Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gulf Coast Prize Winners

Gulf Coast magazine announces and publishes the winners of the 2012 Gulf Coast Prizes with the newest issue of the magazine. The fiction was judged by Victor LaValle, the nonfiction was judged by Jenny Boully, and the poetry was judged by Joyelle McSweeney. The winners and honorable mentions are as follows:

Winner: "Pinnochia on Fire" by Lo Kwa Mei-en
Honorable Mention: "Autobiography with God Complex and Epidemic" by Jennifer Militello
Honorable Mention: "The Great Die-Up" by Melissa Barrett

Winner: "Sweetie, Sweetie" by Emily Watson
Honorable Mention: "Foiled" by Christiana Louisa Langenberg
Honorable Mention: "Wrapped Up in Skin, Hidden Behind Eyes" by Gina Troisi

Winner: "The Glass-World Builder" by Geetha Iyer
Honorable Mention: "You Will Make Several Relaxing Cuts" by Ashley Chambers
Honorable Mention: "We Shall Fill Our House With Spoil" by Delaney Nolan

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Baa-aack! NaNoWriMo

Ready, set, sharpen your pencils, fire up your computers - write! November is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo starts Nov 1 and ends at midnight Nov 30 - all you need to do is complete 50,000 words within the month and upload your novel to the site. Of the 256,618 participants last year, 36,843 were "winners" in completing the task. Needless to say, for at least the next few weeks, writing is not a lonely task!

Top Ten Books With Maps

Another fun top ten list from The Guardian UK: Top Ten Books With Maps. Happy to see Winnie the Pooh made the list.

Literature, Arts, & Medicine Database

Literature, Arts, and Medicine: This site, sponsored by NYU, is a resource I keep coming across in my research. Time and again, when working on analysis of literature, this site pops up, and I have found it immensely helpful in guiding some of my work. Specifically, "The Literature, Arts, & Medicine Database is an annotated multimedia listing of prose, poetry, film, video and art that was developed to be a dynamic, accessible, comprehensive resource for teaching and research in MEDICAL HUMANITIES, and for use in health/pre-health, graduate and undergraduate liberal arts and social science settings."

Fine for med students, as a lit student/teacher, this site works great for me! Each entry specifies genre (including medium for art), keywords (which help direct analysis from a medical perspective and are linked to others with the same theme), summary and commentary. Bibliographic information is also provided.

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Lit on the Block :: Mount Hope

Roger Williams University—situated on the shore of Mount Hope Bay in Rhode Island—is putting out a new biannual magazine called Mount Hope. It is available as a print issue as well as online via Issuu. They are looking for “good, literary, readable stories and poems” as well as essays and memoir. “Beyond writing,” says Editor Edward J. Delaney, “we like to run photography and graphic storytelling—a segment of a graphic novel or a stand-alone—with an emphasis on storytelling and literary merit.

Delaney says that Mount Hope is “the latest iteration of the literary magazine published for four decades at RWU, which has one of the first BFA Creative Writing Programs in the U.S., recently celebrating its 40th anniversary. Our mission is to give students hands-on experience and to support writers and the writing community.” Alongside Delaney is Poetry Editor Shelley Puhak and Adam Braver, writer-in-residence.

Within the magazine, readers will enjoy realistic, quality writing. “We favor stories in which something happens, and poetry that is not for insiders only,” says Delaney. They hope to “be a venue for lively work of interest to a general readership.”

The first issue features Steve Almond (nonfiction), Michael Cirelli, Christopher Hennessey (poetry), Denis Darzacq (photography), Matthew Hall (graphic novel), and interviews with Rick Moody and Lynne Sharon Schwartz.

They take submissions via email year-round with a three to six month cycle turn-around response. They accept simultaneous submissions.

Feminist Guide to Horror Movies

Just in time for Halloween, Ms. Magazine has published two articles on feminist perspectives of horror movies:

Part One: Daddy Knows Best
"If you are looking for a good scare this Halloween season, cast your feminist eye on this recent rash of family-centered horror movies in which inattentive fathers leave their children vulnerable to being taken by aliens, monsters and demons."

Part Two: It’s Not Just About Vampires
"Since Edward Cullen first graced the pages of a young adult novel in 2005, vampires have been the sexy bad guys du jour. But it’s not just the lingering fear that sex might lead to death that makes these nightmarish manifestations of sexual desire resonate with audiences."

Photo via Ms. Magazine: Courtesy of Patricia.Pictures via Creative Commons 2.0

Friday, October 26, 2012

Glimmer Train August Short Story for New Writers Winners

Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their August Short Story Award for New Writers. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000. The next Short Story Award competition will take place in November. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

1st place goes to Natalie Sypolt of Kingwood, WV [pictured]. She wins $1500 for “My Brothers and Me” and her story will be published in the Winter 2014 issue of Glimmer Train Stories, out next November.

2nd place goes to Greg Schreur of Grand Rapids, MI. He wins $500 for “Third World Kroger” and his story will also be published in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories, raising his prize to $700. This will be his first fiction to appear in print.

3rd place goes to Riley Johnson of Missoula, MT. He wins $300 for “Up the Snowy Grade.”

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

Next deadline: Family Matters: October 31

Glimmer Train hosts this competition twice a year, and first place has been increased to $1500 plus publication in the journal. It’s open to all writers for stories about families of all configurations. Most submissions to this category run 1500-6000 words, but can go up to 12,000. Click here for complete guidelines.

