Friday, December 31, 2010

Facebook In & As Literature

Volume 12 Issue 4 of Iron Horse Literary Review (published six times a year) is "The Facebook Issue" (which, by the way, you can "like" on their website). Editor Leslie Jill Patterson writes: "When we opened our call for submissions to the Iron Horse Facebook issue, most of the manuscripts we received focused upon the ironies of Facebook - a social networking Web site that so many writers both love and hate. One of the reasons I like FB is that it somehow encourages all of my friends, not just the writers I know, to tell stories and pay attention to language. I like the way we narrate on FB, the way our words surprise and entertain, as if we're at a huge dinner party and each of us is vying to be the most interesting guest."

Patterson goes on with comments such as "Do 'friends' honestly care..." and "But maybe we're not supposed to stay in touch with our pasts." and "But the truth is, no one is honest on FB. Not that we lie outright." and discusses the contributions to this collection that explore each of these and more issues related to this form of hyper-social networking.

Contributors include (poetry) Robert Fanning, Laura McCullough, Juliana Gray, Steve Langan, Tamiko Beyer, Jennifer A. Luebbers, Randall BrowN; (fiction) Mike Land AND Shane Castle; (nonfiction) Mike Hampton, Katie Schneider, and Dinty W. Moore.

Paper Planner for Writers

Still using paper planners? Then Small Beer Press has something you writers might be interested in for yourself or a writer you know - A Working Writer’s Daily Planner includes "information writers need to organize their work schedules, track upcoming deadlines, and learn about grant opportunities, contests, and workshop programs....You’ll also find information on How to Find a Writing Group – Or Start Your Own, writing conferences, advice on formatting manuscripts, suggested readings, and the dos and don’ts of submitting your work to journals, magazines, and literary agents."

Full table of contents and an excerpt link available on the Small Beer Press website, with a discount offered for multiple copies.

Gulliver's Travels Gets Gutted

"The movie industry has a long history of raiding literature, great or otherwise, for inspiration and then discarding whatever parts of the original don't fit into a preestablished mold; readers of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz would be hard-pressed to recognize large chunks of the 1939 film. But in the case of Gulliver's Travels, the gulf between page and screen is vast, yawning -- abysmal, even." Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Disney's Tangled do not escape being made further example of in How Hollywood Guts Children's Classics by Sam Adams on

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tired of Top 10 Lists Yet?

John Sutherland's Top 10 Books About Books on The Guardian.

Literary Films

Jacket Copy list of literary films for your holiday down time: "adaptations from novels, short stories, a comic series, biopics, one documentary and fictional renderings of the writing life. And when we got started, it turned out there were just too many, so we imposed rules: no miniseries or film trilogies -- so no Lord of the Rings (sorry). Most important, we picked only one movie per year...going back to 1982."

USD Visiting Creative Writer

The University of South Dakota invites applications for a Visiting Creative Writer for the 2011- 12 academic year. Teaching experience and book publication are required, as is an MFA in Creative Writing or a PhD in English (or equivalent). Additional publications, readings, and presentations are desirable. Appointment runs August 22, 2011 to May 21, 2012. Screening begins January 31.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Narrative Fall Story Contest Winners

Ther Narrative Fall Story Contest Winners and Finalists have been announced:

Heather Brittain Bergstrom, "Reading Henry James in the Suburbs"

Alexander Maksik, "The Barbarians"

Russell Working, "The Vanishing"

Greg Brown
Julie Dearborn
Rachel Ewing
Abby Frucht
Ann Harleman
Marc Kaufman
Jerry D. Mathes II
Marsha Rabe
Greta Schuler
Lauren Taylor

The Winter 2011 Story Contest, with a $3,250 First Prize, a $1,500 Second Prize, a $750 Third Prize, and ten finalists receiving $100 each. Open to fiction and nonfiction. All entries will be considered for publication. Contest deadline: March 31, 2011.

Representation in Literature for Young Adults

Minnesota educators struggle to find books, especially fiction, depicting Muslim young people in America: "It is extremely important for young people to read stories reflecting their ethnicity and/or religion in order to feel like worthwhile human beings," said Freda Shamma, director of curriculum development for the Foundation for the Advancement and Development of Education and Learning, based in Cincinnati. "The absence of such stories leads to poor grades in school, feelings of loneliness and alienation, and low self-esteem," said Shamma, who is working on an anthology of Muslim literature directed at middle-school-age students.

Read more on The Star Tribune: Missing character in kids' literature: Muslims by Norman Draper.

Holocaust Memoir as Literature and History

"Literature is supplementary, not antithetical, to history: it allows, and in the best instances demands readers to universalize, empathize, to visualize and imagine, not merely to be informed...Literature, though, affects us in ways that even the most brutal history cannot. It vivifies and propels an event, however geographically and temporally and psychologically removed, towards the personal and immediate. If history teaches and (harshly) informs, then literature rouses and intimately disturbs. Literature is an emotional chronicle, a history of the intangible, a quest to impart sentiment, not information. Conveyance of the Holocaust is an impossible but necessary appeal to our imagination; and literature is the pathos to history's logos. Not merely learning about, but identifying with." Read the rest on The Atlantic: The Holocaust's Uneasy Relationship With Literature by Menachem Kaiser, Fulbright Fellow in Lithuania.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Passings :: Janine Pommy Vega

Janine Pommy Vega author of eighteen books and chapbooks since 1968, including The Green Piano (2005), her first CD, Across the Table, recorded in Woodstock, and from live performances in Italy and Bosnia (2007), and an Italian translation of her travel book Tracking the Serpent (Sulle tracce del serpente, Nutrimenti, Rome - 20007) died peacefully at home on December 23, 2010.

