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Denise Hill

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American Life in Poetry: Column 552

Many of the poems that have survived for hundreds if not thousands of years perfectly capture a single vivid moment. There’s an entire season packed into this very short poem by Ed Ochester, from his recent book, Sugar Run Road. Ed Ochester lives in Pennsylvania.


Crows, crows, crows, crows
then the slow flapaway over the hill
and the dead oak is naked

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. 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 ©2015 by Ed Ochester, “Fall,” from Sugar Run Road, (Autumn House Press, 2015). Poem reprinted by permission of Ed Ochester and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2015 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.
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Bringing literary frontiers and emerging voices to readers around the globe, New Zealand based Headland is a quarterly publication of literary short fiction and creative non-fiction available on Kindle.

JillianFounding Editors Liesl Nunns & Laura McNeur comment on their motivation for starting up a literary magazine, “We wanted to create a journal that gives voice to aspiring writers alongside established authors, offering a platform for first-time publication. New Zealand is home to remarkable literary talent, and Headland is a springboard for writers to explore and develop their potential, and showcase their early-career works.”

To support this focus on new writers, the editors offer this encouraging insight on their submissions page: “If we are umm-ing and aah-ing over whether to select your piece, it may just tip the balance in its favour if we know that we have the opportunity to introduce a new voice and, hopefully, make someone’s day.”

Choosing the name Headland, the editors meld both their local and global interests, “We wanted a name that invoked a very New Zealand sense of place and also looked outward to the rest of the world. For us, Headland not only does this, it touches on the limb writers go out on when they submit, on the experience readers have when lost in a good story, compelled to finish, and the place where the story lingers long after the last word is read."

Readers who come to the publication can already find great variety among the three issues of published authors. “We're very upfront about the fact that we publish what we love,” say the editors. “Readers can expect to find stories that they'll remember. Stories that take them places, and works that strike a chord in some way."

Some featured authors include Alex Reece Abbott, Michelle Elvy, Nod Ghosh, Heather McQuillan, Sian Robyns, Trish Harris, Rupa Maitra, Patrick Pink, Bonnie Etherington, Becca Joyce, Ignacio Bayardo Peña, and Jillian Sullivan [pictured]. The editors will soon be announcing their Best Story, and Best Story by an Unpublished Author for 2015. Headland will also feature a few contributors on their blog for each issue, exploring a different aspect of writing.

Headland accepts short literary fiction and creative non-fiction pieces between 2000-5000 words. The next deadline is Friday 11 December 2015. The editors plan to run another special issue featuring flash fiction alongside their regular content. Submissions are accepted by e-mail.
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Ellen Blum BarishWith the tag line: An exploration of human experience through essay and image, it’s hard to pass up Thread, a new literary magazine of short-form, personal narrative writing (100 to 1800 words).

Editor Ellen Blum Barish [pictured] has taught writing in Chicago-area universities, including Northwestern, where she draws her motivation to create this new publication: “The beautiful work of some of my writing students sparked my desire to publish emerging writers and build a community with established ones.”

The title comes from Barish’s attraction to the word thread: “for its multiple meanings, as a term we use to talk about what writing is about, the material that connects pieces together as well as the act of connecting them, and as a string of human conversation.”

But she also sees the publication as creating something even more rich for the readers to experience. The publication will offer readers, “Stories from life turned into art, accompanied by photographs that deepen and enrich those stories.”

Some past contributors include Robert Root, Lee Reilly, Randy Osborne, and Ona Gritz, and the upcoming issue will feature Roberto Loiederman, Annette Gendler, and Tom McGoehy.

Barish looks forward to the continuation of the publication, noting “I’m thinking about adding a flash nonfiction category and possibly a theme issue.”

Thread accepts submissions every day of the year by email, though Barish advises potential contributors, “To get a good sense of the publication, I urge writers to read at least two issues before submitting a piece of work to Thread.” See the website for full submission details.
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nora-goldJewish celebrates five years as "the only English-language journal in the world (in print or online) devoted exclusively to publishing Jewish fiction." was formed to showcase the finest contemporary writing on Jewish themes (either written in, or translated into, English), and to provide an online community for writers and readers of Jewish fiction from around the world. Editor Dr. Nora Gold writes, "I see this journal as a means to bring together in one place first-rate Jewish fiction from many different countries, thus allowing us all to experience simultaneously the rich diversity that exists within Jewish culture and the core elements that unite us. . . Jewish fiction is important not just for its literary value, but because it tells the stories of our people, a legacy for generations to come."

The most recent issue features 24 authors, among them: Ayelet Shamir, Rivkie Fried, György Spiró, Grigory Kanovich, María Gabriela Mizraje, Robert Sachs, Susan Breall, Frederick Nenner, Stephanie Friedman, Scott Nadelson, Yona Zeldis, and Elizabeth Edelglass.

Poem :: Claudia Serea

October 30, 2015
Written by
The Paper Children
by Claudia Serea

claudia-sereaI sit on the floor
and decorate the room
with paper cutouts.

Silhouettes of children,
snipped from a folded newspaper,
fall from my hands.

They float around the room dancing,
playing, pretending
they aren't gone.

. . . 

