of all colors, races, ethnicities, genders, and abilities can vote to think that not voting somehow sends a message." ― Luis Gutierrez

Published October 22, 2018

jennifer mooreThe English Department at Ohio Northern University has opened a new Single Poem Broadside contest for currently enrolled high school juniors and seniors.

Young writers may submit one original, self-authored poem of 30 lines or less by November 1, 2018 in any form, style or aesthetic approach.

ONU Associate Professor of Creative Writing Dr. Jennifer Moore [pictured] will judge the submissions.

The winning entry will receive $100, letterpress broadside publication of the poem, ten copies, and the ONU English Department Talent Award of $4000 per year for four years (upon application and acceptance to ONU).

For more contests open to young writers and publications for young writers and readers, visit the NewPages Young Writers Guide.

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