Vega performed with music and solo, in English and Spanish, in international poetry festivals, museums, prisons, universities, cafes, nightclubs, and migrant workers' camps in South America, North America and Europe. She was the Director of Incisions/Arts, an organization of writers working with people behind bars; she taught inside prisons for more than twenty-five years, and taught a course in poetics for Bard Prison Initiative. She worked as well in creative writing programs in public schools, elementary through high school-all grades for over twenty years.

Information from Janine Pommy Vega's official website. Photo by John Sarsgard, 2009.

Art We Like :: Amanda N. Simons

Amanda N. Simons grew up in a small town north of Flint, Michigan and is now an artist and educator in Michigan. I happened to view her art at a poetry reading at Court Street Gallery in Saginaw, and immediately fell in love with her collage style, including the use of sewing patterns in her artwork.

We Love Librarians!

Patti Updikem, the Webb Street School (NY) media specialist, is one of 10 librarians nationwide recognized with the 2010 I Love My Librarian Award for her work in adapting literery classics for students with cognitive disabilities.

Other winners include:

Paul "The Library Guy" Clark
Clay County Library System
Fleming Island, FL

Ellen M. Dolan
Shrewsbury Public Library
Shrewsbury, MA

Melissa McCollum
County of Los Angeles Public Library
Lawndale Library
Lawndale, CA

Christine Wagner
Goodman South Madison Branch Library
Madison, WI

Kelly McDaniel
Helen King Middle School
Portland, Maine

Doug Valentine
McKillop Elementary School
Melissa, TX

Laura Blake
Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Jeff Dowdy
Bainbridge College Library
Bainbridge, GA

Stephanie Wittenbach
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
San Antonio, TX

Writer Beware Blogs on Contests

Writer Beware Blogs! offers a post on Some Tips on Evaluating Literary Contests. As a reminder to our readers, NewPages has a list of what we consider to be "quality" contests run by publications and publishers. These are not paid advertisements. Readers using sources from our list who run into any problems or concerns with the contests should contact us immediately and we will work to resolve the issue or remove the listing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

OutLoud Bookstore Closing

After 15 years of serving the GLBT and progressive communities of Middle Tennessee and the larger Mid-South Region, OutLoud! Bookstore is closing.

Poetry Derailed

Headlines read: NYC subway service ads replace poetry, literature. Bummer. I enjoyed reading those when in NY.

Dr. Seuss Soundtrack & Live-Action Film

From The Northwestern: The once-lost soundtrack to Dr. Seuss's first and only live-action film can now be heard in its entirety after a laborious two and one half year restoration project that included the work of a professor from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Letras Latinas 2010 Poetry Roundup

Posted on the Letras Latinas, weblog of the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame, A Year in Poetry 2010: Poetry collections published by a Latino or Latina poet this year — with author links.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Young Authors - The Blue Pencil Online

The editors of The Blue Pencil Online —all artists-in-training in the Writing & Publishing Program at Walnut Hill School for the Arts — publish "the freshest, most imaginative examples of literary craft by young writers (12-18 years) around the world." In addition to poems, stories, and plays, they consider single-sentence experiments on selected topics ("Pencil Shavings"), audio readings of compelling literary works ("Out Loud!"), writers' discoveries of the elements of good writing ("A Good Read"), and reflections on the revision process ("The Draft Board"). To learn about submitting work, visit the Writers' Guidelines.

Currently, the editors of The Blue Pencil Online invite young writers to submit poetry, fiction, and playwriting to the annual Elizabeth Bishop Prizes. Offering $45,000 in scholarships, the Prizes honor Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Elizabeth Bishop, who was a student at Walnut Hill from 1927 to 1930. Since 2004, the members of the Writing & Publishing Program, who constitute the panel of judges for the Prizes, have considered "thousands of submissions by young wordsmiths around the globe." Submissions are accepted online only, and the deadline is February 1 at noon.

Visit the NewPages Young Authors Guide for more publications for writers and readers alike as well as contests specifically for K-12 and early college students.

Glimmer Train Family Matters Contest Winners

Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their October Family Matters competition. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers for stories about family. Word count should not exceed 12,000. (All shorter lengths welcome.)

The next Family Matters competition will take place in April. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

First place: Lee Montgomery [pictured], of Portland, OR, wins $1200 for “Torture Techniques of North Americans.” Her story will be published in the Spring 2012 issue of Glimmer Train Stories.

Second place: Graham Arnold, of Toronto, Ontario, wins $500 for “A Difference of Nothing.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing his prize to $700.

Third place: Maggie Shipstead of Atherton, CA, wins $300 for “The Sadness that Radiates from God.”

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

Deadline soon approaching: Fiction Open: Jan 2

Glimmer Train hosts this competition quarterly, and first place is $2000 plus publication in the journal. It’s open to all writers, no theme restrictions, and the word count range is 2000-20,000.

Click here for complete guidelines.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Play Writing & Play Reading Series

The Hudson Valley Writers' Center has begun a new play writing and play reading series, a venture Executive Assistant Ryan Conatti considers a response to a "lack of outlets for new plays and playwrights." The series begins with an open contest from which three plays will be selected and read at the Hudson Vally Writers' Center in June through December 2011. For more information, visit the HVWC website. Deadline for submissions is February 15, 2011.

Alimentum - Eat These Words

On Halloween weekend, Alimentum editors Esther Cohen and Paulette Licitra led a group of writers through the hidden gems of New York's neighborhoods, exploring the ways that food and words inspire each other as part of their series, Eat These Words.

