Crazyhorse Fiction Editor Anthony Varallo's Editor's Note to the Spring 2019 issue couldn't be more timely. In it, he recounts a conversation with a colleague asking, "What do you do with all your books?"
A conundrum for most NewPages readers, no doubt, since being book people still means holding onto physical copies of books, no matter how many e-versions we could be reading also/instead.
I once envisioned the perfect adulthood as being one surrounded by books. I guess I also should have envisioned the time to read them all! Much like the Twilight Episode, Time Enough At Last, we here at NewPages find ourselves surrounded by books and literary journals with barely enough time to glance the covers and contents before another batch arrives in the mail.
We do make time, however, to read, to write reviews, to appreciate others' reviews, and keep up with the literary world in general. Still - here are all these physical books.
Varallo [pictured] writes, "For many years, I acquired books with the idea that I was building a library. A library that would give me pleasure for years, I'd hoped, or a library that might be useful to others . . . "
We had also held such visions at one time, purchasing a dozen or so quality bookcases and having some built in. They quickly filled the office and spilled into numerous rooms in our home. And who read them? Did we have time? Did they even "look good" ? As Varallo comments, "I tell my colleague about the tower of books on my nightstand, the one that stretches higher than my lamp. I describe the books stacked horizontally on my bookshelves, not in the artful, decorative style you sometimes see in glossy magazines; these are stacks of pure necessity. Books piled on top of other books, sometimes bending the covers of the books beneath them."
This is the reality of 'too many books.' Yes, there is such a thing as too many books. And the truth of the matter in our case is, they should be freed onto others so that they can be read.
We cleared off the bookshelves in the office. Cleared out almost every bookcase in the house. We boxed up books and magazines and donated them to various libraries, colleges, universities and K-12 classrooms in our area and a bit beyond (Hello Alaska friends!). After this initial clearing out, we are still met with a steady stream of books and lit mags that come through. It is our work, after all.
What to do with them? We have a plan hatching and look forward to sharing it with you later this summer. In the meantime, What do you do with all your books?
Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts is collaborating with Black Earth Institute on the publication of a major anthology of contemporary Chicanx writers. Until August 1, 2019, they are accepting submissions of Chicanx poetry and prose from across the country.
The editors for this collection will be Luis Alberto Urrea, Pam Uschuk, Matt Mendez, Beth Alvarado, William Pitt Root, Carmen Calatayud, Carmen Tafolla, Octavio Quintanilla, Theresa Acevedo, Denise Chavez and Edward Vidaurre.
Submission Guidelines: "We are looking for Chicanx writers of poems and prose, from the rasquache to the refined. We want writing that goes deep into the culture and reveals our heritage in new ways. We want experiences, from blue collar gigs to going into higher education and pursuing PhDs. We want work that challenges. That is irreverent. That is both defiant and inventive. That is well-crafted. That is puro Chicanx. We acknowledge Chicanx is an attitude that may intersect with Latinx."
For more information, visit the Cutthroat website.
The editors of Frontier Poetry, in keeping with their mission "to provide practical help for serious writers," especially emerging poets, has a series of interviews - Editors Talk Poetry Acceptances - with "great editors from around the literary community." Frontier Poetry asks for "frank thoughts on why poems may get accepted/rejected from their own slush pile of submissions, and what poets can do to better their chances."
Adding an interview almost every month, Frontier Poetry has so far interviewed Kristin George Bagdanov of Ruminate Magazine, Rick Barot of New England Review, Chelene Knight of Room, Esther Vincent [pictured] of The Tiger Moth Review, Talin Tahajian of Adroit Journal, J.P. Dancing Bear of Verse Daily, Gabrielle Bates of Seattle Review, Melissa Crowe of Beloit Poetry Journal, Marion Wrenn of Painted Bride Quarterly, Hannah Aizenman of The New Yorker, Anthony Frame of Glass Poetry, Luther Hughes of The Shade Journal, Don Share of Poetry, Sumita Chakraborty of Agni, Jessica Faust of The Southern Review, and Kwame Dawes of Prairie Schooner.
The Courtship of Winds each issue asks five questions of writers whose work has previously appeared in the online publication. The Winter 2019 Digital Forum invited Perle Besserman [pictured], Sandra Kohler, Denise Kline, and Jennifer Page to respond to questions to discuss how they see the #MeToo movement now - post initial profound effect, post backlash, post Kavanaugh hearings, and post Christine Blasey Ford testimony.
