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Denise Hill

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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.

Blue Heron Speaks!

March 26, 2015
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mj-iuppaBlue Heron Review, an online poetry magazine specializing in mystical and spiritual verse, publishes the monthly feature Blue Heron Speaks!, "a heart-centered, poetic offering ~ either from the editor, one of the contributors, or a guest author. . . messages of inspiration, support, and nourishment for the soul."

March 2015 guest author is poet, M J Iuppa, whose work appears in the Winter 2015 issue. The editors write, "For the reader, the senses come alive in Iuppa's poems. Her writing is atmospheric, with great attention to detail. Iuppa's obvious love of words results in her beautiful use of language in every poem."
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gushueBeltway Poetry Quarterly is an online literary journal and resource bank that showcases the literary community in Washington, DC and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic region. The Winter 2015 issue is The Sonnet Issue, guest co-edited by Michael Gushue (pictured).

The issue features sonnets by 67 authors, contemporary and historic, from DC, VA, WV, MD, and DE. The editors have selected from traditional Shakespearean and Petrarchan sonnets, variations on those forms (including envelope sonnets, hybrid sonnets, and nonce sonnets), and 14-line free verse poems that borrow from sonnet tradition.

In his introduction, Gushue tells that he has arranged the issue "into eight sections along loosely thematic lines, all representing aspects of the sonnet's reach": The Beloved, The Body, The Heart, The Body Politic, Pop Culture, Conservations With Myself, À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu, Outdoors, Art And Its Boundaries.
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barking-sycamoresBarking Sycamores is an online publication of poetry, artwork, and short fiction (beginning with Issue 3) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers (autistic, ADHD, bipolar, synesthesia, etc.) as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature. The magazines publishing cycle has a start date, and then publishes one piece every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday until the issue is complete.

For this most recent issue (#4), editors asked for submissions on the theme of "perceptions." Editors N.I. Nicholson and V. Solomon Maday say they received and "amazing outpouring" of "poetry, artwork, and short fiction which interpreted our chosen theme as broadly or as narrowly as desired," making the selection process quite challenging.

The inspiration for "perceptions," the editors write, comes partly from William Blake's well-known quote from "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell": "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite." Also named as inspirations are Aldous Huxley and Jim Morrison, along with the other members of The Doors. The editors give their own perception on perceptions: "We considered the idea that humans are called to challenge their perceptions of life and sometimes reality itself. Psychological factors, our own opinions, prejudices, and mental filters can alter and severely cloud the way we see reality around us. It is up to each one of us to choose for ourselves how we see reality — and through what lenses."

The issue features (so far) works by Michael Lee Johnson, Craig Kurtz, Heather Dorn, Jessica Goody, Barbara Ruth (including the cover art) and Mikey Allcock.

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broadsided-march-15The March 2015 Broadsided features the collaborative works of poet John A. Nieves and artist Meghan Keane. Writing for each month's broadside is chosen through submissions sent to Broadsided. Artists allied with Broadsided are emailed the selected writing. They then "dibs" what resonates for them and respond visually. The resulting broadside is available as a PDF download on the site and "vectors" - anyone who wants to be one - are invited to print copies and post them around their cities.
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old-dominion-universityBarely South Review 2015 Craft Issue online features interviews with artists, writers, and educators who participated in the Old Dominion University's 37th Annual Literary Festival, October 2014. Managing Editor Michael Alessi writes, "The theme of this year's festival was 'The Hungry Heart is Telling You.' Taken together, these interviews . . . form an expansive interrogation of what it means to devote yourself to a life in writing."

The contents include:

The Making of a Writer/Chef: An Interview with Michael Ruhlman
Creative Eats: An Interview with Dr. Delores B. Philips
Those Who Stay and Those Who Roam: Annia Ciezadlo on Private Life and the Collision of War in the Middle East
Grappling with Seams: An Interview with Tarfia Faizullah
An Interview with Philip Raisor
An Interview with Playwright Brian Silberman
A Voice in Two Worlds: An Interview with Dr. Luisa Igloria
An Interview with Sasha Pimentel
Documenting Herstories: An Interview with Sarah Lightman
Food, Writing, and the Land of Zenobia: An Interview with Kate Christensen
Jane Hirshfield's Poems Write Their OkCupid Profile
8 Questions, 2 Coffees, and 1 Voice: A Morning with Tara Shea Burke
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stein-recordingsPenn Sound has added several new audio recordings from January 30, 1935 on their Gertrude Stein page. "These recordings of Stein were made by Columbia Professor of English and Comparative Literature George W. Hibbitt for a record produced by the National Council of Teachers of English, to be distributed to schools on a subscription basis. This series is known as The Contemporary Poets Series, which was started with the recording of Vachel Lindsay by Hibbitt's colleague W. Cabell Greet in 1931." Visit Jacket 2 for more of the historical context for these recordings.
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jane-joritz-nakagawaThe new free ebook from Argotist Ebooks is Dying Swans by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa. From the publisher: "Dying Swans is a literary monograph which compares Sylvia Plath via her poetry, letters and diary entries with the main character of the 2010 Hollywood film Black Swan. What results is an exploration of femininity, gender stereotypes and the female psyche as depicted in a variety of films, poems and commentary by female poets, and feminist scholarship, particularly from the 1950s to the present." Full Argotist Ebooks catalog here.


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