Books :: Poets for Haiti

Poets for Haiti is a collection now available from Yileen Press. From the publisher: "Six weeks after the city of Port-au-Prince was brought to its knees by one of the most destructive earthquakes on record - 18 remarkable writers including Robert Pinksy, Rosanna Warren, and Gail Mazur, joined together at Harvard University campus and demonstrated the power of the spoken word. That benefit reading was a vital and galvanizing event, and this anthology has been created to capture some of the magic that was sparked that night. With stunning artwork by some of Haiti's most prominent visual artists, the volume is itself a work of art. All proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go to Partners in Health to benefit the people of Haiti."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Query Mistakes

Writer JM Tohline has compiled/written a truly exhaustive blog post on The Biggest Mistakes a Writer Makes When Querying Literary Agents in which 50 agents respond to the question: "What is the single biggest mistake writers make when querying you?" Tohline notes that most agents began their response with: "'Only one? How about several!"

Tohline recommends you brew a pot of coffee before sitting down to read the post: "Yes, reading this will take up a bit of your time (20-30 minutes, to give you a fair projection), but…how important is the success of your novel to you? You've (presumably) spent hundreds of hours planning, writing, editing, and perfecting your manuscript. Now, it is time to treat your query with the same respect."

I think his work is worth a pot of coffee, with the first mug tipped in Tohline's honor for having taken the time to share this information.

[via Writer Beware Blogs!]

Listen to the Banned

Read Guernica's interview with Norwegian musician Deeyah, who worked with Freemuse and Grappa Records to create the compilation CD, Listen to the Banned, featuring banned or persecuted artists from around the world. Guernica includes full-song samples of Banned, which features fourteen songs by musicians from China, Pakistan, Iran, Western Sahara/Morocco, Cameroon, The Ivory Coast, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, and Sudan.

Books :: Oil and Water - A Fundraiser

Members of the Southern Writers group She Writes, Zetta Brown and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown, gathered submissions and created an anthology of stories, poems, and recollections in response to the BP Oil disaster in the Gulf. Oil and Water...and Other Things That Don’t Mix features 27 authors, women and men all dealing with the theme: “Conflict...Resolution Optional.”

All proceeds from Oil and Water...and Other Things That Don’t Mix will go to directly benefit MOBILE BAYKEEPER, and BAY AREA FOOD BANK, two charities helping to combat the effects of the spill and help the communities affected.

Authors included in the collection are Jenne’ R. Andrews, Shonell Bacon, Lissa Brown, Mollie Cox Bryan, Maureen E. Doallas, Mylène Dressler, Nicole Easterwood, Angela Elson, Melanie Eversley, Kimeko Farrar, L B Gschwandtner, John Klawitter, Mary Larkin, Linda Lou, Kelly Martineau, Patricia Anne McGoldrick, Ginger McKnight-Chavers, Carl Palmer, Karen Pickell, Dania Rajendra, Cherie Reich, Jarvis Slacks, Tynia Thomassie, Amy Wise, Dallas Woodburn, and contributing editors Zetta Brown and Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown.

Retailers who wish to stock the Oil and Water anthology can contact the publisher directly: editor(at)

A Tribute to Mental Health Workers

The Winter 2010 (#34) issue of Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century includes a tribute to mental health workers, "spotlighting the poetry of 26 mental health professionals. These psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, counselors, and case-workers dive inside the mind daily and come home soggy with the muck of dreams. Many of them write about their careers, but the scope is broad, and all of their poems are informed by years of training and unique insights on the human soul. The section is highlighted throughout by the stunning abstract portraiture of art therapist Mia Barkan Clarke. As psychoanalyst Forrest Hamer writes,'so much depends on what’s under.'"

The Rattle blog features the poem "Nursing Home" by Ed Galing, which begins:

this morning when i
got up
they had to change
the bed sheets again
because i had wet
myself during the
like a baby who can’t
control his bowels,
my helper, miss jones,
a nice young black
girl didn’t mind doing
i just sat in a chair
when she changed the
dirty wet sheets with
new clean ones, and
i said, i am sorry,
and she said, with a smile,
it’s alright,
i used to do it for my
own father when he had
prostate cancer,
in this nursing home
everyone is good to me,
. . .

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowships

Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication by the Poetry Society of America are given annually for poetry chapbooks by poets who have not published a full-length collection. Two fellowships are open to poets 30 or younger living in any of the five boroughs of New York City, and two of the fellowships are open to poets of any age living anywhere in the United States. Joy Harjo and Bob Hicok will judge the New York City competition and Susan Howe and Gerald Stern will judge the national competition.

Submit a manuscript of 20 to 30 pages with a $12 entry fee by December 22. Visit the Web site for complete guidelines.

Seven Stories Press Holiday Sale

Seven Stories Press is having a holiday sale:

25% off all frontlist titles
50% off all backlist titles

Author catalog list here.
Subject catalog list here.

Enter the coupon code SSPHOLIDAY10 when checking out to claim the backlist discount. Backlist offer limited to titles published before July 1, 2010 and to orders within the US. Buyers are asked to place a separate order for frontlist and backlist titles.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Photos :: Humanity Collection

Humanity: A Celebration of Friendship, Family, Love & Laughter is a collection of photographs compiled by publisher Geoff Blackwell of "images revolving around the universal subject of 'the fundamental human capacity and need for love'" and that capture "spontaneous human moments of intimacy, laughter, and kinship." An online photo essay of some of the 17,000 photographers from 164 countries is available at Yes! Magazine.

