is news, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.


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A new zine called When in Drought is hitting the streets in a small print run from Los Angeles. With a tongue-in-cheek and often political attitude, it has no problem standing out from a crowd of other literary magazines. Each issue is themed and contains writing, art, and translation "with neglected literature from around the world." To get a feel for them, here's some excerpts from their submission guidelines: "Whatever it is, we're against it. Just kidding. We love you." And at the bottom of each page on their site, they declare, "Stay horny for art." And on their contest page, they have some sample titles of books that if written, they would pay good money for: Nude on a Chair; Look Mom, the Children Don't Have Any Pants Today; Mein Kampf, Your Kampf, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off; Tits Laid Heavy on My Thoughts: A Memoir; and other humorous suggestions.

The latest issue is themed Prague: "never in recorded history has the municipality of Prague experience drought. On the contrary, it has withstood floods, torrential downpours, &, quite often, thunderstorms . . . It is no wonder then that the editors of this journal should be fascinated with such a place . . . We hope you will soon find your thirst slaked—& please, when in Prague, do not forget your umbrella." The issue itself contains 100 pages of original work combined with passages from Franz Kafka.
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The overall style of Santa Monica Review isn't particularly striking, but the image they selected for this Spring 2014 issue is. There's something about the young girl's eyes and the way the black lamb just gently rests in her arms, not trying to get away, that makes it hard to look away. The piece is by Deborah Davidson titled Leaving Home.


The cover of the latest North Dakota Quarterly is James Bassler's Rib Shield, painted silk wrap, woven, cut, and sewn. "In the 1980s his work underwent a dramatic change after his exposure to the Navajo wedge weaving process and the art of John Cage." You really have to see it up close to appreciate it as you should—I'd love to see it in person!


The image on Poetry's May 2014 issue takes over the cover. It's titled "Torch" and is done by Kate McQuillen as part of her collection called Body Scans. See more here.

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The Open Society Documentary Photography Project is soliciting calls for the 2014 Audience Engagement Grant Program. Since the program’s inception in 2004, they have funded 54 photographers who have gone beyond documenting a human rights or social justice issue to enacting change. Beginning this year, they will offer two tracks of support for individuals at different phases of their Audience Engagement projects.

Track One: Project Development
Grantees will receive funding to attend an Open Society–organized retreat in December of 2014. This event will be designed in collaboration with Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program, whose nationally recognized workshops provide participants with essential practical tools and strategies to help them move their project and career goals forward. Attendees will become part of a larger Audience Engagement Grant cohort, with opportunities to connect both during the conference and after.

Track Two: Project Implementation
Grantees will receive funding to execute (or continue executing) their projects as well as attend December’s retreat.

Eligibility Criteria
•Documentary photographers, photo-based artists, and socially engaged practitioners who use their work to move target audiences beyond the act of looking, to directly participate in activities or processes that lead to change around an issue.
•Individuals who establish meaningful partnerships with others committed to realizing change and who bring a complementary set of skills and expertise.
•Projects that use photography or photo-based art creatively and innovatively to reach a project’s unique audience.
•Projects with goals that are ambitious, yet realistic and achievable.

The application deadline for BOTH tracks is: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
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In the latest issue, Seneca Review is challenging genre. "In 1977, Seneca Review made room for a cross-fertilization of poetry and nonfiction it called 'the lyric essay,'" the editor note states. "With this special issue of SR (Fall 2013/Spring 2014), we are making room for a different chimera we’re calling Beyond Category—work that crosses bigger lines of genre and form. Not just between poetry and essays but between writing and visual art, between analog and digital. These hybrids and outliers will be a regular part of future issues"

And it is, indeed, beyond categorization. In addition to the bound print copy, which includes a wide variety of art and photographs of projects, Seneca Review's new issue comes with a poster filled with thought bubbles, two witty tattoos, a newspaperesque handout combining drawings and sketches with tiny type that must be read with magnifying glass (also included), and more beyond category pieces rolled into tubes. It's certainly exciting!

