Monday, August 31, 2009

Narrative Spring Story Contest Winners

Narrative Spring Story Contest winners and finalists:

First Prize: Anthony Marra
Second Prize: Jane Delury
Third Prize: Paul Griner

Finalists: Alethea Black, Evan Christopher Burton, Vicky Grut, Jeff O’Keefe, Denise Morrissey, Jay Neugeboren, Mohan Sikka, Debra Spark, Jackie Thomas-Kennedy, Jill Widner

Narrative offers the following upcoming contests for writers:

The Fall 2009 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. Deadline: November 30, 2009

The Narrative 30 Below Story Contest, with a First Prize of $1,500, a Second Prize of $750, a Third Prize of $300, and ten finalists receiving $100 each, is open to all artists and authors, ages eighteen to thirty. Deadline: October 29, 2009

New Lit on the Block :: Squid Quarterly

Squid Quarterly is an online journal of short fiction and prose poetry founded by Beth Couture and Jeff Tucker, both writers at the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi.

This first issue includes works by Kristen Eliason, Andrew Farkas, Rachel Furey, Darin Graber, Sarah Jenkins, Jen Marquardt, Tim Marsh, Michelle Nichols, Lance Olsen, Melanie Page, Leigh Phillips, Matthew Purdy, and Wendy Vardaman.

SQ is currently accepting submissions for their second issue. SQ nominates for the Pushcart Prize and plans to publish a print anthology of select works at the end of the year.

Jobs :: Various

Eastern Illinois University has a tenure-track position in Creative Writing to start Fall 2010. Dr. Dana Ringuette, English Department. Nov 6

The English Department of Willamette University invites applications for the tenure-track Hallie Brown Ford Chair in Writing. REview begins Nov 9.

The Department of English at CUNY's Brooklyn College Assistant or Associate Professor of Poetry. Review begins Oct 21.

The American University of Sharjah, UAE seeks candidates for a Department Head for the Department of English as well as Department Head for the Department of Mass Communication for Spring 2010.

Shippensburg University Assistant Professor of Creative Writing—Fiction, tenure-track. Richard Zumkhawala-Cook, Chair. Review begins Nov 2.

Brooklyn College Assistant or Associate Professor of Poetry. Michael T. Hewitt, AVP for Human Resource Services. Review begins Oct 21.

George Mason University, tenure-track assistant professor of creative writing, poetry. William Miller, Chair/Search Committee. Review begins Oct 1.

Aspen Book Store to Close

Aspen Book Store in Little Nell will close September 8 for what owner John S. Edwards says are a variety of reasons, including his desire to spend more time reading after 20 years of bookselling. Happy reading John!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thomas Lux and the Decatur Book Festival

This article on the Decatur Book Festival (Sept 4-6) includes some great comments from poet Thomas Lux - worth reading the whole piece - but here's a couple clips:

Lux thoroughly appreciates poems with humor. “Why shouldn’t poetry be funny? Life is funny. I don’t like the kind of turd-in-a-punchbowl professor who says ‘Poetry can never be funny! It has to be serious!'"

...Lux's classrooms take an approach that offers an easier gateway for students and adult readers alike. “I’ve always done something Billy Collins described as ‘teaching backwards.’ You start by having [the students] read the very contemporary poems, the stuff in the language of today, even hip-hop lyrics, then go backward to the classics. For several generations, our students’ introduction to poetry was through great poets, essential poets, who nevertheless didn’t speak in the language that we speak today.”

NewPages Reviewers Write

A couple former NewPages Review Writers who just keep keeping on in their literary endeavors:

Dan Moreau has a story, "Submission Guidelines" in the new issue of Swink.

Aaron Gilbreath has a "short thing" - also known as "Try Mailing This to Alpha Centauri" in Front Porch Journal.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Passings :: Lindsay Patterson

Author Lindsay Patterson, who wrote several books, anthologized the poems, plays and films of Afro-American artists and taught at a wide range of major colleges and universities (including Hunter and Queens in New York), died Wednesday, August 26 after a six-month battle with cancer. Born in Bastrop, Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, on July 22, 1934, Lindsay was the son of Dr. James and Adele Patterson. He graduated from high school in Winston-Salem, N.C. and received his B.A. in English from Virginia State University before serving in the US Army, where he was a reporter for Stars and Stripes. He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, James and Mildred Patterson, Jr. of Kernersville, N.C. and his nephews, James III and Roger Lindsay (who was named for his uncle).

He arrived in New York in 1962 to be a writer. And he was indeed a major writer. In his four decades in New York, he was a regular contributor to the New York Times, as well as its book review, Essence Magazine, Newsday, Playbill, ANPI and dozens of other newspapers, magazine and wire services. He hosted an interview program on WRVR-FM and on WPIX-TV for several years, interviewing the major movers, shakers and artists within the black and white theatre and cultural worlds, leading to long-term friendships with Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and many others. His papers were assembled to form The Lindsay Patterson Collection in Boston University’s Howard Gottlieb Archival Research Center.

