Friday, August 31, 2007

Job :: U of Southern Cal

Director of Professional Writing Program, University of Southern California. The USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences seeks an outstanding full-time director of the Master of Professional Writing (MPW) Program beginning January 2008.

BookCrossing: The Catch and Release of Books

This is a blast. You register your book on the site (for free) and get a printout to post in the book. Then you "release" the book into the human wilds with a note on it that indicates it's a free book for the finder to read, log onto the web site and write about (track), and re-release it for another reader to find. Finders/Readers can make their own comments on the book - where they found it, what they thought of it, where they've left it, etc. It's a great community recycling project that has to make somebody's dream come true: "If I ruled the world, books would be free and would just appear on park benches or on subways at random..." Go now, register one of your (many, many - I know you have TOO many) books, and set it free. It's time. BookCrossing.

High School Prize for Female Poet

High School Prize - an annual prize for sophmore & junior girls in Massachusetts.
Award: $500
Judge for 2008: Sharon Olds
The winner & three finalists will read their poems at the Judge’s reading Smith College, April 8, 2008
Submissions accepted: October 1 - December 1, 2007
One poem per student, maximum of 25 lines.
No entry fee. Application form required.
Winners will be announced March 1, 2008

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Eco-Libris: The Guiltless Gift

Have a big reader on your gift list? Tired of buying corporate gift cards? Here's a twist: help your reader reduce their footprint (or is it spine print) on the planet with Eco-Libris. For every book you read, you can "balance it out" by paying Eco-Libris to plant a tree for you. And it's cheap: five bucks to balance out five books. A buck a book. There's a slight break the higher you go, but seriously, this is cheaper than my state tax on a single book, and I have NO idea where that money even goes (although the nightly news does give some indication). The goal of EcoLibris is grand: "We want to balance out half a million books by the end of 2008." Okay folks, let's get started!

Job :: U of Nebraska

University of Nebraska - Omaha. Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Fiction with a secondary area of specialization in Screenwriting, Playwriting or other area wanted. Twelve-hour workload in a nationally rrecognized BFA creative writing program within the College of Communication, Fine Arts, & Media. Teaching duties may include Fundamentals; Studio, basic to advanced levels; Contemporary Writers In Print & In Person; Form & Theory (may be designed to reflect instructor´s strengths & interests); or Introduction to Creative Writing. Additional duties include directing student thesis projects & either coordinating an annual visiting-writers series or advising all Writer´s Workshop majors. There is the expectation that, in time, the successful candidate will assume greater administrative duties within the department and, once tenured, will enter the rotation of faculty members who chair the department. Involvement in a low-residency MFA program is a possibility once the needs of the undergraduate majors are met. Requires MFA or other terminal degree in the area, university-level teaching experience & substantial publishing record. To apply, complete an application on-line. Attach a cover letter, c.v., & names of three references along with your application. Also required is a 25-page writing sample. Please mail writing sample to: Chair, Search Committee, Writer's Workshop, WFAB 315, UNO, 6001 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68182. Please include SASE for return of writing sample. Review of applications will begin on October 1. AA/EOE.

Job :: U of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. Assistant Professor of English wanted for a tenure-track position in Creative Writing: Non-Fiction, beginning Sept. 1, 2008. MFA or PhD required. Expectations include college teaching experience; an active publication agenda; & the ability to teach undergraduate & graduate courses in creative writing as well as general education courses in literature & composition. Opportunity to direct MA theses. Service oon committees & advising of English majors expected. Twenty-four credit teaching load with six credits reassigned to writing for active writers. Competitive salary, strong support for professional activity, & excellent benefits. Send letter of application, c.v., statement of teaching philosophy, three current letters of recommendation, & official graduate transcripts to: Dr. Ron Rindo, Chair, Department of English, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI 54901-8692 . Application deadline: November 12. Employment will require a criminal background check. AA/EOE.

Submissions :: Columbia Poetry Review

Columbia Poetry Review is accepting submissions from now until November 30th.

Submissions :: Front Porch

Front Porch is now accepting submissions of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, reviews, and AV for their fall issue. FP has a new online submission system.

Online Lit Mag :: Fresh Yarn

FRESH YARN is "the first Online Salon for Personal Essays. Part literary publication, part virtual spoken-word, all personal essays. Every four weeks, FRESH YARN presents six new pieces written by a diverse lineup of all-star writers, directors, producers, performers and personalities."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Online Poetry :: bear parade

With no dates on the site, I can only guess this is a new effort that will be growing: bear parade - "raaaar" - is electronically published collections of poetry and short fiction, free for everyone. Currently on the site, works by Mazie Louise Montgomery, Ellen Kennedy, Tao Lin, Ofelia Hunt, Noah Cicero, Matthew Rohrer, Michael Earl Craig. The site also includes a classics section - "raaaareth" - which thus far only contains Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, which, if you are not familiar with this work, is well worth the trip to read, or rather, the trip it provides in reading. bear parade - check it out.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Job :: Colorado College

Colorado College - Assistant Professor. The Department of English seeks a fiction writer with a strong record of publication & teaching for a tenure-track position. Terminal degree such as MFA or PhD or equivalent preferred. Send letter of application, c.v., statement of teaching philosophy, & four letters of recommendation by October 29 to: Professor David Mason, Department of English, Colorado College, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

Featured Mag :: RootsWorld

"RootsWorld: Listening to the Planet is primarily a world and roots music magazine" whose "first mission is to bring our readers good information and knowledgeable opinions about the world of music and culture."

