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Denise Hill

Written by
tuesdayI was thrilled to see Tuesday; An Art Project at the AWP Minnesota Book Fair. Tuesday is THE most gorgeous poetry postcard publication I had ever seen, each issue a neatly wrapped treasure of letterpress postcards featuring poetry on some and art on others (the flipsides are blank for writing/mailing). However, the publication ceased with issue 11 in 2013. Okay, well, not "ceased," but perhaps worse, the H-word: Hiatus. This conjures up all kinds of wonderings of what went wrong, will the publication come back, if it does – for how long this time? From my view at NewPages over the past decade, I've seen a lot of hiatuses (hiati?) – some with reason, some not – but very few ever return. While "hiatus" to some might mean hope, I know it better as a long, drawn out death, usually finalized because someone stops paying the web site domain name bill.

Not so says Tuesday Founding Editor Jennifer S. Flescher, who has a Kickstarter campaign going to sell advance subscriptions to fund the publication (along with other premium goodies). [NOTE: Until 4/21 a donor will match all contributions!] When I met up with her at AWP, I was happy to talk with her, but also concerned about the whole hiatus thing. She was glad to offer me some clarity on her perspective, especially when I wouldn't stop hammering her with questions.

NP: Why did you go on hiatus? No need to get personal, but for some, it is very personal (health issues, family issues, etc.), which I think is important for others to understand, since so many literary publications are small (very small) businesses. If one person can't function for whatever reason, that can put the whole publication in jeopardy. You did allude to some reasons in your farewell note to readers, but nothing terribly specific. So, spill. Why hiatus?

JF: Of course, this is a very difficult question. It makes me go a little white and cold, though I know you are right, to hear you say that hiatus is often just a hasbeen rockstars comeback tour... I didn't want to come back for a year; I don't want to come back for a year.

In terms of why I stepped away, there are two answers.

The first was actually entirely personal. I'm not sure if this is of any interest to your readers, but I had a sick child and I really needed to be home with him. That had been taking a toll for a few years, and finally I simply needed to put absolutely everything aside and be home. There. For him. I am grateful every day this was an option for me, and I send love and compassion to all the mothers and children who do not have that luxury. That remains a decision I am very proud of, even if it cost me the journal.

The second is really the more on-point answer, I suppose. Yes, that darn domain bill. I had been paying for the magazine largely by myself for many years. This is my dirty little secret. I remember hearing a very young publisher years ago at AWP confess she had sold her car to pay for her press - I thought she was crazy! But I did too, truly; I still have my car, but I didn't take my kids on vacation, I didn't do a lot of things. In the beginning I felt like it was a lot like graduate school, and that it was money I spent to create something I believe in. Tuesday has a ridiculous business model simply because of the price of its physical parts. It simply didn't feel sustainable anymore. I needed to take a few years to really decide where I wanted to go next.

I want to find a sustainable model now. I needed to decide to be a publisher. We start these things - in MFA programs, in the middle of the night - we don't really know what we are getting into, and that's a good thing: we dive. Diving is so important for creation. But then comes the moment when you have to look around - is this water clean? do I like swimming?

I think there are real issues to be addressed in publishing. About diversity, about voice. Beauty. Access. Funding. Tangibility. I don't pretend Tuesday is big enough to tackle any of this, or the press I have a vision of will be, but I feel like that is the work I would like to address as an editor. Tuesday either needed to bigger or smaller. It's time to go bigger.

NP: Your Kickstarter campaign is asking people to pre-subscribe for two issues. What about after that? I mean, I'm sure you hope to have enough subscribers to continue the support – but...

JF: This is the $15,000 question. I feel like this is just what it was created to be - a kickstart. To get us back on our feet. Re-establish our base. Get us going for the next year. After that I want to pursue both traditional and non-traditional funding. Non-profit status and grants. Fundraising. Some sort of advertising. My real dream is to find corporate sponsorship. I don't like the model we have going now where poor poets pay more and more for the publishing of poetry. First off, they can't afford it. Secondly it exacerbates the money/publication gap. It prevents us from making the types of shifts in publishing that will open up publication to reflect the diversity of the important poetry in this country.

NP: Well, I'm a huge fan of Tuesday, so I'm giddy to see it come back (and, yes, have kicked in on the Kickstarter!). Thank you for all you've said here; I think you make some important statements about poetry and publishing that could benefit others.

JF: Thank you so much for all the support.

The Breathe Book

April 23, 2015
Written by
breathe-bookThe Breathe Book is a simple but powerful concept. The creators, a collective of healers, artists, athletes, programmers, designers, and friends, say, "It was made by us, but it belongs to everyone." The online version is available here.

When you visit the site and click the play button on the homepage, the word BREATHE enlarges then vanishes on the page while natural birdsong plays on the soundtrack. The word vanishes and appears four times, then the media loops and begins again automatically.

While the idea is simple: breathe in, breathe out, the creators write, "Because we know how difficult that can be sometimes, we created a place online that understands that. It is a place on the internet where there is only one word and only one thing to do: breathe."

The Breathe Book can be used on any computer or personal device, as a daily meditation itself or with other meditation practices, or just run in the background.