According to Lindsay’s friend, fellow writer Pearl Duncan, he was obsessed with American literature. As he lay in the hospital, post-op, Ms. Duncan read to him from Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast.” “Before I could read the words, Lindsay was reciting them. He knew that book by heart.”

James Patterson described his younger (by ten months) brother as a voracious reader. “He just loved to read. Lindsay also always had an inquisitive mind; he just wanted to know how things worked.” James added, “Several years ago, Lindsay embarked on an investigation into the family ancestry, devoting hours and hours in researching our background.”

Lindsay’s sister-in-law, Mildred Patterson, stressed that Lindsay was an extremely talented person. Very caring, she said. But also very private with a passion for writing and the arts.

His books include:

A Rock against the Wind; African-American Poems and Letters of Love and Passion, edited by Lindsay Patterson with a forward by Ruby Dee

Black Theater, A 20th Century Collection of the Works of Its Best Playwrights, compiled with an introduction by Lindsay Patterson

Anthology of the Afro-American in the Theater

The Afro-American in Music and Art

Introduction to Black Literature in America

T-Baby (unfinished novel, excerpted in Essence Magazine)

Lindsay had been an assistant professor of English (ret) at Queens College; adjunct professor of Afro-American & Caribbean Literature at Hunter and also taught at The College of New Rochelle and The Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center. Early in his career, he worked as assistant to Langston Hughes and to Mrs. Countee Cullen. He also guest lectured at Columbia, Kent State, Iowa University, Penn State, University of Connecticut, Medgar Evers College, Clark University, 100 Black Women, among many more.

Among the publications for which Lindsay wrote are:

The Black World Today

Kente Cloth/North Texas Press

Upscale Magazine

Shooting Star

Newsday

Playbill

Theater Week

New York City Tribune

Players Magazine

Modern Black Man

Schomburg Center

Essence

New York Times / (regular contributor) plus Book Review; op-ed page My Father, Dr. Pat

Writers Yearbook

ANPI

[From neighbor/friend Ellen Levene.]

Farewell Reading Rainbow

The final episode of Reading Rainbow aired today. With no further support from PBS or any other sources (some faulting Bush administration decisions), the show will not go on.

Friday Funny

New Lit Playground :: NetPoetic

NetPoetic digital poetry portal is a new Electronic Literature/Digital Poetry portal founded by Jason Nelson and Davin Heckman. With over 30 writers, thinkers and artists, NetPoetic is a group conversation, updated near daily with posts, news, theory, artworks and all manner of E-Lit related material.

Currently on the site is feature about The Longest Poem in the World "composed by aggregating real-time public twitter updates and selecting those that rhyme. It is constantly growing at ~4000 verses / day. You can see more verses by clicking the three dots at the bottom (• • •) Made by Andrei Gheorghe.” And you can read more about the project on NetPoetic.

Those who want to "play" do need to send in a request, and once approved will receive a user name and password to log into the portal. Plans for later in the year include the first NetPoetic exhibition and a peer reviewed journal.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interview with Billy Collins

Littoral, the journal of the Key West Literary Seminar, has a new interview with Billy Collins. In it, the two-time U.S. Poet Laureate and "most popular poet in America" discusses his rivalries with poets from Emily Dickinson to Ron Padgett, explains why "transparency" has no place in poetry, and celebrates the pleasures of disorientation in the age of the GPS.

New Lit on the Block :: Boiling River

Boiling River is a new web-based poetry journal edited by Issa Lewis. The publication accepts "all types" of poetry and encourages its writers to "take risks with their writing."

Lewis comments that this inaugural issue took a bit more time to bring to publication than she had expected, but it's no wonder when you take a look at the first issue's line up: Melissa Amen, Lana Hechtman Ayers, Lea Banks, Cynthia M. Bargar, Lisa Marie Brodsky, Courtney J. Campbell, SuZanne C. Cole, Lea Deschenes, Nancy Devine, Eddie Dowe, Roberta P. Feins, Michael Fisher, John Flynn, Maria D. Laso, Jackson Lassiter, Amy MacLennan , Thomas Michael McDade, Stephen Mead, Laura Miller, Anne Britting Oleson, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Christina Pacosz, Jacqueline Powers, Michael Schmeltzer, J.R. Solonche, Aline Soules, Alex Stolis, Angela Velez.

Boiling River is currently open for submissions until September 1.

