The Winter/Spring 2018 issue of Gulf Coast features the winners of their 2017 Gulf Coast Prizes contest:
Judged by Cate Marvin
"The Weather Underground" by sam sax
Judged by Diane Roberts
"The Peacock and the Bell Captain" by Spencer Wise
Judged by Chinelo Okparanta
"That Boy Could Run" by Rudy Ruiz [pictured]
For a full list of honorable mentions and biographical information on each writer and judge, visit the Gulf Coast Prize page.
I was relieved to see it wasn't just me who heard the Bee Gees in my head when I saw the cover of Bennington Review Issue Four themed "Staying Alive." Editor Michael Dumanis opens the "Note from the Editor" with these two lines from the 1977's classic, "Life goin' nowhere, somebody help me / Somebody help me, yeah, I'm stayin' alive."
Dumanis explains, "As we were reading the poems, stories, and essays submitted to Bennington Review in 2017 for this, our fourth issue, we noticed a word that come up with remarkable regularity - the verb 'survive' in all its various permutations. In Issue Four, it occurs - frequently as a directive, occasionally as the noun 'survivor' - twenty-eight times. The word 'living' can be found twenty-one times, an the word 'alive' shows up an additional twelve."
A "tonal shift" from their previous issue, themed "Threat," Dumanis notes that "something has shifted in the cultural landscape. An acceptance of threat has bred a series of reactions - resistance, perseverance, even a measure of optimism . . . there's now a restored sense of agency."
Readers can find works by Patrick Williams, Erin L. McCoy, Marco Wilkinson, Ian Stansel, A. Molotkov and many more, with several contributors' works available to read online.
Stayin' alive? I'm all for it.
In addition to its regular content of 'extremely brief' (under 750 words) nonfiction, Brevity's regular feature of Craft Essays in its first issue of 2018 features Chelsey Dyrsdale's "Transforming an Essay Collection into a Memoir," Annelise Jolley's "Capturing the Numinous: Mary Karr's Sacred Carnality," and Felicia Rose Chavez's [pictured] "The Mental Load: Honoring Your Story Over Your To-Do List." All of Brevity's content is available online for free. No reason not to stop on by.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
I'm writing this column on a very cold day, and it's nice to be inside with a board game to play, but better yet, for me at least, to be inside with a poem about a board game. This Monopoly game by Connie Wanek is from her book Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems from the University of Nebraska Press.
We used to play, long before we bought real houses.
A roll of the dice could send a girl to jail.
The money was pink, blue, gold, as well as green,
and we could own a whole railroad
or speculate in hotels where others dreaded staying:
the cost was extortionary.
At last one person would own everything,
every teaspoon in the dining car, every spike
driven into the planks by immigrants,
every crooked mayor.
But then, with only the clothes on our backs,
we ran outside, laughing.
We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. 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 ©2016 by Connie Wanek, “Monopoly,” from Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2016). Poem reprinted by permission of Connie Wanek and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2017 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.
In "The Godfather Speaks," 3QR: The Three Quarter Review interviewed Lee Gutkind on the two-decade anniversary of the controversial Vanity Fair article, in which critic James Wolcott “accused creative nonfiction writers, of memoir in particular, of ‘navel gazing’ . . . lambast[ing] the form itself as: a ‘sickly transfusion, whereby the weakling personal voice of sensitive fiction is inserted into the beery carcass of nonfiction.‘" Wolcott labeled Gutkind as “The Godfather behind creative nonfiction.”
Gutkind reflects on what could have been devastating to some in their careers: “The Godfather label—the positive aspects of it—stuck. From that point on, emboldened, I was much more in an offensive rather than a defensive mode when it came to creative nonfiction.” And for this, we are all grateful to The Godfather.
The January/February 2018 issue of Kenyon Review features winners of their 2017 Short Fiction Prize:
“Lionel, For Worse” by David Greendonner [pictured]
“When Do We Worry” by Kimberly King Parsons
“Canto” by Lorain Urban
Each of these works can also be read full-text online here along with commentary on the selections by Judge Lee K. Abbot.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
I've had a couple of aquariums (or is the plural aquaria?), but I didn't take very good care of either one. The glass clouded over with algae, and the fish had to live on whatever they could scrounge because I'd forget to feed them. Some liked eating each other. But here's a poem (a sonnet!) about an aquarium you can actually see into. The poet, Kim Addonizio, lives in California, and her most recent book is Mortal Trash (W. W. Norton, 2016).
The fish are drifting calmly in their tank
between the green reeds, lit by a white glow
that passes for the sun. Blindly, the blank
glass that holds them in displays their slow
progress from end to end, familiar rocks
set into the gravel, murmuring rows
of filters, a universe the flying fox
and glass cats, Congo tetras, bristle-nose
pleocostemus all take for granted. Yet
the platys, gold and red, persist in leaping
occasionally, as if they can't quite let
alone a possibility—of wings,
maybe, once they reach the air? They die
on the rug. We find them there, eyes open in surprise.
We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. 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 ©1994 by Kim Addonizio, “Aquarium,” from The Philosopher's Club , (BOA Editions, Ltd., 1994). Poem reprinted by permission of Kim Addonizio and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2017 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.
Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their September/October Short Story Award for New Writers. This competition is held three times a year and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000. The January/February Short Story Award competition has just opened: Short Story Award for New Writers. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.
1st place goes to Maxime Kawawa-Beaudan [Photo credit: Scott McCrae] of Berkeley, California, who wins $2500 for “Waiting for Fireworks.” His story will be published in Issue 102 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be his first major print publication.
2nd place goes to Kristen Hamelin Tracey of New York, New York, who wins $500 for “A New World.” Her story will also be published in an upcoming issue, increasing her prize to $700. This will be her first major print publication, as well.
3rd place goes to Oliver Kammeyer of Boston, Massachusetts, who wins $300 for “They’ll Fix That in Turkey.”
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadline soon approaching! Family Matters: January 12
Glimmer Train hosts this competition once a year, and first place has been increased to $2500 plus publication in the journal, and 10 copies of that issue. It’s open to all writers for stories about family of any configuration. Most submissions to this category run 1000-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. Click here for complete guidelines.