Two whirlwind prose poems by Leslie Marie Aguilar in the May 2019 issue of wildness online speak in abstractions melded with concrete symbols, creating a contemporary mythology of the self. “Bone Altar” begins, “Legends begin with valerian root, red clover, & a touch of tequila.” and instructs the reader to call upon ancestors. “Cartography,” just at the moment I think the poem’s speaker is deeply troubled, assures me, “If this sounds like a cry for help, like shouting into a canyon & hoping to hear a voice different than your own, it’s not.” Two dizzyingly brief works with lasting impact.
Review by Denise Hill
Issue 18 of Dogwood features the winners of the 2019 Dogwood Literary Awards:
Dogwood Literary Award in Fiction
Judge Phil Klay
"Whom the Lion Seeks" by Annie Lampman
Dogwood Literary Award in Poetry
Judge Lia Purpura
"The Cancer Menagerie" by Gillian Vik [pictured]
Dogwood Literary Award in Nonfiction
Judge Lia Purpura
"The Taste of It" by Nikita Nelin
The deadline for the 2020 contest is September 5, 2019. Winners in each genre receive $1000 in addition to publication. See full guidelines here.
With the Spring/Summer 2019 issue, Ecotone Editor Anna Lena Phillips Bell [pictured] introduces a new "department" to be included in each issue of the journal, "Various Instructions, in which writers and artists will offer lists, prompts, formulas, how-to's, and the like."
Drawing inspiration from Eric Magrane's "Various Instructions for the Practice of Poetic Field Research," Bell writes that "these instructions are an invitation to think deeply in and with place. They have proved enduring; I’ve been glad to use them in teaching and in my own poetic practice."
". . . about a year from when this issue arrives off the press, I’ll be stepping down as editor. The decision came to me rather suddenly, I confess, and several years earlier than I’d previously imagined. What had long seemed a comfortable bike ride, despite occasional potholes and sudden challenging hills that maintained my interest and attention, was now unexpectedly weighing in my legs and on my shoulders. I was growing a bit weary and impatient for other vistas, other challenges."
In discussing the role and responsibilities of editor, Lynn responds to the label of gatekeeper :
"It’s hostile and resentful, suggesting that the role of literary editors is to maintain high barriers. With all my heart, however, I believe that the appropriate charge for an editor of the Kenyon Review is to resist any such notion of guardianship, of excluding any class or set of writers. Rather, whoever is appointed to follow me, she or he or they, should continue to seek to include, to aggressively search out new voices and new talents and even new media with which to publish them, while also nourishing and supporting many of those talented authors we have discovered and honored for the past two decades and more."
We wish Lynn a smooth transition away from his wonderful work with Kenyon Review - may he indeed be met by beautiful vistas and invigorating challenges.
Based out of Schoolcraft College in Michigan, The MacGuffin Spring 2019 features the winners of the Detroit Working Writer’s MacGuffin Poetry Prize, awarded at the group’s annual conference last Fall:
“Ann Arbor" by Diana Dinverno [pictured]
“I Thought I Couldn’t Take It With Me” by Vicki Wilke
"Whispers" by Jack D. Ferguson
Also included in this issue is a biographical sketch and selection of poems from The MacGuffin’s 24th Poet Hunt Contest Guest Judge Richard Tillinghast. Winners of the Poet Hunt Contest will be published in the next issue of The MacGuffin.
Sorry coulrophobics, and pretty much anyone creeped out by clowns, but this still from Kate Durbin's portrayal of "the trickster figure of the clown and white box of the Facebook timeline" in her short film Unfriend Me Now! (2018) is just one of many images also included in the Summer 2019 issue of The Massachusetts Review.
Such an iconic image of summer on the cover of Parhelion #5. This photo by Anne Eastman is one of many featured in her portfolio in this issue. Read her artist's statement to learn about her approach to photography, which includes evenings dancing as as "Little Miss Funshine" at the Fantasy Bikini Club in LA.
Court Green Summer 2019 made me laugh out loud: images of Elizabeth Taylor are used to link to each writer on the publication's home page. Other publications commonly use the writers' photos here, but Court Green's spin on that is hilarious. Since moving from print to online, this use of themed circles has become their hallmark.
The latest issue of New England Review (40.2) includes "Polish Poetry in Translation: Bridging the Frontiers of Language" edited by Ellen Hinsey [pictured], NER's international correspondent, with translations by Jakob Ziguras.
Hinsey discusses her approach to this collection, coming to the difficult question of "how to choose among so many brilliant authors? Should one pick a range of poets, or focus on individual key texts that might reflect a Polish reader’s idea of major 'missing' poems?"
The newest issue of Ruminate Magazine (Summer 2019) features the first and second place winning entries of their 2019 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize selected by final judge Jessica Wilbanks:
"The Foundation Above Us" by Porter Huddleston [pictured]
"The Proctor’s Manual" by Kristin Leclaire
"The Emperor’s Clothes, The Empire’s Language" by Jamila Osman
For a full list of finalists and judge's comments about the winning entries, click here.
In addition to publication, this annual prize awards $1500 to the first-place entry and $200 to the second-place entry. The deadline for entry is October 27, 2019. See full guidelines here.
Recent essays include "On Revision: From story to STORY, With a Little Help from a Doomed Vole and Robert McKee" by Lea Page [pictured]; "From Play to Peril and Beyond: How Writing Constraints Unleash Truer Truths" by Jeannine Ouellette; "Into the Woods: What Fairy Tale Settings Can Teach Us About Fiction Writing" by Dana Kroos; "Three Secrets to Create the Writing Life You Want" by Lisa Bubert; "In Defense of Telling" by Scott Bane.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Lately I've been worried about the welfare of a young groundhog who lives under our front deck. His back legs won't support him and he drags them behind. This poem has been a good lesson for me. That groundhog is neither MY groundhog, nor does he need my pity. This poem is by Gary Whitehead of New York, from his book A Glossary of Chickens: Poems, published by Princeton University Press.
In a flock on Market,
just below Union Square,
the last to land
and standing a little canted,
it teetered—I want to say now
though it's hardly true—
like Ahab toward the starboard
and regarded me
with blood-red eyes.
We all lose something,
though that day
I hadn't lost a thing.
I saw in that imperfect bird
no antipathy, no envy, no vengeance.
It needed no pity,
but just a crumb,
something to hop toward.
Note from American Life in Poetry: 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 ©2013 by Princeton University Press, "One-Legged Pigeon," by Gary J. Whitehead, from A Glossary of Chickens: Poems (Princeton University Press, 2013). Poem reprinted by permission of Gary J. Whitehead 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.