Thursday, April 30, 2009

Story South Remake and Million Writers

storySouth is up and running with a new look after a brief reshuffling hiatus, which is a relief to see considering how many magazines I've seen go on hiatus and never return: "Online fads can’t help but fade away; great writing endures. storySouth is all about the writing."

storySouth is indeed back with new content for spring, and the Million Writers Award stories are now online. The top ten will be selected and available for public vote starting May 15, and thanks to some generous donors, it looks as though the prize pot is healthy.

Contest for Booksellers

Unbridled Books and NetGalley announce a contest inspired by author Emily St. John Mandel and our bookseller partners. We want to encourage booksellers to read e-galleys, and to make this possible, we are offering a SONY Reader to the three booksellers who craft the best handselling pitches for Mandel's debut novel, Last Night in Montreal(pub. date June 2). The contest runs from May 1, 2009 through midnight on June 1, 2009.

Poets Respond to Art

Each month, TATE ETC. ("Europe's largest art magazine") publishes new poetry by leading poets such as John Burnside, Moniza Alvi, Adam Thorpe, Alice Oswald and David Harsent who respond to works from the Tate Collection. This April, Elaine Feinstein presents her poem, Isaac Babel Riding with Budyonny, based on R.B. Kitaj’s work of the same name. This work is not currently on display in Tate galleries, but Erasmus Variations by the same artist is on display in Tate Britain, and Isaac Babel Riding with Budyonny can be viewed on the Tate Collection online.

Writer in Residence UL Lafayette

University of Louisiana at Lafayette accepting applications for Writer-in-Residence and Professor/Associate Professor of English. Tenure-track position, beginning Fall 2009. Creative Writing-Fiction.

Duties: teaching one Creative Writing workshop per academic year, directing dissertations and theses, working with graduate and undergraduate students in creative writing, presenting at least one public reading or lecture each year, and participating in the department and university community. Continued publishing in field and other duties associated with holding a university position.

Qualifications: International reputation as a creative writer as evidenced by awards and publications in prestigious international venues, extensive publications in creative genres (fiction, poetry, drama, creative non-fiction), professional experience in teaching advanced Creative Writing workshops.

Send application letter, current CV, and names and addresses of three references to Professor James McDonald, Department Head, Department of English, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, P. O. Box 44691, Lafayette, LA 70504.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Week 1: Reading is Stoopid

Just in time for some end-of-semester humor - check out Robert Lanham's Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview for ENG 371WR: Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era on McSweeney's.

WSJ's Take on E-Reading

How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write
"Author Steven Johnson outlines a future with more books, more distractions -- and the end of reading alone"

Awards :: Narrative Winter Short Story Contest

Narrative Magazine 2009 Winter Short Story Contest Winners:

Janet Burroway "White Space"

Adam Atlas "New Year’s Weekend on the Hand Surgery Ward, Old Pilgrims’ Hospital, Naples, Italy"

David Bradley "That Ain’t Jazz"

The Spring Story Contest, with a First Prize of $3,250, a Second Prize of $1,500, a Third Prize of $750, and ten finalists receiving $100 each, is open to fiction and nonfiction entries from all writers. Entry deadline: July 31.

The First Annual Poetry Contest, with a First Prize of $1,500, a Second Prize of $750, a Third Prize of $300, and ten finalists receiving $75 each, is open to poetry from all writers. Contest dates: May 23 to July 18.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The World Lit Conundrum

A recent article in Rueters looks at unsuccessful efforts by the Chinese literary culture to have their works considered abroad. Lack of background knowledge to fully be able to understand/appreciate the works as well as lack of English translators are cited as a couple reasons for this continued struggle. What books do get recognized? Mostly those which are banned in China; not necessarily the strongest examples of Chinese literature, but they get the translations and readership because of the controversy. Though, if the US is still showing a decline in readership for its own literature, what hope do other countries have in finding recognition here?

And an interesting counter or alter-perspective to this article is "Author, Author: The World of 'world' Literature" in which Pankaj Mishra comments on "literary cosmopolitanism" - in relation to Karl Marx and Susan Sontag (of all pairings) - and the rise of India as a force in the book world: "Cultural palates in this flattened world can only be progressively homogenised. Whether attempting social or magical realism, literary writers also become increasingly subject to market realism."

Failbetter's Got Alexie

Along with weekly installations of poetry, stories, multimedia, and whatever else fancies their tickle, Failbetter has an interview with Sherman Alexie in their Spring issue.

Awards :: Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction

Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their February Very Short Fiction Award. This twice yearly competition is open to all writers for stories on any theme, with a word count range of 500-3,000.

First place:Rolaine Hochstein of New York, NY, wins $1200 for “Virtuous Woman”. Her story will be published in the Summer 2010 issue of Glimmer Train Stories, out in May 2010.

Second place: Anne de Marcken of Olympia, WA, wins $500 for “Best Western”. Her story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing her prize to $700.

Third place: Evan Christopher Burton of New York, NY, wins $300 for “Levitation”.

Also: Family Matters competition (deadline soon approaching! April 30)

Glimmer Train hosts this competition quarterly, and first place is $1,200 and publication in the journal. It’s open to all writers for stories about family. Word count range 500-12,000.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

NewPages Updates :: Contest Pages & YA Page

I've been updating! The Writing Contests pages have a number of new entries - click by and take a look.

NewPages lists *quality* contests on our site. These are contests sponsored by or connected with publications, presses, and colleges/universities listed in our guides. If you find incorrect information, a missing link, or have a contest you would like considered for listing please let me know.

Should you have a problem with a contest we list, notify me immediately. Contest sponsors who behave badly will promptly be removed.

Writing Contests
For individual works of all types.

Book Contests
For full-length manuscripts as well as already published books.

There is a separate listing for contests of interest to Young Authors (K - early college). This also includes links to YA publications and information about how to submit works as well as avoiding contest scams: New Pages Young Authors Guide

Friday, April 24, 2009

DOXA FIlm Fest

Documentary Film Festival
Vancouver, CA
May 22nd – 31st, 2009

DOXA is presented by the Documentary Media Society, a Vancouver based non-profit, charitable society (incorporated in 1998) devoted to presenting independent and innovative documentaries to Vancouver audiences. The society exists to educate the public about documentary film as an art form through DOXA – a curated and juried festival comprised of public screenings, workshops, panel discussions and public forums.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Free Mags for Teachers :: Geist

The Goods
"Geist is delivering the best Canadian writing to classrooms from Tatamagouche to Victoria, from high school to grad school, from creative writing to English composition. Four times a year we publish fiction, life writing, essays, poetry, comix, rants, photo essays and unclassifiable dispatches — a cornucopia of genres and styles for teachers and students of writing."

The Deal
"We send you a free class set of Geist.
We post free lesson plans that you can use in the classroom.
That's it! No strings, no sales, no spam."

The Agenda
"Geist is always looking for new writers and readers.
Writing teachers are always looking for new teaching ideas and opportunities for emerging writers.
Geist in the Classroom puts us together."

Gest in the Classroom

Film :: War Rug

"War Rug is a work of documentary poetics in the form of a book length poem. Multiple interwoven narratives explore life within zones of conflict as viewed through the lens of current warfare. The narratives range from passages inspired by journal entries, firsthand accounts, and news reports to poetic constructs collaged from military doctrine, Freedom of Information Act released government documents (like CIA interrogation manuals, and detainee autopsy reports), and numerous other sources." (Poet, translator, and new media artist Francesco Levato is the executive director of The Poetry Center of Chicago.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NEA Overlooks Narrative Nonfiction

And Lee Gutkind has something to say about it on The Voice of Creative Nonfiction.

Allied Media Conference

11th Allied Media Conference
"We Are Ready New: Media and creativity to transform our selves and our world"
July 16-19, 2009
Detroit, Michigan

The 11th AMC will advance our visions for a just and creative world. It will be a laboratory for media-based solutions to the matrix of life-threatening problems we face. For the past 10 years, we have evolved our definition of media, and the role it can play in our lives – from zines to video-blogging to breakdancing, to communicating solidarity and creating justice. Each conference builds off the previous one and plants the seeds for the next. Ideas and relationships evolve year-round, incorporating new networks of media-makers and social justice organizers. The 2009 AMC will draw strength from our converging movements to face the challenges and opportunities of our current moment.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scholarly Journals :: Works and Days

Published by the English Department at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Works and Days provides a scholarly forum for the exploration of problems in cultural studies, pedagogy, and institutional critique, especially as they are impacted by the transition from print to electronic environments. Each issue of the journal is organized around specific inquiries conducted as shared disciplinary or postdisciplinary research projects. Works and Days aims to serve not only as a forum for collaborative research and teaching, but also as an environment in which mutual inquiries may flourish.

Issues include:

Academic Freedom and Intellectual Activism in the Post-9/11 University
v26-27, 2008-2009

The Society for Critical Exchange--Phase 1: 1975-1988
v25, 2007

Intellectual Intersections: Ethnic and Racial Crossings
v24, 2006

Richard Ohmann: A Retrospective
v23, 2005

Capitalizing on Play: The Politics of Computer Gaming
v22, 2004

Who's New at the Academy?

The American Academy of Arts and Letters will hold its annual induction and award ceremony on Wednesday, May 20, 2009. President of the Academy, McClatchy stated, “The Academy is proud to welcome to its ranks these distinguished new members. It’s an eclectic group of exceptional individuals—each a pioneer of the imagination and an artist of resplendent gifts and achievements.”

Nine members will be inducted into the 250-person organization: artist Judy Pfaff and architect Tod Williams; writers T. Coraghessan Boyle, Jorie Graham, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Richard Price; composers Stephen Hartke, Frederic Rzewski, and Augusta Read Thomas.

Academician Louise Glück will deliver the Blashfield Foundation Address, titled “American Originality.” An exhibition of art, architecture, books, and manuscripts by new members and recipients of awards will be on view at the Academy’s galleries from May 21 to June 14, 2009.

Teachers on Twitter

Laura Walker has some tips for educators getting started on and using Twitter for professional development and networking, as well as regular Twitter updates on her blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

They're Here!

2009 Pulitzer Prizes

National Magazine Award Finalists

The American Society of Magazine Editors has announced the 2009 National Magazine Awards Finalists. Congratulations to literary magazines Antioch, The Virginia Quarterly, The American Scholar, and The Paris Review who made the list!

Passings :: James D. Houston

James D. Houston, author of Snow Mountain Passage, Continental Drift and, with his wife, Farewell to Manzanar, died on April 16 as a result of complications from cancer. He was 75.

Comics Archive Online

New at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln library: Government Comics Collection. With nearly 200 entries, there's a wide range of content - from Fighting Apartheid to The True Story of Smokey the Bear. All are available full-text pdf.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Forgotten Pulitzers

Before adding a new author to the list of winners, AbeBooks has compiled a list of "forgotten winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel as the award was known prior to 1948." Winning does not secure lasting fame, or even books that can still be found on the shelf, as the price of some of these out-of-print editions will show.

New Lit Mag Reviews Posted

NewPages Literary Magazine Reviews for April 18 include The Antioch Review :: The Chaffin Journal :: ChiZine :: Eclectica :: The Farallon Review :: Journal of Ordinary Thought :: Manoa :: The Missouri Review :: storySouth :: The Sun :: Tuesday

Novelists Need to Write More in the Now

Amanda Craig argues that "Contemporary novelists are so busy writing about the past, they're neglecting the times they live in." Her article "Stuck in the past: Why is modern literature obsessed with history?" in The Independent considers the responsibility of novelists to represent and comment on their own time, the difficulty of the task, and the risks associated with public response that need to stop being avoided.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Passings :: Eve Sedgwick

Educator, Author Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Dies at 58
By Advocate Writer Michelle Garcia

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, a prominent theorist who is often cited as one of the founders of queer theory, died on April 12. She was 58.

Sedgwick was reportedly diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991, prompting her book A Dialogue on Love. Sedgwick taught English at several institutions including Boston University; the University of California, Berkeley; and Duke University, where she was a Newman Ivey White Professor of English.

Sedgwick has written many books on gender and sexual orientation, including Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire; Epistemology of the Closet; and Tendencies.

Documentary :: Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti turned 90 last month, and this month will see the premiere of a documentary about Ferlinghetti's life and work on April 28 at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Director Christopher Felver crafts an incisive, sharply wrought portrait that reveals Ferlinghetti's true role as catalyst for numerous literary careers and for the Beat movement itself. The film features archival photographs and historical footage, with appearances by Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Billy Collins, Dennis Hopper, Robert Scheer, Dave Eggers, and Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Snyder. The appearance of numerous other prominent figures from the literary, political, and art community further underscores the enormous social impact Ferlinghetti's legacy continues to have on the American cultural scene.

From New Directions Publishing.

Book Cover Banquet

With (currently) over 1000 images, The Book Cover Archive presents "An Archive of Book Cover Designs and Designers for the Purpose of Appreciation and Categorization." You can browse all, or refine to browsing to full alpha lists of designers, titles, authors, art directors, photographers, illustrators, genres, publication date and publishers. Thanks for the feast goes to Ben Pieratt and Eric Jacobsen who edit and maintain The Book Cover Archive.

WoC Media Collective: SPEAK!

SPEAK! Women of Color Media Collective is a netroots coalition of media-makers interested in strengthening our communities through truth-telling, media justice and the creation of a network of women of color media makers.

SPEAK! members blend together personal experience with an intersectional [includes everyone] multi-issue feminist perspective. SPEAK! members believe in media that is for our communities, by our communities. The framework SPEAK! uses is the one created by earlier feminists of color: a life-long commitment to addressing interlocking forms of oppression by creating radical transformative relationships to each other and the world.

In addition to a zine of poetry, lyrics, and art, SPEAK! has produced a CD and encourages "Listening Parties" - including a PDF of discussion questions and related activities for each of the CD tracks - great for community reading groups and classroom use.

This is the track list for the CD:

1. Why Do You Speak? - Adele Nieves
2. Something Else to Be - Sydette Harry (Black Amazon)
3. Slip - Maegan “La Mamita Mala” Ortiz
4. We Will Never Forget - Nadia Abou-Karr
5. When I Speak - Aaminah Hernández
6. We Are the Daughters - Lisa Factora-Borchers
7. Severance - Sylvia Peay
8. Tears and Beauty - Cripchick
9. An Archaelogy of Freedom - Alexis Pauline Gumbs
10. My Cats - Baby BFP
11. Reality - Noemi Martinez
12. Sin - BrownFemiPower
13. On Cartography and Dissection - E. Rose Sims
14. Genocide - Nadia Abou-Karr
15. Chaos - Fabiola Sandoval
16. Song of Solomon - Sydette Harry (Black Amazon)
17. Sequestro - Maegan “La Mamita Mala” Ortiz
18. Wishful Thinking - Alexis Pauline Gumbs
19. I Feel Pretty - E. Rose Sims and SPEAK!
20. For Those of Us… - SPEAK!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Awards :: Ruminate

The newest issue of Ruminate (11, Spring 2009)features the magazine's 2009 Short Story Prize winner, as selected by Brent Lott: Susan Woodring with her story "The Smallest of These." Woodring's story can also be read online. Anna Maria Johnson's story "Charlie's Arm" was the runner-up and is also included.

Art and Politics :: Guernica

From Guernica, an online magazine of art and politics:

POETRY: Acclaimed Puerto Rican poet Rafael Acevedo explores one of our last remaining taboos--cannibalism--in two poems.

FICTION: Panamanian author Justo Arroyo answers "The Question:" Why do we pay so much for our workaday lunch--and get so little in return?

ART: In "Beaufort West," situated along South Africa's N1 highway, with an island prison in the middle of town, Mikhael Subotzky captures the vivid characters and poignant social landscapes.

Detroit's Media Renaissance

In addition to attracting moviemakers to the state (“Michigan will be the next film capitol of the world,” Clint Eastwood said in a recent interview following the release of his new film Gran Torino, shot in Detroit.), WireTap Magazine sees the full range of new media creativity booming in this auto-deprived town, from broadband to indie music to media arts and "allied media" projects. Can this be Michigan's Phoenix?

Artist :: Soojung Cho

"Most frequently I paint the sky; it is a space where we can find peace; it is a space for our soul; it is a space where we can find hope." Soojung Cho, artist

Check out Soojung Cho's online portfolio for more beautiful, peaceful oil paintings.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Zyzzyva: Textimage in Review

The Spring 2009 issue of Zyzzyva offers readers a unique look at "textimage" with over 100 contributions in this single collection.

From the Editor's Note:

"Digital screens mash up words and pictures and videos and sound and links (to everything). The printed page segregates elements, putting them into their linear, orthogonal, rightful places.

"In this issue, we explore the spectrum of textimage, instances in which text and image collide and collude on the page-from the artist playing with that basic literary unit, the letter, to the writer sketching and doodling in his notebook.

Our take is not scholarly, but deliberately ecumenical, using examples from our pages over the past quarter century..."

Read more from Howard Junker, as well as view several of the works from this issue on Zyzzyva.

Self Publish in the News

Victoria Strauss on Writer Beware Blogs! responds to the recent flurry of mainstream news articles on self-publishing, and "The Need for Balance." Strauss notes that "articles on self-publishing often follow a similar formula" and include:

1. Pick a rare instance of self-publishing success
2. Segue to the growth of self-publishing and the great possibilities it offers for budding authors, while taking a swipe at the commercial publishing industry
3. Toss out a few random facts about self-publishing
4. Mix in some boosterish quotes from representatives of self-pub companies
5. Feature a happy self-pubbed author
6. Conclude (explicitly or by implication) that "traditional" publishing is [pick one] dead/dying/running scared

For more "balance" - WB offers highly informative page on self-publishing, which includes the pros and cons, sales statistics, issues to consider, and advice on if you decide to move forward with SP/POD, as well as further resources to help you educate yourself. Check it out here.

What is Poetry For?

In Chicago, February 2009, at the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the editors of Poems Out Loud asked eleven poets - Martha Serpas, Todd Boss, Molly Peacock, Major Jackson, Cole Swenson, Kim Addonizio, Kimiko Hahn, Willie Perdomo, Beth Ann Fennelly, Julie Sheehan, and Honor Moore - “What Is Poetry For?”

Here is what they had to say.

Raise the Bridge: Ebert on O'Reilly

"Thoughts on Bill O'Reilly and Squeaky the Chicago Mouse" is a letter from Roger Ebert to Bill O'Reilly - apparently in response to O'Reilly listing the Chicago Sun Times on his 'Wall of Shame.' I don't keep up with O'Reilly tit-for-tats outside of Olbermann, but this one ends with such a fitting parable that I had never heard before, it seems worth passing along. Squeaky the Chicago Mouse, indeed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Changing Lives Through Literature

"Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) is a program that began in Massachusetts in response to a growing need within our criminal justice system to find alternatives to incarceration. Burdened by expense and repeat offenders, our prisons can rarely give adequate attention to the needs of inmates and, thus, do little else than warehouse our criminals. Disturbed by the lack of real success by prisons to reform offenders and affect their patterns of behavior, Professor Robert Waxler and Judge Robert Kane discussed using literature as a way of reaching hardened criminals."

Started in Massachusetts, programs have also started in Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. An adaptation of CLTL is also running strong in England. California and Illinois are interested in starting programs, and one is almost underway in Canada.

The CLTL website includes information about starting and running a similar program in your state, with sample syllabi from men's, women's, and juvenile programs.

New Lit on the Block :: Country Dog Review

The Country Dog Review is a journal of poetry conceived and edited by Danielle Sellers. It is currently an online journal with "the hopes of becoming both an online and print journal soon."

The first issue includes works by Jesse Bishop, Larry Bradley, Greg Alan Brownderville, Alicia Casey, Heather Cousins, Erica Dawson, Blas Falconer, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Daniel Groves, Chris Hayes, David Kirby, Nick McRae, Adam Million, Erin J. Millikin, Ren Powell, John Pursley III, Lynn Wagner, Susan Settlemyre Williams, and John Dermot Woods, as well as an interview with David Kirby.

The Country Dog Review is currently accepting submissions for its fall issue, deadline August 1st, 2009.

Celebration of the Chapbook

A Celebration of the Chapbook festival calls attention to the rich history of the chapbook and highlights its essential place in poetry publishing today as a vehicle for alternative poetry projects and for emerging authors and editors to gain entry into the literary marketplace. The festival will forge a new platform for the study of the chapbook inside and outside the academy and celebrate the importance of chapbooks to America’s cultural heritage and future.

Thursday April 23rd, 2009 - Saturday April 25th, 2009
The Graduate Center, CUNY

Residency :: Penn State Altoona

The English Program of Penn State Altoona is taking applications for a one-semester teaching residency in creative non-fiction writing. The residence, designed to offer an emerging writer substantial time to write, offers a $5,000 stipend & an additional $5,000 allowance to cover room & board in return for teaching one sophomore-level creative non-fiction writing workshop during the Fall 2009 semester (August 24-December 17).

The resident writer will also give two readings & work informally with our English majors. Benefits are not included. We are looking for a writer with publications in literary or commercial magazines. Emphasis will be placed on the quality of the work submitted. We may consider a preference for work focused on environmental studies. A Master's degree in Creative Writing or English is required. Teaching experience is preferred. The application should consist of a writing sample (one essay or ten pages from a book); a c.v., including publishing history; & one or more letters of recommendation.

Send to: Emerging Writer Residency, Dr. Thomas Liszka, Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Pos #: B-29761, Penn State Altoona, 3000 Ivyside Park, Altoona, PA 16601-3760.

Review of applications will begin May 18, & continue until the position is filled.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Margaret Atwood

NYT Joyce Hor-Chung Lau "chats" with Margaret Atwood.

International Lit Fest

Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival
Including the Blue Metropolis Children's Festival
April 22-26, 2009

The world’s first multilingual literary festival – and the best five-day literary party there is. In 2008, Blue Met gathered about 350 writers, literary translators, musicians, actors, journalists and publishers from Quebec and from all around the world for five days of literary events in English, French, Spanish and other languages.

