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Denise Hill

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brain-of-forgettingBrain of Forgetting is a new bi-annual (winter/summer) PDF and print (CreateSpace) publication of poetry, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, photography, artwork published by Brain of Forgetting Press with Editor-in-Chief Bernadette McCarthy and Associate Editor of Visual Art Tom Jordan.

The name Brain of Forgetting, McCarthy tells NewPages, "is drawn from the Irish legend of Cenn Fáelad, who lost his 'brain of forgetting' when his skull was split open by a sword-blow in battle. Cenn Fáelad developed a photographic memory for historical and legal information, which he wrote out in verse and prose on tablets. The journal honours his legacy by providing a forum for work that engages with archaeology, history, and memory, while recognising that pure, neutral historical fact does not exist in itself: the human (mis)understanding of history is not only susceptible to forgetting, but a natural tendency to impose a narrative structure on the past and invest it with meanings determined by the present."

Based in Cork, Ireland, the journal brings together the intellects of archaeological researcher and poet Bernadette McCarthy and photographer and art historian Tom Jordan. Unable to discover a literary journal that bridged the gap between academic research and creative output, McCarthy set up the journal in September 2014, advertising a call for submissions on the theme of "Stones." She attended an exhibition of her friend Tom Jordan's photography, which focused in particular on recording built heritage, and asked him to come on board as editor of visual art. This issue is now available here to purchase as well as for free download from the site.

In starting a new publication, McCarthy tells NewPages, "We hope to raise more awareness of the importance of protecting our past heritage, and how the past is not dead, but can help us reach a deeper level in our own creative work, and understand our present reality in a more complex way. The past isn't black-and-white, and there is no one narrative of what history entails; this is a central message of Brain of Forgetting. The process of 'digging' into the past and uncovering new meaning is vital to individual and collective social identity, and Brain of Forgetting hopes to address this need by negotiating the boundaries between past and present, creative imagination and historic record, and lyricism and bare-boned data."

Readers of Brain of Forgetting will find creative work that relates to the past, but, as McCarthy says, "this work must have a contemporary edge." A variety of writers and artists from all over the world were published in Issue One, many of whom had quite diverse backgrounds. Some were professional archaeologists, anthropologists, medievalists, and geologists; others were professional writers and artists who find the past to be a fruitful source of inspiration. "All work published was chosen not simply because it related to the past," McCarthy stresses, "but on the basis of its quality and originality—subjective indeed, but we try our best!"

The editors are excited about the upcoming Issue Two, which will feature new poetry by Afric MacGlinchey, as well as new translations by Rosalin Blue of the poetry of August Stramm, who died in World War I.

Looking to the future, in an ideal issue of Brain of Forgetting, Bernadette McCarthy would love to include work from one of her favorite archaeologist-poets, Paddy Bushe, and perhaps creative non-fiction by the likes of Christine Finn, author of Past Poetic: Archaeology in the Poetry of W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney. In general, however, she is interested in original work from anyone that engages with the past, regardless of whether s/he is an established or emerging writer.

Tom Jordan would love to publish a previously undiscovered essay by Hubert Butler, author of Ten Thousand Saints, who bridged the gap between history and imagination in his writings. He is also a fan of Irish artist Robert Gibbings and cosmologist/author Carl Sagan, but in general he welcomes anything well-done that relates to the chosen theme of the journal.

For now, McCarthy says, "Surviving is our main goal at present, and perhaps gathering enough funding together to be able to pay a local company to do the printing for us - though we are grateful for the existence of online independent publishing platforms. We would also like to try and reach a wider readership, and publish an even more diverse range of writers. So far, most of the work submitted has emanated from Ireland, the UK, Canada and the US. It would be great to feature more work from the wider Anglophone world e.g. parts of Africa, Asia, and Australasia where English is spoken."

Submissions for Issue Two, based around the theme of "Poppies," are open until the end of March. Up to four poems or two pieces of flash fiction (900 words max.) can be submitted, while submissions of creative non-fiction (one piece, 1200 words max), as well as photography and other artwork are also welcome. While the journal is primarily English-language, work in other languages can be considered if accompanied by English translation suitable for publication, while translations of pre-1500 English-language work are gladly considered. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, as long as the contributor informs the journal if a piece is published elsewhere. All work submitted must be previously unpublished in print or online. See Brain of Forgetting's website for more information.
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The editorial team of Studies in the Novel is seeking affiliate editors to solicit and oversee content development for the journal's online archive of indexed teaching tools.

The editors welcome applications representing each of the content areas below:

• Origins of the novel
• Non-Western novels
• Eighteenth-century novels
• Nineteenth-century novels
• Twentieth-century novels
• Contemporary novels
• Interdisciplinary and theoretical approaches to the novel
• Genre Fiction (individual editors needed for: YA literature, Science Fiction, Graphic Novels, etc.)

Responsibilities: Affiliate editors will support the editorial staff of Studies in the Novel by commissioning and vetting teaching content (including blog posts and short "teachable moments" for our archive) and by identifying appropriate links and other materials for inclusion on the journal website.