Books :: Pay What You Want

Ben Tanzer's book 99 Problems: Essays About Running and Writing is available as an e-book, with a twist. On his site, readers who want to download the book have several pay options, or rather amount-to-pay options. "I'd like to pay: $5 - $10 - $20 - a different amount - nothing." That's right - "nothing" is an option. Regardless of what amount you pay, or don't, you'll get the full-length version of the book. (Kindle users have an Amazon flat rate fee of $5.) The book is also licensed under Creative Commons - a growing culturally conscious way to share works with others. It will be interesting to see how Tanzer's book does, in terms of readers and payers, and how the new-millennium old question goes, "If you give it to them for free, will they pay for it?" It perhaps even more of interest to writers - even if it's free, will they read it?

Book Blurb: "Why is it that so many full-time writers seem to be full-time runners as well, and what is it about each activity that seems to fuel the other? In 99 Problems, Chicago author Ben Tanzer tackles this very question, penning a series of essays completed after a string of actual runs across the United States during the winter of 2009, cleverly combining the details of the run itself with what new insights he gained that day regarding whatever literary story he was working on at the time; and along the way, Tanzer also offers up astute observations on fatherhood, middle-age, and the complications of juggling traditional and artistic careers, all of it told through the funny and smart filter of pop-culture that has made this two-time novelist and national performance veteran so well-loved. A unique and fascinating new look at the curious relationship between physical activity and creative intellectualism, 99 Problems will have you looking at the arts in an entirely new way, and maybe even picking up a pair of running shoes yourself."

Native Lab Fellowship

Sundance Institute's Native American and Indigenous Program has created a Fellowship to provide direct support to emerging Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native film artists working in the U.S. The Fellowship is a two-stage development opportunity for filmmakers with feature film scripts, documentary projects, and short film scripts. The first stage of development is an intensive 5-day workshop to be held May 23-27, 2011. During the workshop, Fellows receive intensive feedback on their projects from established screenwriters and directors.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Writing and Buying Books for Children

The theme of Talking Writing for December 2010 is Kid Stuff: Writing and Buying Books for Children. Articles include: What Do Teenagers Want? by Rebecca D. Landau; Lessons Learned—Then and Now by Laura Deurmyer; Boys and Books in Lockup: It’s Magic by Lauren Norton Carson; Adoption Books: What’s the Message? by Fran Cronin; One Mom’s Comeuppance by Rebecca Steinitz; Editor’s Note: Kids like what they like—darn them; and Find Your Own Wonderland by Martha Nichols.

Talking Writing is an online monthly literary magazine featuring the work of poets, fiction and creative nonfiction writers, visual artists, and photographers. TW includes long reviews and personal essays.

Books :: Zahir Anthology 2010

Zahir Anthology 2010 edited by Sheryl Tempchin is now available. From the quarterly online magazine, Zahir: A Journal of Speculative Fiction, this anthology is the complete collection from 2010. "The collection includes twenty-four stories from all over the rich and varied map of speculative fiction. Some are recognizable as sci-fi, fantasy, or magical realism, while others seem to have invented categories all their own. Works of luminous imagination and psychological depth, these are stories that will stay with you long after you've closed the book and turned out the light."

Poetry :: Home Ec by Linda King

From "Home Ec" by Linda King:

We practiced the art
of radish roses, broccoli florets,
celery stuffed with cheese. Baked soufflés.
Brought it all to the table—oven mitted and apronned
in our own hopsack embroidered creations.

[read the rest: Apple Valley Review]

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pongo :: Warm Smiles in Winter

Pongo's latest journal entry is "Warm Smiles in Winter," about a recent poetry workshop with incarcerated women...

Pongo Teen Writing Project has many writing activities and resources on their website for teens, counselors, and teachers.

Some other recent Project Journal posts:

Watching Her and Her (Pongo Prize poetry, about a young woman who witnesses her mother's struggle with addiction)

The Quieter We Become (about a Pongo volunteer in the psychiatric hospital who describes "holding the unholdable")

Approaching the Trauma, Not the Crime (about a Pongo volunteer in detention who confronts the legacy of violence in his life)

Love Is a Useless Puppy (Pongo Prize poetry, about a young woman's love for a boy who treats her badly)

Cops (about police officers who come to understand their own unprocessed trauma after violence and death)

CFS Anthology :: Children and War

This CFS was previously posted, but the editor is still accepting submissions: Children and War (working title)

When American politicians mention the “hidden costs” of war, they are referring to inflation, higher taxes, and medical care for veterans of U.S. wars. Even when we invoke images of human suffering, children and teenagers are often the forgotten part of the story.

Yet who can forget images of the Vietnam “baby lift,” when Amer-Asian children were flown out of Vietnam to the U.S. to be adopted by American families? Who can forget the horror of learning that Iranian children were being sent on suicide missions to clear landmines? Who wasn’t captivated by stories of the “lost boys” of Sudan, who traveled thousands of miles alone through the desert, seeking shelter and safety?

Children, like adults, lose their homes and families during war. They may travel for miles, alone or with others. They become refugees and victims of rape; they are recruited as soldiers; they suffer from PTSD, starvation, malnutrition, disease, and disability. In a recent report, UNICEF stated that from 1985-1995, over 2 million children had been killed in war; 4-5 million had been left disabled; over 12 million had become homeless; more than 1 million had been orphaned or separated from their parents; and over 10 million suffered psychological trauma. Their experiences affect the next generation as well.

