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Hogwarts Is Here: free, online classes in the same subjects studied by Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Not only that, but you can also become a Hogwarts Professor. Slate's Alex Heimbach writes: "The website works as a sort of cross between a MOOC (massive open online course) and an RPG (a role-playing game, like Dungeons & Dragons). You start by creating an account and choosing a house. (No sorting hat here, unfortunately.) I went with Ravenclaw, which seemed fitting for an optional intellectual endeavor. I wasn’t alone in that decision: Ravenclaw is the second most popular house (after Gryffindor, of course) and has the most house points (which you gain by completing assignments)." Read his full review here.
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Silent Anatomies by Monica Ong has been selected winner of the 2014 Kore Press First Book Award as selected by Joy Harjo. Fnalists were Sass Brown (Alexandria, Virginia) for USA-1000, and Jennifer Franklin (New York, New York) for Daughter.

Joy Harjo (2014 Gugenheim Fellow) said of the winning work, Silent Anatomies: "This is one of the most unique poetry collections. It's a kind of graphic poetry book, but that's not exactly it either. Poetry unfurls within, outside and through images. The images are stark representations that include bottles that have been excavated from a disappeared age, contemporary ultrasound images of a fetus, family photographs and charts. They establish stark bridges between ancestor and descendant time and presence.This collection is highly experimental and exciting."

Monica Ong is a poet and artist dwelling in experimental spaces. She completed her MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in Digital Media, and is also a Kundiman poetry fellow. Her work has been published in Seneca Review, Drunken Boat, Glassworks Magazine, Tidal Basin Review, and others. An exhibiting artist for over a decade, she draws from her professional design practice to innovate on the alchemy of text and image.


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The Modernist Journals Project, a joint project of Brown University and The University of Tulsa, focuses on the years 1890 to 1922 and features:

  • journals that have been digitized by the JP
  • a searchable databse, teaching and research guides to using the MJP
  • the "MJP Lab" - a site for experimenting with MJP data
  • biographies of authors and artists whose work appears in the MJP journals
  • books and essays about MJP journals and topics
  • a directory of periodicals published within the years 1890-1922
  • the "Cover-to-Cover Initiative" for locating full runs of magazines with their advertising intact

The year ends at 1922 "for both intellectual and practical reasons. The practical reason is that copyright becomes an issue with publications from 1923 onward. The intellectual reason is that most scholars consider modernism to be fully fledged in 1922, a date marked by the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses, Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land."

The materials on the MJP website, its curators note, "will show how essential magazines were to modernism's rise."
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Michigan Quarterly Review's Winter 2014 issue features quilt art by Rachel May. The issue contains a story from her along with more of her pieces. Although I don't see a link for it on their site yet, you will be able to see her story and art pieces in full color.

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Workers Write!'s 2014 issue, "More Tales from the Cubicle," features the side of, well, a cubicle. It's not fancy or flash, but it's perfect for this issue.

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The Laurel Review's latest issue is very simple, but oh-so-juicy. I selected for a cover of the week purely because seeing it instantly made my lips purse.
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In this month's Glimmer Train Bulletin, David James Poissant, author of The Heaven of Animals (Simon & Shuster March 2014) writes "On Relentlessness, Or, How to Make Submitting Your Superpower." In this featured essay, he advises writers, "don't let the first dozen rejections stop you" when it comes to submitting works. A story oft told, and yet, relentlessly needing to be oft told. Poissant's more humorous than stern approach may help some new writers better understand, three or four rejections is no big deal: "Invariably, my response is, 'Three or four?' Then, I lead said student or writer to my office where a corkboard hangs prominently above my computer. To the face of the corkboard, I have thumbtacked about fifty rejection slips." But it's not just about rejection, but about the sensibility of revision and in some cases, knowing when a work is "probably a dud" and may just need to rest a while.
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I am happy to shamelessly assist Gerry Canavan* with his shameless self-promotion of  Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction, a collection of essays he has put together with Kim Stanley Robinson. The book is due out next month from Wesleyan University Press in paperback, hardback, and on Kindle.

Here’s a table of contents borrowed from Gerry's blog:

Preface by Gerry Canavan
Introduction: “If This Goes On” also by Gerry Canavan

Part 1 Arcadias and New Jerusalems
1 ► “Extinction, Extermination, and the Ecological Optimism
of H. G. Wells” by Christina Alt
2 ► “Evolution and Apocalypse in the Golden Age” by Michael Page
3 ► “Daoism, Ecology, and World Reduction in Le Guin’s Utopian Fictions” by Gib Prettyman
4 ► “Biotic Invasions: Ecological Imperialism in New Wave Science Fiction” by Rob Latham

Part 2 Brave New Worlds and Lands of the Flies
5 ► “‘The Real Problem of a Spaceship Is Its People’: Spaceship Earth as Ecological Science Fiction” by Sabine Höhler
6 ► “The Sea and Eternal Summer: An Australian Apocalypse” by Andrew Milner
7 ► “Care, Gender, and the Climate-Changed Future: Maggie Gee’s The Ice People“ by Adeline Johns-Putra
8 ► “Future Ecologies, Current Crisis: Ecological Concern in South African Speculative Fiction” by Elzette Steenkamp
9 ► “Ordinary Catastrophes: Paradoxes and Problems in Some Recent Post-Apocalypse Fictions” by Christopher Palmer

Part 3 Quiet Earths, Junk Cities, and the Cultures of the Afternoon
10 ► “‘The Rain Feels New’: Ecotopian Strategies in the Short Fiction of Paolo Bacigalupi” by Eric C. Oto
11 ► “Life after People: Science Faction and Ecological Futures” by Brent Bellamy and Imre Szeman
12 ► “Pandora’s Box: Avatar, Ecology, Thought” by Timothy Morton
13 ► “Churning Up the Depths: Nonhuman Ecologies of Metaphor in Solaris and ‘Oceanic’” by Melody Jue

Afterword: “Still, I’m Reluctant to Call This Pessimism” by Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson

There’s also a lengthy “Of Further Interest” appendix that’s an annotated list of some key texts in the subgenre of ecological science fiction.

