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Denise Hill

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NORIssue #16 / Fall 2014 of New Ohio Review features the 2014 Contest Winners as selected by Aimee Bender for Fiction and Alan Shapiro for Poetry:

Fiction Prizes

1st - Robert Glick: "The Undersized Negative"
2nd - Joseph Scapellato: "Small Boy"

Poetry Prizes

1st - Stephanie Horvath: "So That is What I Am," "CadesCove Water Wheel," and "Medicine"
2nd - Jennifer Perrine: "A Theory of Violence" and "Embarrassment: from baraço (halter)"
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Flipping through the newest issue of Alaska Quarterly Review, from back to front, it only took a page in before I was stopped by the image on the page. I won't explain it - has to be seen - "STRETCH IT OUT!" by Vis-à-Vis Society (Rachel Kessler and Sierra Nelson). Guest edited with an introduction by Elizabeth Bradfield, "Out of Bounds: A Celebration of Genre-Defiant Work" is pretty dang delightful. While AQR tries to bring it onto the page, the one piece connected directly from their website is really better in the e-version than in print. It's worth having it preserved in the issue, though both forms seem transient to their own degree, but "The Christmas When You Were Nine" is best experienced in its originally paced "code poem" form. But this is the challenge of works that defy genre, and is nothing new, Bradfield tells us: "Work that defies genre and authorship is not, of course, new. Japanese renga of the 8th century were written collaboratively. One might consider Homer a mashup artist, making his poem from the many tellings and retellings of an oral epic. French Surrealists mixed visual art into their experiments. The 'happenings' of the 1950s and 1960s were even more multi-disciplinary and worked to break the fourth wall between performer and audience." And what was once strange and new became mainstream. Strange and new, fun and playful, definitely worth checking out - with kudos to Alaska Quarterly Review for making efforts to harness that defiance for us to see - or have they harnessed the readers and brought them to this experience? Defiance indeed.
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I appreciate Robert S. Fogarty's humorous but hard-hitting editorial in the newest issue of The Antioch Review, "Word Trucks: I and You; Here and There; This and That." In this "nation of fads," he writes, one is hard pressed to keep up with all of them." Fogarty goes on to discuss the food truck phenomenon - how in his foreign travels he had been warned against eating from street vendors, and now, here in the US, those curbside eateries are all the rage. He muses, "Literary magazines have been in the food truck business for a long time, serving up a variety of dishes that were intended to stimulate the intellectural palate with 'the best words in the best order.'" [Qtd Coleridge] While Nicholas Carr looks at "What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains" in his book The Shallows, quoting a Duke University instructor who says she can't get students to read "whole books anymore," Fogarty seems unshaken - his stronghold in the "word truck" realm has long been feeding hungry minds to satisfaction. "A heady meal," he claims - "and it's gluten free."
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American Life in Poetry: Column 500

EliseHempelThis is our 500th weekly column, and we want to thank the newspapers who publish us, the poets who are so generous with their work, our sponsors The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln English Department, and our many readers, in print and on line.

Almost every week I read in our local newspaper that some custodial parent has had to call in the law to stand by while a child is transferred to its other parent amidst some post-divorce hostility. So it's a pleasure to read this poem by Elise Hempel, who lives in Illinois, in which the transfer is attended only by a little heartache.

The Transfer

His car rolls up to the curb, you switch
your mood, which doll to bring and rush

out again on the sliding steps
of your shoes half-on, forgetting to zip

your new pink coat in thirty degrees,
teeth and hair not brushed, already

passing the birch, mid-way between us,
too far to hear my fading voice

calling my rope of reminders as I
lean out in my robe, another Saturday

morning you're pulled toward his smile, his gifts,
sweeping on two flattened rafts

from mine to his, your fleeting wave
down the rapids of the drive.

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 ©2013 by Elise Hempel and reprinted from Only Child, Finishing Line Press, 2014, by permission of Elise Hempel 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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As if being selected isn't reason enough to read them, Mashable Social Media Assistant MJ Franklin gives us 7 Reasons You Should Read This Year's PEN Literary Award Winners - matching each reason with an award-winning book. With #1 being "They empower children" it seems enough said, but do read the rest.

Columnist Fanfic writer Elizabeth Minkel weighs in on (whether or not) adults (should be) reading YA literature on the New Statesmen: Read whatever the hell you want: why we need a new way of talking about young adult literature.

Princeton University now houses 180 linear feet of materials documenting Toni Morrison's life, work, and writing methods - with more to continue being added.

I guess it's time to re-read Moby Dick and Nathaniel Philbrick's book that shares its title with the Ron Howard film In the Heart of the Sea so I can keep up with the coming onslaught of comparative news stories and blog posts.

Grad School's Mental Health Problem and When Education Brings Depression are two insightful articles that might just be what someone needs to read or have shared from a friend, and don't discount comics for their reach in portraying psychological illness. [Thanks Gerry Canavan for this trio of links.]
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victorian-clockDigitalArts Editor Neil Bennett provides a photo essay on the recent Gothic art, design and literature show at the British Library: Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination – including visual works by the Chapman Brothers, Clive Barker, Stanley Kubrick and a vampire-killing kit.

Going Beyond Georgia

November 04, 2014
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GeorgiaReviewAmericans Curiously Abroad is the feature in the Fall 2014 issue of The Georgia Review. Now in its 68th year of publication, Editor Stephen Corey comments on the publication's long-standing "aspiration" to "not be a Georgia review," but rather, as Founding Editor Donald Wade noted: ". . . Georgians are, or should be, interested in everything, everywhere." In this issue, The Georgia Review brings readers "a quintet of diverse essays [Corey] can almost guarantee will take you to a number of places you've never been or, in some cases, every thought of or even known existed."

The special feature includes: Kate Harris "Lands of Lost Borders"; Jeff Gundy "The Other Side of Empire"; Adriana Páramo "My Timbuktu"; Anne Goldman "Travels with Jane Eyre"; Jeffrey Meyers "Ian Watt and the River Kwai." Click here for full list of the issue's contents. 

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PulpLiteratureThe most recent issue of Pulp Literature (#4 Autumn 2014) features the story "Soldier, Wake" by Susanna Kearsley followed by an interview in which Kearsely comments: "My books are a marketing department's nightmare, really, because they don't fit tidily into any genre . . . But usually I simply tell people I write stories about present-day people who are dealing with mysteries that come from the past, with dual plot lines that weave a historical tale with a modern one." Kearsely goes on to discuss "Soldier, Wake," her first zombie story, why she thinks readers are drawn to the mystical, and using her international travel as research for her writing
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Planet Drum Foundation is "a voice for bioregional sustainability, education and culture. The organization's website features educational resources, resources, informative essays on current issues related to sustainability culture, and a unique "Eco-Eye on the Olympics" - supporting the foundation's opposition to the environmental impacts caused by the Winter Olympics.

Members of Planet Drum receive the foundations newsletter, the most recent issue of which features a selection of bioregional poetry selected by Gary Lawless, founder of Gulf of Main Books.

Lawless writes: "I first heard the word 'bioregion' spoken by a poet, in the early 1970s. Since then, a lot of my news, a lot of my understanding of the idea of bioregionalism, has come from poets. We talk to each other about the places we love. We learn to listen, to hear the languages of plant, animals, stone, wind and sky, to hear the human languages  developed from living in a particular place over a long period of time. We are seeing many of these languages disappear, as the species and places they speak about disappear."

This special poetry issues means preserve those relationships, those languages, with works by Jerry Martien, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Marcela Delpastre (translated from the Occitan by Nicole Peyrafitte and Pierre Joris), Richard Hamasaki, Lisa Panepinto, Destiny Kinal, Kauraka Kauraka, Jess, Housty, Gary Lawless, Joanne Kyger, Peter Berg, James Koller, Dale Pendell, and Art Goodtimes.
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KillingTrayvonsPublished by CounterPunch, Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence tracks the case and explores why Trayvon’s name and George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict symbolized all the grieving, the injustice, the profiling and free passes based on white privilege and police power: the long list of Trayvons known and unknown. With contributions from Robin D.G. Kelley, Rita Dove, Cornel West and Amy Goodman, Thandisizwe Chimurenga, Alexander Cockburn, Etan Thomas, Tara Skurtu, bell hooks and Quassan Castro, June Jordan, Jesse Jackson, Tim Wise, Patricia Williams, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Vijay Prashad, Jesmyn Ward, Jordan Flaherty and more, Killing Trayvons is an essential addition to the literature on race, violence and resistance. [Description from the publisher.]

CounterPunch Magazine is a political newsletter of independent investigative journalism, published 10 times per year in print and digital. The CounterPunch website offers content free of charge. This, along with many other alternative magazines on a variety of topics, can be found on the NewPages Big List of Alternative Magazines.


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