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Denise Hill

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world literature todayWorld Literature Today January/February 2016 features a celebration of the NSK Neustadt Prize Laureate Meshack Asare. Since 2003, the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature has been awarded every other year to a living writer or author-illustrator with significant achievement in children’s or young-adult literature. Laureates receive a check for $25,000, a silver medallion, and a certificate at a public ceremony at the University of Oklahoma and are featured in a subsequent issue of World Literature Today. Other recipients of the NSK Prize have included Mildred D. Taylor (2003), Brian Doyle (2005), Katherine Paterson (2007), Vera B. Williams (2009), Virginia Euwer Wolff (2011), and Naomi Shihab Nye (2013). [Text from the NSK Neustadt Prize website.]
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daniel simonWorld Literature Today celebrates 90 years of continuous publication with its January/February 2016 issue. Editor Daniel Simon [pictured] writes: "To celebrate. . . I’m pleased to announce the 2016 Puterbaugh Essay Series, a yearlong suite of review-essays that survey the twenty-first-century literary landscape. The editors have invited five writers to reflect on the contemporary scene by choosing a book or group of books, published since 2010, that have inspired their own creative and critical thinking. Bangladeshi novelist and critic K. Anis Ahmed launches the series with “Fiction: A Transgressive Art,” a compelling essay that, among other topics, focuses on the insidious forms of censorship that contemporary writers tend to internalize. Subsequent issues will include essays by Ghassan Zaqtan (Palestine), Bernice Chauly (Malaysia), Dubravka Ugrešić (former Yugoslavia), and Porochista Khakpour (Iran/US)." A good reason to start a subscription to WLT today!
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ruminate winter 2015The Winter 2015 issue of Ruminate features the first and second place winners and honorable mention of the 2015 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize as selected by Judge Amy Lowe:

FIRST PLACE: Doug Cornett, “Maybelline in the Tower"
SECOND PLACE: Will Jones, “The Shed”
HONORABLE MENTION: Elizabeth Kaye Cook, “The Body in Silence”

See a full list of finalists here.
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southern poetry reviewSouthern Poetry Review 53:2 features the winner of the 2015 Guy Own Poetry Award. Philip Dacey was the final judge, selecting Ron Watson's “View from Where the Grass Is Always Greener.” In addition to publication, the Guy Owen Award winner receives $1000. Other poets featured in the issue include Charles Atkinson, Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Jody Bolz, Beverly Burch, John Crutchfield, Caroline DuBois, Heather Hamilton, Gordon Johnston, Lynne Knight, Nick McRae, James Najarian, Daniel Joseph Polikoff, J. Stephen Rhodes, Maura Stanton, Ed Taylor, Will Walker, and Charles Harper Web.
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IR Online Issue 1Issue 1 of Indiana Review Online: An Undergraduate Project is now available. The editors write that IRO was started "to give voice to writers we don’t often see in literary journals. In the hyper-competitive world of literary publishing, emerging, undergraduate writers do not always have the opportunity to gain their first footholds. We wanted to help change that." And indeed they have, receiving hundreds of submission from around the world, the first issue was whittled down to top picks in poetry and fiction. Featured writers include Amzie Augusta Dunekacke, Ellen Goff, Katie Harrs, Robert Julius, Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle, W. S. Brewbaker, John M. Brown, Isabella Escalante, Kacey Fang, Shyanne Marquette, Carly Jo Olszewski, Meritt Rey Salathe, and Sage Yockelson.
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georgia review
I'm only selecting one cover this week because it is so profound. This cover image for The Georgia Review Winter 2015 is Mavis in the Back Seat by Cynthia Henebry, one of the photographers featured in The Do Good Fund: Southern Poverty Initiative. The Do Good Fund, a public charity based in Columbus, Georgia, is focused on building a museum-quality collection of contemporary Southern photography. Do Good's mission is to make its collection broadly accessible through regional museums, nonprofit galleries and nontraditional venues, and to encourage complimentary, community-based programming to accompany each exhibition. (Text excerpted from Do Good's website.)
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shasta grantThe newest issue of Kenyon Review features the winners of their eighth annual Short Fiction Contest:

First Prize: Shasta Grant [pictured], “Most Likely To”
Runner-up: Rob Howell, “Mars or Elsewhere”
Runner-up: Courtney Sender, “Black Harness”

Judge Ann Patchett writes:
In “Most Likely To,” Shasta Grant delivers a full narrative arc in four pages. Her characters experienced loss and were changed by it, a pretty remarkable feat to pull off in such a small space. Perfectly chosen details made both the characters and the setting memorable. This was the story that stayed with me.
Robert Howell gives us a completely delightful flight of imagination in “Mars or Elsewhere”. In dealing with a lover’s fantasy of what could happen were the couple to run off together, he creates a wild and atmospheric riff on possibility that read like jazz.
Courtney Sender matches the light topic of youthful lost love with the extreme heft of the Holocaust in “Black Harness” and comes up with a miraculous balance between the personal and the universal. I never could have imagined where this story was going and I was pleased by the surprise.
The winner and runners-up can also be read online here.

Monstrous Kickstarter

January 18, 2016
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Monstrous PR1What do you get when you mashup the mythos of Frankenstein with steampunk robotics? Toss in "True Grit" meets "Three Men and a Baby" anti-heroes and some strong, clever, resourceful, female characters “just as likely to jump into bar fights as their male counterparts,” and you’ve got Monstrous. No doubt about it.

Comic scriptwriter Greg Wright and artist Ken Lamug are the creators of Monstrous, a four-comic series that “tells the tales of everyday monsters, robots, and townspeople caught up in the changes sweeping Europe in the wake of Dr. Frankenstein’s mad science. But even in this twisted landscape, our unconventional heroes—giant rabbit monsters, steam-powered cyborgs, and babysitting bank robbers—all try to live by their own code of honor.”

Source Point Press has optioned the series and will be releasing them as a book in addition to readers being able to get the series delivered one issue per month starting in February. Source Point Press says they are using Kickstarter as a way to better interact with their readers and offer up some great incentives – like SIGNED COPIES! My favorite!
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still point arts quarterly
If I had my druthers, Still Point Arts Quarterly would be featured here for every issue, along with just about every page of their publication. Each issue is a true meditation of art an literature. The Winter 2015 issue #20 features Square (XIII) by Susan Breen.

lalitamba 2015
Lalitamba "is a journal of international writings for liberation." This 2015 cover gets my pick because, in the dead of winter, this says SUMMER to me and definitely liberates my mind from the cold and ice. [No credit given for the photo/model.]

fourteen hills
"Equal," acrylic on canvas by Amy Guidry, graces the cover of Fourteen Hills (22.1: 2016), keeping with the publication's tradition for catchy, sometimes bordering on (good) bizarre images.
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hampden sydney poetry reviewIn every issue, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review includes "4x4" - four of the issue's contributors answering the same four questions. The winter 2015 issue (#41) features Lesley Wheeler, Linwood Rumney, Chris Dombrowski, and Marianne Boruch. The questions all focus on teaching poetry:

1) Can poetry be taught?
2) Is there any value to students having a foundation in traditional prosody (meter, rhyme, fixed form, what have you)? Or should free-verse be the starting place? Or something else?
3) What poets have been the most useful to you in your teaching endeavors and why?
4) [After a "summary of a boilerplate class"] Can you imagine a radical revision of the way we teach poetry in the creative writing classroom? What would it look like? No workshop? No teacher? What more, or better, could we do?

Great questions with thoughtful and thought-provoking answers - which you have to get the issue to read - but also some great conversation starters for the teachers among us. How would you answer these?
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