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Denise Hill

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ploughsharesThe newest issue of Ploughshares (Winter 2014-15) features works by winners of the magazine's Emerging Writer's Contest along with commentary from each of the judges:

Tomiko M. Breland, "Rosalee Carrasco"

Eliese Colette Goldbach, "In the Memory of the Living"

Rosalie Moffett, Three Poems: "Why Is It the More"; "To Leave Through a Wall"; "Hurricane, 1989"
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concho-river-reviewAs noted in the Fall 2014 Forward of Concho River Review, "A forward has become a rare occurrence in CRR, and its appearance in an issue signals changes afoot in the journal. There have been a few." General Editor R. Mark Jackson goes on to explain that Erin Ashworth-King has stepped down as General Editor to assume responsibility's in the university's English department. She'll be phasing out her role over the next several issues. At the same time, Carol Reposa, nonfiction editor since 2008, has resigned and handed over her role to Albert Haley, Writer in Residence at Abilene Christian University since 1997 and author of numerous works published in the likes of The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and Rolling Stone.
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This issue of Banipal: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature, features a celebration of Saadi Youssef, beginning with this striking portrait on the cover painted by Mansour Mansour.

This cover image on Carbon Culture Review: Techology + Literature + Art is certainly an eye-catcher for its debut issue. Patricia Piccinini's "The Strength of One Arm (With Canadian Mountain Goat)" is composed of silicone, fiberglass, human hair, clothing, and - yes - Canadian Mountain Goat.

Palooka's newest issue (#5) features "Our Bright New Hope" by artist Florian Bo. The theme of light in the dark a fitting one as we approach the longest night of the year - winter solstice.
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SipinMelissa R. Sipin, winner of the 2013 Glimmer Train Fiction Open, offers a craft essay in the Glimmer Train Bulletin #95 entitled "To My Unknown Daughter: On the Inheritance of Writing." Sipin writes raw what so many writers struggle through in coming to their craft - their work - of writing, "I know, if you are anything like me, you will fight with society like a lover. In your writing, your art, you will need to expose its unwillingness to witness its oppression, its loneliness, its refusal to see truth and its addiction to shadows. And if you are anything like me, the world outside, which is both beautiful and not, both loving and not, both happy and sad, will force you to be sensitive to its pangs and joys, allowing you to think-feel. What is to think-feel?" And then later answers with, "This sensitivity, this ability to think-feel is what makes us writers, the kind of writers with the disposition to know and feel the most extreme states of the human condition (birth, love, and death). And it is because of this that we enter into these liminal spaces alone. We suffer these extreme states to know what loneliness feels like, what sadness, happiness, trauma, and hope are, both in body, mind, and spirit."

The Glimmer Train Bulletin is a free monthly that features craft essays from writers published in recent issues of Glimmer Train Stories. Also included in #95 are essays by Selena Anderson ("Want"), George Saunders ("On the Preconceptual World"), and Rowena Macdonald ("Writing Dialogue"). Read them all here.
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the-ragIf you're looking to read from an independent, writing a bit on the gritty and grimy side, cutting-edge, and fresh - all words Editors Seth Porter and Dan Reilly use to describe The Rag, then you'll want to get The Best of The Rag for free! Here are gathered 11 of the editors' favorite stories from first five issues of The Rag. Download The Best of The Rag here, available in three different formats: PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Cover and featured art by Alex Eckman-Lawn.

The Rag editors encourage good reading, and for writers who are considering submitting, "it's always wise to first read some of the material we've published in the past, so you can get a feel for the tone of our magazine. So before you commit to submitting, grab this free issue. We accept submissions online via Submittable and through the regular mail."
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American Life in Poetry: Column 505

Stuart Kestenbaum is a Maine poet with a new book, Only Now, from Deerbrook Editions. In it are a number of thoughtful poems posed as prayers, and here's an example:

Prayer for Joy

What was it we wanted
to say anyhow, like today
when there were all the letters
in my alphabet soup and suddenly
the 'j' rises to the surface.
The 'j', a letter that might be
great for Scrabble, but not really
used for much else, unless
we need to jump for joy,
and then all of a sudden
it's there and ready to
help us soar and to open up
our hearts at the same time,
this simple line with a curved bottom,
an upside down cane that helps
us walk in a new way into this
forest of language, where all the letters
are beginning to speak,
finding each other in just
the right combination
to be understood.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2014 by Stuart Kestenbaum, "Prayer for Joy" from Only Now, (Deerbrook Editions, 2014). Poem reprinted by permission of Stuart Kestenbaum 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.

Pongo in Your City!

December 17, 2014
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Pongo Teen Writing, long based in Seattle, Washington training writers to work with troubled youth, is now prepared to bring Pongo training to your city!

pongo-teen-writingAccording to founder, writer, and teacher Richard Gold, "The Pongo methodology serves multiple audiences: (1) Therapists and teachers who work with at-risk youth, in private practice or through agencies or in special schools; (2) College students, therapists, artists, and teachers who are interested in starting writing programs in jails, shelters, hospitals, and special schools; (3) College students and faculty in schools of social work, medicine, creative writing, psychology, and education; (4) Staff in institutions, such as jails and hospitals, who are interested in expanding their programming. Multiple agencies, colleges, and institutions can come together to sponsor a Pongo visit and training."

You can read more about the training and a suggested outline for how it could work for you here.

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From the Editorial Team at Broadsided:

broadsided-vectorWe hope you are feeling deeply connected to the things in your lives for which you are grateful. Among our many gratitudes is that Broadsided is a responsive entity, developing its interactions with the world as situations arise. The events in Ferguson, Missouri have, as we all know, radiated outward to touch upon deep issues in American culture. Race, power, violence, justice, and questions of how we can create and maintain a society that is just and safe for all its citizens.

We have seen powerful poems offered in response--by writers of those poems themselves and also by those looking for voices to help them speak. We want to help gather and honor those voices. To do so, we have launched a new initiative: Groundsourced Anthologies.

We want you to tell us what poems have been meaningful to you in relation to Ferguson. We want you to share them on our Tumblr page so that others can see the chorus of words available to them as they grapple.

Visit this link, scroll to see what's there, and add your voice:

You don't need to "join" Tumblr to share or view.

With Thanks,

The Broadsided Editorial Team
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Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their September Family Matters competition. This competition is held twice a year and is open to all writers for stories about family of all configurations. The next Family Matters competition will take place in March. Glimmer Train's monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

RowenaMacdonaldFirst place: Rowena Macdonald, of London, UK, wins $1500 for "My Brother Is Back." Her story will be published in Issue 96 of Glimmer Train Stories. [Photo credit: Martin Fuller.]

Second place: Joshua Graber, of Canton, OH, wins $500 for "Freeman Göttschall Experiences One or Two More or Less Improbably Events." His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing his prize to $700.

Third place: Janet Kim, of Cambridge, MA, wins $300 for "Teeth."

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
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allan-kornblumWe were saddened to hear the news today that Coffee House Press founder Allan Kornblum has passed away. NewPages writer Jessica Powers interviewed Allan back in 2006: "The impulse to publish is the impulse to share enthusiasm." We shared this impulse and enthusiasm with Allan for decades. We will miss him dearly. We will all miss him dearly.

We welcome any/all Feedback.