Saturday, February 28, 2009

Presidential Libraries - Obama Should Bag It

Cancel out any idea of an Obama Presidential Library? Some think so.

Cautions for Online Publishing

Check out Jessica's expose on the perils and pitfalls of online publishing: Now You Read It, Now You Don't: A cautionary look at online magazines. A must read for writers and editors alike.

Conference :: Gettysburg Review

3rd Annual Gettysburg Review Conference for Writers
Gettysburg College, PA
June 3-8, 2009

The Gettysburg Review invites you to join them in creating a community of writers in a bucolic, convivial, and historic setting. Small workshops (maximum ten people per workshop) will be led by award-winning writers who have dedicated their lives to the teaching of poetry and prose. Limited scholarship support available.

Faculty include: Lee K. Abbott (fiction); Rebecca McClanahan (nonfiction); Dean Young (poetry)

Application Deadlines: Applications must be received by May 22, 2009. Scholarship applications must be postmarked by April 27, 2009.

Friday, February 27, 2009

PEN Translation Feature

PEN 2009 Translation Feature
Speaking across geographies, styles, and literary conventions, this month's Online Feature showcases some of the most interesting voices—old and new—in translation. Find recent translations of fiction and poetry from around the world, doing the work that Susan Sontag calls "the circulatory system of the world’s literatures."

How to Write About Africa

From the latest issue of Granta comes this essay, How to Write About Africa, by Binyavanga Wainaina. Should be required reading on at least a dozen lists I can think of: "Broad brushstrokes throughout are good. Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances. Have them illuminate something about Europe or America in Africa. African characters should be colourful, exotic, larger than life — but empty inside, with no dialogue, no conflicts or resolutions in their stories, no depth or quirks to confuse the cause..."

Tucson Festival of Books

Tucson Festival of Books
March 14-15, 2009
University of Arizona

Featured authors include Jimmy Santiago Baca, Josh Bazell, Jennifer Lee Carrell, Billy Collins, David Eagleman, Diana Gabaldon, Brent Ghelfi, Temple Grandin, J.A. (Judith) Jance, Elmore "Dutch" Leonard. and Richard Shelton. Separate events for children and teens.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Paradise Finally Lost?

According to this article on Reutgers, Poet Laureate Andrew Motion believes students can't "get past 'go'" in such classics as Milton's Paradise Lost without having basic knowledge of the Bible. Other classics that suffer in their loss of students understanding their full meaning also include Shakespeare, with something as simple as the title "Measure for Measure" (which comes from the Bible) being a lost reference for students.

Interestingly enough, Professor John Mullan comments that this lack of Biblical background may come from universities "accepting young people from much broader social backgrounds, with less frequent immersion in classical literature, than they had in the past." Or perhaps more specifically, less exposure to the Bible and Christianity? (Though they do argue religious adherence is not a requirement.)

I'm sure it is a lament of every generation, but will there come a time when Milton and Shakespeare are no longer the "classics" to be studied? Will their references, regardless of how "archetypal" be so without point of grounding in student understanding that they become irrelevant? Me thinks it is only a matter of time...

Yet Another Protest

Protests over one teacher's inclusion of Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth draw encouraging support from her former students.

New Lit on the Block :: Agricultural Reader

Technically not *new* Agricultural Reader is an arts annual founded in 2006 by Jeremy Schmall who currently edits the publication with Justin Taylor. However, the most recent issue (No. 3) is making its national debut via X-ing Books.

Agriculture Reader is interested in fiction, poetry, criticism, and "anything we haven't seen before or even thought of yet." They ask contributors to send a query letter rather than a submission: "Tell us about yourself, what you liked about our previous issues, and feel free to include a brief, representative sample of your work. We read queries year-round and respond, in the fullness of time, to all of our mail."

The first issue includes works by Shimon Adaf, Christian Barter, Heather Christle Joshua Cohen, Julia Cohen, Dennis Cooper, Mark Edmund Doten, Will Edmiston, Elaine Equi, Christian Hawkey, Robert Hershon, Jen Hyde, Noelle Kocot, Justin Marks, Anthony McCann, Mike McDonough, Sharon Mesmer, Eileen Myles, Peter Orner, Joey Parlett, Stephen Priest, Ariana Reines, Jerome Sala, Tony Towle, Diane Williams, Rebecca Wolff, Matvei Yankelevich, and Matthew Zapruder.

You can get a sneak peek and some of the content and format on their website.

Student Suspension is "Gross Abuse"

NYU's Violation of Student Rights
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From John K. Wilson's post on College Freedom, "I was not a fan of the student occupation of a New York University cafeteria. I didn't like the incoherent list of bizarre demands, and I don't like the use of occupation as a tactic in general. But the response of NYU in suspending 18 students, who were arrested when the occupation was ended, is a gross abuse of due process." Read the rest.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How's Your News?

MTV's latest series How's Your News first began over ten years ago at a summer camp for adults with disabilities in Massachusetts. The current series grew out of the 1999 documentary directed by author Arthur Bradford (Dogwalker) and produced by South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In the How's Your News? film, Harrington, Bird, Perry, Costello, and Ronnie Simonsen (who's currently battling leukemia) — all of whom attend Camp Jabberwocky, a Martha's Vineyard camp for the disabled where Bradford is a counselor — pile into a tour bus and head west.

Along the way from New Hampshire to California, the group conduct a string of man-on-the-street interviews, and their conversations offer a funny and revealing look at how the disabled perceive and are perceived. The TV show follows the same general pattern, but it ups the star quotient somewhat, filming the HYN reporters as they interact with celebs like Sarah Silverman, Ben Affleck, and Amy Sedaris. (The Boston Phoenix)

Episodes from the series can be viewed in full on MTV's website.

Erica J has her own to say on Disability Nation: Why I Really Didn't Like "How's Your News?"

World Press Photo Contest

Check out the World Press Photo of the Year contest winners. The overall winner is a very telling image of our tough economic times: "Following eviction, Detective Robert Kole must ensure residents have moved out of their home. Cleveland, Ohio, 26 March"

Press 53 Announces New Poetry Editor

Tom Lombardo is now Poetry Editor at Press 53. Last year (2008), Tom edited and published After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events (Sante Lucia Books), which features 152 poems by 115 poets from 15 countries. Tom is a widely published and respected poet and is a graduate of the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, NC. His mission is to bring 4-6 poetry collections to Press 53 each year and to be the preliminary judge for Poetry in the Press 53 Open Awards.

New Lit on the Block :: Specs

Specs is an annual journal of contemporary culture and arts at Rollins College that "aims to create sympathetic interfaces between artistic and critical practices." Spec accepts fiction, non-fiction, cultural criticism, artwork, poetry, and pieces that blur genre boundaries.

The editors are particularly interested in works that examine contemporary culture and/or cross the critical/creative divide while riffing on the theme of “Faux Histories” in multiple ways.

Issue One contributors include: Douglas Barbour, Molly Bendall, Jeffrey L. Bohn, Christophe Cassamassima, D.P. Clark, Robert E. Clark, Glenn Deutsch, Denise Duhamel, Eliza Fernbach, Vernon Frazer, Jeanne Genis, Janis Butler Holm, Rosalie Morales Kearns, Amy Letter, Michael David Madonick, Kate Middleton, Sheila Murphy, T.A. Noonan, Melissa Parks, Chad Reynolds, Micah Riecker, Sarah Rosenblatt, Sankar Roy, Craig Saper, Jeff Solomon, Rodrigo Toscano, Lyzette Wanzer, Nina Zammit-Zorn, Slavoj Žižek

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Essayist Celebrates African-American Writers

Essayist Karen D. Culley offers an overview of black authors in American literature: African-American Writers: Legends of Literature

Worst Love Poem Ever

Or at least for this year. Congratulations go to Morgan Ross for winning the Hayden's Ferry Review Worst Love Poem/Flash Fiction Contest. Here's just one stanza:

Your nose
is straight like an arrow,
it points to my heart.

You know you want to read it all...

Wanted: Poems and Restaurants

Alimentum , the only literary review all about food, will once again publish a poetry broadside of menupoems for National Poetry Month. The poems are distributed to participating restaurants for diners to enjoy some poetry with their menu! We need your poems! Only about a dozen poems will be selected. Click here to see past Menupoem examples. Deadline: March 4, 2009

ATTENTION RESTAURANTS
(Readers - ask your favorite restaurants!)
Restaurants can participate by giving diners menupoems during National Poetry Month. Alimentum will ship a stack, and post the restaurant's name and address on ther website throughout April. Participation is free! Write to Alimentum and let them know you'd like to take part in the menupoem party!

New Lit on the Block :: Weave

More than just a lit mag, Weave is an organization based out of Pittsburgh, PA that seeks "to create a space for a cross-section of writers and artists of all walks of life to meet on the page, on the stage, and in workshop. We celebrate diversity in both the creator and their works and strive to showcase both novice and established writers and artists." Weave will host a series of workshops that focus on the writing and submissions processes as well as on bringing poetry to the stage as a viable performance art. Weave will also collaborate with writers from their publication to present readings that will showcase Pittsburgh's young literary talent. During open submission dates, Weave accepts poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, short plays and visual art.

Issue One includes poetry by Ivy Alvarez, Mary Biddinger, Rachel Bunting, Juliet Cook, Crystal Hoffman, Tom Holmes, D.M. Huneke, Jason Kirin, Dana Guthrie Martin, Carol McCarthy, Khrys Myrddin, David McLean, Michael Constantine McConnell, Phoebe North, Michael Ogletree, J.R. Pearson, Molly Prosser, Jay Robinson, Daniel M. Shapiro, Susan Slaviero, Sarah J Sloat, Ringa Sunn, Frank X. Walker, fiction by Jack Cobb, Stephen Dorneman, Mehgan McKenna, Jack Swenson, Jared Ward, and art by Angela Bayout, Sofija Canavan, Sarah Greenwood, Nashay Jones, Bonnie MacAllister, Heidi Richardson Evans,

Monday, February 23, 2009

Join Beloit Online

Beloit Poetry Journal invites readers to join the online conversation with BPJ poets on their monthly Poet's Forum. Participating poets change with each journal issue. For the newest issue (Spring 2009), poets include Greg Wrenn discussing the surprising genesis and formal evolution of "Centaur" for February, Fady Joudah will join the conversation next month, and Mary Leader the following month.

Also now on BPJ's website, a "Poem for the Day" selected from the magazine's 57-year archive.

Comments on AWP :: Robert Gray

For anyone who has never attended the AWP conference and would like an overview persepective on it, check out Robert Gray's post on Fresh Eyes Now. Here's an excerpt:

"All those headlines declaring the book is dead and readers are an endangered species seemed to have little effect on the 8,000 writers, give or take a few hundred, who inundated the Hilton Chicago last week for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs annual conference. . . Was everyone attending the conference carrying a manuscript in their back pocket? Probably. Was the possibility high that few of those books would ever see the light of publication? No doubt. Did it matter? Not so much, at least not last week."

Canada :: Freedom to Read Week

FREEDOM TO READ WEEK
February 22-28, 2009

Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, Freedom to Read Poster 2009 books and magazines are banned at the border. Books are removed from the shelves in Canadian libraries, schools and bookstores every day. Free speech on the Internet is under attack. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read.

New Lit on the Block :: Exquisite Corpse

Originally in print in 1983, and online since 1996, the legendary Exquisite Corpse is now back in print with Issue #1, 2009. Editor in Chief Andrei Codrescu presents artwork by Ralph Steadman, Joel Lipman; poetry by Diane di Prima, Bill Berkson, Alice Notley, Mike Topp, Jim Gustafson, Ruxandra Cesereanu; prose by Jerome Rothenberg, Willie Smith, Aram Saroyan, Lance Olsen, Davis Schneiderman; and more. Still an online force to be reckoned with, Exquisite Corpse plans a yearly publication of both online reprint and new material.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

NewPages Updates

New Lit Mag Listings
The Ne’er-Do-Well – fiction, nonfiction
specs - fiction, non-fiction, cultural criticism, artwork, poetry
Mare Nostrum - poetry, essays, traveler’s tales, fiction, translations
Wordscapes - poetry, short story, environmental essays
Like Water Burning – fiction, nonfiction
The Smoking Poet – poetry, fiction, nonfiction, reviews

New Publisher Listing
Permanent Press – fiction, non-fiction

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Atwood Protests Dubai Festival

Canadian author Margaret Atwood has pulled out of an international Dubai literary festival after organizers banned a novel by a British author because it contains references to homosexuality.

In a letter addressed to the festival's director, Atwood said she could not attend Dubai's inaugural International Festival of Literature next week because of the "regrettable turn of events surrounding" the book "The Gulf Between Us."

Read more here.

Awards :: Glimmer Train Fiction Open

Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their December Fiction Open competition.

First place: Cary Groner of Tucson, AZ, wins $2000 for “Elaborate Preparations for Departure”. His story will be published in the Summer 2010 issue of Glimmer Train Stories, out in May 2010.

Second place: Aaron Carmichael of Broomfield, CO, wins $1000 for “Driver Yu’s Penance”. His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories.

Third place: Aaron Cutler of New York, NY, wins $600 for “15 Shots”.

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here. This quarterly competition is open to all writers and all themes, with a word count range of 2000-20,000. Click here for guidelines

Also: Very Short Fiction Award competition (deadline February 28)

Glimmer Train hosts this competition twice a year, and first place is $1200 and publication in the journal. It’s open to all writers, no theme restrictions. Word count must not exceed 3000. Click here for complete guidelines.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Sun Gatherings

The Sun authors and readers, as well as editor and publisher Sy Safransky, gather for lively weekends of conversation, reflection, and inspiration. The Sun will host two gatherings this year: one on May 15–17 at the Rowe Conference Center in Rowe, Massachusetts, and the other on October 30–November 1 at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Online registration is now available.

True/False Film Fest :: Missouri

The True/False Film Fest returns for its sixth edition Feb. 26-March 1, 2009 in downtown Columbia, Missouri. Most films come freshly discovered from Sundance, Toronto and other festivals, others appear mysteriously before their official premieres elsewhere. The main venues are the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, the Blue Note, the two-screen Ragtag Cinema, the Forrest Theater at the Tiger Ballroom, as well as Stephens College's Macklanburg Playhouse and Windsor Auditorium. Along with films are parties, workshops, and hosted debates.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

ABR Mexico Writer's Conference

American Book Review Writer's Conference
Cuernavaca, Mexico, March 16-18, 2009

Hosted by the University of Houston-Victoria and Unversidad Internacional

ABR Faculty: Charles Alcorn, Jeffrey Di Leo, Carmen Edington, Dagoberto Gilb, Macarena Hernandez, Tom Williams

You must apply by February 21, 2009 to attend the conference.

New Lit on the Block :: The Fertile Source

The Fertile Source is an online publication of Catalyst Book Press, a publisher of literary nonfiction with a special focus on fertility-related literature. They accept photos, artwork, literary essays, poems, and fiction on fertility-related themes, as well as book and magazine reviews on fertility-related publications, and will consider interviews with fertility, infertility, and adoption specialists.

And yes, “fertility-related themes” include infertility, abortion, miscarriage, and adoption as well as childbirth, pregnancy, birth control, sex, postpartum depression, breastfeeding, and becoming a parent. They do accept "parenting topics" directly related to fertility.

The first issue includes a variety of works by Wendy Marcus, Lenard D. Moore, Julia Bauknecht, Joy Mosenfelder, Genna Gardini, Christopher Woods, Nancy Adams-Cogan, Ann Angel, China Martens, and Tania Pryputniewicz.

All submissions for the ezine will be considered for one of the many anthologies planned for publication in the upcoming months or years. Catalyst has already published the anthology Labor Pains and Birth Stories.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Translate This!

I picked this up at AWP, and can't find it posted on their site yet. Circumference: A Journal of Poetry in Translation is accepting translations of the line below based only on their sound for their eighth homophonic feature:

FAN ZHOU

ZOU YE JIANG BIAN CHUN SHUI SHENG
MENG CONG JU JIAN YI MAO QING
XIANG LA WANG FEI TUI YI LI
CI RI ZHONG LIU ZI ZAI XING

Send translations to:

Circumference
Center for Literary Translation
Columbia University
Dodge 415, MC 1804
New York, NY 10027

Or email:

editors - at - cirumferencemag.com

Workshop :: American Short Fiction

The American Short Fiction Workshop Series launches March 4 with the online class Short Story Essentials: Writing Fiction for Publication. Hone your craft in this workshop led by editors and get the inside track on submitting to literary journals. Receive individualized attention and gain access to a supportive community of writers. Application deadline is February 20, 2009.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

AWP Chicago: A Gamer’s Notes

J.S. Tonutre, a designer for survival games for the newly fledged “aggression arcades” industry, gives his perspectic on AWP for Agni Online. Here's an excerpt:

[WARNING: Do not drink hot liquid while reading, for any number of reasons as to why you might spill it on yourself!]

In AWP Convention Game regulations, a salutation, an exchange such as the above, between people who already know each other, technically counts for nothing. It must either be truncated—for economical use of time is vital—or else parlayed, turned to advantage. The point of play, if I haven’t made this clear enough yet, is to trade up, to advance the avatar, and the only way this can happen is when someone with a higher-stratum position (more publications, better publications, more ascertainable connections) sees you, and with that certification promotes you along the board. This is hardly arbitrary. For as everyone knows, being seen from a higher position only happens when there is something to be seen, though of course the appearance of being seen has value insofar as you might be seen being seen, and therefore score second-order points (described in game book) whether or not there is genuine substance behind the encounter. The calculus is very tricky, and point scoring is often hotly contested...[read the rest on Agni].

Photography :: Fazal Sheikh

Fazal Sheikh is an artist-activist who uses photography to create a sustained portrait of different communities around the world, addressing their beliefs and traditions, as well as their political and economic problems. By establishing a context of respect and understanding, his photographs demand we learn more about the people in them and about the circumstances in which they live.

I recommend you start with these, and look at the other related projects linked from there.

Moksha

"For five hundred years the holy city of Vrindavan in northern India has been a haven for India’s dispossessed widows. Cast out by their families and condemned by strict marital laws, which deny them legal, economic, and in extreme case their human rights, they have made their way to the city to worship at its temples and live in its ashrams, surviving on charitable hand-outs or begging on the streets. In Vrindavan they worship the young god Krishna, who invades their dreams, helping them to cast off memories from their past life and prepare for a new and better life to come. Their ultimate dream is to reach moksha—heaven—where they will find freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth and live surrounded by their gods forever. Fazal Sheikh’s landscape photographs capture the meditative mood of the city and his portraits of the widows convey their sense of acceptance of life nearing its end and a longing for what is to come."

As part of the ideology behind the International Human Rights Series and in order to bring the issues contained within Moksha to an international audience, it may be read in its entirety on-line in English, Hindi or Bengali.

Ladli

"While working on the book Moksha, Sheikh went to Vrindavan, one of India’s holy cities, where Hindu widows come to live out their last years. It was while listening to their stories that he began to comprehend the full extent to which women in India are the victims of religious and cultural codes that reduce many of them to little more than child-rearing servants. He returned to India to find out more from young women growing up in a society that, whatever economic advances it may boast, is still widely prejudiced against them. Ladli—which in Hindi means ‘beloved daughter’—is the result."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Starting an Activist Group Toolkit

Provided by Amnesty International, this "Activist Toolkit" most definitely can be appreciated by anyone working with community and/or student activist groups. Provided fully online are helpful resources: starting a group, running a group, planning events and activities, and promotion. Each of these sections is loaded with separate and specific resources, such as how to recruit and keep members, how to run a meeting, how to lobby congress, etc. An absolute wealth of information, whether the goal is creating an Amnesty International group or any other activist group.

Narrative Contest Expanded

Narrative has expanded their current "Third Person" contest to include entries written from any point of view - first, second, limited third, or omniscient. The contest is open to all fiction and nonfiction writer: short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction.

Postdoc Researcher :: The Southern Review

The Southern Review announces an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher (The Southern Review Resident Scholar). This is a two-year, non-renewable twelve-month appointment and carries a salary of $32,000 and benefits (pending final administrative approval). Preferred start date is August 1, 2009. Founded in 1935 by Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks, The Southern Review is published four times a year on the campus of Louisiana State University. For more information, please check The Southern Review website.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Home Again Home Again

AWP 2009 has come to a close, and NewPages is exhausted and recharged all at the same time!

What great energy we give and receive during those chaotic three days of sessions, bookfair, readings, and dinner talks. And what a difference this year was from five years ago, when NewPages first began rolling the aisles among the journals and publishers, trying to explain our work and hearing: "New what? You do what?" to this year, hearing random shout-outs from people in the halls, "I love NewPages!" and overhearing one magazine editor say to another, "You're on NewPages, right?"

Thanks to ALL of you. It can really be lonely work sitting here behind the computer all year, plugging away at links and trying to make the best selections for the site, hoping readers are finding the site useful and usable. Three days at AWP really helps us to connect and know that we're on the right track here, and not just because of what we do, but because of what so many other people are doing.

As I said time and again when editors thank us for what we do, we thank them right back. NewPages could not do what it does without the great efforts of so many other people who love to read and write, and, like me, who love to help make those connections between readers and writers.

And this year seemed especially upbeat, even given the downward spiral in the economy. More so than last year's AWP, I heard journal staff say they had gained subscribers - SO IMPORTANT - and publishers say they had sold out of books or at the very least were actually making sales this time. Not that anyone who goes to the AWP bookfair will regain their costs to go (at least none I know of!), but to know that there is support, there is interest, this is all very promising for the future of literature and of reading we have so often heard bemoaned.

I think it was a wonderful AWP, and I'm already looking forward to next year, Denver, Colorado, where I'd like to see this famed midwest hospitality continued and even surpassed.

More on AWP later. For now, a bit of R&R - rest and reading.

Friday, February 13, 2009

MultiMedia Updates

Two new additions you can find on the NewPages Literary Multimedia Guide - Podcasts, videos, and audio programs of interest from literary magazines, book publishers, alternative magazines, universities and bloggers. Includes poetry readings, lectures, author interviews, academic forums and news casts.

Poem Talk
A poetry blog sponsored by The Poetry Foundation, The Kelly Writers House, and Penn Sound.

Write the Book
An ongoing podcast of interviews with authors, editors, publishers, and others of interest in the world of reading and writing. Hosted by Shelagh C. Shapiro, Write The Book airs on WOMM-LP 105.9 FM “The Radiator,” in Burlington, Vermont, every Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. Recent interviews include Xu Xi, Abby Frucht, Rosellen Brown and Charles Barasch.

100 Poems, 100 Days

The day before the inauguration 100 Poems, 100 Days sent out a call to poets they admire to write poems that respond, however loosely, to the presidency, the nation, the government or the current political climate. More than one hundred American poets responded immediately. The first 100 poets were each assigned one of President Obama’s first hundred days in office, and each will write a poem reflecting on the state of the nation and the world on that day. A new poem is posted every day.

Literature and Psychiatry

The British Journal of Psychiatry includes a 'psychiatry in 100 words' series, with February's column focusing on literature. Psychiatrist Femi Oyebode, edited of Mindreadings: literature and psychiatry, offers the following perspective:

"Reading works of fiction and attending to the language, the dialogue, the mood is like listening to patients. In both activities, we enter into other worlds, grasp something about the inner life of characters whose motivations may be unlike our own. D. H. Lawrence referring to this aspect of the novel wrote: `It can inform and lead into new places the flow of our sympathetic consciousness, and it can lead our sympathy away in recoil from things gone dead. Therefore the novel, properly handled, can reveal the most secret places of life'. Is this not also, partly, the task of psychiatry?"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Poetry Prize Winners Harpur Palate

The newest issue of Harpur Palate (v8 i2) features the work of Steven Ostrowski, winner of The Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry, as well as finalists Kerry Ruef, Katharyn Howd Machan, Kerry James Evans, and Claire McQuerry.

Starting in January 2009 Harpur Palate will be seeking submissions of poetry, fiction, & creative non-fiction for their next issue themed, The Long and Short of It, featuring short prose (1000 words or less) and long poems (3 pages or longer). "We're trying to shake up the genres a little bit and publish some pieces a 'normal' journal might not accept, so send us what you got and please tell your friends." The issue is scheduled for release in Summer 2009.

Academic Earth

"Thousands of video lectures from the world's top scholars." As it's still new, I'd say they have "hundreds" at most, but quite a bit to check out.

Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship

Ruth Lilly Fellowships
Five Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships in the amount of  $15,000 will be awarded to young poets through a national competition sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry. Established in 1989 by the Indianapolis philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the fellowships are intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry. Applicants must be us citizens between the age of twenty-one and thirty-one as of  March 31, 2009. Applications must be postmarked during the month of March 2009.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grisham Novel Upsets University

A recent AP post reports: "Officials at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh are upset that best-selling author John Grisham mentions the school in connection with a fictional gang rape in his latest novel. Grisham's The Associate deals with a character who attended the private Catholic college and was involved in a drunken rape scene in an off-campus apartment in 2003. Duquesne University spokeswoman Rose Ravasio said it's unfortunate Grisham 'chose to use our name and associate it with a fictional incident of this nature.' Grisham told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he chose the school because he saw it once, and has been to Pittsburgh for Steelers and Pirates games. The novel contains several other references to Pittsburgh."

Should writers not use the real names of places in their writing? Making up names of things isn't new to any genre of literature (see Wikipedia's Index: Lists of Fictional Things). How might it matter one way or another?

Ropewalk Writers Retreat

RopeWalk
June 7-13, 2009
Indiana

The weeklong summer RopeWalk Writers Retreat gives participants an opportunity to attend workshops and to confer privately with one of four prominent writers. Historic New Harmony, Indiana, site of two nineteenth-century utopian experiments, provides an ideal setting for this event with its retreat-like atmosphere and its history of creative and intellectual achievement. At RopeWalk you will be encouraged to write, not simply listen to others talk about writing. In addition, several writers will present papers or give lectures, open to all participants, on aspects of the craft of writing.

New Lit on the Block :: G Twenty Two

Editor Roger Pemberton introduces G Twenty Two Literary Journal online as a publication "to give up-and-coming writers the opportunity to get their writing published not only along with their peers but alongside other writers who have experience in their respective literary fields. We strive to publish thoughtful, clever, inspired work that we think you will appreciate very much."

The introductory issue includes poetyr, fiction, and flash fiction by Kevin Brown, Hannah Langley, Howie Good, Micah Zevin (also a NewPages Reviewer), Nancy Devine, Ernest Williamson III, John Greiner, Tyler Gobble, J.R. Solonche, Abrielle Willis, Joseph Goosey, Michael Canterino, Brian Alan Ellis, Gale Acuff, and John Bennett.

Based on submissions, G Twenty Two hopes to publish quarterly, if not monthly.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Writers Institute :: New York State

New York State Summer Writers Institute
2-wk or 4-wk sessions
June-July 2009

The New York State Writers Institute, established in 1984 by award-winning novelist William Kennedy at the University at Albany, SUNY, announces its 21st annual summer program. Under the joint auspices of Skidmore College and the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany, the summer program is held on the campus of Skidmore College and will feature creative writing workshops in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Students may enroll for two weeks or for the entire four-week session. The Institute offers courses for undergraduate and graduate credit and may be taken on a non-credit basis as well. A Senior Fiction Fellow reads entire student novels or extensive works in progress and meets with students on a tutorial basis.

New Lit on the Block :: The Ne'er-Do-Well

Backed by Sheila Ashdown, who moonlights as an employee of Powell's Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, The Ne'er-Do-Well publishes fiction and non-fiction. This first issue includes works by Laura Bogart, Ryan Davidson, Jon Lasser, Keith Rosson, Allan Shapiro, Ricardo Perin, and cover art by Dan Miller.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Magazine as Muse :: The New Quarterly

In its last issue (108 - reviewed here on NP), The New Quarterly introduced a new feature: "Magazine as Muse," in which writers are asked to tell about magazines that have influenced them. In this issue Billeh Nickerson and Mark Callahan take the opportunity to discuss their "muses."

How many magazines have made the plea to those who submit to read their publication and, better yet, subscribe to it? And how many times at conferences have I heard speakers charge writers with the same - support your lit mags! This new feature in TNQ provides a much more creative approach: show readers the influence of publications on writers.

It would be nice to see similarly styled features of "role modeling" included in more publications!

New Lit on the Block :: The Readheaded Stepchild

The online poetry magazine The Redheaded Stepchild only accepts poems that have been rejected by other magazines. Editors Malaika King Albrecht and Deborah Blakely, who have each seen their share of accpetance and rejection, say: "We are open to a wide variety of poetry and hold no allegiance to any particular style or school." But don't even think that this is a publication without standards: "regrettably even we reject 85% of our submissions."

The inaugural issue of rejects who have found a home include: Mark DeCarteret, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Wendy Taylor Carlisle, Richard Garcia, Maggie Glover, Thomas P. Levy, Lucia Galloway, Jessy Randall, Daniel M. Shapiro, Kit Loney, Dorine Jennette, Howie Good, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Susan Yount, Sergio Ortiz, and Susan Rich.

And TRS is kind enough to thank the rejecting publications on "The List."

Submissions are now being accepted through February for the Spring 2009 issue. C'mon, who among you doesn't have something to send in?

Jobs :: Various

University of Montevallo Assistant or Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing. The Department of English & Foreign Languages invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professorship in creative writing (fiction). Jim Murphy, Chair, Creative Writing Search Committee.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is seeking to hire a qualified instructional faculty member for creative writing and literature. Dr. Henry W. Spaulding II Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

NewPages Updates :: Listings

Literary Magazines
The Dirty Napkin – poetry, fiction, letters
Lake – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art
Read This - poetry, fiction, non-fiction, essays, drama, photography, graphic art

Publishers
The Permanent Press – fiction, non-fiction

NewPages at AWP

Yes, we will be in Chicago this year!

We're tabled in Southwest Hall - #624.

We don't really plan to be at the table much this year, as we will be attending sessions and hitting the floor to say hello to as many of our friends as possible. But do feel free to stop by, say hello, leave a card, a postcard, a book, a lit mag, a beer, etc.

We'll be sharing a table with Jessica Powers of Catalyst Press Books.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Iowa Review Awards

The Iowa Review, Winter 2008/09, features Winners of the 2008 Iowa Review Awards:

Nonfiction: Nancy Geyer for "Where the Children Are"
Poetry: Dave Snyder for "Bamboo Poem"
Fiction: Andrew Mortazavi for "Stop Six, Ft. Worth"

IR also announced a tie for the Tim McGinnis Award for 2008 for "the most unusually pleasing and unexpected work of the year" : Jim Barnes ("Five Villanelles," Spring 2008) and Ron Carlson ("Victory at Sea," in this current issue).

IR makes several works from their most current issue available online.

Glen Workshop

The Glen Workshop in Santa Fe
Fully Human: Art and the Religious Sense
July 26 – August 2, 2009

"The Glen Workshop, sponsored by Image journal, is an innovative and enriching program, combining the best elements of a workshop, an arts festival, and a conference. Add to this the intimate setting at St. John's College and the rich cultural, spiritual, and natural resources of northern New Mexico and the result is an unforgettable experience. Daily classes are taught by nationally known authors and artists, and are small enough to allow the faculty to give close attention to each participant—to beginners as well as those advanced in their craft. The seminar class is for artists and non-artists alike, a forum to explore the workshop theme in more depth through discussion and hands-on collaborative art making."

Products for Grammatically Aware Lifestyles

Creator Lee Knapp has melding clay and language in these delightful daily adornments for Word Folks. Her works include mugs, plates, and cards - all focused on elements of grammar. Check it all out at (on?) Grammar Stuff.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

MQR :: Emma's Father - Dementia?

The newest issue of Michigan Quarterly Review (under the new editorial guidance of Jonathan Freedman, University of Michigan Professor of English and American Culture) includes an article by Margaret Morganroth Gullette: "Annals of Caregiving: Does Emma Woodhouse's Father Suffer from 'Dementia'?" For Austen fans, this is a compelling analysis, ready for controversy: "Some readers may deny that Mr. Woodhouse has any form of cognitive impairment, veering back to the simplicities of the 'polite old man' characterizations and ignoring the tender manipulations of his caregivers that I have tried to put into relief. Many of us may be diminished in our capacity to connect his condition with our contemporary contest...one of the old people Americans fear most - even, sometimes when they are our own relatives."

New Lit on the Block :: The Ampersand

Hailing from St. Petersburg, Florida, The Ampersand is held together by editors Jason Cook, Bruce Bostick, and Meghan Kelly. The debut issue features fiction by G.K Wuori, Myfanwy Collins, Matt DeBenedictis, Jason Jordan, Will Lasky, Joseph Riippi, & more. Poetry by Shane Seeley, Julie Yi, diego baez, J. Bradley, Sarah Moon, and "a full brigade of talented, frothy-mouthed poets." Cover art by Alejandro Sanchez.

Working with Teen Writers

A great model for others to follow or in which to get involved, the Pongo Publishing Teen Writing Project is a volunteer, nonprofit effort with Seattle teens who are in jail, on the streets, or in other ways leading difficult lives. Pongo helps these young people express themselves through poetry and other forms of writing and publish annual anthologies of their work.

PONGO FUN FACTS:
*This is Pongo's 14th year.
*Pongo currently has two projects, one at juvenile detention in Seattle and one at the state psychiatric hospital for children in Tacoma.
*Pongo currently has 11 volunteers.
*Pongo has collected 286 surveys from our writers over the last three years, and one-third have previously not written at all or have previously written just a little.
*On the surverys, 100% said they enjoyed writing, 99% said they were proud of their writing, 66% said they wrote about things they don't normally talk about, 91% said they plan to write in the future when life is difficult.
*Since 2000, Pongo has worked with over 4,000 teens (including 1,800 in individual sessions).
*Pongo has published close to 500 teens in 12 poetry books.
*Pongo has given away 11,800 of our poetry books to youth, agencies, judges, libraries, and others.

Haiku Festival and Contest

The Seventh Annual ukiaHaiku Festival is an afternoon devoted to the Haiku form of poetry. Keynote speaker: Theresa Whitehill

Sunday, April 26, 2009
2 pm to 4 pm at the City Conference Center
200 School Street in Ukiah, California

The festival will also include awards for their Haiku contest, which is a no-fee contest for all age groups *except* the Contemporary Adult Category (3/$5). Deadline March 13

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ecotone's Contribution to Evolution

Ecotone's latest issue is a whopping 430 pages - a double issue - in celebration of the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth and the sesquicentennial of the publication of The Origin of Species. The editorial alone ("Hey, Hey, We're the Monkeys) is worth the issue price, in reading how David Gessner once taught a course called "When Thoreau Met Darwin."

The issue includes winners of the 2008 Ecotone Evoluntion Contest, judeged by Jennifer Ackerman:

First Prize: Emily Taylor for her short story "Beginning"
Second Prize: Kathryn Miles for her essay "Dog Is Our Copilot
Third Prize: Lynn Pederson for her poem "On Reading about the Illness adn Death of Darwin's Daughter Annie

And a shout out to Jennifer Sinor for her essay, "The Certainty of Spinning," and for Birkerts fans (me!), he's here too, with the nonfiction piece, "The Points of Sail."

Tin House Summer Writers Workshop

Tin House
Summer Writers Workshop '09

Reed College, Portland, OR
July 12 - 19, 20089

One-week writing intesnive: workshops, readings, seminars, panels in fiction, non-fiction, poetry.

Faculty and Guests:
Dorothy Allison, Steve Almond, Aimee Bender, Lan Samantha Chang, Charles D'Ambrosio, Anthony Doerr, Stephen Elliott, Ron Hansen, Ehud Havazelet, Ann Hood, Marie Howe, Walter Kirn, D.A. Powell, Jim Shepard, Karen Shepard, David Shields, Kevin Young

Editors and Agents:
Julie Barer, Betsy Lerner, Lee Montgomery,Brenda Shaughnessy, Rob Spillman, Denise Shannon

Mission Creek Festival

The Mission Creek Festival returns to Iowa City, Iowa for its fourth year. Taking place from April 1st – 4th, this four-day annual celebration takes over the venues and art spaces in downtown Iowa City, providing an easily navigated nexus of music, literature, and visual art. The festival remains dedicated to inspiring and building our artistic community through the exposure of both underground and renowned artists.

Confirmed bands include: GZA/Genius (of Wu-Tang Clan) performing Liquid Swordz, The Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice, Fruit Bats, Headlights, Bowerbirds, The Tallest, Man on Earth, Simon Joyner, El Paso Hot Button, Caleb Engstrom, Fulton Lights, Golden Birds, and Pieta Brown

Confirmed readers include: Edmund White, Charlie D'Ambrosio, Steven Kuusisto, Forklift: Ohio, Andrew Milward, Mark Leidner, Steve Hanson, with more to come!

Confirned film: Copyright Criminals – a documentary by Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A War's Many Angles

The New York Times photo journals of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel photos and accompanying audio by Moises Saman. Gaza photos and accompanying audio by Tyler Hicks.

2009 Sami Rohr Prize Fiction Finalists Announced

Posted on the Jewish Book Council blog by Naomi Firestone, where each finalist will be featured in upcoming blog posts.

The 2009 Sami Rohr Prize Fiction finalists:

Elisa Albert for The Book of Dahlia (Free Press)
Sana Krasikov for One More Year (Spiegel & Grau)
Anne Landsman for The Rowing Lesson (Soho Press)
Dalia Sofer for The Septembers of Shiraz (Ecco)
Anya Ulinich for Petropolis (Viking Penguin)

Updike's Rules for Reviews

Reviewing 101: John Updike's rules
Originally posted by John Freeman

Posted back in 2006 on Critical Mass: The blog of the national book critics circle board of directors, it was refreshing to re-read this and feel a sense of connection with our work here at NewPages in what we have always stood by as "fair reviews" with a commitment not to post "trash reviews."

Monday, February 02, 2009

Book Vending Machines?

Global Slums Exhibit

The Places We Live by Jonas Bendiksen includes an online exhibit of sounds and images of slums in Caracas - Venezula; Kibera, Nairobi - Kenya; Jakarta - Indonesia; and Dharavi, Mumbai - India. After the stunning introduction, you can click on each country for further images as well as several "houses" to visit. For each visit, there is audio and an interactive image that can be viewed using your mouse.

"The year 2008 has witnessed a major shift in the way people across the world live: for the first time in human history more people live in cities than in rural areas. This triumph of the urban, however, does not entirely represent progress, as the number of people living in urban slums—often in abject conditions—will soon exceed one billion."

The Places We Live is also a traveling exhibit and available as a book, with signed copies at the Magnum Photo store.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Death Match 2009

Broken Pencil is once again hosting its Literary Death Match 2009, where readers decide which writer goes on to the next round. You do have to register on their site to be able to vote, and once you do, you can leave comments as well.