The writers each responded to five questions posed by the editors, including the Kavanaugh hearings, Trump's mocking Al Franken's stepping down, "utilitarian calculus" as addressed by Sonia Sadha, the impact of movements like this, and any inherent 'dangers' for men and women in our current climate of accusations and speaking up.
The Spring 2019 issue of The Missouri Review includes the 2018 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors' Prize Winners.
"Salt Land" by Amanda Baldeneaux
"Jamilla" by Jo Anne Bennett
Poetry by Diane Seuss [pictured]
This annual contest closes October 1 each year, and in addition to publication, the winners each receive $5000. All entries are considered for publication.
The basic stories in much of our canon of literature are hardly subtle. Their power and wisdom come from the discoveries about human nature and behavior through characters and their struggles. Beware of pride-bound, stubborn, pigheaded leaders—yes and beware of the idea that the themes of classic literature are “irrelevant” today. The resiliency of literature comes also in the clear and perfect expression of the moments and moods of life through language, many examples of which cannot be forgotten—Hamlet with the skull of his jester, Keats and his nightingale, or the sheer poignancy of Nick Carroway at the end of Daisy’s dock, looking out on the green light, thinking "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Speer Morgan, "Collisions," The Missouri Review, Spring 2019
The Chattahoochee Review Spring 2019 issue features the winners of the 2019 Lamar York Prize:
Winner for Fiction
Judge Kevin Wilson
“A Box of Photographs” by Peter Newall [pictured]
Winner for Nonfiction
Judge Adriana Páramo
“The Black Place” by Whitney Lawson
To read the judge's commentary and see a full list of finalists, click here.
Entries for the Lamar York Prize are accepted from November 1 - January 31 of each year. In addition to publication, winners receive a prize of $1000.
Cave Wall 15 includes a focus on revision. The 'artwork' for this issue consists of fifteen early draft images of some of the poems included. The cover art is actually Emma Bolden's draft of "Easter Sunday." Other authors whose drafts are included: Matthew Thorburn, Billy Reynolds, Chelsea Wagenaar, Jessica Cuello, Peter Kline, and Molly Spencer.
In addition, Cave Wall interviewed poets from this issue about their revision process and published those as a PDF on their website. Poets interviewed include Kasey Jueds, Matthew Thorburn, Tori Reynolds, Emma Bolden, Christopher Buckley, Molly Spencer, Billy Reynolds, Peter Kline, Carrie Green, Elizabeth Breese, John Sibley Williams, Chelsea Wagenaar, Lola Haskins, and Celisa Steele.
This issue combined with these Q&As would make an excellent teaching resource!
"In my view, writing, at least literary writing, is not just a matter of inventing out of whole cloth or drawing on things we remember, but also of accessing sought-for words and connections. Do we, when we're writing, reach in to actively find the parts of our next sentences, or are those 'given' to us? It often feels like the latter, which naturally makes me wonder through what agency. As Joseph Brodsky wrote somewhere, life is a gift, and where there is a gift there must be a giver."
Published by the Black Earth Institute, dedicated to re-forging the links between art, spirit, and society, the May 2019 issue of About Place is themed "Dignity As An Endangered Species."
Issue Editor Pamela Uschuk notes that the editors "chose work that addressed the question, what is dignity?" from the starting point that "dignity is endangered during these times." Assistant Editor CMarie Fuhrman asserts, "It is necessary that we begin to define, for ourselves and as a Nation, that which makes us human, humane." And Assistant Editor Maggie Miller explores the concept of dignity and closes her preface: "With chin up, shoulders back, we too go forward – with dignity given not taken away."
Contributors to the issue include Rita Dove, Joy Harjo, Jacqueline Johnson, Patricia Spears Jones, Fenton Johnson, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Linda Weasel Head, Kelle Groom, Maria Melendez Kelson, Cornelius Eady, Sagirah Shahid, Inés Hernández-Ávila, Gerald L. Coleman, K.LEE, K. Eltinaé, and Kimberly Blaeser.
Submissions for the next issue of About Place Journal are being accepted until August 1, 2019 on the theme: "Infinite Country: Deepening Our Connection to Place, Culture and One Another." Editor Austin Smith and Assistant Editors Taylor Brorby and Brenna Cussen Anglada.