*In case you're wondering why I would do this for Gerry, check out his blog. I have followed it for YEARS and it's like having an aggregate of all things I am interested in. Well, except Star Trek, but then, I have lots of people I share that stuff with and they love it. Not to mention, this collection of essays just sounds amazing.
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Bellevue Literary Review's latest issue (Spring 2014) features the winners of the 2014 BLR Prizes:

Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, selected by Nathan Englander
Winner: “Pediatricology” by Abby Horowitz
Honorable Mention: “Death Defiant Bomba or What to Wear When Your Boo Gets Cancer” by Lilliam Rivera

Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction, selected by Helen Benedict
Winner: “Forty-One Months” by William McGrath
Honorable Mention: “Double Exposure” by Elisha Waldman

Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry, selected by Tina Chang
Winner: “Chronic Care: 'Broken Leg' by Keith Carter, Photograph” by Laurie Clements Lambeth
Honorable Mention: “The Rules of Surgery” by Kristin Robertson

The issue also features fiction by Susan Bartlett, Sean Kevin Campbell, Lillian Huang Cummins, Soniya Greenfield, Abby Horowitz, D. Quentin Miller, Billy O'Callaghan, Lilliam Riverea, Pamela Ryder Jean-Marie Saporito, Sheena Suals, and Jessica Stults; nonfiction by Mary Arguelles, Will McGrath, Leslie Van Gelder, and Elisha Waldman; and poetry by Alison Bradford, Steven Cramer, Catherine Freeling, Rachel Hadas, Kip Irwin, Will Johnston, Laurie Clements Lambeth, Laura Lauth, Michal Lemberger, Kaitlin LaMoine Martin, Marty McConnell, Thomas R. Moore, Jennifer Perrine, Kristin Robertson, Avery Leigh Thomas, Amy Tudor, Kathryn Weld, and Stacia Gyrene Yearwood. See more information about the issue and contest winners here.
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Our buddy M. Scott Douglass at Main Street Rag has an invitational for readers and Harley fans alike. He is a MAJOR collector of Harley-Davidson t-shirts. Apparently, THE t-shirt is a big deal among fans... So, buy Scott a Harley t-shirt from your local Harley shop (around $30), send it to him, and he'll give you a two-year subscription to Main Street Rag (worth $45).

Specs from Scott: "Must be a short sleeve t-shirt, XL, color... I'm not a brown or pink kinda guy, black is always good, but I have a lot of those already as well as a lot of orange--one of Harley's other colors. I don't have any bright yellow or cream--lighter colors like baby blue or light green--but almost any color is cool. Here's where I get prissy: I prefer only one or two colors on the back. Harley dealerships customize the backs to advertise themselves. A lot of them do a full color display of some unique image--often significant to the region. Full color means a lot of lay down of ink, vinyl screen printing ink, as many as five layers (if you are printing on black). I plan to wear every one of these shirts at some point. Do you know how heavy four layers vinyl color gets when riding in the hot Carolina sun? One color is cooler, easier to read, AND cheaper. And one more thing: My wife would frown on me wearing one with scantily clad women with big boobs, so please avoid those. I'm traditionalist. I like the variety of crests and logos Harley offers, wings and bars and even an occasional skull."

There you have it: Buy Scott a Harley Davidson dealer t-shirt from your local HD dealership. Mail it to him at Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001 and earn a 2-year subscription worth $45.
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Small Press Distribution has released the list of its top 20 poetry bestsellers for the month of March, topped by Sherman Alexie's What I've Stolen, What I've Earned (Hanging Loose Press). Check out the list here, and don't forget that ordering books through the SPD website or an individual publisher's site sends more of your money directly to the presses and authors.

Guerrilla Poetry

April 10, 2014
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Ah, spring has (almost) returned to Michigan. The NewPages CEO and second-in-command have enjoyed our first "porch beer" - albeit wearing layered sweatshirts. Still, the sun is shining, the spring rains and the hurricane winds are reduced to intermittent. Time to get back to postering poetry around the city. A staple gun and a backpack filled with a variety of poems, my dog as cover (just a lady out walking her dog...), I staple up poems to utility poles along my route.

Of course, poems can come from any source, but I try to keep them short enough to be read quickly, one page with large font, or if it's longer, eye-catching helps (like the Broadsided Press monthly vector poems). I also try to maintain some sensibility for the fact that kids may be reading these, so try to make them "safe" as well as appealing. Can't hit every audience, but when postering near the schools or parks, I tend more for those kid-friendly poems.

One year, on Memorial Day, I noticed youthful handwriting on a posting and saw that some neighborhood kids had written their own poems honoring local troops and tacked them up where I had been posting poems. Pretty darn cool. Guerrilla poetry works. Try it yourself! Staple gun. Poems. Go!

[Pictured: "The Second Fallacy." Poem by C. Dale Young; Art by Amy Meissner; Design by Debbie Nadolney. Broadsided April 1, 2014.]
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