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Photos from artist Micah Bloom's Codex project ("involves film, photography, and installation") is included in Ruminate's Spring 2014 issue. I encourage you to take a look as his artwork will hit the souls of any writer or reader. " In an artist's note he writes about how growing up, his family instilled in him a certain respect for books: "In our home, books were elevated in the hierarchy of objects; in their nature, deemed closer to humans than furniture, knickknacks, or clothing. Under these impressions I was forced into this relatinship with displaced books." His work uses the books that were "strewn in streets, across roadways, along railroad tracks" after the Souris River ravaged Minot, North Dakota in June of 2011. "These books were vessels—surrogates of human soul, these shelters—housing our heritage—displaced, now driven over by boomtown commuters and shredded by oil tankers on their way from the Bakken oil fields. It was this surreal situation that stirred me to alter the fate of these books."

And although I truly wish more information about the actual art rendering was including, it's a pleasure just to flip through the pages. You can find a little more information by watching their (already funded) kickstart video.
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Poetastic is a new poetry website curating "transformative video recordings of poetry readings." The video submissions are of reciters reading and recording themselves reciting other people’s poetry, transforming meaning for the listener/viewer.

Poetastic is a project created by Harrod J Suarez, Assistant Professor of English at Oberlin College, but in terms of this project, it "is best understood as a category comprised of a legion of collaborators, contributors, and co-conspirators." Submissions are accepted on a rolling deadline.

Poetastic provides guidelines for recording as well as resources for finding poems to read and record. Participants must be at least 18 years old.
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The new Rhino announces and publishes the winners of their 2014 contests.

2014 Founders’ Prize
Jose Antonio Rodriguez - "Poem in honor of the one-year anniversary of my sister Aleida’s death, which is five days away"

MaryJo Thompson - "Body Breakers"
Adam Scheffler - "Americas"

2014 Editors’ Prizes
First Prize
Brandon Krieg - "Comedy of Mirrors"

Second Prize
P. Scott Cunningham - "Planet Earth"

Honorable Mentions
C. Ann Kodra - "Dowsing"
Octavio Quintanilla - "Tell Them Love is Found"
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The newest issue of The Southampton Review is a special fiction issue. To conclude the editor's note, Lou Ann Walker writes, "This fiction issue, edited by Susan Scarf Merrell, is devoted to the obsessive myopic passion of all artists, and particularly novelists and short story writers. '...because,' as Luthi notes, 'a writing life can help it all make sense." And Merrell writes in her note that "As you page through this fiction issue of TSR, you will find a wide variety of storytelling styles . . . Famous writers and young students appear here, grappling with the questions that most interest and concern them . . . Funny, sad, painful; experimental, traditional, flash—no matter what form the stories here take, or what tales the authors choose to tell, each one has truth at the core of its created world."

The issue starts its fiction with Edwidge Danticat and "Je Voudrais Etre Riche: A Trickster Tale." Here's how it begins so that you can get a taste: "It was too good not to be true. Two women. One black. One white. One old. One young. The young black one, pregnant, with a slightly shrieking wailing voice. The old white one hunched over under a red, ankle-length coat, and a fog of white hair creep out under a crocheted mauve beret.
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Founded in 2012 by Grant Garland, Middle Literate is a traveling reading series, in the form of a podcast, which features literary work that stays true to the Midwestern state-of-mind and effectively represents the intricacies of the people who call the Great Plains home. The recording quality is good with occasional music which adds a nice transitional touch without being overbearing. Garland has a relaxed, friendly approach, and overall, the recordings are something that could be listened to at the desk or on the road.

Inspired by radio shows and podcasts, like This American Life, Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me, and You Wrote The Book, Middle Literate Middle Literate episodes thus far include:

Episode 1 "Happiness" features “A Girl Named Mercedes,” a story about the elusive “happy ending” by John Rubins, an award winning instructor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I started by listening to this one, just to try out the sound quality, but Rubins premise for his story hooked me and kept me listening (yes, with a smile on my face).

Episode 2 "Nothing is Extinct": Middle Literate travels to Monmouth, IL to visit with writer Chad Simpson in his hometown, reading stories from his award winning collection Tell Everyone I Said Hi.

Episode 3 "Rule of Three": In Bloomington, Indiana, Middle Literate hears poetry from Scott Fenton, Brianna Low, and Paul Asta, three MFA students at Indiana University.

Most notably, Middle Literate was the spearhead for the “They Hardly Knew Us” reading series, a series dedicated to showcasing the work of prospective MFA students from the University of Illinois. Readers included David Ethan Chambers, Emily Penn, Dan Klen, Paul Asta, Ethan Madarieta, and Bryan Bachman.

Middle Lieterate reading period is December 1 to September 1. Work from writers at any point in their literary careers is welcomed. ML accepts simultaneous submissions, as well as previously published work.
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Guest Editor Israel Wasserstein puts forth North Dakota Quarterly's newest issue that celebrates William Stafford at 100. "Stafford's poems stayed with me in their quiet resolve, and their commitment to his values, to the elegance of plain speech, and to finding that which is holy in one's experience," writes Wasserstein. "All of which to say, when the opportunity arose to edit he William Stafford Celebration issue . . . I was thrilled." As a closing note, he writes, "I hope that you will find in these pages proof of the continuing relevance of Stafford's words and life, and of the powerful, moving, and diverse work being done by those whom he has influenced. I hope that you will find these remarkable works celebratory, even when they face tragedy and loss, even when they are at their most serious."

The issue itself features work from Paulann Petersen, Regina and Tim Gort, Jeff Gundy, Philip Metres, Fred Whitehead, Richard Levine, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Mark Dudley, Abayomi Animashaun, Linda Whittenberg, Karin L. Frank, Meg Hutchinson, and so many more.
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The artwork on the latest issue of Phoebe is by Jaime Bennati, an artist who "makes the viewer question our relationship to things we keep and discard daily" by using materials often overlooked. The center of the issue features more of her work as well as a self-written how-to guide so you can try a piece of your own. Her included collection comes from using bus tickets that were discarded. "On average about 200,000 were discarded per day." As a person who makes jewelry out of discarded materials, I'm intensely interested in her work.


The Fall 2013 issue of Kestrel features artwork by Julie Anne Struck titled A Story which is photo transfer, ink, collage, and colored pencil on panel. It's great to look at up close. Struck "has always touched upon and explored anything that illustrates her interest in dissolving boundaries and celebrating connections between fine art, design, writing, and other creative disciplines." More of her work is featured in full color inside the issue.


Not only are the colors and the actual skill of this cover art for Ruminate fascinating, but Sarah Megan Jenkins's Jean Lafitte Swamp (acrylic and mixed media) feels like today in Michigan. The trees are gloomy, the world looks sad after a harsh, long winter, but the sun is coming up and there's hope on the horizon.
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Congratulations to all writers that have made The Masters Review 2014 Shortlist which honors the top 2% of all stories reviewed. "At this time our guest judge, Lev Grossman, is reviewing stories and will select the top ten to be published in our anthology," write the editors of The Masters Review. The final announcement will be made no later than May 15.

“Fisherman’s Band-Aid” – Alexander Papoulias
“Lynx” – Alice Otto
“Bury Me” – Allegra Hyde
“Braids” – Amanda Pauley
“Finders Keepers” – Andrew Cothren
“The Turk” – Andrew MacDonald
“Picketers” – Blake Kimzey
“Cleaning Lessons” – Cannon Roberts
“Every Thing You Never Said” – Courtney Kersten
“Someone Else” – Diana Xin
“The Behemoth” – Drew Ciccolo
“Go Down, Diller” – Eric Howerton
“Whit Vickers, The Pitcher Who Lost His Stuff” – Ezra Carlsen
“Objects in Transit” – Heather Dundas
“We Welcome All Sorts” – Heather Lefebvre
“Moonshot, 2003” – Jake Wolff
“Magicicada” – Jeffrey Otte
“County Maps” – Joe Worthen
“Tiny Little Teeth” – Justine McNulty
“dissolving newspaper, fermenting leaves” – Kiik AK
“Parade” – Laura Willwerth
“Lullwater” – Lena Valencia
“Strange Trajectories” – Lindsay D’Andrea
“Rivers” – Liz Knight
“Contrition” – Mallory McMahon
“Custody” – Maya Perez
“Electronic Heads” – Meng Jin
“Birmingham Goddam” – Scott Latta
“OpFor (Oppositional Force)” – Shane Collins
“Allure of The Sea” – Tatyana Kagamas

To see this list and the honorable mentions, please click here.
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The latest issue of Banipal features excerpts from the novels of the 2014 shortlist for The International Prize for Arabic Fiction:

Inaam Kachachi – Tashari
Abdelrahim Lahbibi – The Journeys of ’Abdi, known as Son of Al-Hamriyah
Khaled Khalifa – No Knives in this City’s Kitchens
Youssef Fadel – A Rare Blue Bird that Flies with Me
Ahmed Saadawi – Frankenstein in Baghdad
Ahmed Mourad – The Blue Elephant

Read more about the authors and the issue itself here.
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Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their February Short Story Award for New Writers. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000. The next Short Story Award competition will take place in May. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

1st place goes to Melanie Lefkowitz of Ithaca, NY. [Photo credit: Chelsea Fausel.] She wins $1500 for “The Mango” and her story will be published in Issue 94 of Glimmer Train Stories. This is Melanie’s first fiction publication.

2nd place goes to Kathleen Boyle of San Francisco, CA. She wins $500 for “Burial Rites of Northern Italians.”

3rd place goes to Olivia Postelli of Ann Arbor, MI. She wins $300 for “In the Glow.”

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

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