Job: Poetry Center Director

The College of Humanities at the University of Arizona is seeking applicants for the position of Executive Director of the Poetry Center, "one of the nation's leading centers for the study and celebration of poetry."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

International Poetry Competition Results

Atlanta Review announces and publishes the winners of the 2012 International Poetry Competition in their latest issue. The Grand Prize and $1,000 goes to Diana Pickney for her poem "The Artist Speaks to Her Unborn Paintings."

The International Publication Prizes go to Dane Cervine, Susan Cohen, Sara DeLuca, Stacy Donovan, Starkey Flythe, Becky Gould Gibson, Ryan Hibbet, Margaret Hoehn, Lowell Jaeger, Donald Levering, Roy Mash, Jill McDonough, Joyce Meyers, Bonnie Naradzay, Meryl Natchez, Sherman Pearl, Marcia Popp, Wanda Praisner, Jendi Reiter, D. Wilder Roberts, Mark Steudel, Jeanne Wagner, Sarah White, and Laura Juliet Wood.

And the International Merit Awards go to Kathryn Baker, Rafaella Del Bourgo, J. David Cummings, Lynn Tudor Deming, John Flynn, Patricia Frisella, Eve Forti, Jerome Gagnon, Harriet Geller, Donald Gibson, Gayle Ellen Harvey, Ruth Hill, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, Alice Owens Johnson, Richard Kenney, Steven Lautermilch, Fred Longworth, Mike Lythgoe, Gloria Materson-Richardson, Bill Meissner, Julie J. Moore, Anne Johnson Mullin, Annette Opalczynski, Carol Quinn, Jessica Bane Robert, Brook Sadler, Lisa D. Schmidt, Andrew Turco, Mark Wagenaar, and Betsy Weir.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 Able Muse Book Award Winner

Able Muse Press has announced that Frank Osen is the winner of the 2012 Able Muse Book Award. This year's award was judged anonymously throughout by the Able Muse Contest Committee and then by final judge Mary Jo Salter.

Other finalists include:
  • Sass Brown: USA-1000
  • Ellen Kaufman: House Music
  • Carol Light: Heaven from Steam - twenty-two skies and eighteen yets
  • Richard Newman: All the Wasted Beauty of the World
  • Stephen Scaer: Pumpkin Chucking
See the full list of finalists and honorable mentions here.

Creative Nonfiction Revamp

Creative Nonfiction magazine announced major changes to its website, subscription options, and submission process. The magazine debuted a new website design improving navigation through new web-exclusive content and digitized content from past issues.

Some of this material dates back nearly twenty years, including founder and editor (and “Godfather behind creative nonfiction”) Lee Gutkind’s intros to all 46 issues, which serve as a veritable time capsule of the genre.

“With our 20th anniversary coming up in 2013, we’ve been thinking a lot about the history and development of the genre, but we also have our eye towards the future,” says Gutkind. “We’re proud to debut this new digital content, which we think will make the site a necessary destination both for readers who already have an artistic stake in creative nonfiction, and for anyone looking for an introduction to the genre. In the past twenty years, we’ve seen creative nonfiction become the fastest-growing genre in the publishing industry and within creative writing programs, and we know the audience for news, resources, and great writing within the genre is only going to grow.”

In addition, Creative Nonfiction has unveiled a digital subscription option, which will be powered through Zinio. The new digital subscription option lets readers download the magazine to a computer, iPad, Android device or KindleFire. A four-issue (full-year) digital subscription is $25. Single issues are also available.

The magazine will also begin accepting general submissions online, providing a more green and convenient method for writers to submit their work.

Query Letter Advice

Edinburgh author Nicola Morgan offers a guest post on the Writers Beware Blog: "Dear Agent--Write a Letter that Sells Your Book." Morgan, who lists her as her aka: the Crabbit* Old Bat (*Crabbit = “grumpy, prone to being irritable”) provides clear and friendly advice for writers in a tone that is anything but grumpy (she is a guest blogger, after all, she notes). Worth a look-see even if just for some affirmation.

Fellowship :: Into the Wilderness

The Idaho MFA in Creative Writing Program has established a new writing retreat fellowship that gives students the opportunity to work in Idaho’s world famous wilderness areas. The competitive “Writing in the Wild” fellowship fully supports a student to spend a week at either the McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS), which borders Payette Lake and Ponderosa State Park, or the Taylor Wilderness Research Station, which lies in the heart of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Both campuses offer year-round housing.

The writing retreats will allow students to concentrate solely on their fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Because both locations often house researchers, writers will also have the opportunity to collaborate with foresters, geologists, biologists and other scientists. Students visiting MOSS or Taylor Ranch will find expansive reaches of space to engage with rivers, lakes and forests.

Two “Writing in the Wild” fellowships will be granted in 2012-2013. Future plans include additional fellowships, as well MFA writers sharing their wilderness experiences in K-12 schools to demonstrate how the state’s natural wonders can foster creativity, innovation and inspiration.

Full application materials can be found on this page under Writing in the Wild Fellowships.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interview with José-Flore Tappy

The special feature of the new issue of The Bitter Oleander features an interview with the Swiss Francophone poet José-Flore Tappy as well as a selection of her poetry that has been translated from French by John Taylor. Tappy has written five volumes of verse and currently works as an editor and scholar at the Centre de Recherches sur les Lettres Romandes at the University of Lausanne.

In an introduction to the feature, Taylor says that Tappy's diction is "straightforward, factual, down-to-earth. She appeals to ordinary things and natural elements for her imagery and metaphors. Her poems can thus seem 'simple' or, more precisely, 'elemental' . . ."

The interview asks questions about Tappy's inspiration, her methods, and the ideas and messages she conveys in her poetry. Following the interview are passages from her Filings and Elementals.