Shark Poetry Winners

Know any shark lovers? The Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach, CA) held a poetry contest to salute the Aquarium’s Shark Summer. Aquarium members and guests were invited to participate; poets were asked to express their feelings about sharks and/or rays and to use no more than 200 words. All entries were judged by poets Will Alexander and Jeffrey Yang and Aquarium President and CEO Jerry Schubel and four winners were selected:

First Place - Ellaraine Lockie
Second Place - Anna Leahy
Third Place (tied) - Benjamin Morris and Donna Ashbaugh

All poems are available on the aquarium's website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Calls for Submissions & NewPages Updates

Calls for Submissions updated (dated 8/25) - lots of quality publications, anthologies, and inaugural issues looking for fresh, new, writers and established voices.

Welcome these new additions to the NewPages Guides. Visit the NewPages homepage for links to all of our guides.

Contests updated regularly.

Literary Magazines
College Hill Review - essays in criticism of the arts and humanities, review essays, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction
There Journal – poetry, art, essays, activism
Aethlon - poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, book reviews
Coe Review - poetry, fiction
Euphony - poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, nonfiction, drama
Of(f)course - poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, concerts, art
Poetry Miscellany - poetry, essay, translation, photography
out of nothing - image, sound, text, digital arts

Conferences, Workshops, Seminars
Milton Conference

Indie Record Labels
Fire Museum Records

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Professor Lindhauer's Museum Studies Books by Alyssa Salomon

To Kill or Not To Kill Fee

Writer Beware blogger Victoria Strauss discusses the different definitions of "kill fees" in today's world of publishing, and why she thinks they're bad mojo.

Interview with Rachel Hadas

Check out Contemporary Poetry Review's interview with poet Rachel Hadas, which explores the role of poet-critics ("Inevitable task? Obligation?...I think I probably felt fairly early on that reviewing teaches you what you really think about a writer; that I had as much of a right to write about poetry as other young poets did...") and the "health" of poetry as art ("This question seems to invite a kind of pontificating I’d rather avoid." - ah, but she doesn't).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reading Healthcare from the Outside

The brutal truth about America’s healthcare
, a story from The Independent (UK) offers an outsider's rhetoric on America's current issues of health care and politics - a perspective more often read by Americans about other countries. (via Alan Sondheim)

Two Words: New Blog on Lit and Translation

A note from Scott Esposito from The Center for the Art of Translation announcing a new blog, Two Words:

We're eager to make the blog a resource for people who love literature, especially the translated variety. Already there are a number of interesting articles up, and in the next few months we'll be publishing interviews with authors and translators, original articles written just for Two Words, and news on international authors.

You'll also find links to audio from our series of events in San Francisco. We're working on making several years’ of audio available, and you can currently hear people like Edith Grossman, Robert Hass, and Yoko Tawada talk about literature and translation.

To give an idea of what to expect on Two Words, here are some recent posts:

Susan Bernofsky on translation

Jose Manuel Prieto on diamond forgery and his novel Rex


Yerra Sugarman on the Yiddish modernist poet Celia Dropkin and her ties to Sylvia Plath

Cool Schools Near You

The September/October issue of Sierra features their annual annual honor roll of "Cool Schools," selecting the top ten colleges that "not only teach about a better world but also do something about it." Runners up are included to total 20 top schools; the website lists all 135 schools reviewed.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Apostrophe Cast Reading Series Podcast

Previously posted but missing link (sorry readers!):

Edited by Guy Benjamin Brookshire, Amanda Choi, Danielle Roderick, and John Dermot Woods, Apostrophe Cast is a bi-weekly online reading series, delivered as a podcast. Every other Wednesday evening they post a new reading from a different writer. One author, one reading. You can listen directly from the site or subscribe to the podcast and have MP3's of readings delivered to automatically.

With this impressive list of authors, I can't believe there isn't someone already there for everyone, with the promise of more to come:

James Belflower
Joan Biddle
Matt Bondurant
Randall Brown
Blake Butler
Amina Cain
Brian Connell
Mark Ehling
Dandy Elf
Brian Evenson
Daniel Groves
Garth Risk Hallberg
Clane Hayward
Sheila Heti
B.J. Hollars
MC Hyland
Kristen Iskandrian
Shane Jones
Porochista Khakpour
Matthew Kirkpatrick
Michael Kimball
Amy King
Mark Leidner
Sam Lipsyte
Andrew Lundwall
Sabrina Orah Mark
Josh Maday
Carson Mell
Richard Nathan
Celeste Ng
Alissa Nutting
Ned Oldham
Danielle Pafunda
Joshua Parkinson
Cecily Parks
Sheri Reynolds
Mary Phillips-Sandy
Jane Sandor
Shanthi Sekaran
Richard Siken
Claudia Smith
Nida Sophasarun
Donna Stonecipher
Michael Swierz
Ben Tanzer
Allison Titus
Jesse Toussaint & Dent Sweat
Harry Thomas
William Walsh
James Warner
Caki Wilkinson
Ryan Wilson
Ying Xu

Passings :: Richard Poirier

Richard Poirier on passed away on August 15, 2009, at the age of 83. The College Hill Review blog has provided an extensive list of web resources associated with his work, recognizing him as "a teacher, mentor, and friend" to many CHR contributors, and that "He taught at Williams and Harvard before coming to Rutgers University in 1962 where he built one of the most respected department of English Studies in the country."