Please send a cv and 1-page cover letter to

Review of applications will begin April 30 and continue until positions are filled.
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birdfeastSince its inception in 2011, Birdfeast has been publishing poetry quarterly online. But, starting with issue eleven, Founding Editor Jessica Poli writes, "we've opened the journal to all genres in an effort to encourage and give a platform for cross-genre/hybrid work and, we hope, help bridge the space between genres. Birdfeast is interested in writing for the sake of writing, regardless of what box it belongs or doesn't belong in." Submissions are currently open and handled online.
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christina-nhekCambodian Invisibility in Education by Christina Nhek is the most recent in the What's Your Normal series, a regular feature on the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association website. Nhek writes, "I came to understand that I fell into the stereotypes that are associated with mainstream Asian Americans. My family came to the U.S. to give their children better opportunities. I had an educational standard I adhered to because of the expectations of my parents. I needed to succeed. What I failed to recognize, however, is the fact that as Cambodian American, I am not part of mainstream Asian American communities."

What's Your Normal is a a series of personal essays, accompanied by resource lists, highlighting the different kinds and forms of identities within APA populations. Writers are encouraged to share stories that give insight into what is "normal" identy(ies). The APALA goal is to allow us to learn from each other and to showcase the diversity within the APA populations. The resource lists will be archived for use by librarians, information professionals, and the general public.
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a-girl-in-piecesisabel-quinteroThe Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) annually selects Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, which this year identified 67 titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read for any reason. From that list, the committee also selects a Top Ten list. The lists include both fiction and nonfiction. [Pictured: Isabel Quintero, author of Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, one of the top ten Quick Picks, published by Cinco Puntos Press.]

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first-folioThe Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) and Cincinnati Museum Center, has announced the tour sites for its 2016 national traveling exhibition of First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.

The First Folio, the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays, was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death. John Heminge and Henry Condell, two of Shakespeare's fellow actors, compiled 36 of his plays, hoping to preserve them for future generations. Many of Shakespeare's plays, which were written to be performed, were not published during his lifetime. Without the First Folio, 18 of Shakespeare's plays — including "Macbeth," "Julius Caesar," "Twelfth Night," "The Tempest," "Antony and Cleopatra," "The Comedy of Errors" and "As You Like It" — would have been lost.

The exhibition will tour the original 1623 First Folio of Shakespeare to all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The locations include 23 museums, 20 universities, five public libraries, three historical societies and a theater. The list of sites with dates can be viewed here.

The national tour of the Shakespeare First Folio is part of the Folger's Wonder of Will initiative in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.
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national-library-weekFirst sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. This year's event takes place April 12-18 with the theme "Unlimited possibilities @ your library."

This event provides an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote use and support of all types of libraries: school, public, academic and special. All are encouraged to create ways to participate. The ALA website offers a number of free resources, ideas, downloads, posters, etc.

Specific celebration days include: National Library Workers Day - the Tuesday of the week (April 14, 2015); National Bookmobile Day - the Wednesday of the week (April 15, 2015); and Celebrate Teen Literature Day - the Thursday of the week (April 16, 2015).
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brandon-somangie-estesAngie Estes, an Ashland University faculty member in the low residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, has won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for best book of poems published in the previous year, and Brandon Som, author of The Tribute Horse (winner of the 2012 Nightboat Poetry Prize) and Babel's Moon (winner of Tupelo Press' Snowbound Prize) has won the $10,000 Tufts Discovery Award.

The Tufts poetry awards – based at Claremont Graduate University and given for poetry volumes published in the preceding year– are not only two of the most prestigious prizes a contemporary poet can receive, they also come with hefty purses: $100,000 for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and $10,000 for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. This makes the Kingsley Tufts award the world's largest monetary prize for a single collection of poetry. Unlike many literary awards, which are coronations for a successful career or body of work, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award was created to both honor the poet and provide the resources that allow artists to continue working towards the pinnacle of their craft.

To learn more about the award and see a full list of finalist, visit the Claremont Graduate University School of Arts & Humanities site here.
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marc-di-saveriojulie-cameron-grayThe Boxcar Poetry Review Spring 2015 issue features "First Book Poets in Conversation: Marc Di Saverio & Julie Cameron Gray." It's an interesting concept, to see each poet discussing their own approaches to writing, then spinning that into a question to ask the other poet, back and forth.

At one point in the conversation, Di Saverio reveals how his manic-depression guides his writing, "You ask me to take you through a poem, start to finish. I find my manic-depression somewhat dictates how a poem will be written. Usually, in manic states, I am overcome with inner wilderness, and I essentially explode onto the page, often a filthy, incoherent mess. I leave this mess alone until I am calm enough to rationally formalize or structuralize my raw manic material."

And later, Gray offers, "The themes of loneliness and isolation are all self-imposed, all the narrators are in situations of their own creation. It's such a common moment in everyone's life, at some point (or repetitively so), being lonely and liking it, reveling in it, keeping others at arm's length because you just don't want to deal with them right now; elements of self-sabotage."

Real the full conversation here.
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The Blue Route is an online national literary journal for undergraduate writers, with each author's school affiliation noted in the table of contents. I like the feel of this cover photo by Taylor Blume, with its intense colors and grainy texture.
This Spring 2015 cover of Tahoma Liteary Review is from a series by southern California artista Wendy Smith called "Inside the Brain." Inspired by the the work of neuroscientist Camillo Golgi who dyed samples of brain tissue so the neurons could be observed, Smith's images mimic the technique: color washes to illustrate brain cells.
Arc Poetry Magazine #76 features acrylic on canvas artwork of Christi Belcourt both on the cover and inside the publication in full color. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous.

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