And of course there is more to read within the pages of the issue. There is original poetry, poetry in translation, and new short fiction.

New Lit on the Block :: Paradise Review

Paradise Review is a brand new online quarterly magazine featuring fiction, poetry, and visual art. Editor Joseph Han says that, along with his co-editor Joseph D. Lewis and poetry editor Lindsey Appleton, they want “to join the various online literary community already fostering across the globe, highlighting the hard work of writers who dare to put themselves out there with the hope of having their voices read and heard.”

The name refers to the location of the publication and also means “to communicate the idea that as an online mag, with work coming from absolutely anywhere, paradise is relative as a sense of accomplishment, state of mind/being, or physical space.” Han says that readers can expect to find “stories and poems that have moved and startled the staff as readers themselves, those that have begged to be shared and featured.”

The first issue features fiction from John Abbott, Nicholas T. Brown, Keith Rebec, and Stephanie Wilson; poetry from Daniel Wilcox, James Robinson, James Piatt, Michelle Matthees, Stan Galloway, Yevgeniy Levitskiy, Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb, and Zvi A. Sesling; and visual art from Jenean McBrearty, Karim Hetherington, and Sarah Edwards.

Han says that they hope to eventually become a monthly publication that features local and national writers. “We want to see a writer’s best,” he says. “By that, we mean writing that is believed in despite the preferences of other publications and the need to emulate different styles, literary figures, or contemporaries.” Submissions are accepted through Submittable.

UMKC's Tattoo of the Week

The University of Missouri - Kansas City news blog runs a weekly features: Tattoo of the Week. The latest entry spotlights junior English major Taylor Scholle’s tattoos, "inspired by her love of literature," include images from Shel Silverstein and Norton Juster. Typing "tattoo" into the archive search box will bring up previous articles, each providing a photo and background story on the tattoo.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Lit on the Block :: Frequencies

The book publishing company Two Dollar Radio is starting a new project: a biannual print magazine called Frequencies. “We never set out to duplicate what others are doing and already doing well,” says Editor Eric Obenauf. “Artful essays cover an area that we felt wasn't being sufficiently represented. With some inspiration from Occupy Wall Street, we wanted to champion work that celebrated the individual through both voice and vision. We're billing Frequencies as a grungier, less self-righteous Harper's.”

Obenauf says that readers can expect to find artful essays that “challenge the current nonfiction prescription.” Each issue has cover art and illustrations by John Gagliano. “The idea was to create a really taut arena,” says Obenauf, “so there are no empty calories in the form of music or book reviews, no random filler just to increase page count, which ideally totals an attractive space for writers to showcase their work.”

Alongside Obenauf is the interviews editor, Emily Pullen who, in the first issue, interviews poet Anne Carson. Other writers in the first issue include Blake Butler, Joshua Cohen, Tracy Rose Keaton, and Scott McClanahan with photography by Morgan Kendall.

The second issue "will feature Sara Finnerty on ghosts, Roxane Gay on issues of belonging in middle class black America, Alex Jung on the gay sex tourist trade in Thailand, Kate Zambreno on actress/director Barbara Loden, and more."

Frequencies accepts submissions on a rolling basis; completed submissions can be sent via email as attachments. Frequencies does pay for published work. Please see the website for submission information.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Georgia Review Updates

A couple changes at The Georgia Review:

As of their spring 2012 issue, The Georgia Review is available in both print and digital formats. The publication is offering a "combo" price for subscribing who would like to receive the magazine in both formats (with prices going up in January, so now would be the time to subscribe for the best deal).

The Georgia Review has also archived its entire run from 1947 through 2008 for viewing through

And, lastly but not leastly, longtime managing editor Mindy Wilson has stepped down, making room for her successor, Jenny Gropp Hess. Welcome Jenny!

Modern Haiku Awards

The autumn issue, out now, of Modern Haiku includes awards for the favorite haiku, senryu, and haibun for the summer 2012 issue.

Favorite haiku: Kate Godsey

the solace of owls
wrapping the night around me
waxing moon

Favorite senryu: Bill Kenney

first date
the way she pronounces
van Gogh

Favorite haibun: "Odds" by Rich Youmans

Each poet is accorded a $50.00 award by an anonymous selector and donor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Free Conference Ann Arbor, MI

The Great Lakes: Love Song and Lament
A Michigan Quarterly Review Conference

Friday, November 4th 2011
Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
434 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Free and Open to the Public

Speakers and readers include: Jonathan Freedman, Keith Taylor, Jerry Dennis, Alison Swan, Paul Webb, John Knott, Philip Deloria, Margaret Noori, Terry Blackhawk and Steve Amick.

All Woman Writers Issue

Armchair/Shotgun magazine, which reads all pieces blindly (without knowledge of the author's name until the piece has been accepted for publication), proudly announces that the current issue, "by happy accident," is filled with writing only by female writers. "A writer's resume . . . is no guarantee of a compelling story—good writing knows only story, and writers of all backgrounds may craft exciting tales," says the editorial staff. "Our previous issues featured a gender-balanced split of male and female poets, fiction writers, and visual artists. So when we de-anonymized the Issue 3 acceptances, we were surprised and delighted to see that we'd inadvertently created a roster of 11 amazing female writers."

VIDA, each year, puts out a gender breakdown of writers, reviewers, and books reviewed within well-known publications. "The difference between our outcomes and the average VIDA results—which indicate a male dominated roster of published authors—is notable," says the staff.

