Friday, February 29, 2008

City's Gay Bookstore Closing After 24 Years

After 24 years, Baltimore's Lambda Rising bookstore is closing
By Rona Marech | Sun reporter
February 29, 2008

When John Waters' 1988 film Hairspray first came out on video, a staff member at Lambda Rising bookstore bought a passel of aerosol hairspray cans at the drugstore across the street and asked the filmmaker to sign them. As a promotion, the shop gave an autographed can to every customer who purchased a video.

Such antics helped spur loyalty among customers at the store, which sells gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender books as well as digital video discs, music, magazines, greeting cards and gifts. But a core group of devotees was not enough to save the store in the face of declining sales: The owner announced last week that after more than two decades in business, he will close the Baltimore shop, believed to be the only gay and lesbian bookstore in Maryland.

"You don't like to have to close something that's such a central part of your life and the community's life. But you have to be realistic," said Deacon Maccubbin, who once owned five gay bookstores but soon will be down to two, in Washington and in Rehoboth Beach, Del. "This is the history of independent bookselling in the last 10 years."

Read the rest on The Baltimore Sun.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Noam Chomsky :: Words on Terrorism

The Most Wanted List
Commentary: International terrorism: Entering the theater of the absurd.
By Noam Chomsky
Mother Jones
February 26, 2008

On February 13, Imad Moughniyeh, a senior commander of Hizbollah, was assassinated in Damascus. "The world is a better place without this man in it," State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said: "one way or the other he was brought to justice." Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell added that Moughniyeh has been "responsible for more deaths of Americans and Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception of Osama bin Laden."

Joy was unconstrained in Israel too, as "one of the U.S. and Israel's most wanted men" was brought to justice, the London Financial Times reported. Under the heading, "A militant wanted the world over," an accompanying story reported that he was "superseded on the most-wanted list by Osama bin Laden" after 9/11 and so ranked only second among "the most wanted militants in the world."

The terminology is accurate enough, according to the rules of Anglo-American discourse, which defines "the world" as the political class in Washington and London (and whoever happens to agree with them on specific matters). It is common, for example, to read that "the world" fully supported George Bush when he ordered the bombing of Afghanistan. That may be true of "the world," but hardly of the world, as revealed in an international Gallup Poll after the bombing was announced. Global support was slight. In Latin America, which has some experience with U.S. behavior, support ranged from 2% in Mexico to 16% in Panama, and that support was conditional upon the culprits being identified (they still weren't eight months later, the FBI reported), and civilian targets being spared (they were attacked at once). There was an overwhelming preference in the world for diplomatic/judicial measures, rejected out of hand by "the world."

Read the rest on Mother Jones.

Book :: Rattle Conversations

New from Rattle magazine:


Edited by Alan Fox
Published by Red Hen Press, 2008

"Fourteen selected RATTLE Conversations offer rare insight into the lives and thoughts of some of the most notable American poets of our time. Informative and intimate, the conversations look beyond the academic minutia and into the heart of what we love - the passion that compels poetry, and the process that completes it. These poets explore not what they wrote, but why they had to write it, and how it came to be. As such, the RATTLE Conversations serve as an indispensable guide and companion to anyone who appreciates the art and experience of writing."

Includes conversations with Daniel Berrigan, Hayden Carruth, Lucille Clifton, Sam Hamill, Jane Hirshfield, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jack Kornfield, Li-Young Lee, Philip Levine, Sharon Olds, Gregory Orr, Luis J. Rodriguez, Alan Shapiro, and Diane Wakoski.

An excerpt from the interview with Gregory Orr:

Fox: You talk about the impulse to write and the importance of that. What happens to you after the poem is out there in the world? Is the response meaningful?

Orr: It certainly is now. I love reading my poems to audiences now. I love the idea of communicating with people in the sense that what I really enjoy is that if I read my poems to people, we somehow start talking after the reading. Those things where they say, will you take any questions after the reading? They're terrified to even ask you that. And I'm thinking, the hell with the reading, let's just have the questions, let's just have a conversation. So, I've gone from this person who was in terror of other people and, again, I'm describing the first several books and stuff. I had no pride, no pleasure in sharing, in confiding. I was still so far inside myself, working out my own self-absorbed, anguished story.

Dissent :: What's Wrong with Academic Boycotts?

Scholastic Disobedience
By Martha Nussbaum, Mohammed Abed, and Murray Hausknecht
From Dissent Magazine

"Last spring, Britain's 120,000-strong University and College Union voted to endorse a motion to boycott Israeli universities, calling on British academics to condemn the 'complicity of Israeli academia in the occupation.' Martha Nussbaum, Mohammed Abed, and Murray Hausknecht debate the legitimacy--and political utility--of academic boycotts."

Read the debate here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mountain Heritage Literary Festival 5.25

The Mountain Heritage Literary Festival
June 13-15, 2008

"We are now in our third year of the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival. This year we welcome Appalachia’s reigning master, Lee Smith, author of Fair and Tender Ladies, On Agate Hill, Oral History, and many other classics. She is joined by Sheila Kay Adams, beloved banjo-player, ballad-singer, and storyteller. Our Master Classes will be led by such great contemporary talents as Kate Larken (songwriting), George Ella Lyon (nonfiction), Maurice Manning (poetry), and Mark Powell (fiction) and we’ll be treated to Barbara Bates Smith’s one woman show of Lee Smith’s On Agate Hill and many other writers who will come to share their knowledge."

Scholarships, fellowship and writing contest are also available.

Deadline for registration: May 25, 2008

Writers Conference :: Gettysburg Review 6.08

Gettysburg Review
2nd Annual Conference for Writers

Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA
June 4-9, 2008

"Please join us in creating a community of writers in bucolic, convivial, and historic setting. Small workshops (maximum of ten people each) will be led by award-winning writers who have dedicated their lives to the teaching of poetry and prose. Four three-hour, single-genre workshops will focus on the critique and revision of participant writing. Panel presentations by conference faculty and Review staff will provide opportunities for conference participants to talk with working writers and editors about craft, genre, and publishing topics. Author readings and book signings will be offered in the evenings, with one evening reserved for an open-mic conference participant reading."

Distinguished Faculty: Lee K. Abbott (fiction), Joan Connor (fiction), Terrance Hayes (poetry), Suzannah Lessard (nonfiction), Rebecca McClanahan (nonfiction), Peggy Shumaker (poetry)

Application Deadlines: Applications must be received by May 12, 2008. Scholarship applications must be postmarked by March 17, 2008.

Submissions :: Essay Press

griffin Essay Press is a new imprint dedicated to publishing innovative, explorative, and culturally relevant essays in book form. Initial title releases include: Griffin by Albert Goldbarth; I, Afterlife: An Essay in Mourning Time by Kristin Prevallet; The Body: An Essay by Jenny Boully. Forthcoming titles include Letters from Abu Ghraib by Joshua Casteel and Adorno's Noise by Carla Harryman

"We are currently accepting submissions of essays ranging from roughly 40 to 80 pages. We will be reading from June to September. We are interested in publishing single essays that are too long to be easily published in journals or magazines, but too short to be considered book-length by most publishers. We are looking for essays that have something to say - essays that both demand and deserve to stand alone. We particularly welcome work that extends or challenges the formal protocols of the nonfiction essay--including, but not limited to, lyric essays or prose poems, experimental biography and autobiography, innovative approaches to journalism, and experimental historiography."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

AlterNet :: Best Progressive Books of 2007

2007 was a banner year for progressive books, but two stand out as true groundbreakers: Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine and Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater, published by Nation Books. They are co-winners in AlterNet's 10 Best Books of 2007 contest.

Visit AlterNet list of Best Progressives Books of 2007, which include short summaries of the top 10 books and a list of "honorable mention" titles, with links to all.

By Don Hazen, AlterNet
Posted January 31, 2008

Submissions :: Malahat Review 6.1.08

In 2008, to mark British Columbia’s sesquicentennial, The Malahat Review will devote its Winter issue to the Green Imagination. Focusing on creative approaches rather than on polemics and manifestos, this special issue aspires to place British Columbia—and the idea of British Columbia—at the ecological centre of the debate to showcase a variety of literary responses to questions such as:

“What is wilderness?”
“What is nature?”
“Is the natural world our adversary to be conquered and tamed, as Georgius Agricola argued in his 1556 “Defense of Mining the Earth’”
“Are we stewards of it, as P.K. Page suggests in her 1994 poem ‘Planet Earth’?”
“Are we an integral part of the natural world,” as Don McKay and Chief Dan George contend?
“What is the relationship between language and nature?”
“What is nature writing?”

Writers — B.C. residents and non-residents alike (i.e. true residents of the B.C. of the mind) — may widely interpret the theme of “B.C. and the Green Imagination.”

No restrictions as to form or approach apply: submissions of poetry, fiction, personal essay, memoir, cultural criticism, nature writing, literary journalism, and book reviews of relevant texts are welcome.

An honorarium of $40 per page will be paid for all accepted work.

Deadline: June 1, 2008 (postmark date)

Submissions :: Voices 6.15.08

Voices of Illness, Suffering, and Healing Magazine

Premiering Spring 2008

Call for Submissions for Second Issue

Providing a voice to those who might otherwise not be heard, especially those who are vulnerable and scared in illness. Honoring the caregivers who work tirelessly in service to those who are sick. Join with us in recognizing and celebrating these voices as they declare a part of our shared human experience. Seeking: Poetry, First-Person Narratives, Visual Art, Essays, Humor. Send submissions electronically and inquire about guidelines to managing editor, Belinda Jamison, at or at 816-932-5767. Deadline is June 15, 2008.

Taos Summer Writer's Conference 6.12.08

10th Annual Taos Summer Writer's Conference
University of New Mexico
July 12-20, 2008
Weekend and Weeklong/Master Class Workshops

"Though the Taos Summer Writers' Conference is young in comparison to events like Bread Loaf, the inspiration behind it is deeply rooted in New Mexico's literary history and predates the existence of even its most well-established national predecessors. English-born writer D.H. Lawrence first traveled to Taos in 1922 at the invitation of Mabel Dodge Luhan. In the 11 months he spent there, over the course of three separate visits, he arrived at a keen understanding of the compelling nature of this landscape. Now, years after Lawrence first set eyes on the dramatic sweep of northern New Mexico, it continues to be a powerful draw for countless artists and writers."

Perguia Press Prize Winners

Two Minutes of Light by Nancy K. Pearson has been selected for the 2008 Perugia Press Prize for a first or second book of poetry by a woman. Two Minutes of Light is due to be released in September 2008.

Finalists: Shannon Amidon for Coming Out of the Roar , and Stacey Waite for Butch Geography

Semi-Finalists: M. L. Brown, It’s Love That Pushes the Stockings Down;
Kristen Case, The Ice Fishermen; Tiffany M. De Vos, The Dimestore World; Karen Zaborowski Duffy, Nuclear Pregnancy; Kate Lynn Hibbard, Sweet Weight; Emily Johnston, Walks with Her Hands; Anna Leahy, In the Circle of the Familiar; Diane Kirsten Martin, Conjugated Visits; Leslie McGrath, Opulent Hungers, Opulent Rage; Regina O’Melveny, The Shape of Emptiness; Joan I. Siegel, Talking to the Blind & Deaf Dog at Night; Stephanie Walker, Dishwater Oracle; Holly Welker, Christian Art

Monday, February 25, 2008

Submissions :: slam

shaking like a mountain is currently reading for its Spring 2008 issue. "We cannot emphasize this enough. Read us first. Then read our submission guidelines carefully. If you have poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction that you think fits our criteria, then submit and submit and submit."

New Online Lit Mag :: Arch

Housed within the English Department of Washington University in St. Louis, Arch Journal promotes collaboration within Washington University's Arts and Sciences community for the purpose of producing an annual journal. Arch publishes interviews, translations, poetry, fiction, essays, and other materials.

Issue #1 Winter 2008 includes:

Poetry by Jennifer Atkinson, Walter Bargen, Thomas Cook, John Gallaher, Robert Lietz

Fiction by Andrew Coburn

Translation: Víctor Rodríguez Núñez - Trans. Jerry Harp, Friedrich Dürrenmott - Trans. Daniele Pantano, Selections from Vergil - Trans. Kimberly Johnson

"Interviews" with Emily Apter, Bruno Latour, Paul Muldoon, Orhan Pamuk

Author Interview :: Richard Peabody

Author! Author! is the WETA blog featuring author interviews and book reviews by Bethanne Patrick. Richard Peabody, editor/publisher of numerous anthologies with Paycock Press and editor of Gargoyle annual, was interviewed in January, 2008.

"When I asked Richard Peabody how he found writers to contribute to his anthologies, one of the things he brought up (as you’ll see in our interview) is the fact that he and his co-editor Lucinda Ebersole allow the women to write anything and any way they want to — which is not necessarily what working authors are allowed to do for publication in our culture. Peabody is speaking specifically about the divide between realistic and experimental fiction, but his observations hold true for other fictional divides as well."

Click here to see the video.

Submissions :: Swarthmore Review 4.1

The Swarthmore Review is a new poetry journal being founded by students at Swartmore College. The review has no special requirements as to form or genre; however, all work must be previously unpublished. The first issue will appear in June 2008, and it will continue to publish annually. Please email submissions to swarthmorereview (at) as a PDF document. Deadline: April 1, 2008.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Lit Mag :: A cappella Zoo

"A cappella Zoo is an independent literary magazine open to all works that are worthy of a good, thorough read, while particularly emphasizing fiction that experiments with technique, form, language, and thought. We make a hobby of shaking up traditional ideas and assumptions about truth and language, whether to challenge our intellects or just to play, but always to contribute to an on-going universal discussion on humanity."

Some favorite authors of the publishers includ: Gabriel García Márquez, Tim O'Brien, Flannery O'Connor, Annie Proulx, George Saunders, Sylvia Plath, Octavia Bulter, Jorge Luis Borges, Margaret Atwood, Ernest Hemingway, Angela Carter, Orson Scott Card.

Submissions Open in May
A cappella Zoo invites submissions of short stories, flash fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, plays, photography, and art. See site for requirements and pay.

Bilingual Submissions Sought
A cappella Zoo also seeks bilingual submissions, or two versions of the same work in two different languages, one in English and the other in Spanish or French (for other languages, send an email query first). Both versions need to be the original work of the author.

To celebrate the beginning of a new magazine, A cappella Zoo is hosting a short story contest with a theme of “origins.”

In Memoriam :: Johnnie Rebecca Carr

Civil Rights Leader Johnnie Carr Dies at 97
by Debbie Elliott

Johnnie Rebecca Carr, one of the lesser-known leaders of the civil rights movement, died Friday in Montgomery, Ala.

For decades, Carr led the Montgomery Improvement Association, an organization formed in 1955 when Carr's childhood friend Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. The moment sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, and drew national attention to the fight against segregation and a local minister named Martin Luther King Jr.

King was the first president of the Montgomery Improvement Association. Carr first helped organize carpools during the boycott. She became the group's president in the '60s and continued to fight for equal rights for African Americans, including enrolling her son in the all-white Montgomery public schools in a legal test case.

Carr died in a Montgomery hospital after suffering a stroke earlier this month. She was 97 years old.

Read more about Johnnie Carr and listen to the All Things Considered audio after 7:00pm Sunday on NPR.

Lit Mag Mailbag :: Feb 24

For information about these and many other quality literary magazines, click the links or visit The NewPages Guide to Literary Journals. Also visit the NewPages Literary Magazine Reviews for new reviews as well as an archive of past reviews.

Columbia Poetry Review
Number 20
Spring 2007

"little people opening things"
Volume 1 Issue 2
Winter 2007

Greensboro Review
Number 83
Spring 2008

Harpur Palate
Volume 7 Issue 2
Winter 2008

International Poetry Review
Volume 33 Number 2
Fall 2007

A Pacific Journal of International Writing
"Maps of Reconciliation: Literature and the Ethical Imagination"
Edited by Frank Stewart and Barry Lopez
Volume 19 Number 2
Winter 2007

The Missouri Review
Volume 30 Number 4
Winter 2007

New South
(Formerly GSU Review)
Fall/Winter 2007

Notre Dame Review
Number 25
Winter/Spring 2008

One Story
“Beanball” by Ron Carlson
Issue Number 99 & 100

Volume 28 Number 1

Quick Fiction
Issue 12
Fall 2007

Rock and Sling
A Journal of Literature, Art, and Faith
Volume 4 Issue 2
Winter 2008

Number 157
Winter 2008

Spinning Jenny
Number 10

Sport Literate
Volume 5 Issue 1

Western Humanities Review
Volume 62 Number 1
Winter 2008

"The Modern Writer as Witness"
Volume 21

A Journal of Speculative Fiction
Issue 15
Spring 2008

Alt Mag Mailbag :: Feb 24

For information about these and many other quality alternative magazines, click the links or visit The NewPages Guide to Alternative Magazines.

The Practioner's Quarterly
“Does Buddhism make you happier?”
Volume 6 Number 3
Spring 2008

The Newsjournal of Catholic Opinion
“Church and State at the Crossroads”
Volume 28 Number 4
Winter 2007-2008

Free Inquiry
Celebrating Reason and Humanity
“Science and the Islamic World”
Volume 28 Number 2
February/March 2008

The Essential Worldwide Roots Music Guide
Number 297
March 2008

In These Times
“Killer Credit! Attack of the $915 Billion Consumer Debt MONSTER!”
Volume 32 Number 2
February 2008

Korean Quarterly
“Mu Performing Arts”
Volume 11 Number 2
Winter 2007-2008

Kyoto Journal
Perspectives from Asia
Number 68

Labor Notes
Number 347
February 2008

The Spirit in Life
Issue 50 Volume 12
Winter 2007

Mother Jones
Smart, Fearless Journalism
“Torture Hits Home”
Volume 33 Number 2
March/April 2008

Our Times
Canada's Independent Labour Magazine
December 2007-January 2008

Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet
“Wild Rides”
Volume 93 Number 2
March/April 2008

Space and Culture
Volume 11 Number 1
February 2008
International Journal of Social Spaces

The Language Quarterly
Volume 31 Number 3
Autumn 2006
Volume 31 Number 4
Winter 2006

Whispering Winds
American Indians: Past & Present
Volume 37 Number 2 Issue 259
January/February 2008

White Crane
Gay Wisdom and Culture
“The Bearable Rightness of Being”
Number 75
Winter 2007/2008

Z Magazine
February 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Submissions :: Passager 9.15.08

Pass It On: Firsts
Submit work: January 1 - September 15 (postmarked date)
Results announced (projected date): November, 2008

This section of the journal is devoted to personal stories on the current topic: FIRSTS. Send 250 words or less of informal prose about some "first" in your life. No poems or fiction.

Open Issue For Writers over 50
Submit work: June 1 - September 15 (postmarked date)
Poetry, Short Fiction, Memoir
Sim/sub ok
Results announced (projected date): November, 2008
No reading fee for Open Issue submissions

Workshop :: Manhattanville College 6.08

Manhattanville College
Summer Writers Week

June 23-27, 2008

Manhattanville’s Writers’ Week program offers the opportunity to spend an intensive week of writing and working closely with some of the country’s finest writers and teachers of writing. Participants at all stages of development, novice to experienced, sign up for one of six workshops that meet all morning. Participants also have private conferences with their workshop leaders (see Workshops).

The program also features a keynote address, a session with editors and agents, readings by the distinguished authors, and craft workshops on various aspects of writing and editing. The final reading is reserved for students.

Submissions :: New Madrid 11.1.08

New Madrid
Winter 2009

Theme Issue
Submission dates August 15 — November 1, 2008

"In keeping with its location in the Bible Belt, New Madrid will dedicate its Winter 2009 issue to the theme of "Intelligent Design." We'reinterested in receiving submissions that address the legacy of Darwin, the impact of the evolution-vs.-creationism debate on the public schools, the cosmological argument, etc., provided they are literary in form and intent. The staff is also interested in receiving submissions of works that let their structures show for example, poems in received forms or nonce forms, and fiction and non-fiction utilizing unorthodox narrative devices (for example, frames within frames)—as well as in works that consider design issues from the perspective of other disciplines (for example, architecture, quilting, graphic arts, the natural sciences, etc.). Our hope is to reinvigorate the phrase "intelligent design" by approaching it from a multiplicity of angles."

Winners :: Glimmer Train Fiction Open

Glimmer Train Stories announces their December Fiction Open winners:

First place: Stephanie Dickinson of New York, NY, wins $2000 for “A Hole in the Soup”. Her story will be published next year in Glimmer Train Stories.

Second place: Elizabeth Koch, also of New York, NY, wins $1000 for “Would You and Other Relevant Questions”. Her story will be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories.

Third place: Clark Knowles of Portsmouth, NH, wins $600 for “Boxville, East Boxville”. His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing his prize to $700.

The next Fiction Open deadline is March 31.

Submissions :: November Third Club 3.15

The November Third Club, an online literary journal seeking to "up the ante" of literary political writing, wants poetry and prose that resonates with a political message and rises above mere rhetoric and rant. Their emphasis is political literature, unabashedly left-wing. Their poetry submissions pile is presently anemic [shocking!]; check the latest issue, which includes poets like Rita Dove, Sam Hamill, Marty McConnell, Sherman Pearl, Arthur Sze and Shole Wolpe, then send YOUR best work. Deadline March 15, earlier is even better.

Submissions :: Protest Poetry 3.15

Protest Poems: Poets Writing for the Freedom of Speech is an unedited compilation of voices of protest and solidarity currently seeking submissions for its second compilation, protesting the arrest of satirical comedian Hédi Ouled Baballah.

Deadline: March 15, 2008.

Click linked text to learn more, and to read the current compilation protesting the arrest of Saw Wei.

"Exercise the responsibility that goes with the right to freedom of expression. It has happened before: one voice together with one voice and another and another saved a life."
-The editors, Poets Writing for the Freedom of Speech

Read more about Hédi Ouled Baballah and other campaigns of concern regarding freedom of expression on IFEX: International Freedom of Expression eXchange.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Print Version Ends :: No Depression

"The latest edition of the alt-country magazine No Depression contains an announcement that it will cease publishing after its next issue, although the Web site will continue to have some new content. While the 13-year-old magazine's simple answer for its shutdown lies infalling ad revenue - "advertising revenue in this issue is 64% of what it was for our March-April issue just two years ago. We expect that number to continue to decline." - its longer answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, involves the music industry's woes, the ever-changingrole of record labels, and the declining number of outlets where the magazine can be sold."

Submissions :: Ginosko

Ginosko is accepting short fiction & poetry, creative non-fiction and excerpts for the 6th issue. Length flexible. Editorial lead time 1-2 months; accept simultaneous submissions and reprints; receives email & postal submissions. Copyright reverts to author. Publishing as semiannual ezine--summer & winter. Selecting material for printed anthology. Check downloadable issues on website for style & tone. Ezine circulation 2900+. Website traffic 150-350 hits/month. Also looking for artwork, photography, to post on website and links to exchange.

New Book :: Walter Mosley

tempest The Tempest Tales

by Walter Mosley

Available April 2008

Black Classics Press

Tempest Landry and everyman African American, is "accidentally" killed by a cop. Denied access to heaven because of what he considers a few minor transgressions, Tempest refuses to go to hell. Stymied, Saint Peter sends him back to Harlem. There a guiding angel tries to convince Tempest to accept Saint Peter's judgment and even the Devil himself tries to win over Tempest's soul. Through street-smart Landry, Mosley poses the provocative question: Is sin for Blacks the same as it is for Whites? And who gets to decide?

Submissions :: Packingtown Review

University of Illinois at Chicago journal Packingtown Review invites submissions for its inaugural issue to be released in November 2008. Seeking submissions of poetry, scholarly articles, drama, creative nonfiction, fiction, and literary translation, as well as genre-bending pieces. For more information, please view their submission guidelines.

Conference :: Nebraska & Prairie Schooner 6.08

Nebraska Summer Writers' Conference
The Prairie Schooner Workshops

Weekend: June 14 & 15
Week-long: June 16-20

The Nebraska Summer Writers' Conference is in its sixth year of bringing award-winning, widely reviewed writers of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, as well as influential publishing professionals, to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to conduct weekend and week-long workshops. The workshops are attended by people from all across the country-writers either just beginning to find their voices, or in the process of polishing their work—many of whom return year after year for the conference's invigoratingly creative environment.

Submissions :: Potomac Review 5.01

The Potomac Review of Montgomery College accepts poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, art and photographs from September 1 - May 1. Only one submission per genre per reading period. The Potomac Review also has a contest currently open until March 1.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Art Submissions :: Bring Out Yer Funk!

From Indiana Review Blog: "So, we've got this issue, 30.1, and it's super Funky, but we need visual art, for the cover and inside, that will reflect and enhance all the layers of Funk we got going on. Do you have any work that fits the bill?

"This issue features a special section highlighting poetry, fiction, and visual art with a Funk aesthetic. IR is looking for a piece of art that will reflect the work featured in this issue. The cover will appear in color, so artists should feel encouraged to submit pieces that take advantage of this capacity. Our past covers (which you can find at Indiana Review) have ranged in aesthetic, so all submissions truly will be considered. IR is willing to accept pieces as e-mail attachments (Jpeg or Gif files) or as web links. Our e-mail address is All submissions are due to our office by February 29th, 2008."

Submissions :: Dalkey Archive Press

In 1992, Dalkey Archive Press at Illinois State University began its Scholarly Series with the publication of Viktor Shklovsky’s Theory of Prose. Since that time, the Press has published such distinguished critics, theorists, and scholars as Gerald L. Bruns, Leslie Fiedler, Hugh Kenner, and Warren Motte.

In 2004, the Press expanded this series in response to the crisis in scholarly publishing—and the call by a number of professional organizations, including the Modern Language Association, for much needed subventions—in order to issue specialized scholarly research that otherwise cannot be made available. The Press plans to publish as many as 20 titles per year in this series.

Dalkey Archive Press is currently seeking book-length scholarly works. Areas of interest include:

Monographs on authors from throughout the world in the aesthetic tradition represented by Dalkey Archive Press’s list
Encyclopedic companions to contemporary fiction from around the world
Literary history and theory
Cultural studies
Collections of interviews

Book :: Jackie Ormes Biography

Jackie Ormes
The First African American Woman Cartoonist

by Nancy Goldstein
Published by University of Michigan Press
February 2008

In the United States at midcentury - a time of few opportunities for women in general and even fewer for African American women - Jackie Ormes (1911-85) blazed a trail as a popular cartoonist with the major black newspapers of the day. Jackie Ormes chronicles the life of this multiply talented, fascinating woman.

Ormes's cartoon characters (including Torchy Brown, Candy, Patty-Jo, and Ginger) delighted readers of newspapers such as the Pittsburgh Courier and Chicago Defender and spawned other products, including an elegant black doll with a stylish wardrobe and "Torchy Togs" paper dolls in the funny papers. Ormes was a member of Chicago's black elite, with a social circle that included the leading political figures and entertainers of the day. Her politics, which fell decidedly to the left and were apparent to even a casual reader of her cartoons and comic strips, eventually led to her investigation by the FBI during the McCarthy era.

The biography's more than 150 illustrations include photographs of Jackie Ormes and a large sampling of her cartoons and color comic strips, including some furnished by cartoonist and cartoon historian Tim Jackson. Her work provides an invaluable glimpse into American culture and history, with topics that include racial segregation, U.S. foreign policy, educational equality, the atom bomb, and environmental pollution, among other pressing issues of the times - and of today's world as well.

New Online Lit Mag :: Wigleaf

"Just-launched Wigleaf features stories under 1000 words. Updating regularly (at least once a week), we hope to showcase the diverse possibilities of a genre we see as still in emergence. In our first four weeks, we've run work by Joe Wenderoth, Debora Kuan, Dawn Corrigan and Leah Browning, and Karyna McGlynn. Forthcoming are stories by Pedro Ponce and Pirooz Kalayeh. Stop by!"

Conference :: The Compleat Manuscript

The Compleat Manuscript Poetry Conference, a subset of the Colrain Conference, is a very small, intensely focused conference that includes reading, analysis and discussion of the entire manuscript by two professionals in the field, Jeffrey Levine (Tupelo Press) and Joan Houlihan (Concord Poetry Center). Only six participants are admitted. For details on location, requirements and cost, please visit their website.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Anthology :: Shameless Mag and Tightrope Books 4.18.08

A Shameless Anthology
Co-editors Megan Griffith-Greene and Stacey May Fowles
Tightrope Books
Spring 2009

The anthology will include creative non-fiction essays by women and trans-identified adults about their formative experiences as teens, and is primarily intended for a youth audience. Specifically, we’re looking for submissions about how teen experiences (positive and negative) shaped our writers’ lives and made them the people they are today.

This project is affiliated with Shameless magazine and is based on the magazine’s signature mix of smart, sassy, honest and inclusive writing. In keeping with the mandate of Shameless, we want to reach out to young female readers who are often ignored by mainstream media: freethinkers, queer youth, young women of colour, punk rockers, feminists, intellectuals, artists, and activists. We hope this book will open up a real dialogue about growing up female, creating a book that is pro-choice, queer-positive, sex-positive, girl-positive.

Deadline: April 18, 2008

Submissions :: Pebble Lake Review

Pebble Lake Review
First Theme Issue: Illness and Health

"We are interested in work which depicts, speaks to, or defines illness and health. All styles and subjects welcome, but special consideration will be given to work which explores the personal experience with illness, whether directly or indirectly. We are not looking for scholarly or critical essays/work at this time. However, reviews of current or forthcoming books concerning illness and health will be considered. Please read web site guidelines for further submission information.

Submissions :: Big Pulp

Big Pulp, an online journal featuring genre fiction and artwork of all kinds, is actively seeking submissions of prose, poetry, photography, artwork, and comics. BP defines “pulp fiction” very broadly – "it’s lively, challenging, thought-provoking, thrilling, and fun, regardless of how many or how few genre elements are packed in. We don’t subscribe to the theory that genre fiction is disposable; in our opinion, a great deal of literary fiction could easily fall under one of our general categories." On-site genre categories include: Fantasy, Mystery, Humor, Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction, Romance.

Submissions :: New Madrid 4.1.08

New Madrid, the literary journal published by Murray State University's MFA Creative Writing Program, welcomes submissions of original poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for its Summer 2008 issue, which will also include an "Emerging Poets" feature, showcasing the work of four poets who have their first books debuting in 2008:

Elizabeth Bradfield, Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books)
Jericho Brown, Please (New Issues)
Sean Hill, Blood Ties and Brown Liquor (University of Georgia Press)
Catherine Pierce, Famous Last Words (Saturnalia Books)

Deadline: April 1, 2008

YA Anthology :: Cacophony!!

A YA anthology edited by Eric Kutscher
Published by Scrap Paper Press

"The current collection, composed by thirty-one teenage authors, is a cacophony of writing styles, topics, and emotions. These works portray symbolism, deep meaning and thought patterns. They discuss everything from death to life, stereotypes to reality, and humor to sincerity. There are written prose and written poetry. There are happy pieces and gloomy ones. It’s the balance and juxtaposition of these different works that create a truly unforgettable book."

Scrap Paper Press was founded in 2003 by high school students, to create literature anthologies that are written, edited, and published by teens.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Online Issue / Submissions :: Paradigm

Paradigm, the online journal from Rain Farm Press, has released their fifth -issue “The Kepler Issue.” It features interviews with bestselling novelist Louis Bayard (“Mr. Timothy”), crop-circle designer John Lundberg, singer-songwriter Liz Pappademas, and movie concept illustrator James Clyne.

Submissions for the sixth issue are currently open. The deadline is March 7.

Paradigm also announces their first-time novelist contest. Entry Fee: $20 per manuscript. Deadline: July 31, 2008. Restrictions: Entries must be previously unpublished; 35,000-word minimum. Open to any genre. See website for more details.

Conference & Submissions :: Evergreen State College 5.1.08

A Cross-Cultural Literary Conference
The Evergreen State College
May 24-5 2008

Keynote speakers will include: experimental playwright, poet and activist Rodrigo Toscano; Gertrude Stein Prize-Winning writer Mark Wallace; poet Laura Elrick; novelist and columnist Randall Kenan, poet and film theorist Tung-Hui Hu; poet Leonard Schwartz; poet and essayist Kristin Prevallet; editor John Bellamy Foster; poets and activists Jules Boykoff and Kaia Sand, and many others.

This year’s theme is “Activism & the Avant-Garde.” Currently seeking papers, prose, poetics, groups of poems, and any hybrid text-based work that would advance discussion of at least one of the central questions posed at this conference: 1) Where is the intersection between political resistance and the Avant-Garde, both historically and now? 2) What is the function (if any) of “non-mainstream” literary work—and what do we mean by “non-mainstream”? 3) How has non-mainstream writing evolved recently? Any work that addresses literary matters in relation to commercialism and the economics of particular literary landscapes, imperialism, ethnography, feminism, postcolonialism, translation, globalization, web technology, or particular writers and/or small presses is especially welcome. All writers awarded panel and/or workshop spots will have their work published as part of an anthology.

Deadline for Submissions is May 1, 2008.

Submissions :: Anthology on Global Warming 5.1.08

Facing the Change: Grassroots Encounters with Global Warming will be a completely new kind of book about global climate change. Instead of experts talking at you, this planned anthology will feature personal responses to global warming - what everyday people are feeling and thinking as well as what they are doing. Stories, essays, and poetry are welcome, from writers and concerned citizens from all walks of life and all ages. No publisher as yet, though according to Steve, they are making inquiries with reputable presses who will also handle distribution. Please visit their website for more information and submission instructions (including a printable version of the full Invitation to Submit). You can also pass this invitation on to anyone who may be interested - friends and family, colleagues, students. Anthology editor: Steven Pavlos Holmes, Ph.D., Independent Scholar in the Environmental Humanities, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. steve(at)

Writing Workshops :: Mid-American Review 5.12.08

Mid-American Review Online Workshops
Date: May 12 to July 6, 2008

New this year, MAR is sponsoring a set of eight-week online writing workshops. The focus of the workshops is preparing poems, stories, or essays for publication. Feedback will include a thorough discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the work submitted, but will also offer editors' perspectives on how work could more effectively capture a reader's attention if it were submitted to a magazine.

Interested writers may apply for a chance to work closely with MAR's editors in an online environment. Those who are accepted into a workshop must commit to providing thorough feedback ro other workshop members. Additionally, participants should keep in mind that workshop submissions will at no point be considered for publication in MAR, although editors will provide advice on submitting work to other journals.

The fee for the workshop is $295, which includes a three-year subscription to MAR and an ongoing relationship with MAR editors and fellow workshoppers. The fee is payable by check, money order, or credit card. Please contact Michael Czyzniejewski at with questions.

Mid-American Review
Summer Intensive Writing Workshop
June 23-28, 2008

The third annual MAR Summer Workshop will take place on the campus of Bowling Green State Universiry and will provide a chance for participants to get away from their hectic lives and concentrate entirely upon their writing. In the workshop setting, participants will receive feedback on their work from their peers and the workshop instructor, who is an experienced MAR editor. There will also be ample opportunity for workshoppers to create new work—with plenty of inspiration as well as the time to act upon it.

The fee for the weeklong workshop is $495, plus the cost of accomodations. Participants have the option of reserving on-campus dorm housing for the week at a cost of $130, or they may pursue alternate housing options on their own. Those who register before March 15 may secure an early-bird price of $350. A $ 100 non-refundable deposit is necessary to secure a spot. Please contact Karen Babine at with questions.

Submissions :: North Central Review

Undergraduate Literary Journal Seeks Work

The North Central Review is one of only a handful of literary journals publishing exclusively the writings and works of undergraduate students. The North Central Review considers all genres, including short fiction, poetry, drama, creative nonfiction, and mixed genre pieces. The staff gives each submission at least two close readings, the journal is beautifully produced, and contributors are given two copies.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Site Launch :: roger

Back last March, I commented on the incomplete web site for roger, an art & literary magazine, formerly Calliope (of Ampersand Press), but still based out of Roger Williams University. Jon Morris, Design & Promotions Editor, has let me know the site is now up and running, complete with subscription and submission guidelines. Give it a look-see.

American Intelligence :: Have we hit rock bottom?

Dumb and Dumber
Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge?

By Patricia Cohen
February 14, 2008
New York Times

A popular video on YouTube shows Kellie Pickler, the adorable platinum blonde from “American Idol,” appearing on the Fox game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” during celebrity week. Selected from a third-grade geography curriculum, the $25,000 question asked: “Budapest is the capital of what European country?”

Ms. Pickler threw up both hands and looked at the large blackboard perplexed. “I thought Europe was a country,” she said. Playing it safe, she chose to copy the answer offered by one of the genuine fifth graders: Hungary. “Hungry?” she said, eyes widening in disbelief. “That’s a country? I’ve heard of Turkey. But Hungry? I’ve never heard of it.”

Such, uh, lack of global awareness is the kind of thing that drives Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, up a wall. Ms. Jacoby is one of a number of writers with new books that bemoan the state of American culture...[ read the rest ]

Graphic Novel Symposium :: SPLAT! 3.15.08

A Graphic Novel Symposium

Saturday, March 15, 2008
New York Center of Independent Publishing (NYCIP), Manhattan

For new readers, writers, artists, publishers, agents, and long-standing comics fans alike to learn more about the fastest growing movement in publishing and meet some of the best creators working in the medium today!

The SPLAT! Symposium offers prospective creators with a unique opportunity to learn what it takes to be a graphic novelist. There will be three different tracks of panels, seminars, and workshops, followed by the SPLAT! Reception with Scott McCloud.

The panels will be led by a number of key writers, editors and artists from the graphic novel world including: Jim Killen, buyer Barnes & Noble; David Saylor, Editor Scholastic; Raina Telgemeier, artist, The Baby-Sitters Club; Ted Rall, creator, Attitude: The New Subversive Political Cartoonists; CB Cebulski, writer/editor, Marvel Comics; Bob Mecoy, Founder, Bob Mecoy Literary Agency; R. Sikoryak, creator, The Seduction of Mike; Brian Wood, creator, Demo, DMZ and Local; Nick Bertozzi, creator, The Salon; and Charles Brownstein, executive director, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Books :: Skunk Love

A Love Story

by Justin Courter
Published by Omnidawn

"This novel tells of a young man’s attraction and ultimate addiction to skunk musk, and the social difficulties he encounters as a result. He longs to find an isolated utopia where he can experience his addiction in peace, but he is thwarted by all, including a young woman who understands his skunk fetish because she has a fish fetish."

First three chapters are available for PDF download on the publisher's website.

Submissions :: Women Experts Wanted

Seal Press is launching a new series and is looking for women writers who are experts on the following topics:

Car repair
Home repair

Whether it be your passion, your hobby, or your profession, the main qualifier is that you really know your stuff. They want writers who can translate these subjects in an intelligent, fun, and accessible style.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fellowship :: The Southern Review

From TSR Editor Jeanne Leiby:

"Beginning fall 2008, The Southern Review will offer a post-graduate editing/teaching fellowship to a recent graduate of an MFA or PhD program. The Scholar will spend 20 hours a week working on all aspects of The Southern Review's production and publication and teach one class a semester in the English Department (course assigned based on departmental need and scholar's interests). This position will be for a non-renewable two-year term with GREAT salary and benefits. We are not yet taking applications, but keep your eye on The Southern Review website and the AWP Job List. Or sign-up on our mailing list and we'll send you an email announcement."

At AWP, Jeanne told me about her desire to create this position: "It's what I would have wanted when I was a student." Way to make it happen Jeanne! And good luck to those of you applying for this - one of you is going to be very, VERY fortunate to receive this and be able to work with Lieby and all the other wonderful folks at the Southern Review. Sort of like being Charlie and winning the whole Wonka Factory!

Film :: Shriek - The Movie

shriek King Squid Productions Presents
Jeff VanderMeer's

A city at war with itself. A night beyond imagining. And... aftermath. A short indie film about memory and transformation by Finnish director J.T. Lindroos, from a screenplay by Jeff VanderMeer, with an original soundtrack by the legendary art-rock band The Church. Voice cast includes Kathleen Martin as Janice Shriek and Steve Kilbey & Tim Powles from The Church. With character images by Elizabeth Hand and Rick Wallace, and art by Scott Eagle, Steve Kilbey, and others. The film opens with Shriek typing up her memoirs from the backroom of a bar. 14 minutes [Allow the film to play to the end if experiencing bit rate problems, and then replay.]

Book :: Footprints of the Borderland

memorias2BorderSenses started in the Fall of 2000 with a simple idea: Provide a platform to aspiring writers and artists from El Paso and the border region to share their voices and images with the community. BorderSenses is actively involved in community-oriented literary projects because it believes that art can promote literacy and empower peoples' lives.

The project Memorias del Silencio is the result of a collaboration between El Paso Community College, Community Education Program and BorderSenses. The objective of the project has been to offer creative writing workshops to GED courses for migrant farm workers and their families, with the idea of improving their writing and written skills. The writings that have emerged from these workshops, have been published in two volumes of the book Memorias del Silencio: Footprints of the Borderland. Besides generating new opportunities and a space for the voices of this sector of society, the project Memorias del Silencio wants to show the condition of immigrants who arrive to the United States to work in the fields.

Submissions :: Fungi-Inspired Poetry Anthology 5.1.08

From Kelly Chadwick:

Decomposition is an anthology of fungi inspired poetry. The idea came from the confluence of my passion for the study of mushrooms and my partner Renee's passion for poetry. When she was at EWU, getting her degree in creative writing, we would occasionally come by poems relating to mushrooms. I realized poetry was the perfect medium to touch upon the complex, enigmatic, and magical kingdom of fungi. Sam Ligon, Professor of Creative Writing at EWU and managing editor of Willow Springs was also excited by the project and joined us.

Currently this sort of text does not exist, though poets from W. S. Merwin to Sylvia Plath to Yusef Komunyakaa to Emily Dickinson have all explored fungi in their poetry.

We've recently begun soliciting work for this anthology, and have been fortunate to receive strong poems from Gary Snyder, Nance Van Winckel, Alberto Rios, Robert Wrigley, Robert Bly, Gerald Stern, Jim Daniels, Marvin Bell, and Richard Wilbur amongst others. Because we want Decomposition to explore a broad spectrum of human response to fungi, there are no restrictions regarding poetic form or content.

The community of mushroom aficionados and curious sideliners is eager to experience fungi in ways other than through the myopic extremes of scientific minutia or kitschy recipes and goofy crafts. Decomposition will present material relevant to the spirit of mushrooms, examining elements of what it means to be human through fungi related poetry.

Kelly Chadwick
720 W. Park Place
Spokane, WA 99205

Posted on Interversity.Org
October 18, 2007

Submissions :: Women Writing the West 4.15.08

Copper Nickel, a journal of art and literature published by the students and faculty of the University of Colorado Denver, asks for submissions of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and cross-genre works for a special issue on Women Writing in the West.

Any woman who has lived in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington, Utah, or Wyoming in the last five years or who takes the region as her subject is eligible for consideration. Writers need not be natives, nor need the work be "western" in theme or nature.

To submit, collect up to five poems and/or two pieces of prose in one MS Word document (.doc) and e-mail the document as an attachment to Please include complete contact information (address, e-mail, and phone) and any pertinent biographical details and please indicate if yours is a simultaneous submission. Traditional post submissions not accepted

Deadline: April 15, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Submissions :: Rio Grande Review 2.29.08

rio_grande_review Rio Grande Review Magazine

Convocatoria de Textos Bilingües

Accepting: Fiction/Ficción, Non-fiction/narrative no-ficción, Poetry/poesía, Translation/traducción, Play/guión de obra, Screen Play/guión de cine/tv, Art/arte (all mediums/todo medio), All Photography/fotografía.

Cover Art Contest/ concurso para la Portada: Art/arte (all mediums/todo medio), All Photography/fotografía.

Spring Issue: Theme/Tema: Violence/violencia&a

Deadline/Plazo: February/Febrero 29, 2008

Submissions :: eXchanges 4.4.08

eXchanges, the University of Iowa's online journal of literary translation, will be accepting variations on the theme of Silence & Song for our spring issue until April 4th, 2008. Translations of short stories, novel excerpts, literary nonfiction and poetry are all welcome, as well as critical essays on translation.

Glimmertrain Streamlines

From Susan Burmeister-Brown, Glimmertrain Editor: "Effective February 1, 2008, we have further tightened up response times on competition entries. Results will now be released two months from the conclusion of each competition."

Lit Fest :: Southeastern - Greensboro Review 4.08

Spring Southeastern Literary Magazine & Small Press Festival
2nd Annual

April 23rd-26th, 2008
UNC Greensboro - Greensboro, NC

The Spring Southeastern Literary Magazine & Small Press Festival is an annual event that honors North Carolina's rich literary heritage and brings some of America's finest editors & writers to our state. The three days of free literary happenings are open to the public and we hope you'll join us as we celebrate book culture and promote reading & literacy.

Notes on AWP :: My Panel Presentation

I’ve “presented” at conferences before, but nothing as large as AWP. Granted, the attendance size per session isn’t any more than what I have faced before, and in some cases, smaller, but – IT’S THE AWP for cripesake! My name is indexed in the program and I get a bio! Hey, I’m just small town, Midwestern gal. I mean, I saved a copy to send home to my parents. I’m sure they’ll find a way to hang it on the refrigerator.

The panel, put together and moderated by fearless leader and Chattahoochee Review Editor, Marc Fitten, was titled “Bye Bye Boomers: Shifting to the Post-Literate World.” The program description: “With baby boomers heading into the sunset and younger generations beginning to establish themselves, a tremendous generation shift has taken place in language, literature, and publishing. What can artists, editors, and publishers do to acknowledge that rift and ensure the relevance of literary publishing?” Sounds vague enough to invite a varied panel.

Those of us on the panel never spoke to one another before we met that day, at the panel, so it had to be that Marc had a master plan of how we all fit together, and, I can say with certainty, he did very well.

As best as I can recall from the presentations (as best because of a) my nervousness and b) a poorly timed fire alarm) here is what took place.

The session was actually well attended. I would say at least forty people, maybe fifty, and the audience was a good mix of participants in terms of age, though I would say there were more “older” people there than younger.

Marc introduced the discussion and posed several questions to get the panelist started. Marc asked David Lynn, Editor of The Kenyon Review to start us off. David talked about the long history of The Kenyon Review, and about the sort of steadfastness of the print publication, but at the same time, the flexibility the publication has shown over the years to remain current. The Kenyon Review also has a web presence, which offers its readers content they cannot get in the print publication, such as the blog, interviews, readings and podcasts.

Lynn’s comments were poignant on the need for publications to find ways to keep themselves current while maintaining their traditions. It’s almost becoming essential that if lit mags want to reach out to a broader audience, and in some cases - survive – they need to have a web presence. NewPages only lists one magazine (that I know of) that doesn’t have its own web site; the sponsored listing on NewPages is the only web presence this publication has. Considering what NewPages does, we can’t list publications that don’t have web sites, because we can’t link to anything! But a sponsored listing can certainly offer some web presence.

Thanks to the recent postal hike, some magazines find themselves forced to shift their publication to online only. This may or may not work. Certainly, there is less cost in publishing online, but there is still cost involved – including a lot more time for the ongoing maintenance a site demands (trust me on this one). And publishing online it is a whole different beast. Not everything that works on a print page can work online. And not every writer who would be honored to have their work accepted for a paper publication is even interested in considering online publications. The stigma still exists for some writers as well as readers.

Again, NewPages has attempted to address this issue by being select in the publications that are listed in our guide to online mags (lit and alternative). It’s not always an easy discernment, but in most cases it is. You may recall this: “We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.“ (Often credited to Prof. Robert Silensky, California University.) The Internet has indeed become the quintessential Brautigan Library (The Abortion). And, like that library, much of the content is relegated to the caverns. So what’s a reader to do? Turn to their trusted “filters,” like NewPages. We’ve been accused of “censorship” for limiting our lists. I guess that’s a claim we'll own if what it means is we have standards that include quality content and consistent cycles of publication.

After David Lynn, Marc moved the discussion in the direction of what a community of writers is to do about reaching out to its readers. On this, NEA Director of Literature David Kipen spoke about The Big Read. From the NEA Web site: “The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. [. . .] The Big Read provides citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities. This initiative comprises innovative reading programs in selected communities; expansive outreach and publicity campaigns, including television, radio, and print publicity; compelling resources for discussing outstanding literature; and an extensive Web site offering comprehensive information on the authors and their works.” Kipen explained this to the audience, and spoke, not so much on the importance of creating a community of reading, which The Big Read certainly does, but about how involved and excited kids are - *still are* - about reading books, and how The Big Read encourages this kind of excitement with reading. Even in a “post literate”society.

Next up on the panel – me. My presentation came from my two roles: as a teacher of reading and writing, and as an editor with NewPages. I started my presentation by mentioning Ursula K. Le Guin’s recent article in the February issue of Harper’s Magazine: “Staying awake: Notes on the alleged decline of reading.” In it, she discusses how reading was a form of social currency. I took this concept and applied it to the current generation, in which this social currency has become whatever is the newest form of technology. It’s not so much the gadgets or the tools that are the currency, but the knowledge of how to access them and use them to achieve an end goal. I gave the example of my father, who, when he first sat down at the computer to see the Internet, then looked at me and said, “Now what?” vs. a generation that has grown up never not knowing what the technology that surrounds them can do.

The issue, for me as a teacher, is, if technology is the social currency, just as reading was (and still is), then who is to teach the value of this currency to the younger generation? If it cannot be older adults like my father, then from whom? As a teacher, I try to stay as current in as much applicable technology as possible, and I try to show students how technology can be used for educational gain. It used to be that education would ruin the fun of technology – we took e-mail, which used to belong to the younger generation, and made it a work tool. Now kids hardly use it – it’s archaic to them, but essential for us professionals. This isn’t the case with newer technologies, which teachers are using in their classrooms with students – like iTunes for listening to podcasts; YouTube for videos to supplement class content; class wikis in which students create the content, which is then used by subsequent classes as their text; classes taught completely online; allowing students to submit video projects for the same assignment that another student may opt to complete a traditional research paper. These are just a few of the ways technology can become social currency in the educational sphere, and how a different value of this social currency can be taught to the younger generation.

Additionally, I commented on the state of reading and books only briefly, as this seemed a whole different conversation. But I did mention Sven Birkerts essay: "The Fate of the Book," which is in the book he edited: Tolstoy's Dictaphone: Technology and the Muse. Published by Graywolf Press in 1996, the essay could just as easily have been written yesterday for the applicability it holds. And, I commented, I don’t know that Birkerts was attempting to predict anything with his essay so much as to simply comment on what he saw taking place around him and to open this contemplation up for further consideration and discussion. There are no answers in his reflections, but the start to an observant dialogue which we continue to this day. It is an essay I highly recommend for those who have not read it.

Just following my presentation, as luck would have it, and thanks to a torrential downpour taking place outside, the hotel fire alarm was triggered. About two-thirds of the audience went directly for the door – either they were native New Yorkers who took fire alarms seriously, or they had heard enough. I’m guessing the latter. In any case, the panelists stuck it out – Marc assuring us that, for some reason in his store of trivia, he knew that heavy rain set off fire alarms.

The remainder of the panel was short, interrupted at least twice more by the alarm, and several times by the hotel PA system. Brigid Hughes, editor of A Public Space magazine spoke briefly on the state of publishing new voices, more global voices, and looking at new forms of writing, including new literary styles emerging from Japanese writers (I don't recall what issue of APS she mentioned specifically for this - but contact her about it if you're interested).

Andrew Day, co-publisher of Failbetter, an online quarterly that publishes original works of fiction, poetry and art, discussed the creation and maintenance of a completely online publication. Both Brigid and Andrew did well in the follow-up discussion when questions arose regarding online vs. paper by saying there was no “vs.” in their opinion, that each are distinct forms of publication, one not meaning to take over the other, but coexisting. When asked about why read Hamlet online instead of in print, Brigid said, “No. Both. Read it online and in print.” And further commented how this wasn’t so different from how teachers have students read the play and then watch the movie or a production of the play. They are different forms all meant to help the reader access the material.

One audience member, who mentioned some role she had with AARP, started her comment by saying how she didn’t like the presentation of an us vs. them when looking at the generations, and specifically mentioned the comment I made about my father. She went on to talk about how AARP is offering social networking tools – similar to those used by the younger generation – to create online communities for themselves, and how many older adults (Boomers?) are using technology to stay connected in ways previous generations had not. So, rather than being “shut in,” which some elder adults are, they can actually have regular social contact with others via the Web and other technologies.

I appreciated her comments about what AARP is doing to support older adults, but I think she mistook the comment I made about my father by thinking I was pitting generations against one another. Quite the opposite, in fact, and as these new social networking enhancements by the AARP show. If anything, more than any generations before us, the younger generation has a stronghold on the social currency that is technology – in terms of knowing their way around it. It used to be that when I went to visit my parents, I would set the clock on the VCR for them. Now, it’s helping them clean up all the programs their grandkids have downloaded onto their computer and updating the virus check software. No, it’s not that the older generation isn’t using the technology at all or has no concept as to what to do with it, but it is the younger generation that is teaching them about it. And it’s absolutely fascinating to see, because the younger generation is very willing to do this. When I was frustrated with trying to figure out how to pimp my MySpace page, I went into my classroom, opened up my page on the overhead, and said to my class – “Teach me how to pimp my page.” And they did. They opened up their own accounts in the classroom, showed one another, had to explain basic and complex steps to me, had to answer my questions, had to give me advice on what not to do, etc. It was a great community-building experience, and an example I drew on for the class several times when talking about subject, purpose and audience in writing, tone and manner, authority, voice, style, process analysis – you name it. They taught me and we all learned together. In what generation have we seen so much of this?

My father, by the way, is not a boomer. He’s a WWII generation, and still doesn’t have much use for the Internet, other than to read an occasional e-mail and look at pictures of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. If anything, he reminds me of my own “pre-Internet” days. I wonder how I came this far this quickly, how much more there is I could know and use when it comes to technology, and if it’s all really worth it or necessary. There are those moments when I imagine myself in the forest, in a small cabin by a river, a hand pump in the sink for water, a wood stove for heat, and a wall of books to read. Okay, maybe propane heat and plumbing.

At both the fire alarm break and at the close of the panel, I was flocked by audience members who wanted to talk teaching. A number of them were the older adults I had seen in the audience, and they expressed their concern about not knowing a whole lot about new technologies (Several asked about wikis - of the number of free-source wikis I've looked at, I like wikispaces for least intrusive ads; I know many educators prefer PB Wiki, and there >WetPaint, which I can't stand becuase of the intrusive ads.). But they also were eager - even if openly nervous - about using technology they knew so little about in the classroom and in their teaching. My advice? Try it, play with it, have fun with it. Ask your students for help, or ask them to play around with it and tell you what can be done with it. Their fearlessness and ingenuity with this social currency combined with a teacher's content knowledge can make for some very exciting new pedagogy. And, really, with new technology cropping up so quickly, it's never too late to jump in, because each day there is something new to try, and the spectrum from basic to advanced allows for all kinds of possibilities. You just gotta wanna try it.

My thanks to Marc, David L., David K., Brigid, Andy, and all the audience members pre- and post-alarm.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Submissions :: Zoland Poetry Anthology 3.15.08

What instantly sets Zoland Poetry apart from other anthologies is that all the work is previously unpublished and the translations are presented as an integral part of the contemporary poetry scene, rather than as something exotic slipped between the pages of a book filled primarily with English-language poets. Equal footing is given to voices from Italy, Iran, Argentina, Poland, and across the United States.

Contributors to the second annual include poems by Bei Dao, Connie Deanovich, Merrill Gilfillan, Timothy Liu, Deborah Meadows, Anne Porter, Elizabeth Robinson and Tony Towle, alongside translations by Forrest Gander, Stephanie Sandler, Lawrence Venuti and Eliot Weinberger. Featured authors in No. 2 are Lee Harwood interviewed by William Corbett, Steve Bradbury on Taiwanese poet Hsia Yü and a generous selection of work from the Polish poet MLB.

The inaugural book in 2007 featured work by Lidija Dimkovska, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Hugo Mujica, Ange Mlinko, Rachel Loden, Charles North, Barbara Jane Reyes, Raymond Queneau, Patricia Smith, and Dean Young, with translations by noted poets and translators Fanny Howe, Jennifer Scappettone, Adam Sorkin, and Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright.

Submissions are now being accepted for the third Zoland Poetry annual through March 15, 2008.

YA Anthology :: Mountaintop Removal

Submissions and Prize
2008 Anthology of MTR-focused Work by Young Authors & Artists

MotesBooks of Louisville will accept manuscripts and artwork for an anthology to be published in the summer of 2008. All pieces in the book will focus on Mountaintop Removal (MTR) coal mining. Submission deadline is May 1, 2008. To accommodate elementary, middle school, high school and college age writers, contributors can be any age up to 24 years (even if no longer a student).

Working subtitle: Young Americans Reflect On Mountaintop Removal
Edited by Jason Howard (writer, editor, songwriter & MTR activist)
Foreword by Silas House (novelist, dramatist, songwriter & MTR activist

The book will be manufactured in softcover, perfectbound format. Basic retail marketing outlets will include,, and the publisher's websites and (site that primarily serves schools). Wholesale pricing will be available to retailers. Special marketing strategies and events will also be utilized, including at least one reading by selected contributors (at the invitation of the publisher & editor).

Full submissions information here.

Virgina Book Festival 3.08

2008 Virginia Festival of The Book
Charlottesville, VA

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
March 26-30

The 14th Annual Virginia Festival of the Book! Five days of mostly free literary events open to the public to honor book culture and promote reading and literacy.

Submissions :: Glass

Glass: A Journal of Poetry seeks new, original poems for its second issue, due out in June of 2008, and the third issue, due out December 2008. Their first issue will appear on March 1, 2008 and features 35 poems by 29 poets. Included in the debut issue are Rane Arroyo, Adam Houle, Joseph Hutchinson, Ryan McClellen, Lisa Fay Coutley, Tom Carson, Amanda McQuade, Allison Tobey, and Davide Trame, among others.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Update :: Iron Horse Literary Review

iron_horse News from Iron Horse Literary Review:

In January, we'll begin publishing five slim chapbooks and an annual summer-read issue (a double-issue) instead of our usual, traditional two-issues-per-year. So our subscribers will receive the best fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and photography we can find, packaged in beautiful books, every August, October, December, February, April, and May. And we'll be seeking the work from writers like you to fill our six new issues! AND we still pay our contributors: $100 per prose piece; $40 per poem.

Thematic and Open Issues

In addition to increasing the number of issues we produce, we'll be designating three of our annual six issues as special publications.

• HOLIDAY IRON HORSE: Once a year, we'll release a holiday Iron Horse, celebrating a designated holiday of our choosing, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, etc.

• NaPoMo IRON HORSE: Every year in April, we'll publish an issue in honor of National Poetry Month; it will contain poems by the most respected poets writing today and by
several up-and-coming poets who are starting to garner critical attention.

• SUMMER IRON HORSE: Every year in May, we'll release a summer issue, one that is slightly longer than the other five. It will contain some great prose and our annual book review section, featuring our editorial staffs summer read recommendations.

Finally, every year, we'll publish one or two additional thematic issues and one or two open issues: For example, in 2008, our February issue is a Valentine Issue (perfect to send to a loved one as a Valentine), and our August issue will feature manuscripts about school experiences, class reunions, teachers and students.

Email for themes and open issue information.

Discovered Voices Award

Each year, Iron Horse gives out three $100-prizes to graduate students currently enrolled in AWP-affiliated programs. These programs may nominate one poet (3-5 poems), one fiction writer (one story up to 20 pages), and one nonfiction writer (one essay up to 20 pages). We will select a winner from each genre. Applications must be accompanied by a letter from the program's director, and they should include the students' contact information and bio statements. Applications are due Feb. 15 of each year.

Wildbranch Writing Workshop 3.14.08

Wildbranch Writing Workshop

Craftsbury Common, Vermont June 1-7, 2008

Cosponsored by Orion magazine and Sterling College

Join the editors of Orion for a week of writing in rural Vermont at the 2008 Wildbranch Workshop.

2008 Workshop Faculty: David Abram, Janisse Ray, Scott Russell Sanders, Sandra Steingraber, H. Emerson Blake, Orion editor-in-residence, and Jennifer Sahn,Orion editor-in-residence.

Enrollment in the workshop is limited to 32, and the deadline for applications is March 14, 2008.

Submissions :: Florida English 4.1.08

"The sixth anniversary issue of Florida English invites submissions dealing with the theme of Imagism. Not only are we interested in critical articles on Pound, H.D., Bishop, Aldington and their ilk, but also studies of postmodern writers who are influenced by the Imagist movement. In addition, Florida English is also looking for original pieces of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction that are rooted in Imagism or have been deeply influenced by the Imagist writers." Deadline: April 1, 2008.

Round Two :: Sport Literate is Back in the Ring

sl2 "After a two-year hiatus, Sport Literate is rising out of the ashes, reaching with all its small-press might to be on a nightstand near you. Sport Literate is a literary journal focusing on 'honest reflections on life’s leisurely diversions.' Since its humble genesis, Sport Literate has sought to publish the best writing about how people pass their free time. We read elements of story in all sport; we are less interested in the final score than in figuring out why we play in the first place. Through memories, dialogue recast, and real-life characters rendered as accurately as possible on the page, our poets and writers tell true tales artistically. Our definition of sport is broad, literary excellence is our only criterion, and our loyalties lie with a story unforgettably told."

Currently on the site: "What would Bronko Nagurski do?" Football Contest

"Called by some the greatest football player of all time, Bronko Nagurski, an old Chicago Bear, an original Midway Monster, would surely share his story with Sport Literate. A Chicago-based journal that’s been cracking literary skulls since 1995, Sport Literate (SL) is perhaps the nation’s lone literary magazine focusing on the creative nonfiction exploration of sports. There’s some poetry, too, but we want the truth. We can handle the truth. So send us your football best. Winner will be chosen by none other than Lee Gutkind of Creative Nonfiction."

New Name :: new south

newsouth_1_1 Georgia State University's journal of art and literature,formerly gsu review, is now new south: "Following the release of our Spring / Summer 2007 issue, we will no longer publish as gsu review. After over thirty years as gsu review, we will publish as new south. Our role as Georgia State University's journal of art and literature will not change. However, to correspond with our name change, Volume One, Number One will include a new look and feel, as well as expanded content." This issue, introduced at AWP New York,  is now available.

new south is now reviewing submissions for inclusion in our Spring / Summer 2008 (Volume One, Number Two), also our contest issue.