Read the rest in the October 2015 issue of The Lake.

Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet, translator, editor, and designer who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. She is co-founder of National Translation Month which celebrates translation throughout the month of September.

The Sound of Poetry

October 28, 2015
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poet lore 110Poet Lore Fall/Winter 2015 Editors' Page addresses the idea of sound in poetry and the poetic voice. "Becuase how a poet sounds matters so much to us at Poet Lore, we read the poems we're considering aloud to one another at each editorial meeting - a decisive exercise. Too often, stanzas that looked promising on the page fall flat in the air. . . It's hard to describe but easy to recognize the cadences of poetry. As Robert Frost wrote in a letter to his former student John Bartlett a century ago: 'The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader . . . . I wouldn't be writing all this if I didn't think it was the most important thing I know.'"

Also included in this issue is the essay "Say the Word" by Mark Sullivan, which "explores the threshold between hearing and interpreting word-sounds."
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wild-onesMorgan Laidlaw and Zan Giese are the editorial force behind the newly launched biannual PDF The Wild Ones: A Queer Literary Magazine. Publishing stories, essays, and poetry written by LGBTQ+ writers, for LGBTQ+ writers, that "depict life and the world as we see and experience it," The Wild Ones means to create a space for queer authors.

"There are so many outlets that reinforce hetero-normative culture," Morgan tells NewPages, "and we need more works and publications that cater to us as queers. Most people can name at least one gay magazine or one queer author who has been published in a major magazine. But magazines like ours? Where they are just queer magazines? Space is what we are all looking for. Space to fit in. Space to exist and space to create. There are gaps where queer people don't quite fit into mainstream expectations and some queers who still don't fit at all. It's not that what's already out there isn't good enough, it's that there isn't enough. Period."

Morgan and Zan combined this motivation with inspiration to create the magazine's title. "The name is a hat-tip to Oscar Wilde," Morgan explains, "but also to Where the Wild Things Are and Maurice Sendak and Thorton Wilder. It's also a reference to the kinds of stories we're looking for: wild stories that don't conform to stereotype or convention."

Their first issue is a reflection of this mission, featuring an amazing science fiction short story from B.R. Sanders and hard-hitting poetry from contributors like Mark Ward, Sea Sharp, and Alaina Symanovich. "Right now," Morgan says, "we're trying to establish ourselves as a source for high-quality literary work through our journal and cultural criticism through our website. In the future, we'd love to publish quarterly, and move into other publishing venues as well."

The Wild Ones accepts submissions via their online form and welcomes pitches sent e-mail. The editors are also looking to grow their writing staff. If anyone is interested in writing for The Wild Ones website, send an email with a writing sample.
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writegirlLocated in Los Angeles, WriteGirl is a one-on-one mentoring and monthly creative writing workshop model for girls 13-18 years old. Started in 2001, WriteGirl has grown to become a recognized, and highly awarded, mentoring model for its efforts to promote creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills to empower teen girls.

WriteGirl has published a dozen anthologies of writing from young girls and women of the WriteGirl project, as well as Pens On Fire: Creative Writing Guide for Teachers & Youth Leaders. Their most recent collection, Emotional Map of Los Angeles features the creative voices of 190 women and girls as well as writing tips, advice and inspirational prompts from the WriteGirl community.

For anyone who is interested in working with teens and writing, especially at-risk youth, WriteGirl provides a excellent model to follow and publications to inspire and guide.
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chinese-literature-todayChina's Internet Literature: From "Live-Scene" Poetry to Million-Character Narratives is the special feature in the newest issue of Chinese Literature Today. Editor Jonathan Stalling writes: "While the Internet has radically changed communication in the modern world, one could argue that China's 289 million online readers are making China the epicenter of the global literary transformation. CLT now delves into this rapidly expanding literary space through the work of leading scholars in the field. Heather Inwood explores how the democratization of publishing poetry online - challenging, or even passing the traditional gatekeepers - has affected, and in some cases, improved the overall quality of poetry in China. Haiqing Yu reveals how short Internet spoof videos called e'gao parody a variety of cultural subjects, from blockbuster films to pop stars, to more serious public figures, leading many to assert that e'gao videos have become an important new form of social engagement. Angie Chau offers readers a front-row seat at the intersection of public intellectual discourse and Internet fame in the case of Internet literature phenomenon Han Han."

Stephanie Dickinson

October 22, 2015
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bitter-oleanderStephanie Dickison is featured in the Autumn 2015 issue of The Bitter Oleander, including an interview and twenty pages of her poetry and prose. From the interview:

I am inspired by lists of flora and fauna, by descriptions of antique furniture, by art techniques such as ironing in centuries past, or by the evocative power of faces to speak through the sepia of 19th century photography. I'm not a writer of compression or irony or overarching structures of thought and don't consider myself a writer of the first water or second etc. but I love words and sentences. I love reading and my world has been made glad by the wonderful books I've read. I do not know what happens when the writing connection starts, when the interweaving and tightening begin, when I slip into the other and am no longer wholly my more limited self. I travel on my ear as well, but that is more on a subconscious level.

TBO's website includes an excerpt from the interview as well as one of the pieces from the publication, "Emily and the Black Dog."

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