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Denise Hill

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What's not to adore about this image on the cover of Grain? The theme for the issue (42.2) became "Artist as Watcher / Writer as Witness" and was influenced by the featured artist Wilf Perreault. "Two Waiting Ladies" (1982) graces the cover.

angle2This cover image of the online poetry journal Angle mesmerized me. Though it's from the Autumn/Winter 2014, Amy Wiseman's photo, "Sunset Through Hag Stone on Cromer Beach," warmed me through and has me looking forward to summer.

adroitThe online Adroit Journal regularly features cool cover art. The last several issues have a "floaty" theme about them. "Whirl" is an award-winning piece by Jedidiah Gist, a freshman at Clemson University.

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carolyn-kizerPoetry Northwest Winter & Spring 2015 issue is the first since founding editor Carolyn Kizer passed away October 9, 2014. The issue honors Kizer's vision and legacy, as Editor Keven Craft writes in his introduction, in that "the majority of the poets in this issue are women. The majority of men herein write about (or through) a particular she. Or contend with otherness in other forms." The publication is entirely devoted to poetry, "including a substantial section of poetry in translation, reflecting an important part of Kizer's early attempts to internationalize Poetry Northwest."
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american-tankaThe newest issues (January 2015) of Ameican Tanka is themed "an inch of freedom." A sampling of first lines: "from my garden / bindweed creeps" (Robert Amis); "the storm / predicted and mapped" (Jari Thymian); "temple-bell / stirs devout thougts" (Vishnu P. Kapoor); "Uncle A with the rolling / musical chuckle -" (Roger Jones).

American Tanka is an online publication that "seeks to present a small selection of some of the most well-crafted English-language tanka being written today, in a visually calm space that allows the reader's eye to focus on the single poem and linger in the moment it evokes." Having begun as a print journal in 1996, Founder and Editor Laura Maffei produced the publication until 2008. After a two-year hiatus, Maffei brought the journal back online in the original one-poem-per-page format. American Tanka is published once or twice per year.

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adirondack-reviewThe Winter 21014 issue of Adirondack Review features the winner and runner-up of their annual Fulton Prize for Short Fiction. Winner "Study of an Orange" by Theresa Duve Morales receives $400 and publication and "Embryology" by Barrett Bowlin wins $30 and publication. The issue also features some marvelous artwork by Alfredo Palmero, Oscar Varona, Federico Federici, Stephen Nelson, and Sandrine Pagnoux. All worth the click.

Poetry :: Kimberly Reyes

February 25, 2015
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Excerpt from "Undertones" by Kimberly Reyes published in The Acentos Review February 2015:

. . .

kimberly-reyesThe machete sugarcane bled

Red on the island

dark and Jíbaro, Salinas poor,

Red was the language we spoke,

fertile in storied humility.

The good Red on the Mainland,

the mixed and other and ancient and othered,

rich 'got some Indian in me' reigning Red

whose scorn I

I didn't know then.

my mutilated being

my maternal brown stain


"why is your last name Reyes?"

"is your husband Spanish?"


. . .

Read the full poem here.
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Ten Reasons to Write Short Stories Even Though the Pay is Peanuts - although one of the reasons is short stories can make money, there are several other more altruistic reasons as well.

Chrislove examines LGBT character visiblity in comic books and graphic novels - and offers loads of resources.

Just for fun: 6 Classic Novels That Could Use a Sequel - ETonline provides their opinion on what the sequel would include.

"Twitter's not literature, but it can be a novel teaching tool" poses Harriet Line in the Times Higher Education.

From one literary lover to another, homeless man given a Kindle by a kind-hearted stranger.

The Bronte sisters' family dining table has been saved from auction with the help of the Bronte Society and its supporters.

Jacqueline Sahagian offers 10 Better Books by the Authors you Read in School - good for starting a healthy literary argument!

Gender gaps in journalism classes and newsroom concern students.

Let's get together, yeh-yeh-yeh: We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training.
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Some of the recent posts on Writer Beware: The Blog:

Two Red-Flag Sentences in Publishing Contracts
Lost in Translation (About the reputation of Author Translation service - worth reading the exchange!)
Who's Running Your Writers' Group? Why You Should Be Careful
Editing Clauses in Publishing Contracts: How to Protect Yourself

writer-bewareWriter Beware: The Blog is sponsored by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with additional support from several other organizations. With author Victoria Strauss at the helm, their effort is "Shining a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls. Also providing advice for writers, industry news and commentary, and a focus on the weird and wacky things that happen at the fringes of the publishing world."

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studies-novelStudies in the Novel, a scholarly journal in its 47th year, invites submissions of guest blog posts and teaching resources to be considered as content on their newly-launched website. For the blog forum, the editors welcome incisive, humorous, and intellectually speculative posts from the journal's readers, contributors, and the novel-loving community at large on issues of relevance to scholarship on the novel, new and noteworthy novels, or other novel topics. The selection and publication of blog posts will be at the discretion of the editor and the Studies in the Novel editorial advisory board. This intellectual forum extends the journal's mission by publicizing new directions in the scholarship and teaching of novels and by promoting intellectual exchange. Visit their website for more information.
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American Life in Poetry: Column 517

The Dalai Llama has said that dying is just getting a new set of clothes. Here's an interesting take on what it may be like for the newly departed, casting off their burdens and moving with enthusiasm into the next world. Kathleen Aguero lives in Massachusetts.

Send Off

The dead are having a party without us.
They've left our worries behind.
What a bore we've become
with our resentment and sorrow,
like former lovers united
for once by our common complaints.
Meanwhile the dead, shedding pilled sweaters,
annoying habits, have become
glamorous Western celebrities
gone off to learn meditation.

We trudge home through snow
to a burst pipe,
broken furnace, looking
up at the sky where we imagine
they journey to wish them bon voyage,
waving till the jet on which they travel
first class is out of sight—
only the code of its vapor trail left behind.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by Kathleen Aguero from her most recent book of poems, After That, (Tiger Bark Press, 2013). Poem reprinted by permission of Kathleen Aguero 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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This issue (17.1) iron-horse-reviewof Iron Horse Review had me at the cover image, which drew me in to learn this is the "Bedroom Issue." Certainly not limited to that literal room, Assistant Editor Katie Cortese writes, "We considered this issue a risk." Oh goodie! She goes on, "Not because sex is a taboo topic—as an important part of adult existence, it's as worthy of ink and metaphor as any other aspect of living—but because writing about it is so hard to do well."

Cortese offers her view on the ends of the spectrum, from bad to good sex writing, and on purposely having released this issue for the movie release of Fifty Shades of Grey: ". . . we conceived this issue in part to combat some of the problems we see with a work like Fifty Shades of Grey. We don't believe that series constitutes art."

She goes on, engaging the perspective of Elizabeth Benedict in her work The Joy of Writing Sex to support what is "good" sex scene writing. "When we applied her standards to the wonderful, brave, inventive work that flooded our submission portal, we were forced to make some truly difficult decisions."

Read Cortese's full commentary here.

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