RootsWorld is a great portal to world music. "World music." Once when this was my answer to a co-worker asking me what I liked to listen to, he then said, "That's what people say when they don't know what they like." Clearly, his concept of "world music" was overplayed cafe loops of Putomayo CDs. Don't get me wrong, I have a few of those brightly colored CDs in my collection, but they served their purpose - to get me out looking for the individual musicians. That's where RootsWorld comes in.

RootsWorld features a dozen musicians and their albums on their homepage with links to more information about each and a sample track. Additionally, the site offers interviews, reviews, and Roots Radio - extended programs of music from several artists. Defnitely the place to visit if you are indeed a true world music fan!

Submissions :: The Progressive

"The Progressive, a national magazine that has been a leading voice for peace and social justice since 1909,seeks submissions of previously unpublished poetry for inclusion in its pages. While we are a political magazine, the poems need not be overtly political in subject; politics is enacted at all levels, from the public to the private, and we seek strong work that speaks meaningfully to a wide range of experience. For a better idea of what we publish, we encourage you to read the magazine before submitting. Please send up to five poems and include your name, address, email (if applicable), and phone number on each page. Submissions may be sent by regular mail to: The Progressive, 409 E. Main St., Madison, WI 53703, or emailed to: poetry(at) (replace (at) with @)."

Thomas Lynch on Cemetary Scams

The following is an excerpt from one of my all-time favorite writers and funeral directors, Thomas Lynch. True, I know only one funeral director, so making him my all-time favorite may not be saying much, but I do know quite a few writers, if that helps the recommendation. Thomas is no-nonsense in his balancing words with our culture's treatment of death and dying, and at the same time, his writing is a lot of serious fun. For example, his idea of combining golf courses with cemetaries to make better use of land space and encourage family visitation. This latest contribution offers humor, but delivers and even stronger message on the role of politics and greed in our simple desire to rest in peace.

In Michigan, Not Even the Dead Are Safe
By Op-Ed Contributor Thomas Lynch
Published: April 29, 2007

THE big cemetery with the name like a golf course out on the Interstate across from the mall was seized by a state conservator this winter. Seems someone took the money — $70 million in prepaid trust funds — and ran. It’s one of those theme park enterprises with lawn crypts and cheap statuary and an army of telemarketers calling up locals in the middle of dinner to sell us all our “commemorative estates.”

“You don’t want to be a burden to your children, do you?” So says the “memorial counselor” with the sales pitch and the flip chart and the forms to “sign here” on the bottom line — the bargain-in-the-briefcase peace of mind. Why not? I say, though never out loud. My children have all been burdens to me. Isn’t that what the best of life is — bearing our burdens honorably?

[Read the rest: NY Times Online.]

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Issue Online :: Failbetter 24

failbetter 24 is up now, at It features stories by Daniel Alarcón, Stevie Davis, Tim Coe, Kiara Brinkman, an excerpt from the novel by Jeffrey Lent, poems by Katherine Maurer, Lesley Jenike, Claudia La Rocco and paintings by Ben Brandt.

Job :: SUNY Buffalo

SUNY Buffalo seeks a poet at the senior level who will bring fresh perspectives to the study of poetry & poetics as demonstrated by a record of writing & teaching interests appropriate to undergraduate & PhD mentoring & instruction. Teaching load: 2/2; salary, benefits, & privileges competitive with other Research I-AA universities. Preference given to applications received by October 15. Please submit letter of application, c.v., & a list of recommenders electronically at, posting #0601592

Job :: University of Michigan

The Department of English invites applications for a poet to join the MFA faculty at the level of Assistant Professor, advanced Assistant, or new Associate. Looking for a colleague of distinction, although not necessarily seniority. Candidates should have a strong record of publication (a minimum of one book published or in press, two books preferred) & a history of excellence in teaching. As a member of our department, the candidate will teach graduate & undergraduate poetry workshops & other courses reflecting his/her interests & departmental needs. Members of the MFA Program share administrative duties on a rotational basis, so evidence of administrative talent & experience & willingness to serve will augment an otherwise strong application. Send letter of application, c.v., writing sample (no more than 15 pages; published material only), & evidence of teaching excellence to: Professor Sidonie Smith, Chair, Dept of English Language & Literature, University of Michigan, 3187 Angell Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003, Attention: Recruitment Coordinator. Review of applications will begin September 30 & continue until the position is filled. Women & minorities are encouraged to apply.

Submissions :: Quiet Mountain Essays

Quiet Mountain Essays (QME) is an online journal of original feminist writing, presented in an essays-only format, which publishes five times a year (January, March, June, August, and October). In the pages of QME, a woman writer can openly voice what she thinks without having to be mindful of micro-specialized politics or demographics. Consequently, a QME reader opens each essay not knowing what she or he may find.

