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Denise Hill

Getting the BANG!

October 20, 2014
Written by
RogerBonairAgardTNGThe independent print literary review, The New Guard, has a unique monthly featured entitled BANG! Run as a kind of contest, BANG! showcases individual authors for one month. Each author installment is made up of three pieces in any combination: poetry shorts (20 lines) or fiction or nonfiction (500 words each) for thirty days. Bang! pieces are not published in The New Guard; the work is meant to be very short—flash-short—so that the pieces on Bang! serve as a kind of calling card for the author. Bang! installments run from the first to the first of every month. Writers are invited to submit their previously unpublished works for this feature year round.

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.
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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:


Two

KooserOn 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.

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American Life in Poetry: Column 498
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.
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American Life in Poetry: Column 497
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.


Rummage Sale

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
making change.


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.
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Bruce TFRBruce Bond, of Denton, Texas, has been named winner of the 2014 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Bond receives the thirteenth annual prize for his new manuscript, Black Anthem. In addition to a $2,000 check, the award includes hardback and paperback book publication in 2015 by the University of Tampa Press. A sampling of poems from Black Anthem will appear as a "sneak preview" in a forthcoming issue of Tampa Review, the award-winning hardback literary journal published by the University of Tampa Press. Bond's book will be released in the fall of 2015.

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.
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From the Library of Congress, Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. Young authors in grades 4-12 can enter, with levels set at 4-6, 7 & 8, and 9 - 12. Different deadlines apply, so see the guidelines.

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.
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The fall issue of Brevity: A Concise Journal of Literary Nonfiction features three new craft essays: "Consider the Prompt" by Dinah Lenney; "When Writing Will Not Make You Free: Resistance Training for Writers" by Judith Pulman; and "On Riding and Writing Boldy" by Monica McFawn. Whle Brevity's nonfiction submissions are capped at 750 "brief" words, these craft essays go well beyond, allowing writers to freely share their advice and give us readers a great deal from which to glean.
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American Life in Poetry: Column 496
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

One of Grant Wood’s earliest paintings is of a pair of old shoes, and it hangs in the art museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Wood grew up. Here’s a different kind of still life, in words, from Jim Daniels, who lives in Pittsburgh. The shoes we put on our feet gradually become like the person wearing them.


Work Boots: Still Life

Next to the screen door
work boots dry in the sun.
Salt lines map the leather
and laces droop
like the arms of a new-hire
waiting to punch out.
The shoe hangs open like the sigh
of someone too tired to speak
a mouth that can almost breathe.
A tear in the leather reveals
a shiny steel toe
a glimpse of the promise of safety
the promise of steel and the years to come.


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 reprinted from Show and Tell, Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2003, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin Press. Copyright ©2003 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Jim Daniels’ most recent book of poems is Birth Marks, BOA Editions, Ltd., 2013. 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.
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Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their Very Short Fiction Award. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers for stories with a word count under 3000. The next Very Short Fiction competition will take place in October. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

Luchette cred Kate Van BrocklinFirst place: Claire Luchette, of Brooklyn, NY, wins $1500 for “Full.” Her story will be published in Issue 95 of Glimmer Train Stories. [Pictured; Photo by Kate Van Brocklin]

Second place: Omid Fallahazad, of Framingham, MA, wins $500 for “Arrested.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue, increasing his prize to $700.

Third place: Louise Blecher Rose, of New York, NY, wins $300 for “Deux Ex Machina.”

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

Deadline coming up! Family Matters: September 30 Glimmer Train hosts this competition twice a year, and first place has been increased to $1500 plus publication in the journal. It’s open to all writers for stories about families of all configurations. Most submissions to this category run 1200-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. Click here for complete guidelines.

New Book from Jesse Glass

September 30, 2014
Written by
jesse glassBased on a widely celebrated case of senteenth century lycanthropy and embodying the Sadean idea of literature as a crime unlimited by time, space, and circumstance, The Life and Death of Peter Stubbe was From Knives Forks and Spoons Press comes Selections from The Life & Death of Peter Stubbe by Jesse Glass. From the publisher: "Based on a widely celebrated case of seventeenth century lycanthropy and embodying the Sadean idea of literature as a crime unlimed by time, space and circumstance, The Life and Death of Peter Stubbe was originally composed from 1980 to 1985 and published in a fine-press, limited edition by Birch Brook Press in 1995. . . In 2012, Glass returned to the manuscript, excerpted from it, and illuminated the redacted text using gouache, pencil, pen and ink, and the result. . . is a further added dimension to the original exploration of metaphysical violence, social chaos, night, and the autonomous nature of language."
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