This issue features Alanna Bailey, Elliott batTzedek, Genevieve Burger-Weiser, Allison Campbell, Diana Clarke, Sarah Goffman, Inge Hoonte, Debbie Ann Ice, Liana Jahan Imam, Danielle Lapidoth, and J.E. Reich. The issue also includes an interview with Reif Larsen, author of The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet; the paintings of Steve Chellis; and the photography of Andrew Wertz.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Lit on the Block :: Lunch Ticket

Lunch Ticket is a new online biannual magazine that evokes “school, hanging with friends, having interesting discussions over bologna sandwiches.” The name comes from a program Antioch University Los Angeles used to have in which a new student would be paired with an experienced student for lunch and given a “lunch ticket.” Current Editor-in-Chief Lise Quintana says that since Antioch is one of the top 5 low-residency MFA programs in the country and didn’t have its own literary magazine, there was a clear need to start Lunch Ticket. “[It] exists both to showcase great literary talent and to support Antioch University Los Angeles’s mission of social justice,” Quintana says.

She says that you can expect to find “interviews with interesting and important authors (our premier issue had an interview with Natasha Trethewey, poet laureate of the United States), essays on social justice issues, and great writing by authors from all over.”

The staff are all current MFA students at Antioch. “We know what it’s like putting yourself out there,” says Quintana, “and we appreciate the support we’ve been shown.” The editors vary per issue, but currently the editor-in-chief is Quintana, the fiction editor is Kathleen Rohr, the Writing for Young People editor is Kristen Schroer, the creative nonfiction editor is Wendy Fontaine, the poetry editor is Janice Luo, and the art editor is Audrey Mandelbaum.

The first issue features interviews by Natasha Trethewey, Gregory Boyle, Rick Moody, and Francesca Lia Block; essays by Naomi Benaron and Nancy L. Conyers; fiction by Jennifer A. Orth-Veillon, Jessica Pitchford, Diana Payne, Kyle Hemmings, Jenny Dunning, Terry Sanville, and LaToya Watkins; creative nonfiction by Andy Johnson (nominated for a Pushcart Prize), Mark Brazaitis, Sion Dayson, and John Calderazzo; Writing for Young People by G. Neri; and poetry by Andrei Guruianu, Hugh Behm-Steinberg, James Valdis, Nate Pritts, Martin Ott and John F. Buckley, Sheila Black, George Bishop, Yim Tang Wong, R L Swihart, Derek Pollard, Eleanor Levine, Lois Marie Harrod, Dina Hardy, Ricky Garni, Valentina Cano, and Gabriel Cabrera.

In the future, the staff would like “a more ambitious art section, incorporating more writing about art.” The would also like to create a best-of anthology as a print-on-demand hardcopy book.

The current reading period ends at the end of this month and is reopened in March, although writers and artists can send their submissions at any time. Submissions can be sent through Submittable.

Pinch Contest Winners

The Fall 2012 issue of The Pinch features a section dedicated to the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Contest. Winners receive full tuition and housing at the Writing Workshops in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Kiki Whang: "What You Need to Know About Missing Persons"

Jill Frischhertz: "Sleep is Not an Option"

Creative Nonfiction

Anne Royan "Ten Thousand Things"

These pieces are included in the issue as well as "an interview on story craft and character development with the always spectacular Bobbie Ann Mason," say the editors. "We’re also serving up incredible poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction from Roxane Gay, Michael Croley, Nicholas Wong, Christine Stewart, Meg Cowen, Ray McManus, Raymond Fleischmann, Christopher Kempf, Eireann Lorsung, David Roderick, Daniel Browne, William Lusk Coppage, Jax Peters Lowell, Derek Palacio, Susan Gubernat, John Vanderslice, Allison Campbell, Maria Rapoport, Traci Brimhall, Charlotte Boulay, James Crizer, Bryce Emley, Mark Jay Brewin, Jr., Helen Phillips, Brad Henderson, Harold Whit Williams, Ira Sukrungruang, Elizabeth O’Brien, Anthony Opal, Tim Hayes, Sydney Lea, and Tory Adkisson. . . . The Fall issue also features stunning visual art from Maysey Craddock, Amy Lind, Dan Ball, and Marie Porterfield."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Closings :: Robin's Books (PA)

"Yes, after 76 years, Robin’s Books will close forever at the end of 2012. We are grateful to all of those worthy souls who have patronized us throughout the years, all of the poets, philosophers, scholars, students, and seekers of all stripes."

Even if you don't know or particularly care about Robin's Books, I encourage you to at least read their "About" page, where you'll learn how Larry Robin continued a bookstore founded by his grandfather, and what Robin thinks the role of the indie bookstore is in the community. I don't want to harp on the "this is what you're losing" we hear so often with such bookstore closings, but instead, how about just a nod of appreciation for what folks like Robin have done (and what so many continue to do).

"What It is I Do: I sell books. The written record of thoughts and feelings and facts. This is the primary way in which humankind communicates. There is history, where we come from and what we have done. There is poetry, taking us beyond facts into our feelings. There are novels, exploring our experiences and sharing our successes and failures. Contrary to popular belief, this is not just product. A independent book store is by its nature, a community center and the book seller is an educator. Our job is to help our customers find what they are looking for. All of us are looking for the Truth. Of course, our customers do not always know that. You need to analyze where each customer is, find what they are looking for and figure out how you can help them take the next step." Larry Robin

Thank you, Larry. I hope there is some way this is able to continue in our communities. Some way.