Quiet Mountain Essays (QME) publishes in January, March, June, August, and October; accepting submissions all year. Each issue features 1-3 previously unpublished original essays, the number of which is dependent upon the volume of submissions. QME is an online publication only, there is no print companion. Its continued existence depends upon participation from women visiting this site. Male readers and writers should please respect the spirit of this woman-space site, unless responding to the Open Call (April 1- June 15) for the annual August Open Issue.

Resources :: ESL Gold

For teachers and students alike, ESL Gold is packed with free resources (mostly free, with the usual sidebar ads that aren't too annoying). For students: links to places to study English; conversation partners (requires registration fee - but "Telephone Teachers" are paid); textbook recommendations language skills; learning strategies; quizzes; links; software and CD-ROMs (for purchase from site partners); and language exchange. For teachers: job list; handouts; textbook recommendations; teaching skills; TESOL courses; lesson plans and ideas; tips for teaching; teacher resources; ESL/EFL links; supplementary materials; software and CD-ROMs; games and activities. Much of the content is shared from other teachers, so this seems to be a cooperative resource. Great for new or even established teachers as well as ESL students.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New Online Lit Mag Issues Posted

To view these new issues and other online mags, visit NewPages Guide to Online Literary Magazines

Absent Magazine
Issue 2

Boxcar Poetry Review
Issue 9

The Pedestal Magazine
Issue 41

Beer Alert :: Support NewPages Blog

In keeping with our fellow literary web sites that tout their own "donate" buttons and mimic government terroist alerts when their need grows (yellow, orange, red), we felt it was only fair that we make our own request for support. But, as is often asked: What exactly is the money for? Do you really need the money to support your operations? We have been open and honest about exactly how your contribution will be spent: on beer. It is, after all, a major part of what keeps NewPages operational, and as main blogger, I can attest, it certainly would motivate my continued efforts. No donation is too small - since even a dollar can be put in the kitty to get a six-pack from the corner party store, though a true "pint" at our local brewery is about $3. If you really want to show your love, $5 refills one of our growlers on Tuesday nights. What a deal. The pint pictured is one of our favorite varieties - IPA -just click on it to donate through PayPal. We're just trying to devise our own alert system of showing the level going down and issuing a "Foam Alert" when we're staring at an empty glass.

Lit Mag Mailbag :: August 26

Alligator Juniper
Issue 12, 2007

Beloit Poetry Journal
Volume 58 Number 1, Fall 2007

Volume 24 Number 1, Summer 2007

Cavaet Lector
Volume 19 Number 2, Summer 2007

Cave Wall
Number 2, Summer 2007

Cimarron Review
Issue 160, Summer 2007

Issue Number 2, Summer 2007

Number 232, Summer 2007

Glimmer Train
Issue 64, Fall 2007

Issue 10, 2007

New Genre
Issue 5, Spring 2007

New Letters
Volume 73 Number 3, 2007

New York Quarterly
Number 63, 2007

North Dakota Quarterly
Volume 74 Number 1, Winter 2007

Open Minds Quarterly
Volume 9 Number 2, Summer 2007

Volume 190 Number 5, September 2007

A Public Space (APS)
Issue 4, 2007

River Teeth
Volume 8 Number 2, Spring 2007

Numbers 155-156, Summer-Fall 2007

The Sewanee Review
Volume 115 Number 3, Summer 2007

South Loop Review
Volume 9, 2006

Tampa Review
Issue 33/34, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

In Memoriam :: Grace Paley

Short story writer Grace Paley, 84, passed away Wednesday, August 22, 2007.

NPR offers a special remembrance with numerous audio archive pieces.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First Fiction :: Kore Press

Kore Press publishes its first fiction, joining the short story chapbook craze with "The Saving Work" by Tiphanie Yanique, hot off the laser printer this week. As with many of KP's limited edition and handbound books, "The Saving Work" is assembled individually by staff and volunteers; each cover features a unique burn mark, created in-house with a decidedly low-tech candle and flame. "The Saving Work" was chosen by final judge Margot Livesey as the winner of our first Fiction Chapbook competition. The next deadline is October 31, 2007.

Job :: National University

National University invites applications for a fulltime, Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at our Los Angeles campus. M.F.A. or Ph.D. by date of hire and publications in fiction or literary nonfiction required.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

BA Seeks MFA or MAw/CW &/or PhD

We have what you're looking for! Created by popular demand:

NewPages Guide to Graduate Creative Writing Programs

This page is "in progress." If you know of a graduate school writing program that is not currently listed, please let us know. More information on listed programs will be posted in Sept. 2007. That is, as they say, the plan.

This page will also link to a larger list of creative writing programs, including undergrad programs and a list of annual creative writing conferences, workshops & retreats. Any not listed that you would like to see? Let us know!

O. Henry? Oh my - it's Shannon Cain!

A short story by Kore Press Executive Director Shannon Cain has been selected for inclusion in the 2008 O. Henry Prize anthology. According to Kore: "These days we often find Shannon at her desk, gazing into space, incredulous and a little bit weepy." Shannon's story, "The Necessity of Certain Behaviors," originally appeared in the New England Review. The O. Henry Prize anthology is due out in May 2008 from Anchor Books. Congrats Shannon - we support you letting this go to your head for as long as you like!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Censorship :: WWJD?

