The Morning You Saw a Train of Stars Streaking Across the Sky by CooXooEii Black Rattle Poetry, November 2022
CooXooEii Black is an Afro-Indigenous writer and a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. He is an MFA creative writing candidate at the University of Memphis and a poetry reader for The Pinch Journal. His poetry has appeared in Eco Theo Review, Palette Poetry, and Carve Magazine. His creative nonfiction has appeared in The Tusculum Review. This collection of sixteen poems came bundled with the December issue of Rattle poetry magazine. Subscribers to Rattle are treated to bonus chapbooks and anthologies with each issue, but each issue and each bonus publication can also be purchased separately from the Rattle website.
Rattle#78 is the poetry journal’s annual prize winner issue, featuring the First Prize poem, “Shoes” by L. Renée as well as ten Finalists. The “open section” features a rich mix of eclectic poetry, including reader-favorites Ted Kooser and Kwame Dawes, and a heroic crown of sonnets by Anna M. Evans that attempt to bridge political divides. The conversation section takes a deep dive into the divided brain with psychiatrist and philosopher Iain McGilchrist, who explains the role the two hemispheres, with their completely unique perspectives on the world, play in creativity. The discussion also includes how the modern world has come to be dominated by the left hemisphere’s narrow focus and how poetry is an antidote to “the matter with things.” In addition to the quarterly publication, subscribers also receive a new bonus chapbook from the Rattle Chapbook Series and other stand-alone anthologies, like the annual Rattle Young Poets Anthology. What a lovely gift a subscription to Rattle would make for anyone on your holiday list – that includes you!
The Fall 2022 issue of Rattle features a Tribute to Translation, with 17 poems spanning two millennia, originally written in a wide variety of languages—from Spanish to Swahili. Featured poets include Frank Báez, Basil of Caesarea, C.P. Cavafy, Nianxi Chen, Tove Ditlevsen, Pietro Federico, Muyaka al-Ghassaniy, Karmelo C. Iribarren, Ting Li, Federico García Lorca, Francesco Petrarca, Alireza Roshan, Endre Ruset, Amira Antoun Salameh, Max Sessner, Dag T. Straumsvåg, Georg Trakl. In the conversation section, editors spoke to Danish translator Michael Favala Goldman about his award-winning work and the incredible life’s journey into it. The open section featured a broad mix of 22 poems by fresh faces and reader-favorites: Darius Atefat-Peckham, Devon Balwit, Bruce Bennett, Richelle Buccilli, e.c. crossman, Cortney Esco, Tony Gloeggler, Chris Huntington, Karan Kapoor, David Kirby, Ron Koertge, Lance Larsen, Jessica Lee, Katy Luxem, January O’Neil, Aaron Poochigian, Cindy Veach, Richard Westheimer, Guinotte Wise. Cover art by Jenny Eickbush.
Visiting Her in Queens Is More Enlightening than a Month in a Monastery in Tibet Poetry by Michael Mark Rattle Poetry, August 2022
Subscribers to Rattle poetry magazine not only get four issues of the journal each year but are also treated to four chapbooks, one being the Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner. This fall, subscribers are receiving Michael Mark’s winning entry, Visiting Her in Queens Is More Enlightening than a Month in a Monastery in Tibet, “a kind of family photo album for the final years of a life.” As dementia progresses in Michael’s mother, each poem is at once a snapshot, a foreshadowing and a memory. And like memories, each is revealing, accurate, and blurry. Sample poems can be read on the Rattle website. Michael Mark has walked the Himalayas, Wales, Portugal, and Spain with his two children. He’s the author of two collections of stories, Toba and Toba at the Hands of a Thief (Atheneum).
The Summer 2022 issue of Rattle features a “Tribute to Prisoner Express,” a non-profit program based in Ithaca, New York, which sends books into prisons, allowing prisoners to communicate with each other creatively through a newsletter. Last year, Elizabeth S. Wolf donated her Rattle Chapbook Prize-winning collection, Did You Know?, to the program, and encouraged participants to write chapbooks of their own. The resulting poems were so powerful, that the editors decided they had to share. The issue includes an introduction by Elizabeth, and a conversation with the program’s director, Gary Fine, discussing the profound role expressive writing can play in rehabilitation. In addition to the contributions from thirteen Prison Express participants, this issue also features works from Nicelle Davis, William Virgil Davis, Kristina Erny, Mark Fitzpatrick, David Galloway, Lola Haskins, Emily Ruth Hazel, Alexis V. Jackson, Shawn Jones, Laura Judge, Lynne Knight, Milica Mijatovič, Abby E. Murray, Valerie Nies, Eri Okoye, Kathryn Paulson, Erin Redfern, Mather Schneider, George J. Searles, Maia Siegel, Elizabeth Spenst, Susan Vespoli, Wendy Videlock, and Arhm Choi Wild.
If I was on a desert island and could only have ONE literary journal, I would choose the Rattle Young Poets Anthology. This publication always gets my jaw to drop with the first poem and the rest just compound my being impressed, humbled, and motivated to read works by writers all under the age of fifteen. “As always,” the editors write, “this is not a book of poems for children, but the other way around—these are poems written by children for us all, revealing the startling insights that are possible when looking at the world through fresh eyes.” The anthology comes bundled with the companion issue of Rattle for subscribers but can also be ordered separately online. Submissions for the next anthology are open until November 15 annually. The 2022 edition includes poems from Melody Maxfield Cortez (10), Alenka Doyle (15), Lyla Foster (6), Daphne Frank (13), Sloane Flaherty Getz (15), Holly Haeck (15), Lucille Healy (4), Elizabeth Kerr (9), Sophia Liu (15), Anna Meister (15), Vitek Mencl (8), Evie Pugh (6), Reagan Rafferty (13), Kashvi Ramani (15), Skyler Rockmael (14), Syazwani Saifudin (14), Lily Blue Simmons (15), Mazzy Sleep (9), Alisha N. Wright (15), Avery Yoder-Wells (15), and Cynthia Zhang (14). Cover photo by M-A Murphy.
With a comma that interrupts a Latin phrase etched in Christian history, Elizabeth Johnston Abrose’s Imago, Dei offers disjunction to give worn tropes new context. This deliberate juxtaposition rejuvenates the flat and stale of tradition.
A cycle of eighteen poems in free verse, the collection’s pieces each center in the third person on an unnamed female. Like the larva that becomes caterpillar that becomes chrysalis to become an adult – or imago – moth or butterfly, she is both identical with and different from her other incarnations.
Cited quotations in epigraph from both entomological and biblical literature underscore a tone of scholarly detachment and/or posture of dissociation. References to insects in the garden spin a theme of metamorphosis to encompass, which reinvigorates the classical Greek spiritual depiction of Psyche as butterfly.
Across its arc, the chapbook teases out narrative threads of youth marked by all-too-common traumas of evangelical Christianity: shamed sexuality, abuse masquerading as discipline in the guise of the father, a concomitant confusion of pain with love. For those considering such traumas from personal experience to reflect on the substance of religion’s impact on their lives, this collection, while perhaps triggering, may serve to reaffirm and validate.
Imago, Dei by Elizabeth Johnston Ambrose. Rattle Poetry, February 2022.
Nicholas Michael Ravnikar is a neurodivergent writer of poems, plays and fiction who is presently disabled. Previously employed as a college prof, copy editor, bathtub repair technician, substance abuse prevention agency success coach and marketing specialist, he lives in Racine, WI with his partner and their children. Connect with him on social media and get free chapbooks at bio.fm/nicholasmichaelravnikar.
Imago, Dei Poetry by Elizabeth Johnston Ambrose Rattle, February 2022 ISBN: 978-1-931307-50-5 Chapbook, 44pp; $6 Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner
How does a daughter emerge whole from an upbringing saturated with religious fundamentalism? And if not whole, how does she piece together some kind of coherent self out of fragmented half-truths? The eighteen narrative poems in Imago, Dei bear witness to the emotional and psychological weight amassed from a girlhood fraught with vexed messages about what it means to be “good.” Narrated in third-person, lyric vignettes, these are poems about a daughter’s desire to be the son her well-meaning, but deeply damaged father thinks he needs; about an adolescent world filled with cute boys, predatory church leaders, Lakes of Fire, and broken girls who beg to be reborn; about the bad-girl specters of Eve, Jezebel, and Delilah that haunt her into adulthood and wreak havoc on her intimate relationships; about dirty dancing, Bible study, Lacanian theory, and crying after sex; and about what happens when a recovering evangelical becomes a mother to her own daughters.
The Spring 2022 issue of Rattle featured a Tribute to Librarians. Librarians work on the front lines of literature and are often the last bulwark against censorship, as we discuss with former librarian Janice N. Harrington in the conversation section. The theme includes 16 poems by librarians and their always-interesting contributor notes. The open section features 22 poets exploring the mysteries of life, both large and small. You can purchase the new issue at the Rattle website.
Deadline: January 15, 2021
The 2022 Rattle Chapbook Prize offers three winners $5,000 for a chapbook (up to 36 pages), plus 500 author copies, and distribution to Rattle’s 8,000+ subscribers. Entry fee of $25 includes a 1-year subscription to the magazine. For complete guidelines and to read past winners, visit our website: www.rattle.com/chapbooks.
The Winter 2021 issue of Rattle features the Rattle Poetry Prize winner and finalists.
“Encephalon” by Ann Giard-Chase
“After My Teenager Tries to Kill Herself . . .” by Elizabeth Johnston Ambrose
“This Is How I Make My Money” by Heather Bell
“Do You Have Children?” by Susan Browne
“Follow Me” by Rayon Lennon
“Black Boys as Fireflies” by Dayna Hodge Lynch
“White Privilege Skydives with Black Guy in Appalachia” by Mary Meadows
“The Internet of Things” by Erin Murphy
“Exodus: Gilliam Coal Camp, West Virginia, 1949” by L. Renée
“Purgatorio” by Zella Rivas
“My Father Transformed by Dying” by Richard Westheimer
Subscribers to Rattle can vote for their favorite out of the finalists to determine the winner of the $5,000 Readers’ Choice Award. The voting deadline is February 1.
The Winter 2021 issue features our 11 Rattle Poetry Prize winners. The open section features the usual wide-ranging poems with humor and heart. These poems cover love, evolution, Robin Hood, and the DMV. The conversation section takes an unusual turn, where psychologist James Pennebaker discusses his lifetime of research on the benefits of expressive writing. Learn more at the Rattle website.
Deadline: January 15, 2021
The Annual Rattle Chapbook Prize offers three winners $5,000 for a chapbook (up to 36 pages), plus 500 author copies, and distribution to Rattle’s 8,000+ subscribers. Entry fee of $25 includes a 1-year subscription to the magazine. Deadline: January 15. For guidelines and to read past winners, visit our website: www.rattle.com/chapbooks.
I enjoy a themed lit mag issue, and if you do too, here are some suggestions to pick up.
Rattle‘s issues always have a special section, and the Fall 2021 issue includes a Tribute to Indian Poets. Poets included are Tishani Doshi (who is also interviewed in the issue), Kinshuk Gupta, Zilka Joseph, Pankaj Khemka, Sophia Naz, and others.
The Summer 2021 issue of Nimrod International Journal brings us work that focuses on “Endings and Beginnings.” The editors promise “work that presents familiar beginnings and endings in new and compelling ways as well as work that illuminates smaller, unique kinds of endings and beginnings.” Angela Sucich, Sarah Carleton, Katie Culligan, and Bethany Shultz Hurst are a few who take on this task.
Every issue of THEMA is a themed issue. This time around for the Summer 2021 issue, writers and artists responded to the prompt “The Tiny Red Suitcase,” including Lynda Fox, Laura Ruth Loomis, James Penha, and Laura Blatt.
The Fall 2021 issue features a tribute to Indian Poets. The world’s largest democracy is also the second-largest English-speaking population. We explore the state of contemporary poetry in India, featuring 16 Indian poets and a profound conversation with Forward Prize-winner Tishani Doshi. The issue also includes both cover art and a brilliant sestina by Shreya Vikram, a young poet who debuted in this year’s RYPA anthology. See what else is in this issue at the Rattle website.
Want to check out some work by writers from specific regions? Three recent literary magazine issues have you covered.
The Common‘s 21st issue includes a feature on Arabic Stories from Morocco. In this section is translated writing and art from the Hindiyeh Museum of Art by Latifa Labsir, Fatima Zohra Rghioui, Mohamed Zafzaf, and more.
Volume 42 Number 1 of New England Review‘s translation feature is “From Granma to Boston and Havana and Back: Cuban Literature Today.” Here, find work by Víctor Fowler Calzada, Jorge Enrique Lage, Anna Lidia Vega Serova, and others.
And from within the United States, Rattle‘s Summer 2021 issue features twenty-two Appalachian poets. Among these are Ace Boggess, Mitzi Doton, Kari Gunter-Seymour, Raymond Hammond, Elaine Fowler Palencia, and more.
The Summer 2021 issue of Rattle features a tribute to Appalachian Poets. The 22 poets in this special section write about family, history, and modern life. The tribute section was so good, we had to stretch the issue to 124 pages to fit it all in. In the open section, the poems are as strong as ever, featuring reader favorites Francesca Bell and Ted Kooser, along with several excellent poets new to Rattle’s pages, writing about everything from sexual desire to cancer, big foot to peeing in the pool, including a long poem from Clemonce Heard on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre.
The Spring 2021 issue of Rattle features a Tribute to Neurodiversity. This issue’s conversation features Michael Mark, who discusses how dyslexia has contributed to his life and work, as well as advertising, ghost stories, Buddhism, and many other topics. The issue includes another exciting and highly varied open section, presenting poets such as Skye Jackson and Stephen Dunn, covering a wide range of subjects and styles.
The Winter 2020 issue of Rattle has arrived with vibrant and beautiful poems like “Psalm of the Heights” by Dana Gioia, “Deitic” by A.E. Stallings, “Graffiti” by Josh Lefkowitz, “A Litany of Lukewarm Sentiments” by Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal, and “Modesty” by Richard Luftig. Additionally, we’re proud to present the finalists of the 2020 Rattle Poetry Prize including “I Admit Myself to the Psych Ward in a Pandemic” by Beck Anson, “Mega-” by Shelly Stewart Cato, and “Farm Sonnet” by Kitty Carpenter. Not to mention, of course, the winning poem, Alison Townsend’s “Pantoum From the Window of the Room Where I write.”
Since March, we’ve been relying heavily on service workers, those operating the essentials while the rest of the country slows or stops. The second half of the Fall 2020 issue of Rattle features work by poets who have served long periods of time as service workers.
In this section, readers can find Marylisa DeDomenicis’s “Excuse Me” and Jackleen Holton’s “The Hunter,” both of which discuss working in a restaurant. DeDomenicis writes of the prevalent racism in the kitchen where the speaker works, and Holton focuses on the sexism and harassment the women face at the restaurant where her speaker works. In both of these, the other workers advocate for each other when the higher-ups either do nothing or contribute to the problem. The speaker in DeDomenicis’s piece sticks up for the bullied Mexican bus boy, and the waitresses in Holton’s piece work the buddy system together so they’re never alone, lessening the severity of their harassment.
Laurie Uttich’s “To My Student with the Dime-Sized Bruises on the Back of Her Arms Who’s Still on Her Cellphone” stuck out to me most starkly. In this poem, the speaker notices her student’s bruises and implores that she put down her phone, her abusive boyfriend on the other end, so she can trade it for a pen and “Take a piece of the dark and put it on a page.” Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf stand by as supporting characters, offering comfort and a room of one’s own. Uttich’s use of language as the poem addresses the student is clever and flows quickly, familiar images flashing through the lines.
While we continue to rely on service workers to keep the world running, make sure to take time to hear their voices and their stories in their own words.
The Fall 2020 issue of Rattlefeatures a timely tribute to service workers—those working in the lodging, food service, tourism, customer service and other industries in direct service to customers. Though planned long before the pandemic, service workers have been hit particularly hard this year, and we’re happy to be honoring poets who work in those fields. The conversation features Jan Beatty, covering her decades of experience working as a waitress, as well as the topics of adoption and the writing process. Another eclectic open section features twenty-two poems in a range of styles that are sure to make you laugh or cry.
July 15th is the deadline to submit to the 15th annual Rattle Poetry Prize which has grown to $15,000 for a single poem. Ten finalists also receive $200 and publication, and are eligible for the $5,000 Readers’ Choice Award. With an entry fee that is simply a one-year subscription to the magazine—and a runner-up Readers’ Choice Award to be chosen by the writers themselves—the Rattle Poetry Prize aims to be one of the most writer-friendly and popular poetry contests around. Visit www.rattle.com/prize for the complete guidelines and to read all of the past winners.
Deadline: July 15, 2020
The 15th annual Rattle Poetry Prize has grown to $15,000 for a single poem. Ten finalists also receive $200 and publication, and are eligible for the $5,000 Readers’ Choice Award. With an entry fee that is simply a one-year subscription to the magazine—and a runner-up Readers’ Choice Award to be chosen by the writers themselves—the Rattle Poetry Prize aims to be one of the most writer-friendly and popular poetry contests around. Visit www.rattle.com/prize for the complete guidelines and to read all of the past winners.
Rattle’s special features always help spice up an issue. It’s fun to see what has been included in each issue’s theme and how the writers fit inside it. In the Spring 2020 issue, readers can find a “special tribute section of poems written by students of Kim Addonizio’s poetry workshops (as well as one poem by Kim herself).” An interview with Addonizio is also included after the poetry selections. In addition to her poems, there are pieces by sixteen of her students covering a wide array of topics. Parenthood, love for pets, politics, sex, and suicide just scratch the surface of what these poets focus on in this feature. Grab yourself a copy of this issue of Rattle to discover the full selection Addonizio and her students offer us.
The Spring 2020 issue of Rattle features a special tribute section of poems written by students of Kim Addonizio’s poetry workshops (as well as one poem by Kim herself). In the open section, the poems themselves are as good as their titles: “The Cow I Didn’t Eat.” “Social Experiments in Which I Am the [Bear].” “Ode to the Mattress on the Side of the Interstate.” Diverse as always, the new issue features a poem written in “the imagined voice of Frida Kahlo” (Barbara Lydecker Crane), “Young Dyke” by Alison Hazle, a duo of triolets by Carolyne Wright, and much more.
Pick up the Winter 2019 issue of Rattle for the Rattle Poetry Prize winner and finalists.
“Stroke” by Matthew Dickman
“Punch Line” by Kathleen Balma
“Bonanza” by Susan Browne
“Mother and Child” by Barbara Lydecker Crane
“Foreign-ness” by Maya Tevet Dayan
“Cathedrals: Ode to a Deported Uncle” by Daniel Arias Gómez
“The Never-Ending Serial” by Red Hawk
“Gender Studies” by Sue Howell
“From Oblivious Waters” by Kimberly Kemler
“Red in Tooth and Claw” by James Davis May
“Self-Portrait, Despite What They Say” by Gabrielle Otero
Along with the winner and finalists, there are twenty-three other poets included in this issue in the “Open Poetry section.”