This anthology, to be published by Cinco Puntos Press in 2011 or 2012, will explore all angles of children’s and teenagers’ experiences in war. The core of the book will be personal essays, memoirs, journalistic accounts, and historical narratives, both previously published and original pieces. It may also include photos, artwork, posters, and other debris that depicts the effects of war on children and teens. Though the book will be primarily non-fiction, we may include some fiction, and we are willing to consider pieces about both current and past wars. “War” is defined liberally to include both “official,” declared wars as well as secret, unofficial wars, such as those carried out by governments on civilians in places like Chile, Argentina, and Zimbabwe.

All submissions, queries, and suggestions should be sent to J.L. Powers at

All acceptances are conditional. The publisher exercises final editorial control over which pieces will be included.

St. Lawrence Book Award Winner

Katie Umans has won the 2010 St. Lawrence Book Award with her manuscript Flock Book. Katie will receive in $1,000 in prize money and a publication contract from Black Lawrence Press.

The semi-finalists are listed here and the finalists are listed here.

Rattle Poetry Prize Winners

Issue #34 (Winter 2010) of Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century includes the winner of the Rattle Poetry Prize, Patricia Smith, as well as the honorable mentions: Michele Battiste, Heidi Garnett, Valentina Gnup, francine j. harris, Courtney Kampa, Devon Miller-Duggan, Andrew Nurkin, Laura Read, and Scott Withiam.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Interview :: NYQ Editor Raymond Hammond

The Best American Poetry December 11 section Meet the Press features an interview by Nin Andrews with Raymond Hammond, editor of NYQ Books and The New York Quarterly, exploring the history of the press, the kinds of books the press looks to publish, promoting poetry books to readers, and much more.

Commenting on NYQ Books press, Hammond says: "The first premise was to say to ourselves, 'Poetry doesn’t sell.' And while this statement sounds self-defeating and is open to all sorts of debate and sounds like a cry of desperate mediocrity, there is an element of truth to it which immediately removes any grand expectations that we will sell thousands of copies of each book we publish. By removing this expectation, we can publish and keep in print books that don’t immediately sell right alongside books that do, and we are hoping that eventually the press will work as a single organism, some books supporting the others—but keeping all in print."

Paul Dry Books Holiday Discount

Enter the coupon code HOLIDAY during checkout to receive a 25% discount on all Paul Dry Books until December 15 - as well as free shipping.

New Lit on the Block :: The Fiddleback

The Fiddleback is a new online bi-weekly publishing poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and reviews as well as featuring one artist and one musician/band in every issue. Founded by Jeff Simpson "during the great recession of 2010," with "cross-pollination" The Fiddleback will be a "mixing and colliding artistic disciplines to attract a diverse readership." Works by new as well as established writers and artists will be featured.

The first issue features fiction by David Hollander, Alexandra Sadinoff, and Dinah Cox; poetry, Lisa Lewis, Nate Pritts, Clay Matthews, Tom C. Hunley, Steven D. Schroeder, and Jenny Yang Cropp; nonfiction, Andrew Merton and Gina Vozenilek; music reviews and an interview with "Other Lives"; an interview with artist George Boorujy.

The Fiddleback reads year-round and is published bi-monthly.

Behind the scenes at The Fiddleback are Jeff Simpson - Founding Editor; Labecca Jones - Senior Poetry Editor; Daniel Long - Senior Fiction Editor; Brian Gebhart - Senior Fiction Editor; Jessica Hendry Nelson - Senior Nonfiction Editor; Chelsey Simpson - Senior Nonfiction Editor; James Brubaker - Senior Music Editor; and Joshua Cross - Senior Music Editor.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

CFS :: Women Writing on Family Anthology

Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing

Book Publisher: The Key Publishing House Inc., publisher of academic and non-academic books, Toronto, Ontario

Submissions are being sought for an anthology about writing and publishing by women with experience in writing and publishing about family. Possible subjects: using life experience; networking; unique issues women must overcome; formal education; queries and proposals; conference participation; self-publishing; teaching tips. Tips on writing about family: creative nonfiction, poetry, short stories, nonfiction, novels.

Practical, concise, how-to articles with bullets/headings have proven the most helpful to readers. Please avoid writing too much about "me" and concentrate on what will help the reader. No previously published, co-written, or simultaneously submitted material.

Foreword by Supriya Bhatnagar, Director of Publications, Editor of The Writer's Chronicle, Association of Writers & Writing Programs, George Mason University. Author of the memoir: and then there were threeŠ (Serving House Books, 2010)

Afterword by Dr. Amy Hudock, co-editor of Literary Mama chosen by Writers Digest as one of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She teaches creative writing and co-edited American Prose Writers (Seal Press, 2006)

Co-Editor Carol Smallwood appears in Who's Who of American Women, Michigan Feminist Studies, The Writer's Chronicle. She's included in Best New Writing in Prose 2010. Her 23rd book is Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook (American Library Association, 2010). A chapter of newly published Lily's Odyssey was short listed for the Eric Hoffer Prose Award; a book trailer of Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages is

Co-Editor Suzann Holland, 2010 Winner of Public Libraries Feature Award, secured the permission of the Laura Ingalls Wilder estate for the forthcoming: The Little House Literary Companion. Her masters degrees include history, library science: she taught English composition, information literacy, at William Penn University, was a librarian at Milwaukee Public Library, a consultant in Davenport, Iowa. Her anthology contributions appear in: Greenwood Press, Neal-Schuman, the American Library Association

Please send 2-3 possible topics you would like to contribute each described in a few sentences and a 65-75 word bio using the format like the bio's above. Please send in a .doc Word file by December 30, 2010 using FAMILY/Your Name on the subject line to You'll receive a Go-Ahead and guidelines if your topics haven't been taken. Contributors will be asked to contribute a total of 1900-2100 words. Those included in the anthology will receive a complimentary copy as compensation.