As noted in a previous blog, Jessica Powers, author of the young adult novel The Confessional (Random House, July 2007) had been disinvited to speak at Cathedral High School in El Paso because her book contained "language" and sexual innuendos. The principal of the private, Catholic school spoke with an El Paso reporter for Newspaper Tree saying he felt "compelled to protect our kids [who begin attending at 13 years old] and our school." Has this guy walked down his own hallways lately? Where does he think Jessica got the realistic teen behavior material for her book? Not only that, but didn't these people actually READ her book before inviting her to speak?

Even so, it hardly seems the point, since Powers says she wasn't going to speak about her book, but rather on the issues she writes about in the book: "immigration (illegal and legal); underlying racial tension in a border society like El Paso's; violence and pacifism; social divisions between different groups of people; and faith or doubts about faith." But, as Cathedral is a private rather than public school, its decision was regarded differently by Bobby Byrd, co-publisher and vice president of Cinco Puntos Press, who "said the decision for a private school to cancel a book event is a 'whole different situation' from public censorship. 'The parents are essentially hiring the school to make certain decisions,' he said. 'If a teacher were teaching that book, then it would be a whole different decision.' The decision to cancel the discussion may not have been the correct one, though, Byrd suggested. 'To me it speaks of timidity,' he added. 'Literature is literature.'"

It was Jessica's contention that her visit had been cancelled because of a coinciding visit to take place by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The cancellation itself was brought on, not by school members, but by Former Chief Justice Barajas – who I also doubt even read the book. Ironically enough, on August 12, Jessica made note in her blog that the superintendent of the schools actually gave her approval of the book: "Because of all the brouhaha, a teacher made sure the superintendent of Catholic schools in El Paso had a copy of the book. She read it and called the principal up and said she didn't see what all the fuss was about. She said, 'I don't want our boys to talk this way…but they do.' Former Chief Justice Barajas, the one who forced the cancellation of the event, had allegedly said this was an attack on the church and a threat. But a teacher who read it said, 'Every time the boys get in trouble, they return to what they were taught. They pray, they go to confession….What else can you ask for?'"

Only what's left to ask: WWJD?

In Memoriam :: Chauncey Bailey

A crusading editor, gunned down for the story
by Tim Jones / Chicago Tribune (MCT)
17 August 2007
OAKLAND, Calif.—Until the sawed-off shotgun was raised and aimed at him, Chauncey Bailey, the tall, swashbuckling media celebrity who always walked and talked with a purpose, didn’t seem to worry that his reporting might put his life in danger.

He was the hard-charging and controversial advocate for the black community in this uncelebrated city by the bay. And that, Bailey’s friends say, led him to assume a cocoon of personal safety, if not immunity from the black-on-black violent crime afflicting Oakland. There had been death threats before, but nothing came of them...[Read the rest on Pop Matters]

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Interview :: Abdul Ali with E. Ethelbert Miller

From his first questions, Abdul Ali gets to the heart of the matter in his interview with E. Ethelber Miller: "Can you tell me what a literary activist is, and what kinds of work they take up? When did you become a literary activist, what events revealed this calling?" Miller's responses define as well as inspire readers to follow his actions to become leaders themselves. Read the interview on Ali's blog: Poetic Noise 1984.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's Not Dead Yet...Parnassus Lives

Parnassus Lives
August 12th, 2007 by Jeremy Axelrod for the Kenyon Review
Parnassus: Poetry in Review will not be closing shop with Volume 30, after all. Until recently, financial woes made that round, impressive number seem like a sensible finale for the journal’s magnificent run. As Meg Galipault noted on KR Blog [Kenyon Review Blog], Willard Spiegelman wrote in the Wall Street Journal about its “commitment to intelligence and beautiful writing” — an achievement that’s sadly not enough to fill the till. But sometimes poetry does make things happen, or at least poetry critics do. A very generous reader of the Wall Street Journal saw Spiegelman’s article and offered to fully fund Parnassus for two more years. In the last few months, many magazines and newspapers have lamented the end of Parnassus and praised its decades of excellence. Nobody spoke too soon. When the donation materialized, it was an utter surprise for everyone. [Read the rest on KR Blog]

Photography :: Larry Schwarm

One of Larry Schwarm's photographs adorns the cover of the most recent issue of New Letters. At first I thought it was an image from Katrina, but there was something more colorful about it than those now, all too familiar waterlogged and mildewed landscapes. Schwarm's subject is the Greensburg Tornado that swept through and destroyed his home town on May 4, 2007. Schwarm was out the next day documenting the devastation. It's odd to say there's something beautiful about the images he captures, but then, maybe it's an odd kind of beauty - to be awed by the end result of an F5 tornado, to see an ordered world turned upside down, to be witness to death and chaos that comes to rest under sunny blue skies. Had Schwarm shot this photo essay in black and white, my feelings might be different, more somber perhaps, less mesmerized by the intricacies of these ruins. As it is, it's like looking at the pages of a children's seek and find book, trying to pick out and make sense of the pieces and how they should have fit together. And being stunned to see a single green plate, whole and intact at the top of a heap of brick and mortar rubble, or a closet full of clothes and personal items left completely intact while the entire structure around it is obliterated. This issue of New Letters is worth picking up just for Schwarm's photos alone, though the images are also on his web site. Also on his site, the one black and white photos he shares is 7.5x36.5 inches and is composed of nine negatives. Prints are available for $100 each, with 100% above printing costs donated to the Kiowa County (Greensburg, Kansas) Historical Society. In print or online, well worth the look.