Friday, August 21, 2009

More Austen Mash-ups Expected.

Apparently, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies just wasn't enough for fans of the new "mash-up" genre - more adaptations are on the way. As a major Austen fan, I'll be taking a pass on these. I did try to read P&P&Z, but couldn't make it past the first dance sequence - reminds me a bit too much of adolescent gore-mongering. I wasn't into it then, either. Though, perhaps there is a silver lining in that people who might not otherwise have read Austen now are - ? Does this count as reading Austen? Better than Cliff Notes, at least?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

iPhone Haiku Contest

"AMF’s [Ann Marie Fleming's] stickgirl has been busy exploring her brand new iPhone and needs your help in developing her very own free, collaborative poetry application. This application will work like a snow-globe oracle: ask stickgirl a BIG LIFE question, shake the iPhone, letters with float through the air, settling to form a haiku, based on your query. Stickgirl will then interpret the poem, and tell you your fortune, leaving the reader with a pearl of uplifting daily wisdom. In order for this app to be successful we need a lot of poetry. We’re inviting you to fill out the form below and submit your original haikus. We will use your haikus in our iPhone app, and recognize your contribution on our website." Deadline Sept 1 (Sleepy Dog Film Films)

The History of Rock Music

I'm told it's one of the most complete sources on the web.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fire Museum Records

A very small but amazingly eclectic label, Fire Museum Records is worth checking out. I've just ordered AZADI! benefit compilation CD for the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA). "A diverse 2-CD set of avant-rock, electronic, world, experimental, jazz, folk, noise, improv, hip-hop, dancefloor, and modern classical music."

20 Minute Loop is one of 34 artists from the SFBay area and around the globe featured on this 2-hour album.

To Hell with Publishing

From Emma Young at To Hell with Publishing, UK:

We’re a young publishing house with a new direction. In our first two years we published works by the likes of Kevin Cummins and Michael Smith, and we are now about to launch the fourth edition of To Hell with Journals, a literary journal with a lifespan of 26 issues. The first three have been guest-edited by Lee Brackstone, Hisham Matar and Lisa India Baker and our new edition will be edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist (curator of the Serpentine Gallery). In Andrew O’Hagan words: "The Kingdom of literature was built on the genius of small magazines, and none is more vital nowadays than To Hell with Journals."

To Hell with Publishing was founded with the aim of reviving the role of the independent press in the UK’s literary scene and inspired by the movement kick-started by Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights bookshop.

We’re a small and truly independent publisher with a new business model to limit risk for the first time novelist (without taking the fun out of it).

We want to kick-start the careers of writers who are capable of creating quality fiction and we want the list to reflect our own eclectic and free-spirited reading habits. We choose to champion new writing and have therefore had to find a new way of publishing during these incredibly difficult times.

There’s more info on our new imprint here.

For people who already have a literary agent, we are also now accepting submissions for To Hell with Prizes. The deadline for submissions is October 2009 and all the details are on our website. The inaugural award of £5000 will be presented at an awards ceremony in April 2010.

Monday, August 17, 2009

NewPages Updates

Literary Magazines
The Cartier Street Review
Moloch
Diverse Issues Quarterly – poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, art

Bookstores
Black & Nobel - Philadelphia, PA

Retreats
Live Free & Write (NH)
Piper's Frith: Writing at Kilmory Resort (NL, CA)

Academic Rent-a-Book

In the rapidly evolving college textbook market, one of the nation’s largest textbook publishers, Cengage Learning - one of the largest textbook publishers in the nation - has announced they will start renting textbooks at 40 to 70 percent of the sale price. Students can get the first chapter as a download while they wait for the book to arrive, then rent it for 60, 90, or 130 days, after which they can return the book or opt to buy it. One of the benefits of this process, aside from saving students money, is that the authors of the books receive royalties on each rental, just as they do on first-sale - something they did not receive in traditional buy back and resale.

No word on how much highlighting and notes in the margins they'll accept - ?

New Lit on the Block :: The Collagist

Dzanc Books, who I think should receive an award for being the "most everywhere" new indie publisher, has yet another endeavor to entice readers and writers: The Collagist online literary journal.