New Lit on the Block :: Blue Lyra Review

Blue Lyra Review is a new online venture that publishes poetry, nonfiction, translations, and artistic imagery three times a year, with a print issue at the end of December (beginning in 2013). “Our aim,” says M. E. Silverman, poetry and art editor, “is to bring together the voices of writers and artists from a diverse array of backgrounds, paying special homage to Jewish writers and other communities that are historically underrepresented in literary magazines.”

Silverman tells the story of the origin of the magazine’s name: “One of the most difficult decisions was coming up with a name that was not already taken, and had a free domain available! So after inquiring with some acquaintances and colleagues, I finally stumbled onto an idea while watching my daughter play Rocket Girl. I have always loved blues and jazz and the color blue. I loved the echo of sound in ‘review’ and 'blue', but I also liked the color for the connection to Israel. But Blue Review? Then I remembered the story of Lyra. The Greeks believed after Orpheus died, Zeus sent an eagle to get his lyre and then Zeus placed both in the sky. Now it is one of the 88 constellations (according to International Astronomical Union) with the second brightest star in the northern hemisphere. One can only hope to strive for so much, and I wish all of our acceptances soar so high!”

Silverman—along with Adrienne Ross Scanlan, nonfiction editor; Nancy Naomi Carlson, translation editor; B. Kari Moore, fiction editor; Lenore Weiss, copy editor; and Laura Hong, web editor—will present “a beautiful array of diverse voices” within the publication.

The first issue includes poetry from Marge Piercy, Lyn Lifshin, John Wood, Jeff Friedman, Gene Doty, Peter Serchuk, Jeannie Hall Gailey, and others; essays from Terry Persun, Neil Mathison, Sarah Corbett Morgan, Sue Eisenfeld, and Louis Bourgeois; and artistic work by Robin Grotke and Ginn Conn.

Blue Lyra Review accepts submissions through Submittable but is not looking for horror, westerns, anything offensive, or mixed media art. Currently, they are considering book reviews of Jewish poets; should you be interested, contact the editors through the website.

Photography Winners :: Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura's autumnal issue features the winners of the summer 2012 photography contest. Judged by Michael Gilbert, Laurie Klein, and Kerry Jordan, the Outstanding Professional Photography Award goes to Heather Evans Smith for her beautiful photo "The Midway," which is featured on the cover of the issue as well as within the pages. Other winners include:

Outstanding Amateur Photography Award

"Into the Stream" by Hugh Jones

Editor's Choice Award for Professional Photography
"Sewing" by Larry Louie

Editor's Choice Award for Amateur Photography
"On the Edge" by Pierre Hauser

A complete list of the finalists for both professional and amateur photography can be seen on Camera Obscura's website.

Friday, October 12, 2012

American Life in Poetry: Column 391

American Life in Poetry: Column 391

Kay Ryan was our nation’s Poet Laureate at The Library of Congress for the 2008-2010 terms. Her poetry is celebrated for its compression; she can get a great deal into a few words. Here’s an example of a poem swift and accurate as a dart.


We say
A pin hole
of light. We
can’t imagine
how bright
more of it
could be,
the way
this much
defeats night.
It almost
isn’t fair,
poked this,
with such
a small act
to vanquish

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2011 by Kay Ryan, whose most recent book of poems is Odd Blocks, Selected and New Poems, Carcanet Press, 2011. Poem reprinted from Poetry, October 2011, by permission of Kay Ryan and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2012 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Writer Pen Pals Wanted

Send a letter, receive a letter. O.M. Pen-Pals is new project at Orange Monkey Publishing. "Inspired by the Letters-in-the-Mail program at the Rumpus which focuses on established writers, we plan on receiving letters from all over the country from various emerging and established writers and distributing them to fellow writers in hopes that it will spawn friendships, discussion, and connections."

Orange Monkey Publishing staff will manage the pen-pal connections to protect writers' personal contact information, and also offer writers the opportunity to publish "letters that tell the best stories, or talk of great ideas."

For more information on how to participate, visit the Orange Monkey Publishing website.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mills College Full-Tuition Assistantship

Mills College is pleased to offer one full-tuition assistantship each year to an entering student in the MFA in creative writing poetry program. This assistantship provides full tuition for either the two-year or three-year MFA program. Candidates for the assistantship will design and implement a poetry-related community project during the course of their degree program. The assistantship does not require a teaching commitment.

Applicants should follow and complete the usual application processes for the MFA in poetry by the priority application deadline of December 15. Applications for the full-tuition assistantship itself are due January 3, as per instructions on the Mills College website.

30th Anniversary of Alaska Quarterly Review

As part of its 30th anniversary, Alaska Quarterly Review celebrates with a special section in the latest issue that features three sections of invited poetry. Jane Hirshfield, guest editor, explains: "In one, you will find 30 previously published poems by poets familiar to any awake reader of contemporary literature. Many included in this section have also served as previous guest editors for AQR, all of whom were invited to contribute. I wrote to each of the thirty in this section and asked for a single, previously published poem, of their own choosing – sometimes describing it as a kind of tribute bouquet, meant for both the magazine and its readers. The resulting contributions are not bouquet in scale, though, they are continental. They range from signature poems – Marie Howe's "What the Living Do" – to poems that first appeared in print in the past year, from publications ranging from The New Yorker to the online journal Clade Song."

"To expand this special issue beyond my own range of knowledge and taste, Ron and I decided to invite in also two exceptional, and somewhat younger, poets, Camille Dungy and Todd Boss, to guest edit a second section of another 30 poems – in this case holding new work, previously unpublished, from a mix of poets."