There is also a print version of our site — a tangible Breathe Book that consists of 50 pages, each page with just one word: BREATHE. The book is $11 with discounts available for bundles.
Written by
American Life in Poetry: Column 525
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Here's a fine poem about two generations of husbands, by Pauletta Hansel of Ohio.

Husbands

My mother likes a man who works. She likes
my husband's muddy knees, grass stains on the cuffs.
She loved my father, though when weekends came
he'd sleep till nine and would not lift
his eyes up from the page to move the feet
she'd vacuum under. On Saturdays my husband
digs the holes for her new roses,
softening the clay with peat and compost.
He changes bulbs she can no longer reach
and understands the inside of her toaster.
My father's feet would carry him from chair
to bookshelf, back again till Monday came.
My mother likes to tell my husband
sit down in this chair and put your feet up.


American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2011 by Pauletta Hansel from her most recent book of poems, The Lives We Live in Houses, (Wind Publications, 2011). Poem reprinted by permission of Pauletta Hansel 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. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Written by
john-m-bennettAngelHousePress presents NationalPoetryMonth.ca 2015, 30 days of visual poetry, asemic writing, concrete poetry, collage, and hybrid visual pieces from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, India, Ireland, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine, USA. Visit the site each day in April to see work that blurs genres and transcends boundaries. Poets featured include John M. Bennett; Volodymyr Bilyk, writer, translator from Ukraine; Shloka Shankar, freelance writer residing in India; hiromi suzuki, illustrator, poet and collage artist living inTokyo, Japan; and S Cearley.
Written by
rob-mclennanOn Writing: An Occassional Series curated by rob mclennan [pictured] on the Ottawa Poetry Newsletter blog celebrates two years of publishing craft essays by writers. Some recent posts include:

Sarah Burgoyne : a series of permissions-givings
Anne Fleming : Funny
Julie Joosten : On Haptic Pleasures: an Avalanche, the Internet, and Handwriting
David Dowker : Micropoetics, or the Decoherence of Connectionism
Renée Sarojini Saklikar : No language exists on the outside. Finders must venture inside.
Ian Roy : On Writing, Slowly
Monica Kidd : On writing and saving lives
Robert Swereda : Why Bother?

mclennan is planning forthcoming new essays by Catherine Owen, Peter Richardson, Sky Gilbert, Priscila Uppal, Carolyn Marie Souaid, Angie Abdou, Arjun Basu, Laisha Rosnau, Gail Scott and George Fetherling.
Written by
PoMoScoPoMoSco — short for Poetry Month Scouts — is the Found Poetry Review's 2015 National Poetry Month project. This April, 213 poets representing 43 states and 12 countries are joining together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.

Poetry prompts are divided into five categories: remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation corresponding to their generation method. Each category offers six distinct badges that can be earned. Badges vary in level of difficulty — some may be completed in less than an hour and within one's home, while others require additional time, interacting with the public and learning to use new software. Poets choose their own source texts from which to craft their poems.

Poets participating in PoMoSco demonstrate a willingness to experiment and write outside of their comfort zone. While not every poem they produced this month will be publication-worthy, the poets end the month with some strong starts and a new set of tools to which they can turn to as they continue their career as a writer.

The poems are available to read throughout the month and the site includes a Scout Roster and Scout Interviews.

[Main text from the About PoMoSco page.]

Written by
Erin-Adair-HodgesEditor Stephen Corey opens the Spring 2015 issue of The Georgia Review commenting on Erin Adair-Hodges, whose work "Of Yalta" won the 2014 Loraine Williams / Georgia Review Poetry Prize:

"The pleasant kicker for us here in the Review office came after we contacted Adair-Hodges last August to apprise her of the good news, and she wrote back to say we had just given her the first poetry acceptance of her writing career. (Three resulting side notes: newer writers, take heart in the democracy of our evaluation process; veteran writers, take the same; . . . )" The third note: The third annual contest is open to submisisons until May 15. See full guidelines here.
Written by
calogeroThe Bitter Oleander journal of contemporary international poetry and short story regularly features poetry translated into English published alongside the originals. The newest issue (21.1) includes the works of 20th century Italian poet Lorenzo Calogero (1910-1961) and an interview with his translator, John Taylor. An excerpt from the interview and one of Calogero's poems can be read on the publication's website here.
Written by
NANO Fiction 8.2 features this year's winner of the 2014 NANO Prize selected by Kim Chinquee.

jasmine-sawersJasmine Sawers piece "The Weight of the Moon" was chosen, as Chinquee notes, beecause "This piece represents, to me, what it means to be in love. So in love that one wants to capture the being one's in love with and keep it to one's self. Not realizing, at first, that this may produce harm. Ultimately this piece renders, to me, one's growth, the grief in letting go, and what a love that is in itself."

This is an annual contest which awards $1,000 for a previously unpublished work of fiction 300 words or fewer. This year's contest will be judged by Amber Sparks. All entrants will receive a one-year subscription to NANO Fiction. Deadline: September 1, 2015. See full guidelines here.
Written by
nano-fictionNANO Fiction has put out the call to continue their State of Flash series with short essays about flash fiction in and out of the classroom. Do you have thoughts about flash fiction being published today? Which stories or authors have moved you or worked particularly well to generate classroom discussions? Which stories have inspired students? Which stories have inspired you? How has flash fiction changed the way you or your students view writing or the writing process? See full guidelines here.
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