The Collagist is edited by Matt Bell with Matthew Olzmann as Poetry Editor. The debut issue includes fiction by Chris Bachelder, Kevin Wilson, Kim Chinquee, Matthew Salesses, and Gordon Lish, plus an excerpt from Laird Hunt's forthcoming novel Ray of the Star. Charles Jensen, Oliver de la Paz, and Christina Kallery each contribute several new poems, and Ander Monson and David McLendon offer unique takes on the personal essay. The Collagist's first book review section includes coverage of Terry Galloway's Mean Little Deaf Queer, Michal Ajvaz's The Other City, and Brian Evenson's Fugue State, as well as a video review of Jonathan Baumbach's You, or the Invention of Memory.

This issue will also extend onto a blog, which will feature interviews with contributors and audio and video readings of work found in the issue, all of which will also be available as a podcast through iTunes.

Really you guys, what's next? Why am I envisioning something in outer space?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Calls for Submissions Updated

Hello August! NewPages Calls for Submissions has been updated. All new additions are at the top. Scroll down for previous posts; expired posts are removed. If you know of a CFS you'd like considered for listing - or one find one that needs to be removed - please drop me a line: denisehill-at-newpages-dot-com

Job :: PT Writing Specialist Western Conn State

Writing Specialist
Part Time – 19 hours per week

Western Connecticut State University is seeking an energetic and dynamic person to provide assistance to college students with disabilities. Candidate must demonstrate the ability to work effectively with students one-on-one with consecutive appointments.

Qualifications: Experience working as a teacher or tutor preferred. Bachelor's degree required, Master's or Master's in progress preferred. Must possess strong editorial skills; a good command of grammar, punctuation, bibliography formats, outline development and components of research and creative writing assignments; and excellent interpersonal communication skills. Experience/commitment to working with students with disabilities is preferred as is a demonstrated understanding of best practices for teaching writing to students with learning disabilities. The ability to establish and maintain appropriate boundaries with students is required.

Application Process: Send letter of application, resume, and contact information of three professional references to: Ms. Deborah Cohen, AccessAbility Services Coordinator, Western Connecticut State University, 181 White St., Danbury, CT 06810, or via email: cohende@wcsu.edu. Review of applications begins immediately and continues until the position is filled. Western is an AA/EEO Educator/Employer.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Seneca Review Interviews

Seneca Review has an interview series with essayists on the subject of the essay form and on the essays of theirs that have run in the publication. The interviews are an online exclusive, not published in the print journal, and the essays from the print publication are included.

According to Seneca Review Editor David Weiss and Lyric Essay Editor John D’Agata: "Our aim is to create an archive of ideas about the essay and the working aesthetics and practice of writers we’re publishing, writers who are exploring the reaches of the essay form. We’d like, as well, to create an environment for discussion."

So far, the website includes the following essayist interviews:

Volume 38, No. 2
An Interview with Aaron Kunin by Tom Fleischmann
An Interview with Stephen Kuusisto by Ryan Van Meter
An Interview with Brian Christian by Tom Fleischmann

Volume 38, No. 1
An Interview with Thalia Field by Ashley Butler, Tom Fleischmann, April Freeley and Riley Hanick

Free Childrens eBooks

Sylvan Dell Publishing just released its new next generation eBooks. They are offering all 45 titles in a free eBook trial until October 31. The eBooks feature Auto-Flip, Auto-Read, Flipviewer Technology and Selectable Language (English or Spanish with more language choices are on the way). Instructions for using the books are also provided on the site (instructions for using a book? now that sounds weird). The link above will automatically insert the code necessary to access the books (MSBL9J).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Lit on the Block :: Diverse Voices Quarterly

The Mission Statement of Diverse Voices Quarterly reads: "There are many fantastic literary journals out there, looking specifically for submissions from women, feminists, gays/lesbians, Jewish, Christian, African-American, et al. In creating this online literary journal, we’re providing an outlet for AND by everyone: every age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and religious background. This journal will, in essence, celebrate and unify diversity."

Volume 1 Issues 1 & 2 is available online as a PDF and includes a truly diverse list of contributors: Andrew Abbott, Don Blankenship, Benjamin Dancer, Laury A. Egan, Gail Eisenhart, Anthony Frame, Laura Yates Fujita, Jonterri Gadson, F.I. Goldhaber, Cora Goss-Grubbs, Taylor Gould, Heather Haldeman, Tim Kahl, Oloye Karade, Deborah Kent, Martha Krystapon, Bob Marcacci, Mira Martin-Parker, Tiberiu Neacsu, Diane Parisella-Katris, Diana Park, Amy S. Peele, Rhodora V. Penaranda, Julia Phillips, Charlotte Seley, Wayne Scheer , Joseph Somoza , Elizabeth Kate Switaj, Jacob Uitti, Earl J. Wilcox, Ernest Williamson III.

DVQ is currently accepting submissions of poetry, short stories, essays/CNF and artwork for its next issue until Oct 31.