Writers among the pages of the rest of the issue include Lenore Myka, Jenny Hanning, Amy Sayre-Roberts, Victoria Kelly, Katherine Heiny, Victoria Lancelotta, Nicole Miller, Laura Jok, Dina Nayeri, Kirk Perry, Eva Saulitis, Francesca Mari, Sandra Kobrin, and Jesse Goolsby.

PEN America's First Year

PEN America's newest issue time travels back to 1922, the magazine's founding year and the height of modernism. "Borrowing from the pages of The Dial, The Crisis, and The Little Review," says the magazine, "we offer you a taste of the literary scene, alongside a trove of photographs, drawings, advertisements, headlines, and commentary. The featured writers—including Joyce, Du Bois, Woolf, McKay, Crane, Cather, Fitzgerald, Mansfield, and Moore—remain some of our greatest teachers and literary loves."

In an introduction to the special section, Steven L. Isenberg, PEN America Center's executive director, says, "This year we celebrate PEN's ninetieth anniversary and hence our origins and our emergence after World War II and unto today as a literary human rights organization devoted to the protection of free expression and as a standard-bearer for the place of literature and thus the ties that bind, internationally, through reading, writing, translation, and fellowship. When we turn to the literature of 1922 in the pages ahead, we begin the journey once again."

Writers featured within the pages of the rest of the journal include Jamal Joseph & Sonia Sanchez, Julie Otsuka, Herta Mϋller, Liu Xiaobo & Liu Xia, John Cage, Kimiko Hahn, Theresa Rebeck, Etgar Keret, Eileen Myles, and Richard Feynman.

Book Sale :: Firewheel Editions

Firewheel Editions has several new titles for sale and until Oct. 31 is offering to add on a second title from select books and issues of Sentence and Kugelmass for $3 each.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Pussy Riot! eBook Fundraiser

The Feminist Press has released a ebook edition of Pussy Riot! A Punk Prayer for Freedom with profits from the sale of the book going to support the Pussy Riot legal defense team.

Following the February 21, 2012 staged performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow and subsequent arrest of several band members, "the Internet exploded with petitions, music videos, and calls to action, and as the guilty verdict was anticipated, Pussy Riot responded with articulate, unwavering courtroom statements, calling for freedom of expression, an end to economic and gender oppression, and a separation of church and state. They were sentenced to two years in prison, and inspired a global movement. Collected here are the words that roused the world."

A print edition is forthcoming.

Nimrod Literary Awards

Nimrod's "It's in the Cards" issue features the winners and finalists of the magazine's annual awards competition. The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction was judged by Gish Jen, and Philip Levine was the judge for the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. The following authors and their writing can be found in the most recent issue of Nimrod:

The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction
First Prize
Judith E. Johnson

Second Prize
Terrence Cheng

L. E. Miller
Lones Seiber

The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry
First Prize
Chelsea Wagenaar

Second Prize
Linda Hillringhouse

Judy Rowe Michaels
Rafaella Del Bourgo
Dante Di Stefano
Melissa Reider
Kristen Ingrid Hoggatt
Charles P. R. Tisdale
June Blumenson
Amy Miller
Catherine Freeling
Katharyn Howd Machan
Helen T. Glenn
Joan Colby
Rafael Alvarez
Barbara Crooker
Joan I. Siegel

Sarah L. Stecher
Jenny McDougal
Richard Agacinski
Maud Poole
Angela Patten
Gerald McCarthy
David Cazden
Matthew J. Spireng
Rebecca Hazelton
Lisa Zerkle
Lindsay Knowlton
Josephine Yu

Honorable Mention
Scot Siegel
Markham Johnson

American Short Fiction Hiatus

Citing a need to "navigate the changes in market conditions for print publications," American Short Fiction is taking a "temporary hiatus" in order to "seek the best way forward" as well as "other organizational changes" for publication publisher, Badgerdog. Read the full press release here.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Screen Reading Update!

Been keeping up with Screen Reading? If not, stop by and read reviews of online literary magazines by Editor Kirsten McIlvenna. Recent reviews include Amarillo Bay, The Bacon Review, Blue Lake Review, The Boiler, Brevity, DMQ Review, FRiGG, La Petite Zine, Lowestoft Chronicle, New Delta Review, Penduline, Poecology, Poemeleon, The Puritan, r.kv.r.y, Revolution House, Steel Toe Review, StepAway Magazine, Swamp Biscuits and Tea, and Sweet.

Thanks to those of you who have dropped us a line letting us know how much you appreciate this weekly column. Readers find it helpful for locating good reading and writers like getting a professional opinion of the publication for submission consideration.

NewPages continues to provide thoughtful reviews on these online publications as well as our regular monthly feature of literary magazine reviews and book reviews.

Good reading starts here!

Ruminate Magazine Contest Winners

The winners of the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize, sponsored by Steve and Kim Franchini, are featured in the latest issue of Ruminate Magazine. Li-Young Lee, the finalist judge, comments on the winner Nicole Rollender's poem "Necessary Work," saying that it "is a memorable poem, powerfully realized and emotionally true. Among the many virtues that recommend it are the vivid images, as well as a complicated music arising out of a deep unconscious word-counting and word-weighing. One can sense the poet sorting the music of thinking and feeling from the chaos of an outsized undifferentiated passion. But above all, it is the passion that I love about this poem, and how that passion is canalized by discipline to create a work of profound beauty." This poem, along with the poems from the second place winner and finalists, can be read in Ruminate.

