"All of the work in this special Fall issue of Cold Mountain Review about a fair and just relationship between people and their society has great emotional impact," writes Consulting Editor Vivian Shipley in her Editor's Note. And the work strikes upon a variety of justice issues: the opioid crisis; transgender experience; the multitude of experiences of women from different identities, races, and classes; the continued impact of oppression created by colonial occupation; the impact of humans on the environment; ecological aspects; and the role of social media.
From her youth, Shipley shares, "I was taught that anything that had a negative impact on the dignity of life of any person, from their birth to their death, needed to be addressed and eliminated," and concludes, "This timely and very significant issue of Cold Mountain Review explores many ways to achieve social justice in our currently bitterly divided country."
See a complete list of contributors and read the full content online here.
Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their Family Matters competition. This competition is open to all writers for stories about family of any configuration. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.
1st place goes to Marian Palaia [pictured] of San Francisco, California, who wins $2500 for “Wild Things.” Her story will be published in Issue 106, the final issue of Glimmer Train Stories.
2nd place goes to Peter Parsons of Riverside, California, who wins $500 for “Elvis, Alive and Limping.” His story will also be published in Issue 106 of Glimmer Train, increasing his prize to $700.
3rd place goes to Emily Lackey of Amherst, Massachusetts, who wins $300 for “Trust.” Her story will also be published in Issue 106 of Glimmer Train, increasing her prize to $700.
Here’s a PDF of the Top 25.
Deadlines soon approaching!
Final Fiction Open: February 28
This is Glimmer Train’s final Fiction Open. First place wins $3000 plus publication in the journal, and 10 copies of that issue. Second/third: $1000/$600 and consideration for publication. This category has been won by both beginning and veteran writers - all are welcome! There are no theme restrictions. Word count generally ranges from 3000 – 6000, though up to 28,000 is fine. Stories may have previously appeared online but not in print. Click here for complete guidelines.
Final Very Short Fiction Award: February 28
This is Glimmer Train’s final Very Short Fiction Award. First place winning $2000 plus publication in the journal, and 10 copies of that issue. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. It’s open to all writers, with no theme restrictions, and the word count range is 300 – 3000. Stories may have previously appeared online but not in print. Click here for complete guidelines.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Marge Saiser, who lives in Nebraska, is a fine and a very lucky poet. With the passing of each year her poems have gotten stronger and deeper. That's an enviable direction for a writer. This poem was published in The Briar Cliff Review and it looks back wisely and wistfully over a rich life. Saiser's most recent book is The Woman in the Moon from the Backwaters Press.
Weren't We Beautiful
growing into ourselves
earnest and funny we were
angels of some kind, smiling visitors
the light we lived in was gorgeous
we looked up and into the camera
the ordinary things we did with our hands
or how we turned and walked
or looked back we lifted the child
spooned food into his mouth
the camera held it, stayed it
there we are in our lives as if
we had all time
as if we would stand in that room
and wear that shirt those glasses
as if that light
would shine on us
and from us.
We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2018 by Marjorie Saiser, "Weren't We Beautiful," from The Briar Cliff Review (Vol. 30, 2018). Poem reprinted by permission of Marjorie Saiser and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2019 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.
Co-edited by Nicole Oquendo [pictured], Editor Lisa Roney introduces the newest issue of The Florida Review (42.2) in the "Editor's Note: Heritage, Family, Respect: Who Controls the Narrative?"
"It's with great pride and humility that we bring this array of poems, stories, memoirs, and both filmic and visual art to our readers - we believe that it represents a new generation of self-aware and multi-faceted creators who sometimes seek shelter under the umbrella of 'Latinx,' but who refuse to be defined by any label. [. . . ] They are, in fact, quintessentially American, representing the hybridity that makes our literature so strong on this continent, filled with varieties of experience and exhibiting styles that have been learned from an array of cultural sources and then innovated upon."
Selections highlight heritage, family, parent-child relationships, disability, divorce, and grieving. In several contributions, language and representations in history are examined, with all the works asking, "Who controls the narrative? What do words mean? If we know that they are subject to twisting, then how do we trust any story, any poem, any sentence?" Roney comments, "All of use, it seems, are grappling with these questions."
Contributors to this issue include Juan Carlos Reyes, Brooke Champagne, Steve Castro, Chris Campanioni, M. Soledad Caballero, Sara Lupita Olivares, Ariel Francisco, Leslie Sainz, Valorie K. Ruiz, Naomi A. Shuyama Gomez, Alana de Hinojosa, Maria Esquinca, Michael J. Pagán, Lupita Eyde-Tucker, Trinity Tibe, Karl Michael Iglesias, George Choundas, Pedro Ponce, Paul Alfonso Soto, Cindy Pollack, Pascha Sotolongo, Cassandra Martinez, Julia María Schiavone Camacho, Ivonne Lamazares, and Michael Betancourt.
Throughout 2018, Basalt Magazine "committed to publishing a selection of poems from each month of Ian Boyden’s manuscript A Forest of Names. Over the course of a year, Boyden translated the 5,196 names of schoolchildren crushed in the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. He then began a collection of poems, each written on the day of each child’s birth. An in-depth discussion of these poems can be read in Fault Line: An Introduction to A Forest of Names.”
In his discussion, Boyden explains how, had it not been for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the names of these children, and the government being held accountable for the shoddy construction of the schools where these children were killed, would have been lost.
As part of the curation of Ai Weiwei's work related to the earthquake, Ian Boyden papered a wall with the children's names, "a massive work on paper consisting of 21 scrolls, together measuring 10.5' by over 42' long."
Boyden then discusses his work, taking the name of each child, the Chinese characters, and translating these into poetic renderings: "Holding the hopes implicit in each of these names in tension with the tragedy of the children's deaths has also been a translations of one grief to another: perhaps this is the most accurate translation of all."
The Winter 2019 online issue of Baltimore Review includes winners from their annual Winter Contest for fiction, CNF, or poetry, this year's themed "Tools," as well as the "Pop-Up Contest" for flash fiction or CNF in response to the collage art "The Tripwire of a Dream" by Bill Wolak.
Winter Contest Winners selected by Final Judge Geoffrey Becker:
Leslie Carlin [pictured], “Occasionally Good”
Christopher X Ryan, “Day Shapes”
Amanda Newell, “Because I Am Lonely and You Will Not Know My Pain”
Pop-Up Contest Winners selected by BR Editors:
Ian Mahler, "Lapse"
Robert Watkins, "The Little Girl and the Universe Tool"
Number 25 in the 2River Chapbook Series, Inscape, is a collection of poems by members of the Summer Poetry Workshop at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vermont. Facilitator and retired English lit prof Bill Freedman introduces the collection, talking about the past four summers he has spent leading the poetry writing workshop, Poetry as Personal Expression.
"There is brotherhood here," Freedman writes, "the camaraderie of proud men similarly confined, some insist unjustly, stripped of agency and entitlement, vulnerable to an array of humiliations, yet determined to make this time not a suspension of their lives, but, if possible, a useful and worthwhile part of it. Their writing, this workshop, is, I think, for many, an important part of that."
As with all 2River Chapbooks, readers can find this fully available online, downloadable as a PDF, and in the form of "Chap the Book," which provides a PDF download that can be printed and folded into a chapbook.
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.
“You will dig me from the earth with your bare hands” by Paula Harris [pictured]
"Our Hands Are Bowls of Dust" by Clemonce Heard
Shangyang Fang, "Marsysas Returning"
Kevin McLellan, “The Art of Fugue: Contrapunctus I”
Mark Wagenaar, "It Was While I Was Looking at the Oldest Wooden Wheel Ever Discovered"
Mark Wagenaar, “Oculi"
Renia White, “In this Village”
See a full list of finalists and judge's comments here.
The 2019 Prize is open until May 15 with Final Judge Craig Santos Perez. The winner receives $1500 and publication; second place receives $200 and publication.
Each year, Zone 3 considers all poems, essays, and stories accepted for publication in the journal for their Literary Awards. Zone 3 editors choose the winners, each of whom receives $250 and publicaiton.
The fall 2018 issue includes the fiction and nonfiction winners, while the poetry winner was published in the spring 2018 issue.
"Immigrant Prayer" by Ethan Chua [pictured]
"Mea Culpa, My Monster" by Carrie Shipers
"Halleujah Station" by Randal O'Wain
The reading period for submissions and the Literary Awards is August 1 - April 1.