Poem of the Hour :: Donovan Chase

Untitled, for a Good Reason
by Donovan Chase

What follows will make no sense.
I intend for this to happen,
And so it will.
I want my poem to be considered deep, so I’ll have it make no sense.
I’ll use random bits of
pretentious nonsense,
To make a point
That doesn’t exist...

[Read the rest on 24:7 Magazine.]
[Or don't.]
[But then you'll miss this part:

I’ll use “vague but disturbing imagery”
Like the idea of someone taking a cat
and putting it in a cheese taco
to make the poem seem to have meaning...]

[And other funny bits.]

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Submissions and Positions :: 63 Channels

63 Channels, an online literary/art magazine, is accepting submission for a Fall/Winter 2007 print issue as well as looking for writers and artists to be matched for their 2008 calendar project. Also looking at least two columnists and two or three book & music reviewers.

Job :: Shippensburg University

Department of English and Shippensburg

Tenure-track assistant professor in Creative Writing (Poetry), full-time appointment beginning August 2008. MFA or PhD required by time of appointment. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to teaching, service, and professional activity including published poetry (preferably a book). Twelve-hour course load each semester will include creative writing, other courses in the English major, and general education courses, with course reduction available for advising the student literary magazine. Additional teaching expertise in creative nonfiction and/or literary study desirable. The committee will request writing samples from selected candidates and may meet with these candidates at MLA. On-campus interviews will include a demonstration of teaching effectiveness and a brief poetry reading. Review of applications begins November 2, 2007, and will continue until the position is filled. View posting here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Film Got Lit?

From the June/July/August 2007 issue of Bookforum, and all available online, are three articles of use for those who teach film, for students of film study, and for literature lovers/film afficiandos:

Adapt This: Fiction Into Film
By Phillip Lopate

Reflections (on the topic of fiction into film)
By James Ivory, Elmore Leonard, Tracy Chevalier, Patrick McGrath, Jerry Stahl, Michael Tolkin, Susanna Moore, Time Krabbe, Irvine Welsh, Barry Gifford, Alexander Payne, Myla Goldberg, and Frederic Raphael

Best Adaptations (short lists from each with brief highlight notes)
By Francine Prose, Joy Press, Geoffrey O’Brien, Robert Polito, Luc Sante, Stephanie Zacharek, Steve Erickson, Molly Haskell, Armond White, J. Hoberman, Bilge Ebiri, and Drake Stutesman

New Issue Online :: 27 rue de fleures

Now online: 27 rue del fleures - poetries by women. Featured in Issue Three, Summer 2007 are works by Kristin Abraham, Marcia Arrieta, Juliet Cook, Hildred Crill, Melissa DeGezelle, Karen Heywood, A.S. Morgan, Jess Neiweem, Rhonda Robison, Carly Sachs, Amanda Silbernagel, and Yvette Thomas.

Submissions :: Gay Poetry Anthologies

A Midsummer Night's Press announces two new annual anthologies: BEST GAY POETRY edited by Lawrence Schimel and BEST LESBIAN POETRY edited by Linda Alvarez. For the 2008 editions of this exciting new series celebrating the best in gay/lesbian poetry, A Midsummer Night's Press invites submissions of poems published during 2007. Submission information here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Censorship for the Next Generation

Jessica Powers, author of The Confessional (previously blogged herein), wrote August 8 to inform us of a speaking engagement of hers having been cancelled.

She wrote: "This morning, I received news that my event at Cathedral High School here in El Paso (scheduled this coming Monday afternoon at 3 p.m.), where I was going to discuss issues of immigration and border security and racism with students, has been canceled. I understand that the person behind canceling the event is Chief Justice Richard Barajas, who thought that doing an event with a book that discusses these issues, with profanity, would be a public relations disaster for Cathedral High School and that parents would be in an uproar. Ironically, the event was scheduled on the same day that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is to be the keynote speaker at the Border Security Conference at UTEP here in town. As you know, THE CONFESSIONAL looks at the issues he will be speaking about from the teen perspective. That event has now been canceled and the discussion silenced."

Coming only four weeks after the publication of this exceptional young adult novel, my response to Jessica: I'm surprised it took them so long.

The book is hard-hitting and more real than some adults may want to believe is possible among our nation's "children." And Jessica's dis-invitation is over what? Supposedly because of the fact that characters in her book swear? Uh, did anybody notice Harry Potter in book seven is a minor drinking whiskey and making comparisons with its euphoric feelings throughout the book? But, I guess the issue of ethnic cleansing is just better masked therein so that is overlooked... Fortunately, we can hope, as with most censorship, cancelled invitations and bannings, this will encourage even more young adults to read her work and want to hear what she has to say on the issues reflected so humanly and humanely through the characters in her book. It's just too bad these select "adults" won't hear her out, and that they are in positions of power to silence her.

Read more from Jessica herself on her blog: J.L. Powers

Remember Your First Book?

First Book is a nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. We provide an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring, and family literacy programs.

Over the summer, First Book asked the question: What book got you hooked? On the site now are the results, including responses from Joyce Carol Oates, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Rebecca Romijn, John Lithgow, Eric Carle, Judy Woodruff, Marlee Matlin, Rick Reilly, John Krasinski, Lisa Loeb, Joshua Bell, Elizabeth Gilbert and many more.

The Nation :: Free Copies for Students

Students can request free copies of The Nation to pass out at campus events, meetings or protests. Go to their website to fill out the request form: Student Nation

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Journal :: Projections

Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that explores the ways in which recent advancements in fields such as psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, genetics and evolution help to increase our understanding of film, and how film itself facilitates investigations into the nature and function of the mind. The journal will also incorporate articles on the visual arts and new technologies related to film. The aims of the journal are to explore these subjects, facilitate a dialogue between people in the sciences and the humanities, and bring the study of film to the forefront of contemporary intellectual debate. Published on behalf of The Forum for Movies and the Mind.

Coming in the Summer of 2007
Volume 1, Number 1

Ira Konigsberg, "Film Theory and the New Science"

Gilbert J. Rose, "On Affect, Motion and Nonverbal Art: A Case and a Theory"

Patrick Colm Hogan, "Sensorimotor Projection, Violations of Continuity, and Emotion in the Experience of Film"

Norman Holland, "The Neuroscience of Metafilm"

Torben Grodal, "Film Emotions, Valence, and Evolutionary Adaptations"

Silvia Bell, "Separation and Merger in Lovers of the Arctic Circle"

Reviews by:
Bonnie Kaufman, Jeff Zacks , Carl Plantinga and Cynthia Freeland

Adrienne Harris on Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation

An interview with Jonathan Caouette

Uri Hasson on what movies tell us about the mind

Submissions :: Indiana Review 5.08

Indiana Review is planning to bring the funk in summer 2008. Issue 30.1 will feature a special "Focus on the Funk" section, with art, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that has a uniquely funky aesthetic. Funk has the power to move and re-move, and it also has the power to defy definition. So please don't ask what funk is (although the Godfather of Soul may be helpful). IR is looking for work that makes you want to jump back and kiss yourself. For more information, visit IR website.

Evangelical Video Games :: The Nation

I'm not a video game fan, but I am interested in the shift in the attraction the younger generation has to symbols and visual graphics - the milennial literacy. It is this kind of reading/literacy that is being tapped into by Operation Straight Up (OSU), a government-sponsored (aka: You're paying for this), military support group.

Kill Or Convert, Brought To You By the Pentagon
By Max Blumenthal
The Nation
"The Pentagon endorses an End Times evangelical group that proselytizes among US troops, plans a 'crusade' to Iraq, and promotes a post-apocalyptic kill-or-convert video game."

And who's in the forefront of this promotional movement?

"Actor Stephen Baldwin, the youngest member of the famous Baldwin brothers, is no longer playing Pauly Shore's sidekick in comedy masterpieces like Biodome. He has a much more serious calling these days...'In my position, I just don't think I'm supposed to keep my faith to myself,' Baldwin told a group of Texas Southern Baptists in 2004. 'I'm just doing what the Lord's telling me to do.'"

Read the rest: The Notion

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Submissions :: Call for Art - MacGuffin

The MacGuffin, established in 1984, is a national literary magazine from Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Our journal is a 160 page 6” x 9” perfect bound collection of the best poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction that we receive. We also have artwork including black and white photos, prints, and drawings. We publish three issues yearly.

The Book Of Hopes and Dreams

From Dee Rimbauld, Editor: The Book Of Hopes And Dreams is a charity, poetry anthology, published to raise money for the Medical Aid (Afghanistan) appeal of the Glasgow-based charity Spirit Aid, which is an entirely volunteer run organisation, headed by Scottish actor and director, David Hayman. As a volunteer organisation, Spirit Aid are able to ensure that 90% of all the funds they raise go straight to the projects they are involved in (unlike most of the bigger charities whose admin and advertising budgets swallow huge percentages of all donations). The Book Of Hopes And Dreams, which is a celebration of the human spirit (even in times of great adversity) has captured the imagination and hearts of some of the greatest living poets of our times; all of whom have freely contributed work to this anthology. There are contributions from Margaret Atwood, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Heath-Stubbs, Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Tony Harrison, Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan, Penelope Shuttle, Anne Stevenson, Jon Stallworthy, Alan Brownjohn, Ruth Fainlight, David Constantine, Moniza Alvi, Cyril Dabydeen, Elaine Feinstein, Vicki Feaver, Michael Horovitz, Tom Leonard, Robert Mezey, Lawrence Sail, Jay Ramsay, Charles Ades Fishman, Geoffrey Godbert and Ian Duhig, amongst others.

The book costs £9.99 and is available from all good bookstores in the UK. It can also be bought outside the UK via the publisher, Bluechrome or from UK Amazon.

Featured Online Magazine :: Words Without Borders

Along with the myriad ancient virtues of storytelling-giving pleasure, passing time, stimulating thought, connecting strangers — literature is a passport to places both real and imagined. In an increasingly interdependent world, rife with ignorance and incomprehension of other cultures, literature in translation has an especially important role.

Few literatures have truly prospered in isolation from the world. English-speaking culture in general and American culture in particular has long benefited from cross-pollination with other worlds and languages. Thus it is an especially dangerous imbalance when, today, 50% of all the books in translation now published worldwide are translated from English, but only 6% are translated into English.

Words Without Borders opens doors to international exchange through translation of the world’s best writing — selected and translated by a distinguished group of writers, translators, and publishing professionals — and publishing and promoting these works (or excerpts) on the web. We also serve as an advocacy organization for literature in translation, producing events that feature the work of foreign writers and connecting these writers to universities and the media.

Our ultimate aim is to introduce exciting international writing to the general public — travelers, teachers, students, publishers, and a new generation of eclectic readers — by presenting international literature not as a static, elite phenomenon, but a portal through which to explore the world. In the richness of cultural information we present, we hope to help foster a “globalization” of cultural engagement and exchange, one that allows many voices in many languages to prosper.

Words Without Borders is a partner of PEN American Center and the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia University, and is hosted by Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Discussion Forums :: Brooklyn Book Talk

Giving the residents of Brooklyn and elsewhere an opportunity to discuss books and literature, facilitated by staff of Brooklyn Public Library. Brooklyn Public Library's online book discussions encourage people to talk about books over the Internet. The discussion allows for debate and the sharing of ideas related to books. To participate in the discussion, simply click on the "comments" link at the bottom of a post and submit a comment. Currently under discussion: Grief by Andrew Holleran; upcoming for September: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri See more: Brooklyn Book Talk

Lit Mag Mailbag :: August 7, 2007

Volume 30 Number 3, Spring 2007

Bellingham Review
Volume 30 Numbers 1 & 2, Spring/Fall 2007

The Hudson Review
Volume 60 Number 2, Summer 2007

The Journal of Ordinary Thought
Spring 2007

Number 55, Summer/Fall 2007

The MacGuffin
Volume 23 Number 3, Spring/Summer 2007

The Massachusetts Review
Volume 48 Number 2, Summer 2007

Michigan Quarterly Review
Volume 46 Number 3, Summer 2007

The Midwest Quarterly
Volume 48 Number 4, Summer 2007

The New Centennial Review
Volume 6 Number 2, Winter 2006

One Story
Issue Number 91, 2007

Parthenon West Review
Issue 5, 2007

Rock and Sling
Volume 4 Issue 1, Summer 2007

Skidrow Penthouse
Issue Number 8, 2007

Volume 35 Number 2, Spring 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Drummstick

Got Doc's CD in the mail and didn't think much of it until I took a closer look at what exactly this "drummstick" is that he plays. This is some incredible technology! You can check out more at his site: and see other YouTube clips of him performing with other musicians.

Online Lit Mag :: Storyglossia 21 is Complete!

If you haven't been reading along as each story has been released, the full
Issue 21 is now available featuring stories by: Gretchen McCullough, Kay Sexton, JSun Howard, Amelia Gray, Dan Capriotti, Sung J. Woo, Terry White, Paula Bomer, Clifford Garstang, Emily M. Z. Carlyle, Joel Van Noord, Anthony Neil Smith, Laurie Seidler, and Josh Capps. Issue 22 will start in a week or so, with a new story released every 2-3 days.

Submissions :: Young Writers

Attention Young Writers: Submit your work to be read at an upcoming live production!

If you are between the ages 14 and 21 and enjoy writing, please submit your poems, stories, or essays to be considered for reading at an upcoming live production of A River & Sound Review.

"Writers may submit up to three poems, or an essay or story up to 1,000 words in length. Selection of the work will be based on the literary merit of the submission and its appropriateness for our program. Due to our production schedule and limited staff, it may take us up to three months to notify you of our acceptance of your submission."

See submissions page here: Young Writers Submissions for A River & Sound Review

For more information about opportunities for yount writers, visit NewPages Young Authors Guide.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunday Elegy

The Dead Bird Elegy
By Martha Henry
Most of us have our own ways of avoiding the idea of death, if not the actual event itself. But we also have ways of confronting death, usually in a sideways way, like Zombie movies or estate planning. Then there are the traditional Buddhist methods, such as meditating on the uncertainty of the time of death or hanging out with fresh corpses in a charnel ground. Me, I take photographs of dead birds.

Read the rest, or listen to the the MP3 version, on tricycle: the independent voice of Buddhism.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

What's on YOUR iPod?

How about FREE audiobooks? LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Their goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. They are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project. Download HEAVEN for the literati! LibriVox also welcomes volunteer readers and listeners for editing recorded works and maintains a strong community among its regulars with message boards and podcast updates.

Friday, August 03, 2007

In Memoriam :: Aura Estrada

"New Directions mourns the loss of Aura Estrada, essayist and reviewer, wife of Francisco Goldman, and a great friend who helped us publish Roberto Bolano in the United States. One of our finest Spanish language fiction readers and advisors, Estrada died on July 25 in a surfing accident off the coast of Mexico. Her reviews appeared in many publications, including Bookforum and Boston Review, which published her review of two recent New Directions books in its July/August 2007 issue. A brilliant essay by Aura Estrada on Bolano and Borges can be read on the Words Without Borders website."

Book Sale! Coach House Books

Who can resist a sale, especially when it involves books, and especially from a really cool small press? "The Scorching Summer Sale has been extended through August! Purchase any two Coach House books from the website and receive a third book absolutely free! (The free book must be of equal or lesser value than the two purchased books.) Simply place an online order for two books of your choice, then send an e-mail to with your name and selection of third book. Act quickly. The sale ends August 31."

Awards :: Wallace Stevens Award

Charles Simic has been selected as the recipient of the 2007 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. The $100,000 prize recognizes outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. The Academy's Board of Chancellors, a body of sixteen eminent poets, nominates and elects the Wallace Stevens Award recipient.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Books :: War Poetry

The Baghdad Blues by Sinan Antoon
Published by Harbor Mountain Press

"Baghdad Blues shares with war poetry, especially that of World War I, the sense of underlying shock and horror at the human cruelty and waste. But, Antoon’s poetry is more nightmarish. It starts with enormous schizophrenic intimations of a self caught between repression, fear, and resignation under a dictatorial role, to end up amid scenes of horror that have become the legacy of the 2003 invasion and occupation. Sinan Antoon’s Blues snatches its images from among metal, armor, deserted places, explosions, to build up an identity for an Iraqi soul in a world which is drifting fast into horror which Joseph Conrad-Kurtz’ cry cannot fathom or reach. As befitting the title, sound summons its power from everything in Iraq: from the dictatorial decrees and their demand for appreciative applause, to the air, sea, and land bombardments and explosions. The agonized soul has to cope up with these by its music, its beats of the heart as it perceives all from a hole somewhere, a hole that might offer a glimpse, perhaps of hope, that the poet calls Baghdad Blues."
—Muhsin al-Musawi
Professor of Arabic Literature at Columbia University and Author of Arabic Poetry: Trajectories of Modernity and Tradition and Reading Iraq: Culture and Power in Conflict

Contests for Anthology :: Press 53

Press 53 will hold eight category contest from now until March, 2008. Winners of each contest will be published Fall 2008 in the Press 53 Open Awards Anthology. Categories will be judged by eight award-winning & industry professional judges. Categories include: poetry, flash fiction, short-short fiction, genre fiction, short fiction, creative nonfiction, novella, and young writers.

Lit Mag Update :: StoryQuartely

StoryQuarterly announces that our new system for receiving submissions year-round is now online. Also, the SQ Fiction Contest is accepting entries until September 30 and offers a First Prize of $2,500, a Second Prize of $1,500, and a Third Prize of $750. Additionally, ten Finalists will each receive $100. The new issue of SQ is also online, featuring:
Charles Johnson’s short story “Night Watch, 500 BCE”
Steve Kistulentz’s short story “Reykjavík the Beautiful”
Gary Buslik’s short story “Don’t Open That Door”
Elea Carey’s short story “First Love, Last Love”
Darrach Dolan’s short story “Riot”
Golda Goldbloom’s “Wyalkatchem Stories”
Skip Horack’s short story “Bluebonnet Swamp”
Hannah Pittard’s short story “Pretty Parts”
Emily Rapp’s short story “November”

Submissions :: North Central Review, IL

The staff of the North Central Review invites you to submit to the national, undergraduate literary journal published by North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. The North Central Review considers all literary genres, including short fiction, poetry, drama, creative nonfiction, and mixed-genre pieces, for two issues annually. The submission deadlines for the Fall and Spring issues are October 15 and February 15, respectively.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Job :: Sarah Lawrence College, NY

Sarah Lawrence College seeks established nonfiction writers to fill two half-time tenure-track positions beginning in the fall of 2008. Teaching responsibilities include undergraduate and graduate nonfiction-writing workshops, regular individual tutorials with students, and supervision of M.F.A. theses. We are looking for candidates with an M.F.A. or equivalent, at least one published book, teaching experience at the undergraduate or graduate level, a demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching, and a willingness to participate actively in the nonfiction-writing program and the academic life of the college.

Please send a letter of application, a C.V., samples of writing, and three letters of recommendation to Nonfiction Search, c/o Rosemary Weeks, Faculty Assistant, Sarah Lawrence College, 1 Mead Way, Bronxville, NY 10708. Applications should be postmarked by November 15, 2007.

Contest Winner :: Lynne Thompson

Perugia Press publishes one collection of poetry each year, by a woman at the beginning of her publishing career. Beg No Pardon by Lynne Thompson, winner of the 2007 Perugia Press Prize, has just been released. Visit Perugia Press website for details and ordering information.

Submissions :: Palabra

Palabra: A Magazine of Chicano & Latino Literary Art invites submissions of short fiction, poetry, short plays and novel excerpts. Looking especially for work that pays attention to language as much as content, takes literary risks and explores new territory in Chicano & Latino literary art.