Nicole Rollender: "Necessary Work"

Second Place
Temple Cone: "What I Meant by Joy"

Harry Bauld: "When You Grow Up Catholic"
James Crews: "For Those Weary of Prayer Calling"
Rachael Katz: "Animal Valentine"
Anna Maria Craighead-Kintis: "The Bosque Burns on the Feast of John the Baptist"
Becca J. R. Lachman: "Wait"
Laurie Lamon: "I stopped writing the poem"
Kelly Michels: "Static In The Dark"
Carolyn Moore: "What Euclid's Third Axiom Neglects to Mention about Circles"
Shann Ray: "My Dad, In America"
Matthew Roth: "My Father Goes Out with a Chain in His Hand"
Wesley Rothman: "Long After My Grandfather's Death"
Mitchell Untch: "Autumn"
Gary Whitehead: "Warren"

4000 Words 4000 Dead

“I want to start with the milestone today of 4000 dead in Iraq. Americans. And just what effect do you think it has on the country?” -Martha Raddatz, ABC News White House correspondent to Dick Cheney in 2008

For the past four years, Jennifer Karmin has been collecting submissions of words as a memorial to the 4,487 American soldiers killed in Iraq. These words also create a public poem given away to passing pedestrians during street performances around the country. Throughout October 2012, she will transpose the elegy onto the walls of a dilapidated Chicago mansion utilizing the American flag as her writing utensil. The house will become the site for community events with 4000 Words 4000 Dead concluding on Veterans Day and published by Sona Books.

*October 15, 2012

*Send 1 - 10 words

*Email submission with subject 4000 WORDS to: jkarmin at yahoo dot com

This project is part of the show Home: Public or Private? and presented by 6018NORTH, a non-profit space for experimental culture, installation, performance, and sound. All events will happen at 6018 N. Kenmore in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. Due to the home's condition, space is limited. RSVP at

Friday, Oct 5 @ 7-10pm

Saturday, Oct 6 @ 2-3pm & 4-5pm
Sunday, Oct 14 @ 2-3pm
Saturday, Oct 20 @ 2-3pm & 4-5pm
Saturday, Oct 27 @ 2-3pm & 4-5pm
Sunday, Oct 28 @ 2-3pm

*Artists' Talk:
Saturday, Oct 20 @ 12pm

*Community Discussion & Potluck:
Saturday, Oct 27 @ 6-8pm

*Street Performance:
Sunday, Oct 28 @ 4-5pm

Home: Public or Private?
an exhibition of installations & performances at 6018NORTH
What happens when our private life becomes public and public space becomes private? Located in a mansion on the north side of Chicago, the exhibition presents multiple artists exploring this question through installations within the rooms of the house. The investigations and activities presented explore the social, cultural, and political ramifications of our shifting conceptions of public and private space.

Artists include: Teresa Albor, Lise Haller Baggesen, Rebecca Beachy, Sandra Binion, Troy Briggs, Deborah Boardman, Sandra Binion, Cuppola Bobber, Keith Buchholz, Chelsea Culp and Ben Foch, Collective Cleaners, Meg Duguid, Daniela Ehemann, Maria Gaspar, Jane Jerardi, Jennifer Karmin, Nance Klehm, Joseph Kramer with Radius, Carron Little, Trevor Martin and Victoria Fowler, Lou Mallozzi, Jesus Mejia and Ruth, Harold Mendez, Katrina Petrauskas, Jesse Schlesinger & Vintage Theatre Collective.

Home: Public or Private? is sponsored by Chicago Artists Month.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

VQR Seeks Editor

The Virginia Quarterly Review has posted for the position of Editor.

Call for Poets :: Celebration of Obama

If you'll be on Michigan's east side this month, please join us for A Celebration of Obama Poetry Reading at Delta College. This event is sponsored by the Delta Night Garden Poetry Club in collaboration with NewPages and Binge Press.

This event will take place on Thursday, October 25th at 7 p.m. at Delta College near Saginaw, MI.

We are looking for poets who would like to come read poetry in celebration of our 44th president.

Please contact JodiAnn Stevenson [jodianns777 at gmail dot com] no later than October 15th to get on the program. (Subject: Obama Reading) This is not an open mic - readers must be scheduled. If you are in need of accommodations, we may be able to assist in that.

The time we can offer each poet will depend on responses. Binge Press will also offer a publishing opportunity for this event - details will follow your response.

Come out and let your voice be heard during this important time in our country's and our world's history!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Black Poetry Day October 17

"October 17 is Black Poetry Day. Poetry Foundation, in partnership with Furious Flower Foundation at James Madison University, Dr. Maya Angelou, and the Target Corporation, have created Dream in Color, a rich, comprehensive curriculum to teach the essentials of African American poetry—and poetry in general."

Curriculum resources can be found on the following websites:

Yes! Magazine

Read Write Think

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Black Poetry Day Poets Highlighted

The most recent issue of Saranac Review makes room for a special section of poetry about Black Poetry Day. "For almost thirty years, SUNY-Plattsburgh has been home to an annual celebration of Black Poetry Day. The event was first established by Stanley Ransom, a librarian from the Town of Huntington, Long Island, in1970. Its purpose is to recognize the contributors of Black poets to American life and culture and to honor Jupiter Hammon, the first African-American to publish his own verse," says Alexis Levitin, co-host of Black Poetry Day and poetry editor of the magazine.

Poetry in this section comes from five of the Black Poetry Day celebrants: E. Ethelbert Miller, Gretna Wilkinson, Charles Fort, Marilyn Nelson, and Tony Medina.