CFS :: Women and Poetry Anthology

Women and Poetry: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing by Successful Women Poets

Book Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Contributors needed for articles about: websites for women poets, using life experience, magazine markets, networking, managing family, blogs, unique issues women must overcome, lesbian and bisexual poetry, continuing education, queries and proposals, anthologies, conference participation, contests, promotion, self-publishing, teaching tips, and other areas women poets are interested.

Practical, concise, how-to articles with bullets/headings have proven the most helpful.

Please avoid writing too much about "me" and concentrate on what will most help the reader. No previously published, co-written, or simultaneously submitted material.

Foreword: Molly Peacock, the author of six books of poetry, including The Second Blush (W.W. Norton and Company, 2008).

Co-editor Carol Smallwood is a 2009 National Federation of State Poetry Societies award winner included in Who's Who of American Women who has appeared in Michigan Feminist Studies, The Writer's Chronicle. She's included in Best New Writing in Prose 2010. Her 23rd book is Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook (American Library Association, 2010). The first chapter of Lily's Odyssey (2010) was short listed for the Eric Hoffer Prose Award; chapbook by Pudding House Publications;

Co-editor Colleen S. Harris is a 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her book of poetry, God in My Throat: The Lilith Poems (Bellowing Ark Press, 2009), was a finalist for the Black Lawrence Book Award. Her second and third books, These Terrible Sacraments and Gonesongs, are forthcoming in 2011. Colleen holds an MFA degree in writing and has appeared in The Louisville Review, Wisconsin Review, River Styx, and Adirondack Review, among others. Her work has been included in Library Journal, and Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages.

Please send 2-3 topics you would like to contribute each described in a few sentences and a 65-75 word bio using the format of the bio's above. Please send in a .doc Word (older version) file by December 30, 2010 using POETS/your last name on the subject line to You will receive a Go-Ahead with guidelines if your topics haven't already been taken. Contributors will be asked to contribute a total of 1900-2100 words. Those included in the anthology will receive a complimentary copy as compensation.

Dalkey Archive Press Holiday Sale

Today is the final day of the Dalkey Archive Press Holiday Sale: 10 books for $70 or 20 books for $125 (individual copies or multiple copies of the same book). The offer applies to all trade paperbacks and issues of the Review of Contemporary Fiction published before November 2010 (scholarly titles are not included). Free shipping in the US.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tony Hoagland's Appeal on behalf of Dean Young

Dear Friends,

If you are reading this, you are probably a friend of Dean Young and/or a friend of poetry. And you may have heard that our friend is in a precarious position. Dean needs a heart transplant now. He also needs your assistance now.

Over the past 10 or 15 years, Dean has lived with a degenerative heart condition--congestive heart failure due to idiopathic hypotropic cardiomyopathy. After periods of more-or-less remission, in which his heart was stabilized and improved with the help of medications, the function of his heart has worsened. Now, radically.

For the last two years he has had periods in which he cannot walk a block without resting. Medications which once worked have lost their efficacy. He is in and out of the hospital, unable to breathe without discomfort, etc. Currently, Dean's heart is pumping at an estimated 8% of normal volume.

In the past, doctors have been impressed with his ability to function in this condition. But now things are getting quickly worse. Dean has been placed on the transplant list at Seton Medical Center Austin, and has just been upgraded to a very critical category. He's got to get a heart soon, or go to intermediate drastic measures like a mechanical external pump.

Whatever the scenario, the financial expenses, both direct and collateral, will be massive. Yes, he has sound health insurance, but even so, he will have enormous bills not covered by insurance--which is where you can help, with your financial support.

If you know Dean, you know that his non-anatomical heart, though hardly normal, is not malfunctioning, but great in scope, affectionate and loyal. And you know that his poetry is what the Elizabethans would have called "one of the ornaments of our era"--hilarious, heartbreaking, courageous, brilliant and already a part of the American canon.

His 10-plus books, his long career of passionate and brilliant teaching, most recently as William Livingston Chair of Poetry at the University of Texas at Austin; his instruction and mentorship of hundreds of younger poets; his many friendships; his high, reckless and uncompromised vision of what art is: all these are reasons for us to gather together now in his defense and support.

Joe Di Prisco, one of Dean's oldest friends, is chairing a fundraising campaign conducted through the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT). NFT is a nonprofit organization that has been assisting transplant patients with advocacy and fundraising support since 1983.

If you have any questions about NFT, feel free to contact the staff at 800-489-3863. You may also contact Joe personally at

On behalf of Dean, myself, and the principle of all our friendships in art, I ask you to give all you can. Thanks, my friends.


Tony Hoagland

You can help.

To make a donation to NFT in honor of Dean, click here. If you'd prefer to send your gift by mail, please send it to the NFT Texas Heart Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write "in honor of Dean Young" on the memo line.

Thank you for your generosity!

Patient Health Institute: Seton Medical Center

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Children's Books :: Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher

Just when you thought you'd read 'em all: Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher.

Author Laurel Snyder is joined by artist David Goldin in this newest of her books and novels for children. I first met Laurel about six years ago at a FLAC conference, and her energy and enthusiasm left an indelible mark in my memory. This book brought back a rush of those memories, as I could almost hear the joyful nature of her voice across every page.

Baxter, yes a pig in a human world, in a chance encounter with a man at a bus stop, hears about Shabbat dinner - the candles, the dancing, the singing. Baxter can't stop thinking of it as the week progresses and returns to the bus stop to find out how he can become "a part of" Shabbat dinner. Of course, a different stranger he encounters at the stop tells Baxter he can't be "a part" of the dinner because he's "not kosher."

Not knowing what this means, Baxter sets out to become kosher, each time based on comments from a stranger he meets. First he eats (too many) pickles, then eats (too much) challah, and finally tries to become a cow by eating clover and wearing horns. All of this comes to an end when he meets Rabbi Rosen at the bus stop, who explains to him what kosher means - and Baxter's shock at the realization that if he were kosher, he'd be eaten! Grateful he is NOT kosher, he takes up Rabbi Rosin's invitation to attend shabbat at her home and enjoys all he had been longing for - including eating (too much) kugel.

By title alone, this book is a curiosity. Reading it is pure delight as Snyder quickly develops Baxter's personality as curious, eager to learn, and wanting so badly to belong. The story is supplemented with a brief glossary at the end, which continues the story in Synder's voice, such as this entry for rabbi: "learned, generous Jewish leader who devotes time to reading, thinking, teaching, and helping people (and pigs!). Rabbis often tell wonderful stories, wear hats, and have nice laugh wrinkles."

Goldin's illustrations and Synder's text are well balanced. Golin's illustrations are a mixed media, including photographs with drawings. Baxter pants and shirt are photographed images of cloth, the food - such as whitefish salad, knish, pickled eggs, and challah - are also photographs. This blend is engaging for children, who can recognize the difference and enjoy the "reality" of some of the images in the story. There are full color illustrations on every page, some full bleed, some insert, each busy enough to entertain readers with new discoveries in multiple readings.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Terrance Hayes Edits Ploughshares

The newest issue of Ploughshares (Winter 2010-11) is edited by Terrance Hayes, who also write the introduction to the issue ("Introduction: The Sentenced Museum" full-text online). Also included in the print issue is the profile "About Terrance Hayes" by Robert C. Casper.

Call for Submissions—Young Writers

"If you are a teenager currently enrolled in high school, grades 9-12, Crashtest, the new online literary magazine for high school writers, would like to hear from you! Crashtest publishes poetry, stories and creative non-fiction in the form of personal essays, imaginative investigation, experimental interviews, or whatever else you would like to call it. We’re looking for writing that has both a perspective and a personality. We’re looking for authors who have something to say." From Sarah Blackman, Director of Creative Writing, Fine Arts Center, Greenville, SC

Deadline for submissions April 15, 2011

Apply Now for Cali Poet Laureate

The application for California Poet Laureate is now open. The submission deadline is February 1, 2011.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Poetry Q&A Issue and Online Educational Resources

The December 2010 issue of Poetry is a special "Question and Answer issue" with Michael Robbins, Paula Bohince, Tom Pickard, John Tranter, Charles Baxter, Jane Hirshfield, Clemente Rèbora, Giovanni Pascoli, Attilio Bertolucci, Geoffrey Brock, David Roderick, Linda Gregerson, Vijay Seshadri and Sina Queyras. Each poem is accompanied by questions and answers with the poet; the full issue is available online.

The Poetry website also includes a number of educational resources:

Poetry Learning Lab
"Developed for teachers, students, and learners of every age," this section includes full-text poems, related writing ideas, discussion questions, and teaching tips.

Articles for Students and Teachers
With full-text articles on: Children's poetry and the joys of repetition (Sonia Levitin); Why high school students are the best poetry critics (Brian Staveley); Using Robert Frost's poems to teach global warming, astronomy, botany, and just about everything else in middle school science class (Karen Glenn); and several more on topical poems.

Poetic Essays
"This section collects famous historical essays about poetry that have greatly influenced the art. Written by poets and critics from a wide range of historical, cultural, and aesthetic perspectives, the essays address the purpose of poetry, the possibilities of language, and the role of the poet in the world."

Poem Guides
On dozens of poets as well as the first chapter (full-text) of How to Read a Poem (and Fall in Love with Poetry) by Edward Hirsch.

A searchable Glossary of Terms associated with poetry and literature and Discussion Guides on select issues of Poetry.

Books :: For the Cook on Your List (Yourself Included)

Dining in Refugee Camps: The Art of Sahrawi Cooking
Cenando en los Campamentos de Refugiados: Un Libro De Cocina Saharaui
by Robin Kahn

From the publishers site: "A full-color, bilingual, collage journal that documents Robin Kahn's month cooking with the women of the Western Sahara. As a guest artist selected to participate in ARTifariti 2009, Kahn stayed with Sahrawi families living in refugee camps in Algeria and in the desert of The Free Territories of the Western Sahara. There she created the collages for this publication by combining the sparse materials available locally with photos, recipes, histories and drawings. The result is a 50-page full-color journal that examines the art of Sahrawi food production: how kitchens are improvised, food is procured and prepared, and traditional recipes are innovated from UN rations and international aid. The book is a testament to the daily struggles of Sahrawi women whose role is to provide sustenance, fortitude and comfort inside a compromised society."

Monday, December 06, 2010

Hayden's Ferry AWP Intro Award Winners

Hayden's Ferry Issue 47 (Fall/Winter 2010-2011) includes the winners of the AWP Intro Awards: M.X. Wang for his story (fiction) "With Consideration and Care" and Jenn Bazzell for her poem "Wet Field."

Anita Shreve :: Literary Fiction is Written by Men

"A book editor once had the gall to tell the popular American novelist Anita Shreve that literary fiction is written by men. What women write is women’s fiction. Her retort started with Alice Munro and went on from there."