New Lit on the Block :: Wag's Revue

Behind the screen at Wag's Revue are Editors Sandra Allen (nonfiction), Will Guzzardi (poetry), and Will Litton (fiction), with Webmaster Dave Eichler.

Publishing interviews, fiction, nonfiction and poetry, with room to play the media card within these forms, the first issue includes interviews with Dave Eggers, Mark Greif, Wells Tower, and works by Alexa Dilworth, Ernst Jandl, Travis Smith, Jessica Laser, Pauline Masurel, Winston Daniels, Tina Celona, Robert Moor, Eve Hamilton, Alison Fairbrother, Michael Paul Simons, Brian Evenson, John Sellekaers, Raleigh Holliday, Raymond Sumser, Maureen Halligan, Brandon Chinn, Janine Cheng, and Julia McKinley.

Jobs :: Various

Centenary College seeks application for an instructor for 2-credit poetry writing course for the fall semester (September through December, 2009) at, Hackettstown, NJ. MFA required. The course meets once a week for approximately two hours. Salary $900. Centenary College is in the process of developing a creative writing minor and anticipates ongoing teaching opportunities. Please send c.v. and/or inquiries to: Mary Newell: newellm-AT-centenarycollege-DOT-edu

Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta is accepting applications for a part-time faculty position in the Professional Writing department to teach creative writing.

Central Michigan University seeks qualified part-time temporary instructors to teach Technical Writing (Metro Detroit, Michigan), Fantasy and Science Fiction (Michigan and Online), The Literary Dimensions of Film (Michigan and Online). Amy Courter, Off-Campus Programs. June 30

The program in Creative Writing at Hollins University invites applications for a one-year, endowed distinguished professorship to begin August, 2009.

The University of Mississippi Department of English invites applications for the position of half-time Instructor.

Grinnell College's Center for the Humanities seeks to appoint a visiting scholar actively engaged in research on Place and Memory. Daniel Reynolds, Director, Center for the Humanities. April 25

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ok, Ok, So We've Twittered on our Facebook

Yep. We'll give it a shot. But you have to show us the love if you want us to keep at it. Follow us on Twitter, and/or be a fan on the NewPages Facebook page. Be patient as we learn the ropes, or, uh... the jargon. That's a Big Ten-Four Big Buddy?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Passings :: Corin Tellado

Spanish romance writer Corin Tellado has died
Associated Press

MADRID, Spain — Corin Tellado, a well-known Spanish author of more than 4,000 romance novels, died Saturday while celebrating the Easter holidays with her family. She was 81.

Tellado, whose real name was Maria del Socorro Tellado Lopez, collapsed at her home in the northern seaside city of Gijon and died of heart failure, a Cabuenes hospital spokeswoman said.

A funeral service is to be held in Gijon's Iglesia de la Inmaculada church on Monday, the regional newspaper El Comercio said Saturday.

Born on April 25, 1927, in the northern coastal village of Viavelez, Tellado's novels became popular throughout the Spanish-speaking world, particularly in Spain and Latin America.

In 2007, the regional government of her native Asturias honored the author for a lifetime dedicated to literature with an exhibition called "Corin Tellado, 60 years of love novels."

"I'm not a romantic, nor a dreamer or visionary," Tellado said at the inauguration. "However, someone had to write novels about love and it just happened to be me."

Despite ill health that forced her to have blood dialysis three times a week since 1995, Tellado kept on writing right to the end, delivering her final novel to Variedades magazine on Wednesday.

Tellado was survived by a daughter and a son, El Comercio said.

New and Noteworthy Books

Check out NewPages New and Noteworthy Books page for a list and information about some of the newest releases and soon-to-be-released titles from small, independent, alternative and university presses. Updated regularly, but also archived monthly, so you can go back and take a look at previous posts.

Friday, April 10, 2009

NewPages Book Reviews April

Swing by and check out this great lineup of book reviews for April:

Vienna Triangle
A Novel by Brenda Webster
Wings Press, January 2009
Review by Jason Hinkley

First Execution
Novel by Domenico Starnone
Translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar
Europa Editions, March 2009
Review by Laura Di Giovine

The Bathroom
Novel by Jean-Philippe Toussaint
Translated from the French by Nancy Amphoux and Paul De Angelis
Dalkey Archive, November 2008
Review by Josh Maday

Novel by Jean-Philippe Toussaint
Translated from the French by Matthew B. Smith
Dalkey Archive, November 2008
Review by Josh Maday

Last Night in Montreal
Novel by Emily St. John Mandel
Unbridled Books, June 2009
Review by Christina Hall

The Adventures of Cancer Bitch
Memoir by S.L. Wisenberg
University of Iowa Press, February 2009
Review by Cyan James

First We Read, Then We Write:
Emerson on the Creative Process
By Robert D. Richardson
University of Iowa Press, February 2009
Review by John Madera

Bending the Notes
Poetry by Paul Hostovsky
Main Street Rag, December 2008
Review by Jason Tandon

The Suburban Swindle
Short Stories by Jackie Corley
So New Publishing, October 2008
Review by Josh Maday

Morning in a Different Place
YA novel by Mary Ann McGuigan
Front Street Press, February 2009
Review by Jessica Powers

At or Near the Surface
Short stories by Jenny Pritchett
Fourteen Hills Press, November 2008
Review by Josh Maday

Light Boxes
Fiction by Shane Jones
Publishing Genius, February 2009
Review by Brian Allen Carr

YA novel by Joyce Moyer Hostetter
Calkins Creek Books, April 2009
Review by Jessica Powers

Fiction by Daniel Allen Cox
Arsenal Pulp Press, April 2009
Review by Brian Allen Carr

Me As Her Again
Memoir by Nancy Agabian
Aunt Lute Books, October 2008
Review by Ryan Call

Joy Fielding :: Where do Stories Come From

Here's a lovely short piece by Joy Fielding from the National Post, The germ of an idea: What is fiction but a reimagining and restructuring of reality?

"People are always asking, 'Where do you get your ideas?' It's a little like asking a doctor where she gets her diagnostic or surgical skills, or a gardener where he gets his green thumb..."

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Rejected? You're in Good Company

Okay, so don't feel so bad about that next rejection letter, since you'll find yourself in the company of George Orwell, whose work Animal Farm was turned down by TS Eliot. Apparently, when Eliot was director of the publisher Faber & Faber, he rejected Orwell's work as "good" but "not convincing." Does that sound familiar?

Kids Say the Coolest Things about Books

Of course, this is from our state here, but I'm sure you've got some cool kids in your state too:

The Michigan Center for the Book announced the three state winners of Letters About Literature, a national writing contest in which young readers wrote letters to authors, living or dead, describing how the authors' work changed the students' way of thinking. One of the state winners also received recognition at the competition's national level.

"We received many thoughtful, heartfelt letters that demonstrate the power of books to touch the lives and engage the minds of young people," said Michigan Center for the Book Coordinator Karren Reish. "Each year we welcome this opportunity to help foster Michigan students' interest in literature and encourage them to cultivate the reading and writing skills that are key to academic success."
The Michigan winners are:

Level 1 (grades 4-6) - Valerie Reeves of Mancelona who wrote to author Erin Hunter about the book Warriors: Dawn.

Reeves reflected on how the book taught her about the value of teamwork and leadership, writing: "When I was younger, I sometimes felt like I was a loner at school. I always wanted my mom to go to school with me because I didn't want to be alone. I felt just like the rogue cat, Yellow Fang, who was without a clan. After reading your book, Warriors: Dawn, I found I wanted to be a warrior, too."

Level 2 (grades 7-8) - Daniel Harrison of Kalamazoo who wrote to author Ben Mikaelsen about the book Touching Spirit Bear.

In his letter, Harrison expressed how the book inspired him to change his negative behavior: "About two years ago, I had been a real bully. I used to pick on kids and call them names and not even realize how much of a jerk I was. I had been in trouble a couple times, and ended up in detention. It was there, ironically, where I read your book, Touching Spirit Bear. It transformed my life."

Level 3 (grades 9-12) - Nilesh Raval of Saginaw who wrote to author Jhumpa Lahiri about the book The Namesake. Raval also was named one of 12 Letters About Literature national honorable mention winners (four per level of competition) and will receive an additional $100 Target gift card and an additional $1,000 grant for the selected library.

Raval's letter described lessons learned about pride in our unique cultural heritage and identity: "After reading your culturally enlightening novel, The Namesake, I have realized the importance of my name in Indian culture and that I am not alone when it comes to possessing an unusual one. ... The Namesake has compelled me to understand that a name has an inherently profound power to shape its bearer. It has bestowed upon me a newfound respect for names in our culture."


Another beautiful book of poetry from Candlewick Press. I just happened to come across several of these lately, so I'll be having something to say about them here. This one is The Cuckoo's Haiku and Other Birding Poems by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Stan Fellows. Divided into four seasonal sections, each includes 5-7 birds for a total of 24. Each bird gets a two-page spread that includes full color watercolor images, a haiku, and script-style notes on the bird, such as this comment on the Common Grackle's call: "harsh song is a rusty gate: 'readle-eak!'"

The illustrations are absolutely lush. Some are full two-page scenes of the birds and their habitats, others include scenes with a variety of collage inset images of the bird. I cannot image anyone who enjoys poetry or birds not finding a comfortable liking in this book. That it is a "children's" book is almost a misnoemer; indeed, I know a half dozen adults who would appreciate it. The script-style text might actually even be difficult for some younger children, but that only helps to make it a book best shared between adult and child.

An additional four-page section at the back of the book, "Notes for Birdwatchers and Haiku Lovers," includes more specific species details as well as some author comments on the influence of the bird on his haiku. A neatly complete little book, perfect for National Poetry Month, and *finally* spring!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

DIY Glossy Mags? HP's MagCloud

Do-It-Yourself Magazines, Cheaply Slick
The New York Times
Published: March 29, 2009

PALO ALTO, Calif. — For anyone who has dreamed of creating his own glossy color magazine dedicated to a hobby like photography or travel, the high cost and hassle of printing has loomed as a big barrier. Traditional printing companies charge thousands of dollars upfront to fire up a press and produce a few hundred copies of a bound magazine.

With a new Web service called MagCloud, Hewlett-Packard hopes to make it easier and cheaper to crank out a magazine than running photocopies at the local copy shop.

Charging 20 cents a page, paid only when a customer orders a copy, H.P. dreams of turning MagCloud into vanity publishing’s equivalent of YouTube. The company, a leading maker of computers and printers, envisions people using their PCs to develop quick magazines commemorating their daughter’s volleyball season or chronicling the intricacies of the Arizona cactus business.

Read the rest on NYT

Math Across the Curriculum

Our English division just got done discussing ideas for integrating "Math Across the Curriculum." Since English had asked for the same oh so many years ago, we felt it was our place to step up to the plate on this one and consider how we might be using or could be using math in our English classes. Thanks to Gerry Canavan, here's an insightful collection of work by Craig Damrauer entitled, New Math. I'll certainly be working this into my classes soon.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

MLA Updates

In case you're not all over it yet, MLA has come out with updates. Finally! Until the new publication is available, Purdue OWL has a quickie page that's helpful. And those new editions of handbooks that just came out this year? Students will be thrilled to find there to be "no buy back" as the even newer editions are ordered for next year. Now, who planned that?

Film :: Autism: The Musical

ErikaJ on Disability Nation offers her response to Autism: The Musical, an Emmy-award-winning HBO documentary: "I don't know what I was expecting from a film called 'Autism: The Musical.' It was just a title that attracted my attention, even as a dark-humored part of me wanted to suggest that it should be a rock opera to better accommodate all the head-banging..." [read the rest]

Writing Residency :: Great River Writers Retreat

Deadline June 15: The winning writer will receive seven nights accommodation at Fulton's Landing Guest House on the Mississippi River, plus travel and meal stipends, as well as an invitation to read at the Midwest Writing Center. A spouse or partner may accompany the writer on retreat.

Great River Writers Retreat
Oct. 17-24, 2009
Fulton’s Landing
Davenport, Iowa

Odysseus's Anniversary? April 16 - Noon

"In the epic Odyssey, one of the cornerstones of Western literature, the legendary Greek hero Odysseus returns to his queen Penelope after enduring 10 years of sailing the wine dark sea. Now scientists have pinned down his return to April 16, 1178 B.C., close to noon local time, according to astronomical references in the epic poem that seem to pinpoint the total eclipse of the sun on the day that Odysseus supposedly returned on." Read the rest on MSNBC

Monday, April 06, 2009

Congrats Alimentum

Alimentum has won first place in the Bookbinders Guild New York Book Show for "Quality Paperback Series." This is the second year in a row Alimentum has won this honor. Congratulations to Alimentum designers Claudia Carlson and Peter Selgin.

Poetry Festival :: Slash Pine Press

Slash Pine Press is pleased to announce the first annual Slash Pine Poetry Festival, to be held in five distinct locations in the greater Tuscaloosa, AL area on April 24th and 25th. With 40 readers, the festival draws from local and national writers, from first year graduate student poets to National Poetry Series winners, from the traditional writer to the highly experimental one. The festival aims to show that poetry at its best is an inclusive, community-building endeavor, and that such an endeavor is well and alive in one of many small cities in the Deep South.

Residency :: ArtsEdge, UPenn

ArtsEdge Residencies
University of Pennsylvania

The ArtsEdge Residency project is designed to encourage and support the careers of emerging artists and writers. rtsEdge Residencies offers two one-year residencies in a live/work space near Penn's campus. ArtsEdge aims to support the creative work of young artists and writers, and create a live/work environment that will inspire interdisciplinary exploration. Deadline April 15.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Performance Summer Institute - Chicago

Abandoned Practices - something out of the ordinary
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
July 6-24, 2009

This New Performance Summer Institute looks forward by looking backward, researching, enacting, and embodying practices that for one reason or another have been disregarded in the wake of progress, and relegated to the archives of history. Students will participate in individual and collaborative projects involving writing, installation, documentation, and live performance. Teachers and visiting scholars will lecture on related subjects. Available for credit or non-credit enrollment.

Week one: Abandoned technologies.
Mode: installation.
Forgotten machines, crafts, stagecrafts, thought as craft, the place of the hand in art making, player pianos, slowness as resistance.

Week two: Abandoned concepts.
Mode: writing.
The archive as repository of outmoded ideas; the pastoral; the senses.

Week three: Abandoned behavior.
Mode: performance.
Forgotten labor practices; town criers; discontinued social customs.

Online Book Swaps

Phil Dzikiy of The Tonawanda News reviews five of the "most popular" online book trading Web sites that offer free membership: "Raw numbers and service details were taken into consideration, but we also checked to see if certain books were available, in ascending order of rarity: The relatively recent and popular Life of Pi by Yann Martel, anything by noted Japanese author Haruki Murakami and This Perfect Day, a dystopian novel by Ira Levin which has been out of print for years."

Thursday, April 02, 2009


University of Wisconsin-Madison Teacher & Program Coordinator in Writing for UW-Madison Liberal Studies & the Arts. Tom Boll, Writing Area Search. April 15

Dead at Your Age

Ever look at the "born on this day" sections in papers/magazines to see who shares your birthday? Well, here's a somber twist on that: Dead at Your Age matches your birthday and current date with people you've outlived: "Congratulations! You've just outlived some interesting people. Tell us your date of birth, and we'll tell you who they were." Includes biographical information on each person, and you can subscribe to receive daily updates to keep track of who else you have outlived. Cheery stuff!

Festival of International Literature

PEN World Voices
April 27 – May 3, 2009
New York City

A stellar line-up featuring 160 writers from 40 countries, established and emerging authors of world literature will take the stage in venues across the city for six days packed with conversations, panels, readings, film screenings, a translation slam, and a cabaret night.

2009 is a year of significant anniversaries—from Galileo’s telescope (1609) to Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859), from the Cuban Revolution (1959) to the collapse of Communism across Eastern Europe (1989) and Tiananmen Square (1989). For this year's festival, writers from all over the world will consider how the world changes and how we change.

Ann Arbor Book Festival & Writer's Conference

The third annual Ann Arbor Book Festival, May 15-17, 2009, includes a full-day Writer's Conference where attendees can hone their skills in sessions led by visiting Festival authors. The conference will be held on the University of Michigan central campus in Palmer Commons. Over the years, this campus has been home to many well-known writers from Arthur Miller to Elizabeth Kostova.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Dueling Austen Scholar Responds

Last week I posted a newslink re: Oxford academic and Austen authority Professor Kathryn Sutherland claims that Claire Harman (award-winning biographer) copied some of her ideas for a new book.

I said this should be interesting, and sure enough, not what I was expecting, but the post received a response from Claire Harman herself, which you can now read on the entry page.

Additionally, in a follow-up e-mail from Harman, she notes: "I was getting intensely frustrated by the end of last week that I couldn't get 'my side of the story' heard at all, but now the Bookseller has quoted part of the same letter I sent you and I've been told (by my publisher) that another blog called Book Brunch might put it up in full. Also there's an interview coming along on The Book Depository and a guest blog on a university site, both of which allude to Prof Sutherland's horrible attack, and perhaps that's enough. I have no desire to prolong the row unduly."

Nor do we, though as an educator, topics own "intellectual ownership" are always of interest to me. Unfortunately, what's of interest to one person is often the result of many sleepless nights to those living the story. So, for their sake, I hope this dwindles to downright dull, soon.

Kick Off National Poetry Month with A Foot in the Mouth

From Candlewick Press, A Foot in the Mouth, have Editor Paul B. Janeczko and Illustrator Chris Raschka teamed up again to create another playfully brilliant book of poetry for children (a-hem - including us really tall children!). The other two equally as fun and engaging books in this series include A Poke in the I, a collection of concrete poems, and A Kick in the Head, which focuses on poetic forms. This final addition, however, is a selection of "Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout" and is more like the Wii of poetry (only much more affordable, and less likely to go out of use in two years).

Janeczko's introduction encourages readers to play with the sound of poetry by reading aloud: "Poetry is sound...To hear the sound of a poem, really hear it, you need to read it out loud. Or have someone read it to you." Janeczko also encourages memorization for the joy of recitation. And of course, getting others to join in is something the book begs for. Raschka's artistry livens every page and helps to further create a playful environment for the poems and readers.

The contents are divided into categories of interest and performance, such as Poems for One Voice, Tongue Twisters, Poems for Two Voices, List Poems, Poems for Three Voices, Short Stuff, Bilingual Poems, Rhymed Poems, Limericks, and Poems for a Group.

The collection encompasses a broad variety and diversity of works, which is refreshing to see in a collection for young people. A couple of my favorites include "Speak Up" by Janet S. Wong (pictured), in which one speaker confronts the other about not being able to speak the language of her cultural heritage (Korean). The poem ends in the reality that both speakers are American born, and thus provides children a means of confronting such stereotypes. "The Loch Ness Monter's Song" by Edwin Morgan is just plain silly fun, and yet one of the most challenging poems in the book, beginning: "Sssnnnwhuffffll? / Hnwhuffl hhnnwfl hnfl hfl?" I'm still working on it.

Other authors include: Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Charles R. Smith Jr., George Ella Lyon, Irene McCleod, Lewis Carroll, Charles Follen Adams, Bobbi Katz, David McCord, April Halprin Wayland and Bruce Balan, Patricia Hubbell, Douglas Florian, A.A. Milne, Beverly McLoughland, Georgia Heard, J. Patrick Lewis, William Shakespeare, Edward Lear, Arnold Spilka, Max Fatchen, Sandra Cisneros, Eugenio Ablerto Cano Correa, Allan Wolf, Avis Harley, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Walt Whitman, and a few traditional and anonymous selections.

Considering the NCTE's continued lament regarding our culture's demise of poetry reading, this kind of collection can't help but influence the next generation not to give up on it entirely. Heck, it could it be helpful to share this book with some adults!

MLA Mid-Year Report on Jobs

From the MLA Office of Research. Probably not much you didn't already know:

"Through 20 February, the English edition of the MLA Job Information List (JIL) has carried 322 (21.9%) fewer ads this year (2008–09) than last; the foreign language edition is down 270 ads (21.2%). On the basis of the number of jobs announced in the JIL through the April print issue, we project that this year’s totals will drop by 26.1%, to about 1,350 jobs, in the JIL’s English edition and by 27.4%, to about 1,220 jobs, in the foreign language edition. The declines follow a period when the number of jobs advertised in both English and foreign languages increased from fewer than 1,100 in the mid-1990s to 1,826 in English and 1,680 in foreign languages this past year, 2007–08. We are projecting an estimated 480 fewer jobs in English in 2008–09 than a year ago and 460 fewer in foreign languages. These declines mark the biggest one-year drops in the thirty-four-year history of the JIL, both numerically and in percentage terms. Even so, this year’s projected totals are still higher than the historic low numbers to date—1,075 jobs in English and 1,047 jobs in foreign languages—recorded in 1993–94."

Having graduated with my MA in 1992, I can sympathize with the plight for many graduating into this low swing. I got my first, full-time teaching job in 1999 - yes, that's seven years of pieced-together part-time teaching and working in jobs not at all related to my degree. So, no whining until you've got me beat on that.

Haiku Tea Contest

From the like it or not pile:

ITO EN (North America), INC., the world's leading purveyor of green tea products and beverages, today announced its call-for-entries for "Haiku Project 2009." Inspired by the spirit of change in our country today, participants can enter a haiku around the themes of "Change," "Hope" and "Progress". ITO EN representatives will evaluate all submissions and select 3 winners of the 2009 Haiku Project on July 20, 2009. The winning contestants will be notified by ITO EN and may be required to sign and return a Submission Release form and their haiku will be printed on bottles of TEA’S TEA in 2010. Submissions will be accepted from March 6, 2009 to July 6, 2009.