In honor of W.S. Merwin, Kenyon Review Poetry Editor David Baker writes, "No contemporary poet’s work has meant more to me than W. S. Merwin’s. We first met in 1979, when I was a twenty-four-year-old high school English teacher in Jefferson City, Missouri; we played pool at Dave’s Bar in Kansas City one night, and he told me I shouldn’t go do my PhD but stay out of academia and write."
Read the rest of Baker's comments here along with Merwin's works published in KR and a link to video interview with KR editor David Lynn and David Baker upon Merwin's accepting the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement in 2010.
As I write now, during the middle days of February, hard upon our Spring 2019 deadline, the dice are still not fully cast for my successor or my exact departure date - and so I will be brief again: the earliest I would step away is 1 June, at which time our Summer 2019 issue will literally be in press and the preparation of the Fall 2019 contents will be in full swing, so my ghost will be around for at least some aspects of the latter. The goal for me, for the rest of the Georgia Review staff, and for the University of Georgia, is a transition that will be as smooth as possible for our submitters, contributors, and readers.
I will close with a few words (because I have been asked for them) about the why of my departure from the place of employment to which I have given more than half of my life, and which I have served through almost (just one year shy of) half of the journal's life. I've been pondering and preparing for a couple of years, with no pressure from anyone other than myself. I'm seventy, I'm healthy, I have several books of my own writing to finish and begin - and I haven't even toured Great Britain yet, that realm so vital from early days to my being drawn into this literature/reading/writing/editing life.
To be continued...
"Etymology of a Mood" by Ama Codjoe won The Georgia Review's 2018 Lorain Willams Poetry Prize, chosen by Natasha Trethewey.
The prize was started in 2013 with a gift from Lorain Williams and continued with the support of her estate after her passing in April 2016.
This year's contest, which runs from April 1 - May 15, will be judged by Stephen Dunn. The prize has also been increased from $1000 to $1500.
See full details here.
The newest issue of Black Warrior Review (Spring/Summer 2019) features winners of their 2018 contest:
Judged by Jennifer S. Cheng
Winner: “from Okazaki Fragments” by Kanika Agrawal
Runner-up: “Let’s eat baby the steak is getting cold” by Alice Maglio
Judged by Kate Zambreno
Winner: "Social Body" by Amanda Kallis
Runner-up: "Dark Grove, Shinng" by J’Lyn Chapman
Judged by Laura van den Berg
Winner: "Little Jamaica" by Ndinda Kioko [pictured]
Runner-up: "On Weather" by RE Katz
Judged by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal
Winner: “La Piedra de los Doce Ángulos" by David Joez Villaverde
Runner-up: “from Okazaki Fragments” by Kanika Agrawal
See judges' commentary on their selections and a complete list of finalists here.
Glimmer Train March 2019 Bulletin offers an interesting selection of craft essays, each just at a tipping point of controversy.
"Words, and Barry Hannah, the Guy Who Taught Me to Love Them" by Marian Palaia shares how Hannah's voice and vernacular influenced her early on, although now she comments, "if Barry were writing the same stuff now, I can't imagine how he'd get away with it."
Devin Murphy's "We All Do It! Don't We? The Art of Reading Like a Thief" examines the fine line of "Did I plagiarize the novel I'd read?" He comments on his own teaching and trying to help student writers "understand the value of actively reading for material that will help them deepen their own stories."
"What interests me about politics in fiction," writes Siamak Vossoughi [pictured], "is how it informs the lives of characters." In his essay, 'The Political Lives of Characters," he asserts, "A writer only runs the risk of being preachy or dogmatic if he or she makes a character of one political belief less three-dimensional and human than that of another."
The 2019 issue is a 48-page chapbook of work by twenty poets age fifteen or under, but don't let the age line fool you. Rattle editors write that this "is not a collection just for kids—these are missives to adults from the next generation, confronting big topics with fresh eyes and a child-like spontaneity."
Contributors include Lucia Baca, Angélica Borrego, Olivia Bourke, April Chukwueke, Lexi Duarte, Josephina Green, C.A. Harper, Lily Hicks, Angelique Jean Lindberg, Rylee McNiff, Ethan Paulk, Lydia Phelps, McKenzie Renfrew, Ellie Shumaker, Emmy Song, Rowan Stephenson, Saoirse Stice, Zachary Tsokos, Layla Varty, and Simon Zuckert, with cover art by Noralyn Lucero.
Submission deadline for the next issue is October 15, 2019.
Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, a team of Kid Reporters from across the country and around the world that covers “news for kids, by kids” is taking applications. Students ages 10–14 with a passion for telling great stories and discussing issues that matter most to kids are encouraged to apply for the 2019–2020 school year. All applications must be received by May 31, 2019.
Kid Reporters gain valuable writing and critical-thinking skills in addition to hands-on journalism experience through their work covering local and national current events, and interviewing news-makers. Their stories are published online at the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website, as well as in issues of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, which reach more than 25 million students in the United States.
Past Kid Reporters have interviewed notable figures, including:
• Anderson Cooper, CNN news anchor
• Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund
• Dav Pilkey, creator of the best-selling Dog Man and Captain Underpants series
• Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
• James Corden, host of the Late Late Show on CBS
[From Royivia Ferguson, Publicist, Corporate Communications at Scholastic]
Of course, there's the iconic poster, this year featuring artwork by Julia Wang, a high school student from San Jose California, who won the inaugural poster contest. You can download the poster as well as order a free paper copy while supplies last.
April 18 is Poem in Your Pocket Day - carry around a poem (or two or three) in your pocket to share by reading to people throughout the day. The Academy offers a selection of pocket-sized poems to download and carry.
Dear Poet is a multimedia education project for youth in grades five through twelve who can write letters in response to poems they read. Teachers are provided a full curriculum which aligns with Common Core.
In addition to all of this, Poets.org has a full page of programming resources for teachers, readers, writers, students, and librarians. That pretty much means for all of us! So check it out and get geared up!
The cover photo, "A Couch with a View," by Dallas Crow on the Fall 2018 issue of Cimarron Review is both subtle and inviting.
Winners of The MacGuffin's 23rd Poet Hunt Contest along with commentary from guest judge Alberto Álvaro Ríos are featured in the Winter 2019 issue.
"Ed" by Matthew Spireng [pictured]
"Venetian Passageway" by Judith Rosenberg
This annual contest awards $500 and publication for first place and publication for up to two honorable mentions.