Photography: Where I Write

Where I Write: Fantasy & Science Fiction Authors in Their Creative Spaces

Graduate Student Spotlight Feature

The Honey Land Review has designed a spotlight feature to highlight the work of current graduate students. Their intention is "to maintain a forum where graduate students can showcase their work as well as provide some insight into the many wonderful creative writing programs available to writers today."

If you are a current MA or MFA graduate poetry student at an accredited university and would like to be considered for our Graduate Student Spotlight Feature, simply indicate that in the body of the email containing your submission. The Honey Land Review will consider your work for both the Graduate Student Feature as well as the “open call.”

Monday, August 10, 2009

Michigan Quarterly Review New Editor

The Summer 2009 issue of Michigan Quarterly Review welcomes Jonathan Freedman as the new editor, transitioning the close of Laurence Goldstein's thirty-two year career with the publication.

The Future of Fiction

The newest issue of American Book Review (July/August 2009) takes on the issue of Fiction's Future, and includes a plethora of "Words, Sentences, Quotes" from three dozen or so writers on the issue - each its own starting point for further consideration.

Jeffrey R. Di Leo and Tom Williams, Focus Editors, start off their editorial with one of the greatest exchanges in all of film - from The Graduate, between Ben and Mr. McGuire (one word - plastics), and create their own exchange with their own "one word" (I'm not telling what it is - go read the editorial).

In relation to the future of fiction, Di Leo and Williams write: "While Ben didn’t ask Mr. McGuire about the future (Mr. McGuire volunteered it), we did ask over three hundred writers, critics, and scholars about the future of fiction. Responses varied from one word (James Whorton, Jr.’s “C-SPAN,” Stephen J. Burn’s “Neural,” and Vanessa Place’s “Conceptualism”), to a quote (Brian Evenson quotes Glenn Gould and Samuel Beckett, and Lance Olsen quotes Franz Kafka and Jerzy Kosinski), to a sentence—and sometimes many more (hey, just in case we’re paying by the word, right?)."

ABR also includes "Elaborations" on Fiction's Future, as well as, of course, a slew of book reviews.

Hugo Awards 2009

The Hugo Awards for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy, first awarded in 1953 and every year since 1955, are run by and voted on by fans and are awarded each year at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).

•Best Novel: The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury UK)
•Best Novella: “The Erdmann Nexus”, Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
•Best Novelette: “Shoggoths in Bloom”, Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008)
•Best Short Story: “Exhalation”, Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
•Best Related Book: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008, John Scalzi (Subterranean Press)
•Best Graphic Story: Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones, Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
•Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)
•Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon, & Maurissa Tancharoen, writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
•Best Editor Short Form: Ellen Datlow
•Best Editor Long Form: David G. Hartwell
•Best Professional Artist: Donato Giancola
•Best Semiprozine: Weird Tales, edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal
•Best Fan Writer: Cheryl Morgan
•Best Fanzine: Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
•Best Fan Artist: Frank Wu

And the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (presented by Dell Magazines): David Anthony Durham

Bigger and Bigger and Bigger

Barnes & Noble, Inc.the world's largest bookseller, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, Inc., a leading contract operator of college bookstores in the United States, in a transaction valued at $596 million, or approximately $460 million net of College's cash on hand on the expected closing date.

College operates 624 college bookstores through multi-year management services contracts, serving nearly 4 million students and over 250,000 faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Founded in 1965, College has a diversified, predictable and growing revenue stream derived from the sale of textbooks and course-related materials, emblematic apparel and gifts, trade books, school and dorm supplies, and convenience and cafe items.

Full story here.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Interm Positions at Small Press Traffic

From Samantha Giles, Executive Director of Small Press Traffic:

At Small Press Traffic, we believe a culturally diverse avant-garde is key to a relevant American Literature. Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center promotes and supports writers from all over the globe-- particularly those who push the limits of how we speak and think about the world. Since 1974 SPT has been at the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area innovative writing scenes, bringing together independent readers, writers and presses through publications, conferences, talks, and our influential reading series. For more information, please check us out on the web at www.sptraffic.org

Interns will have the opportunity to meet nationally known writers, learn about how non-profit literary arts agencies work, and assist in the Friday/Saturday Night reading series and Saturday workshop/talks. Other benefits include exposure to a wide-range of writers and their work. (And free refreshments at the readings!)

We are looking for people who are flexible, reliable, and willing to take on all kinds of tasks, such as selling tickets at the door for readings, soliciting and collecting donations from local businesses, and visiting classrooms and helping to publicize SPT events. Please have interested students contact us at: smallpresstraffic_at_gmail_dot_com

Friday, August 07, 2009

2nd River Free Online Chapbooks

Free chapbooks are a great resource for readers and teachers! New at 2River is How the World Was Made, a new collection of prose poems by Christien Gholson and number 20 in the 2River Chapbook Series. The chapbook can be read online, or to make your own print copy, click Chap-A-Book to download a PDF, which you can then print double-sided, fold, and staple to have a personal copy of Gholson's chapbook.