This is also the start of the Beyond Category Online feature that includes digital work. Currently, you can find pieces by Susan Howe & David Grubbs, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Derek Gromadzki, Sarah Minor, Noah Saterstrom, and more. I didn't play around there too long, but you should definitely do so. As a sample, the piece "Memory Collective" explores the nature of memory as six essayists share a fleeting or fragmented memory. Then, another essayist takes that memory and remembers it, in whatever format they choose. "This process may involve speculating, soldering, or drawing on one's own reservoir of memories to complete or cohere another's memory." It may sound a little confusing at first, but I urge you to take a look.
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Awkward Paper Cut is a literary site devoted to supporting and inspiring innovative artistic creations incorporating words, images, and sound in a new kind of storytelling that mixes different formats and media with original and inventive ideas and approaches. Featured pages include Writers on Writing, Swoon's View (picks from "video addict" Marc Neys), and Podcasts of multiple authors/works under a connecting theme. The most recent podcast, Episode 14-8, is titled D
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As you'll quickly be able to tell, this week it's all about color. It's been a dull and dreary winter, and I loved having a collection of colors filling my bins this week:

I saw this staring up at me from the top of my magazine pile, and I gravitated to it. Teen in Body Paint, Key West, Florida is a picture by Roger Sacha of a young man painted by Tony Gregory with body paint in 2005. You'll have to pick up an actual copy of Subtropics to get the full effect.


The color on the cover of The London Magazine's new issue is fascinating as though it's a rainy day, there's still a rainbow of color. It's detail from Leonid Afremov's Rain of Fire, oil on canvas, 2007.


This cover of Boulevard completes the list of colorful action as the lights dance of the bridge in the photograph. It's by Charles Gross and titled Crossing the Tuo River at Night.
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The Spring & Summer 2014 of ZYZZYVA marks 100 issues. "So now, 100 issues in, having persevered through many a difficult time and may a close call, our hope is to keep this journal thriving and vibrant for as long as we can," write Editors Laura Cogan and Oscar Villalon. "In an environment crowded with dazzling and questionable new technologies, ZYZZYVA asserts the cerebral and tactile pleasures of reading, of holding a well-bound book in your hands, of losing—and finding—yourself in the pages of a story. . . . We hope you will join us in celebrating 100 issues of preeminent and daring literary publishing, of Pulitzer winners and poet laureates, of the finest contemporary minds and astonishing raw talent, and twenty-nine years of cultivating a cultural community around the arts and letters."

The issue features fiction by Ron Carlson, Daniel Handler, Michelle Latiolais, Paul Madonna, Scott O'Connor, Erika Recordon; nonfiction by Katie Crouch, Jim Gavin, Glen David Gold, Jonathon Keats; poetry by Dan Alter, Valerie Bandura, Noah Blaustein, Christopher Buckley, and more.
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Iron Horse Literary Review's latest issue is the "Duet Issue," featuring writing from some writers who are in relationships with other writers. "Every writer, at some time or another, imagines finding a mate who understands the ups and downs of creativity, the victories and failures of publishing,the obsessive love/hate relationships we have with our manuscripts," writes Editor Leslie Jill Patterson in the foreword. "Who else could this soulmate be but another writer, whom we might collide with at a reading, or while traveling, or during a workshop? .... Writer couples, we believe, encourage each other to write, and support one another steadfastly when readers turn critical..."

This issue features work from these couples: Kim Barnes & Robert Wrigley, Landon Houle & Adam Houle, Jessica Jacobs & Nickole Brown, and Eula Biss & John Bresland. The magazine's regular features also revolve around this "duet" theme.
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American Life in Poetry: Column 474

Let’s celebrate the first warm days of spring with a poem for mushroom hunters, this one by Amy Fleury, who lives in Louisiana.

First Morel

Up from wood rot,
wrinkling up from duff
and homely damps,
spore-born and cauled
like a meager seer,
it pushes aside earth
to make a small place
from decay. Bashful,
it brings honeycombed
news from below
of the coming plenty
and everything rising.

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. Copyright © 2013 by Amy Fleury from her most recent book of poems, Sympathetic Magic, Southern Illinois University Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Amy Fleury 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.
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The 2013 Consequence Prize in Poetry was selected by Brian Turner and awarded to William Snyder. Snyder's winning piece "They Give Me Money Near Karbala"is published in the current issue of Consequence (Spring 2014). Also included are the pieces by the finalists.

First Prize
William Snyder: "They Give Me Money Near Karbala"

Heather Bell: "Decoding The Poem"
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach: "To the Women of Trabzon"
Aubrey Ryan: "Song"

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