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Denise Hill

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grist-journalGrist: The Journal for Writers published out of the University of Knoxville English Department has a lot to offer readers and writers in support of owning its subtitle to be THE journal for writers.

A visit to its recently revamped website reveals a clean and easy navigation design, leading visitors to one of three areas: Grist Essentials (information about the print publication); The Writing Life; Online Companion.

Grist promotes The Writing Life as "a place to learn about, hone, and discuss your craft as a writer . . . a dynamic discussion of contemporary writing—thoughts on craft, publishing, and the life that both shapes and is shaped by the words we put on the page." Features include news, craft essays, aspects of living the writing life, and Grist and writing-related events.

Grist Editors write that the Online Companion "allows us to showcase the highest quality writing we receive throughout our reading period while also allowing those less familiar with Grist and Grist's content to get a feel for the wide variety of work we champion. Grist: The Online Companion is also a way to expand what we're able to publish because the online arena is more hospitable to a wider formal variety than is often able to fit in the print issue's 6 x 9 format." The current issue, #8, features poetry, collaborative poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and collaborative creative nonfiction by Mary Jo Balistreri, Ashley-Elizabeth Best, Matt Cashion, Jacqueline Doyle & Stephen D. Gutierrez, Alex Greenberg, Jennifer Savran Kelly, Joseph Mulholland, Brianna Noll, Nicole Oquendo & Mike Shier.
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aurvi-sharma"Eleven Stories of Water and Stone" by Aurvi Sharma is the winner of the 2014 Prairie Schooner Summer Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest, selected by judge Judith Ortiz Cofer.

Sharma's essay is featured in the Spring 2015 issue of Prairie Schooner print edition and can also be read full-text online here.

Each year from May 1 to August 1, Prairie Schooner accepts submissions to the Summer Creative Nonfiction Contest, open to all types of creative nonfiction essays, up to 5,000 words. The entry fee is $18 and gets entrants a one-year subscription to the publication. Winner receives $250 and publication in the following Spring issue. See more specific guidelines here.
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Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their February Short Story Award for New Writers. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000. The next Short Story Award competition will take place in May. Glimmer Train's monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

Lillian Li ChristopherWang1st place goes to Lillian Li of Ann Arbor, MI [Photo credit: Christopher Wang]. She wins $1500 for "Parts of Summer" and her story will be published in Issue 96 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be her first print publication.

2nd place goes to Alex Wilson of Cardiff, CA. He wins $500 for "I Come from Killers."

3rd place goes to Camille Baptista of New York, NY. She wins $300 for "Hide and Seek and Hide."

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

Deadline soon approaching for the Very Short Fiction Award: April 30

This competition is held quarterly, and 1st place wins $1500, publication in the journal, and 20 copies of that issue. It's open to all writers, with no theme restrictions, and the word count must not exceed 3000. Click here for complete guidelines.
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Each spring, Michigan Quarterly Review welcomes applications for new blog contributors. They are looking for writers with backgrounds in various disciplines to create unique, thought-provoking posts of interest to MQR's online readership. Love to interview authors? Review books? Talk about the craft of writing or storytelling as it relates to some other discipline? Maybe you've got a great idea for a regular comic about the writing life—MQR is open to your pitches. Deadline for application is Wednesday, April 22. (Yes, now. Don't you work better under short deadline?) See full guidelines here.
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map-literaryBased out of The William Paterson University of New Jersey Department of English, Map Literary aspires "to pro­mote the finest provoca­tive writ­ing of our time, pub­lish­ing semi­an­nual issues of orig­i­nal fic­tion, poetry, and non­fic­tion in online for­mat." As part of this promotion, the website features a page under Pedagogy called Map Literary for the Classroom. Here, teachers can find examples of poetic themes and techniques from among contemporary authors published in Map Literary. Examples such as Alliteration/Consonance/Sound: Aaron Anstett, "Actionable" and Genevieve Kaplan, "(I'm) seated, or imagining"; End-stopped vs. Enjambed Line Breaks: Joe Lennon, "Part I" and Christopher Liebow, Excerpts from Riparia Suite. In all, there are 16 techniques with 24 examples linked to the full text. A great teaching resource!

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Poetry Now Program is a free online resource for educators from Trio House Press. "In order to promote the understanding and appreciation of poetry, our Poetry Now program provides educational materials and resources for use within classrooms, book clubs, or for individual usage. Utilize our poetry lesson plans or poetry prompts."

There's only a few contributions to this page, but it's a nice addition to lession plans and discussion points. "Discussion Links" provide lesson plans that encourage analysis, reflection and discussion about poems published by Trio House Press as well as influential public domain works and the "Write It" section encourages the writing process by providing prompts and writing exercises developed in conjunction with our Trio House Press poetry and other influential public domain works.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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