2nd River accepts submissions for their chapbook series. Submissions should consist of no more than 23 poems, and authors are asked to browse the series before submitting to be sure their work is a good match for 2nd River.

2nd River is also currently accepting submissions of unpublished poetry (June 1 - Aug 31) for their fall 2009 issue.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Tupelo & Crazyhorse 'First Book' Winner & Finalists

Tupelo Press is pleased to announce the results of this year's 10th annual First Book Award. The editors of Tupelo Press and the literary journal Crazyhorse have selected the manuscript The Maturation of Man by Daniel Khalastchi of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The annual contest will open again in early 2010.

Finalists for the award:

Ari Banias of Brooklyn, New York
Laurie Capps of Austin, Texas
Brett Foster of Wheaton, Illinois
Christina Hutchins of Albany, California
Tanya Larkin of Somerville, Massachusetts
Dawn Lonsinger of Salt Lake City, Utah
Jynne Martin of Brooklyn, New York
Kathy Nilsson of Cambridge, Massachusetts
Addie Palin of Chicago, Illinois
Juliet Rodeman of Columbia, Missouri
Amanda Rachelle Warren of Aiken, South Carolina

PEN Names New Director

PEN American Center, the largest branch of International PEN - the world's oldest literary and human rights organization - announced the appointment of Steven L. Isenberg as Executive Director, effective immediately. For the past six years, Mr. Isenberg was a Visiting Professor of Humanities at the University of Texas (Austin). During his distinguished career, Mr. Isenberg has served in a variety of leadership roles in journalism, government, academia and law, including prior positions as interim President and Chairman of the Board of Adelphi University, Publisher of New York Newsday, Executive Vice President of the Los Angeles Times, and as Chief of Staff to New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay. (PR Release from PEN)

A Celebration of the Life of Harold Norse

Friends, colleagues and fans of Harold Norse, who died June 8, 2009, got together for a memorial celebration at the Cornelia Street Cafe in NY. The event was recorded and is available in three parts for listening/downloading on the Acoustic Levitation website.

Part One: Opening Remarks by Valery Oisteanu

Part Two: Valery Oisteanu, Angelo Verga, George Wallace, Ira Cohen

Part Three: Judith Malina, Max Blagg, Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, Steve Dalachinsky, Shelley Miller, Tom Walker

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

NativeWiki

NativeWiki is a free, open-to-the-public library of information about indigenous nations and peoples (past and present) of the world. NativeWiki feature major sections on Nations and Peoples, Documents and Materials, Geographic Regions and a Picture Gallery of selected images. Begun in April, 2007, NativeWiki currently has 1,305 content pages, 1,176 media files, and 2,106 registered contributors.

NewPages Updates

Lit Mags
Inscribed - fiction, essays, poetry, and artwork
Pax Americana - poetry and prose

Bookstore
inxpot Keystone, CO

Record Label
Acoustic Forest

Conferences
The Writers' Workshop of Asheville

Publishers
Toby Press

Contests

Monday, August 03, 2009

Collaborate through Create Culture

Posted previously, Create Culture has introduced a new section called "Collaborate!" for members to post and find calls for collaboration. Whether your are looking for a composer for your new choreography, seeking a partner for studio space or engaging others in online projects, "Collaborate!" is the space to post to connect with others.

New Lit on the Block :: The Cartier Street Review

The masthead of The Cartier Street Review is a testament to the opportunities online publications have opened for literary ventures: Founding Editor Bernard Alain hails from Ottawa, Canada, Principal Editor Joy Leftow and Assistant Editor "Dubblex" from New York, and staff member Thomas Hubbard from Puget Sound, Washington.

TCSR is a quarterly online publication of poetry and art. Currently, TCSR utilizes Issue for its online publishing, but is also now considering producing one print copy per year. TCSR accepts contemporary poetry, articles on contemporary poetry, short prose, poet interviews and poetry and book reviews. TCSR endeavors to be an international literary magazine and will publish in other languages alongside translation if desired.

TCSR is currently accepting submissions for their next issue, due out in October.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The ABCs of Enlightenment

I can only imagine Robert Day must have been (still is even after retirement 2007?) some sort of fixture at Washington College, and how lucky both must have been. I got a hold of his book, The ABCs of Enlightenment: Essays on Teaching and Learning after having mentioned a piece of his in a review of World Literature Today. Robert wrote to me: “No good deed goes unpunished” and had the book sent along with a corresponding poster of the ABCs. More on that later.

The book itself is a slim volume, readable within a week’s worth of bus rides to campus. It’s simple but beautiful, having been produced by the Literary House Press of Washington College – part of the Rose O’Neill Literary House, both of which Robert is founder. The book is a collection of essays that had originally been commissioned by and appeared in print newspapers, and all are indeed expressions of enlightenment, as well as enlightening. It’s one of those kinds of books you read and feel your mind swirling off into another realm, the coming back down as the bus comes to your stop a bit unnerving, walking away still feeling a little floaty in thought.