“A large part of writing is daydreaming. We all do it,” says Shreve, who confesses to occasionally missing her exit when driving. “You are rehearsing a conversation you had last night, and you are going to change the dialogue a bit so it comes out right, or you imagine what you are going to say when you get home. The only difference with a writer is a writer loves the challenge of structure and crafting sentences.”

Read the rest Profile on Anita Shreve: "You don’t sit waiting for the muse to come" by Kate Taylor (Globe and Mail)

Film :: Little Town of Bethlehem

Little Town of Bethlehem is a groundbreaking new documentary that shares the gripping story of three men — a Palestinian Muslim, a Palestinian Christian, and an Israeli Jew — born into violence and willing to risk everything to bring an end to violence in their lifetime.

Sami Awad is a Palestinian Christian whose grandfather was killed in Jerusalem in 1948. Today he is the executive director of Holy Land Trust, a non-profit organization that promotes Palestinian independence through peaceful means. Yonatan Shapira is an Israeli Jew whose grandparents were Zionist settlers who witnessed the birth of the Israeli nation. Today he is an outspoken advocate for the nonviolent peace movement, both in his homeland and abroad. Ahmad Al'Azzeh is a Palestinian Muslim who has lived his entire life in the Azzeh refugee camp in Bethlehem. Today, Ahmad heads the nonviolence program at Holy Land Trust, where he trains others in the methods of peaceful activism.

Little Town of Bethlehem was produced by EthnoGraphic Media (EGM), an educational non-profit organization exploring the critical issues of our time. Copies of the film are available for half price through December. Screening copies with full screening kits are available for schools, churches, clubs, groups, or local theaters.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Wallace Stevens Moves to John Hopkins

Effective January 2011, John Hopkins University Press will assume all aspects of managing and publishing The Wallace Stevens Journal for the Wallace Stevens Society. A new editorial team as well as readers will be put into place for upcoming issues.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Memoir (and) on Pants on Fire

In her Editorial Board Chair's Note to the newest issue (v3 n2) of Memoir (and), Claudia Sternbach comments on (re)reading Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes:

"But as popular as the life story of McCourt is, there are those who take issue with it. Those who question McCourt's ability to recall in such great detail events which took place decades ago. How could he remember which of his brothers begged for berries or the look on his mother's face when she had to plead for an egg or the head of a pig for her children to eat at Christmas.

"These are fair questions. If I can't remember what I had for dinner last night or whether I recharged my cell phone this morning, how can a writer sit down at his desk and starting with words, build sentences, paragraphs, pages, and finally an entire life story like a bricklayer constructs a solid house? And would a reader trust the construction?

"We have been taken a few times, I'll admit. Well-regarded memoirists have turned out to be not so honest. Their pants burst into flames and it makes news. But I believe it makes news because it is rare. For the most part I believe when people sit down to tell their story, they do their best to tell it with truth. Their truth. And that is the key. They are communicating to the reader what they remember. They are spilling out on the page those images and sounds they have carried with them their entire lives."


Chad Walsh Poetry Prize Winner

Charles Wyatt of Nashville, Tennessee, is the 2010 winner of the Beloit Poetry Journal’s annual Chad Walsh Poetry Prize. The editors of the BPJ select on the basis of its excellence a poem or group of poems they have published in the calendar year to receive the award. This year’s choice is a group of poems from “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Wallace Stevens” that appeared in the Spring 2010 issue. The awarding of this year’s prize to Wyatt also gives the journal the opportunity to recognize the extraordinary body of his work it has published beginning in 1965.

Allison Joseph Tribute

Volume 4 (2010) of Reverie: Midwest African American Literature includes a special tribute to Allison Joseph, Aquarius Press Legacy Award Recipient. Several of Joseph's poems are featured in addition to an interview by Curtis L. Crisler and tribute poems by Van G. Garrett and Phillip Williams.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I-90ers - Submit to Sean Thomas Dougherty

Sean Thomas Dougherty (Broken Hallelujahs, and Sasha Sings the Laundry on the Line both from BOA Editions) will be the guest editor for Redactions: Poetry & Poetics issue 14 the I-90 Revolution. "It's I-90 becuase I-90 runs the breadth of the country. It's 3,099.07 miles long and runs from Boston to Seattle," writes editory Tom Holmes. "...we are inviting people who live within 50 miles of I-90 to submit poems. Make sure you first read the I-90 Manifesto...then send in your poems that are written in the spirit of the I-90 Manifesto." Non-I-90ers are also welcome to submit their works.

Pongo Receives Microsoft 25k Fellow

Congratulations to Pongo Teen Writing Project founder Richard Gold for being awarded the Microsoft Integral Fellow. Pongo will receive a $25K financial award and has the promise of significant support from the Microsoft Alumni Foundation and from Gold's fellow Microsoft alumni in the coming year.

Open Minds Poetry Contest HM

The Fall 2010 issue of Open Minds Quarterly: Your Psychosocial Literary Journal includes the honorable mentions of the 2010 BrainStorm Poetry Contest. This is the eighth annual poetry contest for mental health consumers and include works by Catherine Martell, Eufemia Fantetti, Zan Bockes, Kate Flaherty, Anthony Chalk, Mark Murphy, E.V. Noechel, Brock Moore, Christopher Gaskins, Lisa Morris, Jerome Frank, Debrenee Adkisson, Gail Kroll, Diane Germano, Carla E. Anderton, Monika Lee, John Parsons, and Robin Barr Hill.