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Denise Hill

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The Association for Library Service to Children has release six unique Graphic Novels Reading Lists for K-8.

Mitch Kellaway of The Advocate offers his list of The Year's 10 Best Transgender Non-Fiction Books: Trans non-fiction writing has had a banner year, exploring love, sexuality, and family in deep and refreshing ways.

Apply by Dec 30 to win $3000 to promote your library from the Campaign for America's Libraries.

Landon MacDonald of USC's The Daily Trojan sleuths the truth about Sherlock Holmes and the curious case of expired copyright.

Major New Prize for African Literature Announced recognizing excellent writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

From the BBC's iWonder website Writing the Future: A Timeline of Science Fiction Writing.

The University of Iowa has undertaken to digitize science fiction fanzines from the James L. 'Rusty' Hevelin Collection of almost 10,000 fanzines.
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About Betty Kelly Sargent

betty-kelly-sargentWith a few credentials under her belt, including former Editor-in-Chief of William Morrow, Executive Editor of Harper Collins, and Executive Editor of Delacorte Press, Betty Kelly Sargent offers writers succinct and sound advice in her feature essay "What Good Editors Do and How To Find One." It can be read in the Fall 2014 online issue of Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing.
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Issue 10 of Saranac Review marks a decade that this annual of the SUNY College at Plattsburgh Department of English and Writing Arts Programs has been publishing. "No easy task," remarks J.L. Torres in the Editor's Notes. Torres mentions "then Provost Robert Golden, who secured budgetary support for the journal" in its infancy.

I'm glad Torres names Provost Golden. Such support as this is crucial for an academic publication to survive. A decade or so ago, I heard remarks from independent journal editors about how "easy" academic literary magazines had it because their funding was secure. I knew first hand this wasn't true. At one college, I founded and led the college's literary journal, and hoped the fact a key administrator's daughter was in a creative writing program would offer us some of that mythical security. It did not. The journal was pitted against the outdoor club for an annual scrap of funding, and lost. Seems our administrator enjoyed hiking more than reading.

Then the recession hit, and college administrators nationwide went after every penny they could seize. Literary magazines make easy targets: seemingly "frivolous" and non-essential, especially publishing works those in decision-making roles find difficult to understand, if they read them at all. Numerous times, NewPages went to bat for these threatened publications, writing letters on their behalf to presidents, deans, provosts, and encouraging others to do the same. Yet we watched them fall. (Isotope, I still miss you!)

I listened to the shift in conversation, to editors talking about removing publications from their academic homes in order to save them, to find their own means of secure funding, and to be able to control the content (another long-standing battle that can occur in academic settings). I watched publications move online, either under pressure from an administration that believed this meant the journal would be "free" to publish, or from editors simply trying to save the publication with this less expensive format (usually along with the loss of their stipends, release time, office space, support staff, etc.). This was a risky move since, at that time, online publications were considered suspect in terms of credibility and stigmatized as "lower quality."

The challenge continues, in this day and age of STEM not only is the focus on science, technology, engineering and math in education, but people in these fields tend to come with deep pockets that can support all kinds of initiatives (like new multimillion dollar campus buildings). Still, I am encouraged by the number of times I see STEAM as the emerging acronym, including "the arts" as being as vitally important to the creative process and on equal ground when it comes to critical thinking and developing the "whole" human being. It is an inclusion and partnering that is essential. The goal now is to continue encouraging and working with those in positions of decision making and power over the purse strings to see the value in the arts as much as those supporters of STEAM do, and as much as we do.

I don't know former Provost Robert Golden, but he has my respect, as do all chairs, deans, provosts, vice presidents, and presidents who support the arts at their schools - not just in words, but in the cold, hard cash necessary to keep the arts alive and vibrant, as whole and as valid as any other aspect of academic study, professional and human development.

I recently attended the anniversary of a famous American composer who came back to his former college to celebrate with the former college president. I listened to speeches about how the arts were funded and supported at the school. I watched colleagues and community members give this former president a standing ovation. I'm sure he wasn't a perfect president in his day, but whatever his faults may have been at the time, they hadn't followed him into the future. I wondered about other college presidents, how they might be remembered years after they retired. I can imagine the Saranac Review having a 10th anniversary celebration and Robert Golden being invited. I can imagine that he, along with those currently in positions of power, would receive a standing ovation for their continued support of the publication.

It's good to be recognized. If there are those at your college who have shown support in the past and in the present, I hope that you will take the opportunity to recognize them. Have some event where they are invited. Initiate a standing ovation to them. If you're online, maybe you can find some way to create a virtual standing ovation. It doesn't mean there haven't been and won't be struggles to survive, but don't let their good efforts go unrecognized. I think those who have not done likewise should know the recognition they've lost, the respect they will never experience ten years, twenty years, thirty years later. I have seen that over time, people have not forgotten this good work. Those in positions now should see what they can choose to continue or not, what their own legacy could be.