Glimmer Train July Very Short Fiction Winners

Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their July Very Short Fiction competition. This competition is held twice a year and is open to all writers for stories with a word count not exceeding 3000. No theme restrictions. The next Very Short Fiction competition will take place in January. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

First place: Josh Swiller [pictured], of Spencer, NY, wins $1500 for “Suddenly, The Apocalypse.” His story will be published in the Fall 2013 issue of Glimmer Train Stories. This is Josh’s first story accepted for publication.

Second place: Chad Schuster, of Shoreline WA, wins $500 for “A Warning to the Cycling Community.” His story will also be published in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing his prize to $700. This is Chad’s first story accepted for publication.

Third place: June Edelstein, of Brooklyn, NY, wins $300 for “Nails.” Her story will also be published in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing her prize to $700.

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

New Lit on the Block :: Clockhouse Review

Reminiscent of one of the buildings on the campus of Goddard College—a symbol for the college and the independent spirit of being part of its learning environment—comes the name of a brand new magazine: Clockhouse Review. Published by Tim Kenyon and managed by Editor Chris Mackowski, this annual print magazine prints fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama (for both stage and screen), comics, and graphic narratives. “Readers will find a collection of work in various genres from strong, independent voices,” says Kenyon.

Their mission statement is as follows: “Dare. Risk. Dream. Share. Ruminate. How do we understand our place in the world, our responsibility to it, and our responsibility to each other? Clockhouse Review is an eclectic conversation about the work-in-progress of life—a soul arousal, a testing ground, a new community, a call for change. Join in.”

Writers and artists from the first issue include Sean Bernard, Arthur Levine, Will Donnelly, Robert McGuill, Mira Martin-Parker, Ian Couch, Hunter Huskey, Tina Tocco, Elizabeth Dalton, Lisa Braxton, David Ritchie, Barbara Ridley, Jan Shoemaker, Louise Deretchin, Mike Mosher, Sara Backer, Joe Lauinger, Paul David Adkins, Lynnel Jones, Leslie Paolucci, Jeffrey MacLachlan, Lisa Mangini, Valerie Macon, Steve Klepetar, Timothy Martin, Ron Riekki, Thomas Piekarski, Matthew Thorburn, John Grey, Steve West, Gabrielle Freeman, Jenn Blair, Lauren Nicole Nixon, Franklin Mulkey, Genevieve Betts, Ruth Bavetta, Gerald Solomon, Billy Reynolds, Russell Rowland, Cecilia Llompart, Leslie Heywood, Nicole Santalucia, Virginia Shank, Marissa Schwalm, and Charles Davenport.

While the goal at the moment is to publish annually, Kenyon expresses that they have the potential to become a biannual journal. “We will be featuring the work of well-known, established writers as featured contributors with each upcoming issue,” he says.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Literature Losing Influence

"Salman Rushdie believes literature has lost much of its influence in the West, and movie stars like George Clooney and Angelina Jolie have taken the place of Susan Sontag and Norman Mailer when it comes to addressing the big issues." Read the rest on Reuters.

Young Writers' Prize: The Kenyon Review

Every year, The Kenyon Review hosts the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers, "named in honor of Patricia Grodd in recognition of her generous support of The Kenyon Review and its programs, as well as her passionate commitment to education and deep love for poetry." Judged by Poetry Editor David Baker, the prize awards high school sophomores and juniors with a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop as well as publication in The Kenyon Review. Featured in the most recent issue of the magazine are the winners from the 2012 contest, the ninth year of the contest.

For the first time, says Baker, "I have opted to present two first-prize designations to two equally fine yet notably different poems. The screening and judging is done through a blind process—no identifying names or origins on the individual poems—so let me congratulate all three poets whose work has risen to the top this year."

The poems of the two first place winners and the runner up, as well as commentary from Baker, can be read in the Fall 2012 issue of The Kenyon Review.

First-Prize Winners
Victoria White: "Elephant Grave"
Truman Zhang: "Dear Poet"

Nandita Karambelkar: "Rangoli"

Monday, October 01, 2012

Carver Short Story Contest Winners

Featured both online and in Carve Magazine's first print issue (Fall 2012) are the winners of the 2012 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. Selected among 691 entries, 39 semi-finalists, and 7 finalists, the five winners were selected by blind voting.

The 2012 guest judge was Bridget Boland, a "a Dallas-based writer whose work has appeared in Conde Nast Women’s Sports and Fitness, YogaChicago, and The Essential Chicago. Her debut novel, The Doula, will be published by Simon and Schuster in September 2012. Ms. Boland teaches writing classes on fiction and memoir, coaches other writers, and offers seminars on yoga, energetics and writing as life process tools. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a JD from Loyola University of Chicago, and is the recipient of five residencies at The Ragdale Foundation for Writers and Artists."


First Place: $1000

“The Odyssey” by Jia Tolentino in Houston, TX

Second Place: $750
“The Third Element” by Jodi Paloni in Marlboro, VT

Third Place: $500
“Neuropathy” by Kathy Flann in Baltimore, MD

Two Editor’s Choice: $250 each
“Starlings” by Joseph Johnson in Ellensburg, WA (Matthew)
“Floating on Water” by Dalia Rosenfeld in Charlottesville, VA (Kristin)

The "longlist" (39 semi-finalists) can be found on the website and interviews with the winning authors and the comments from Boland are exclusive to the print issue.

Creative Writing Programs Guide

Researching Creative Writing Programs? Check out NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs, which includes Creative Writing Graduate Programs: MFA, PhD, MA, as well as Creative Writing Undergraduate Programs: BFA, AFA.

TEACHERS: Please let your students know about this guide as a resource! It's FREE and regularly updated!

If you know a college or university you think should be listed that isn't, PLEASE let us know: