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Denise Hill


October 23, 2015
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Brilliant. That's a high complement. But as an adjective? A tall order. Brillant Flash Fiction delivers in 1,000 or less. First lines capture me, or lose me. I was hooked on these:

brilliant-flash-fictionShe was drowning, and doing everything she knew she shouldn't.
She opened her mouth and tried to swallow the sea.
from "The Sea in Her Ear" by Opal Palmer Adisa

He was never going to be so much the centre of attention as he was on that Saturday morning.
from "On La Concha Beach" by Maurice Cashell

The phone rang. Mama picked it up. Three minutes after 'hello' she was still listening.
from "Caníbales" by Linda Musita

Really, how can you not want to read the rest? You can. Here.

Poetry :: Comfort Food

October 16, 2015
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by Jessica de Koninck

This noon I give thanks for fried fish
for macaroni and cheese
for dill rolls
for sweet potato pie
for this carbohydrate festival
the hair-netted ladies cooked
to get me through the afternoon
. . .

Read the rest on Apple Valley Review online journal of comtemporary literature.
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artcardLike most Englishy folk, I love to read in print. But I also love the ease and accessibility of reading online lit mags. The 2River View is a good example of how these two worlds can meet. They offer all content online, both their lit mag issues and their chapbooks, but they also have free press-ready PDF downloads of these. This is great for both personal use, but as a teacher, I'm always on the lookout for free resources to use with students. Here's both a great free poetry lit mag and a full backlist of poetry chapbooks to use in the classroom. And then there's the poetry/art cards (Kip Knott, 2009 pictured). Gorgeous. And did I mention the audio of poets reading their works? Really, if you teach and want to get students hooked on poetry, I can't imagine a better resource.
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Play2The Association for Library Services to Children has launched the new campaign Babies Need Words Every Day: Talk, Read, Sing, Play as an effort to bridge what is now being called the 30 Million Word Gap. A study conducted by Stanford University Researchers found that by age 3, there is a 30 million word gap between children from the poorest families compared to children from the wealthiest families.

The ALSC campaign has created downloadable resources that provide ways adults can help build children's literacy skills. There are eight posters available for free download, in English and in Spanish. Print and share with parents of infant children, post in areas where parents gather or spend time - provide copies for your family doctor, local clinic, school - or just post around your neighborhood!
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"The National School Boards Association co-signed a letter with other leading national education organizations to express strong support for the Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015. This important piece of legislation will help close the increasingly widening equity and learning gaps that exist between the students who have access to the Internet at home and those who do not."

National Day on Writing

October 12, 2015
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national-day-on-writingTuesday, October 20, 2015 is the seventh annual National Council of Teachers of English National Day on Writing. The day has been organized annually since 2009 "to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing Americans engage in and to help make writers from all walks of life aware of their craft." The day was officially recognized by Senate resolution in 2009. Read, Write, Think offers a variety of resources for teachers to celebrate this day with students, noting "It's important for everyone to share their knowledge about writing, organize participating groups in our schools and/or communities, and transform the public's understanding of writing and the role it plays in society today."

Ghazals for James Foley

October 07, 2015
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foleyAmerican journalist and poet James Foley disappeared in November 2012 in Syria. He was beheaded in 2014, an act captured on a video released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He was the first American citizen known to be killed by ISIL.

Hinchas Press (the publishing arm of Hinchas de Poesia online literary magazine) is publishing a tribute to Robert Foley in Ghazals for Foley, a collection curated by Argentine-American poet Yago S. Cura, a personal friend of Foley.

Sliver of Stone online literary magazine has published a selection of these ghazals here.

Eminence Domains

October 19, 2015
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straddler-fall-2015Eminent domain is the theme of the fall 2015 online issue of The Straddler - or rather "Eminence Domains," as the editor's note reads, opening the interpretation of the legal definition to the more creative. Content includes some truly intriguing articles and interviews:

"City with Walls: Another Look at Manhattan's Luxury Towers" by Elizabeth Murphy, with photographs by James Wrona

"The Cost of Landscape: Looking Back at Some of Southern California's Lawns" by Alison Kozberg

"For Whom and For What? The Birth of the Republican Party and the Makings of Modern America" in conversation with Heather Cox Richardson

"Gentrification of the Queer Bedroom" by Mathew Rodriguez

"Notes on the New Suburbs and the New City" in conversation with Kazys Varnelis

"Obstructing Innovation: The Case Against Patents and Copyrights" in conversation with Dean Baker

"Money over Everything: Charting Hip-Hop's Cash Flow" by Marty Brown
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issue4.coverSubprimal Poetry Art features audio components for many pieces in each online issue; audio that features the author reading with music accompaniment. Founding Editor Victor David Sandiego explains the basic process for this in his editor's note, issue #4: ". . . we loop the author's reading until a musical inspiration arrives. We work with the author's cadence, pitch and rhythm to find the pitch and instruments to complement their delivery. The goal is to add the voices of various instruments to the author's voice in order to bring another dimension to the words." Simply adding "background music" can result in distraction rather than enhancement, but after listening to a number of these, I found each indeed unique and effectively sybmiotic. Sandiego himself is a musician who plays in music/poetry collaborations, bringing the form to a level of art.
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sukoon-05Sukoon is an Arab-themed, English language, online literary magazine reflecting the diversity and richness of the Arab world. In her editor's note in the most recent issue, Rewa Zeinati writes:
Has anything changed in the Arab world since the last issue of Sukoon? Yes. Things have changed. They've become more horrific, more complicated. Mind numbing. More and more people from all faiths have been forced from their homes, displaced; more beheadings and destruction and ruin. A new war is switched on. And the most important one of all, shelved. Postponed. Forgotten.

But this issue is not about war, or shelves, or forgetfulness. This issue, like every issue is about finding the beauty and showing it. Finding the love and singing it. Which is why I decided a beautiful art piece by Palestinian artist Ali Shawwa, of Umm Kulthum, the world's most famous Egyptian singer, works best as a cover page. To indicate and remind us of song, because how else do we survive, through wars and shelves and forgetfulness? To sing about love and loss, but to sing about love. To sing about pain and life, but to sing about life. To simply sing. And sing and sing, as poetry and story and art. Through slaying and insanity and devastation And to continue singing, long after the lights go out and the guns disappear.

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