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BathantiM. Scott Douglass, publisher and editor of Main Steet Rag, is one of the most doggedly and passionately persistent people I know, especially when it comes to poetry. His efforts turned a bit more political this past year with the controversy surrounding the annual appointment of North Carolina's Poet Laureate. In Scott's words:

"In Mid-July, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory bypassed the established protocol for selecting [former Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti's] replacement in the position of NC Poet Laureate. An internet donnybrook ensued because his selection seemed out of touch with the state's writing community. A spokesperson from the governor's office said the position was largely symbolic, didn't require qualifications, and called those who were complaining 'elitists.' The governor's selection for Poet Laureate then resigned. No replacement has been named. National news was made."

It turns out that Lisa Zerkle had just finished an interview with Bathanti for this issue of MSR during the news of this controversy, but said Bathanti didn't seem ready to talk about it yet. Scott would not be deterred when he later saw Bathanti would be speaking publicly on the issue. He attended the meeting, asked his own questions, then ask Bathanti if he would be willing to do a follow up on the issue with Zerkle. Bathanti agreed, and the resulting interview is published in this issue, with several pages devoted to the governor's treatment of the role of Poet Laureate.
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Can I politely say there's just something compellingly creepy about this image on the November 2014 issue of Poetry that make it difficult to look away? Considering the image, I think that's a compliment to the artist's intention, expressed as well in the title of the work, "Entanglement Practice" (2011) by Lise Haller Baggesen.

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East Coast Ink covers reflect the theme of each issue, a visual interpretation that can be both challenging and enjoyable. In issue 4, the editors note: "we explored bridges and connections of all kinds, whether they're being built or burned." The next issue: Bones.

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The Fall 2014 cover of the online journal When Women Waken features Spirit Dancer, a beautifully flowing painted image by Leah Thompson, who says, "My art is about passion. The subject I choose whether figurative or floral is second to my passion for the application of paint and color." Read more about Leah here.


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c-dale-youngThe most recent issue of New England Review (v35 n3 2014) begins with a farewell editorial by poetry editor C. Dale Young (which can be read here in its entirety). In it, he tells the story of his being called to "consult" on the massive backlog of poems the magazine received - to help sort the slush - and then his subsequent promotion to associate editor and then poetry editor. His comments on the responsibility of reading and selecting for the past 19 years are thoughtful, heartfelt and deeply genuine.

In his leaving, this particular issue features his final selection of 20 poems culled from past publications: ". . . there were at least ten poems that never left me alone, that haunted me, so much so I sometimes felt as if they were my own poems. I can even recite many of them. I wrote down these titles and then read through every issue I have helped put together in my time with the magazine to find another ten. I culled and culled until I had the twenty poems from my time with NER that not only never left me alone but actually changed me as a reader and writer. They changed my mind, and they changed my heart."

I cannot imagine a higher recommendation for reading this issue of NER. Several of the poems are available to read online. [Photo credit: Marion Ettlinger]

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cheAs part of World Literature Today magazine's November 2014 cover feature focusing on central European literature since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the editors invited 25 writers to nominate one book that most influenced their own writing or ways of seeing the world. Nominations were open to any book-length work—written in any language and published since November 1989—as long as it could be read in English. The longlist was then published on WLT's blog, and readers were invited to vote for their three favorites. The top ten results, along with the nominating statements for the three winning titles, can be found in the most recent issue and on their website.
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The Autumn 2014 (No. 261) issue of Fiddlehead features "Remembering Alistair MacLeod." Editorials by Ross Leckie ("Remembering Alistair MacLeod"), Mark Anthony Jarman ("A Master in the Heart of Cork"), Douglas Gibson ("A Great Writer and a Great Man"), and D.R. MacDonald ("Alistair MacLeod Tribute"). Immediately following this section is a work of fiction by Alistair MacLeod, "The Vastness of the Dark."
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denver-quarterlyThe newest issue of The Denver Quarterly (49.1 2014) includes a special feature of work by a selection of Native American writers to mark the 150th anniversary of the infamous Sand Creek Massacre (Laird Hunt, Editor). Editors Billy J. Stratton and Eleni Sikelianos write, "The words that make up this special feature are indeed limited, and as we look through the contents we wonder how to best honor the dead of Sand Creek and their living descendants. Yet we did not request that contributors send work specifically about Sand Creek. Some of the writers in this feature are working directly with history and some are not, but in all lives the desire to 'write back' and share story and song."
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Yes, you can quantify literature. And it's really pretty fun.

Are you a Cinema-Literature Progressive? Then you must know this filmmaker.

Writer Beware!: The Blog has a hugely helpful post on How Not to Register Copyright.
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