The impact of the Ebola virus is devastating. People around the world are mustering to offer aid. In addition to physical and monetary assistance, we can offer solidarity, hope, and art. These things matter, too.
At Broadsided Press, we believe art and literature are as necessary as the news to understanding the world. They demonstrate the vitality of our interconnectedness.
Broadsided Press artists Ira Joel Haber, Amy Meissner, and Maura Cunningham (see below) have offered artwork in response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak.
We now invite you to respond with words.
Send us stories or poems inspired by the images we've posted (along with guidelines) at Broadsided Responses: Ebola
Deadline: November 20, 2014
No fee for entry.
Please share this announcement widely. We'd like to welcome as many people as we can to participate.
1st place goes to John Thornton Williams [pictured] of Laramie, WY. He wins $1500 for "Darling, Keith, The Subway Girl, and Jumping Joe Henry" and his story will be published in Issue 95 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be his first print publication.
2nd place goes to Stefan De La Garza of Fayetteville, AR. He wins $500 for "Chiaroscuro."
3rd place goes to Laura Jok of Houston, TX. She wins $300 for "As It Were."
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadline soon approaching! Very Short Fiction Award: October 31. This competition is held quarterly, and 1st place has been increased to $1500 plus publication in the journal. It's open to all writers, with no theme restrictions, and the word count must not exceed 3000. Click here for complete guidelines.
The October BANG! author is native of Trinidad & Tobago, Cave Canem fellow, and author of three full length collections of poetry, Roger Bonair-Agard. He is an invited contributor. Former BANG! authors include Alexandra Oliver, Mike Heppner, Marc Mewshaw, Timothy Dyke, Marcia Popp, Quenton Baker and Lissa Kiernan.
American Life in Poetry: Column 499
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
To celebrate my 75th year, I've published a new book of poems, and many of them are about the way in which we come together to help each other through the world. Here's just one:
On a parking lot staircase
I met two fine-looking men
descending, both in slacks
and dress shirts, neckties
much alike, one of the men
in his sixties, the other
a good twenty years older,
unsteady on his polished shoes,
a son and his father, I knew
from their looks, the son with his
right hand on the handrail,
the father, left hand on the left,
and in the middle they were
holding hands, and when I neared,
they opened the simple gate
of their interwoven fingers
to let me pass, then reached out
for each other and continued on.
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 ©2012 by Ted Kooser from his most recent book of poems, Splitting an Order, Copper Canyon Press, 2014. Poem reprinted by permission of Ted Kooser 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.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Here's a lovely poem for this lovely month, by Robert Haight, who lives in Michigan.
Early October Snow
It will not stay.
But this morning we wake to pale muslin
stretched across the grass.
The pumpkins, still in the fields, are planets
shrouded by clouds.
The Weber wears a dunce cap
and sits in the corner by the garage
where asters wrap scarves
around their necks to warm their blooms.
The leaves, still soldered to their branches
by a frozen drop of dew, splash
apple and pear paint along the roadsides.
It seems we have glanced out a window
into the near future, mid-December, say,
the black and white photo of winter
carefully laid over the present autumn,
like a morning we pause at the mirror
inspecting the single strand of hair
that overnight has turned to snow.
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 ©2013 by Robert Haight from his most recent book of poems, Feeding Wild Birds, Mayapple Press, 2013. (Lines two and six are variations of lines by Herb Scott and John Woods.) Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Haight 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.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
I'd guess everybody reading this has felt the guilt of getting rid of belongings that meant more to somebody else than they did to you. Here's a poem by Jennifer Maier, who lives in Seattle. Don't call her up. All her stuff is gone.
Forgive me, Aunt Phyllis, for rejecting the cut
glass dishes—the odd set you gathered piece
by piece from thirteen boxes of Lux laundry soap.
Pardon me, eggbeater, for preferring the whisk;
and you, small ship in a bottle, for the diminutive
size of your ocean. Please don't tell my mother,
hideous lamp, that the light you provided
was never enough. Domestic deities, do not be angry
that my counters are not white with flour;
no one is sorrier than I, iron skillet, for the heavy
longing for lightness directing my mortal hand.
And my apologies, to you, above all,
forsaken dresses, that sway from a rod between
ladders behind me, clicking your plastic tongues
at the girl you once made beautiful,
and the woman, with a hard heart and
softening body, who stands in the driveway
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 ©2013 by Jennifer Maier from her most recent book of poems, Now, Now, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Jennifer Maier 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.
The judges also announced ten finalists this year:
Brian Brodeur of Cincinnati, Ohio, for "Persons of Interest";
Polly Buckingham of Medical Lake, Washington, for "A Day Like This";
Mark Cox of Wilmington, North Carolina, for "No Picnic in the Afterlife";
Tom Hansen of Custer, South Dakota, for "Body of Water, Body of Fire";
Judy Jordan of Anna, Illinois, for "Children of Salt";
Tim Mayo of Brattleboro, Vermont, for "The Body's Pain";
Robert McNally of Concord, California, for "Simply to Know Its Name";
Joel Peckham of Huntington, West Virginia, for "Body Memory";
Brittney Scott of Richmond, Virginia, for "The Derelict Daughter"; and
Carol Westberg of Hanover, New Hampshire, for "Terra Infirma."
The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry is given annually for a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. Submissions are now being accepted for 2015. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2014.
The Letters About Literature also provides a Teaching Guide with activities teachers can use to guide their students through the book discussion and letter-writing process. The guide addresses the LAL teaching strategies and ways in which the program can dovetail with national standards for teaching reading and writing as well as Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Also included are worksheets for duplication and assessment checklists.