The first essay, "Tales Out of School," takes Day’s work with the press into perspective with his teaching. He recounts several different times and places, encounters that have stayed with him through these years, tales he tells interspersed with his work at the press with Mike Kaylor, then master printer. One of my favorite “tales” is an encounter he has with a young woman student who tells him she wants to be poet, but doesn’t “want to be influenced by poets.” She doesn’t read poetry, and doesn’t want to, but wants Day to read her poetry (in spiral bound notebooks). His advice to her ends with: “Go now. Write more poems. But show them to no one – not even me – lest I steal the purity of your vision. Be unique and stay by yourself. Very much by yourself.” It’s brilliantly funny, and bold, but is told to balance, or perhaps mask, a seemingly humiliating story he won’t tell, about the time he ‘badly advised’ Bob Shacochis. Each of the ‘tales’ is like this, a bit raw to read, but each a connection that can be made to those of us who have been in the teaching trenches and have those stories to tell, and those we won’t.

“Print It as It Stands – Beautifully,” is even more directly about Day’s work in the press and what it means to him both as a writer and a teacher. How different the press is vs. the computer screen. It was funny to read about how he works with students at the press, has them printing poetry broadsides which none of them then want to write on when they bring them to class to study and discuss the poetry. I felt exactly the same way in reading this volume, so many times wanting to pen notes in the margins, but something about the beauty of the pages stopped me every time. There is something fascinating and romantic about the workings of a letterpress, as Day explains: “The letterpress requires that you spend time with letters, with the type used to represent words, with the whole nine yards, as the students say. I wonder if it makes words worth more to the student who sets them in type than to the student who, like myself at this moment, flashes them onto a computer screen.”

Other essays in the collection include Day’s encounter with Allen Ginsberg who had come to Washington College to read: “Allen Ginsberg Levitates Chestertown” – in which Ginsberg leads a group of Ohm-chanting students and townspeople (complete with finger cymbals and guitar) to levitate the city jail. “Famous Education” considers the Sophie Kerr Prize – what happens to the “other half” of the money, and more over, whatever becomes of those who win – do they become famous?

The title essay, “The ABCs of Enlightenment” is an A-Z essay of commentary from Day’s decades of teaching. As he writes, if he were to give a talk to his opening freshman class that was “more of a general talk on how to get a generous education – not just from professors and classes, but from the college at large, and for yourself in particular,” it would be from his “alphabet of notes.” This particular essay was also reprinted in a poster form – from the Literary House Press. I was fortunate enough to receive this gorgeous work of art – and wish I could tell readers how to get a hold of one, but am not sure if they are still available. I’d say contact the press if you were interested. The alphabet is indeed enlightening as well as enjoyable to read, with plenty of cross referencing that is entertaining in itself. A couple letters to mention to give an idea of the scope of “advice”: Baseball, C (letter grade), Delphi, Emulation, French, “I don’t want to” (a message to young men), Nabokov, Phones, Strunk and White, X-ing, and Zeal. The book is worth seeking out just for this essay – not to mention the poster.

The book closes with “Parts of Their Night: An Elegy for Our Professors,” and is both profound and touching enough to have brought tears to my eyes at the close.

Whether through the book or by researching the original newspaper columns, these essays are very much worth seeking out and reading – for teachers, for writers, and just for those who enjoy thoughtful insight that enlightens without preaching – through honesty, humility, and humor.

Thank you Robert Day.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Treedom

Treedom: The Road to Freedom is a collection of photographs and reflections by "Japan's Foremost Master Treehouse Builder" Takashi Kobayashi. "Treedom" is more than just about Kobayashi, as it encompasses a whole community of like-minded and activist individual. Even the concept of tree house in Treedom is one developed a bit further than those platform structures we knew as children, but clearly related to those roots: "the term tree house refers simply to any structure built on the boughs and limbs of living trees. We who build these structures are not architects; our aim rather, through art and free expression, is to break down the feeling of separation that exists between humans and nature. For those who share our values and free spirit we have a name: 'Tree house people.'" [from TreeHouse People]

The hardcover text is beautifully rendered in full-bleed images and text overlay throughout. It also includes a DVD documentary, some of which mirrors the content of the book, but also helps to give a greater sense of the scope and passion of Kobayashi's work. He is unique in his commitment to trees and building artfully amazing structures sometimes hundred of feet above ground. And, as "fun" as it may sound, his is a story of struggle - against the norm, and to find a place for himself when he is not most at home in his tress, but among other people. Certainly a book, documentary, and life story to be admired by artists who have ever dreamed of living their work, and for the rest of us who simply appreciate the dream.