Monday, December 31, 2012

Rejection of Rejection

Roxane Gay, co-editor of PANK, contributes an essay to the new issue of Kugelmass titled "The Art of the Rejection of Rejection." She writes about some of the silly and amusing responses she gets from writers who have been rejected from PANK. One writer responds "Thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree the work is one of my weaker efforts, but I had the idea that I might find a place for it if only I set my sites low enough." Gay writes, "I did not alter his spelling so the irony, as you might imagine, amused me greatly."

But still some writers respond in a much more melancholy manner; "[the responses] are tough because it's clear the writer is having some kind of emotional crisis and/or has their self-esteem inextricably bound to their literary success or lack thereof." But ultimately, it is not up to the editors to make decisions based on how the rejection "might affect a writer's life."

Gay rounds out her essay with a statement that I think we can all identify with, whether it is about ourselves as writers or about writers we have workshopped or worked with: "It is fascinating . . . how writers are not able to separate their writing from themselves. They view constructive feedback as a personal attack, a personal insult, an editorial sin that can never be forgiven."

There are more essays in this issue from Jenny Allen, Sam Allard, and Katherine Spurlock as well as poetry from Edward Curtis, Denise Duhamel and Amy Lemmon, Jessy Randall and Daniel M. Shapiro, David Kirby, Christopher Citro, Mark Cunningham, and Buff Whitman-Bradley and stories from Robert Atwan, Courtney Maum, Sophie Kipner, Dan Pope, Timothy C. Dyke, and Dan Moreau.

Wanted: Assistant Web Administrator and Editors

Red Feather Journal is a growing online, international, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that provides a forum for scholars and professionals to interrogate representations of children in film, television, Cyberspace, video games, art, photography, advertisement or any other visual medium in which the image of the child is featured. Red Feather Journal facilitates an international dialogue among scholars and professionals through vigorous discussion of the intersections between the child and the conception of childhood, children’s material culture, children and politics, the child body, and any other intersections of culture and the child image within local, national, and global contexts.

Red Feather Journal is seeking interested applicants who would like to be a part of our exciting and diverse group of scholars in the capacity of editor and/or assistant web administrator.

For the editor position we seek applicants who have published scholarly works or established research in the area(s) of film/media studies, or children and childhood studies, or related field.

For the Assistant Web Administrator position we seek applicants with established research in film/media or children’s studies (or related field) and who have web-page design and maintenance experience. Duties include [Assistant Web Administrator] assisting Web Administrator with journal publication and design (published twice a year), and [Editor] active participation in the double-blind peer review process.

Scholars from outside the United States and Graduate Students who are ABD are encouraged to apply.

Interested scholars please send letter of interest, contact information, CV, and one sample publication (or link to a sample) to Debbie Olson, or

Applications will be accepted until January 31st, 2013.

CFS New Online Dev Ed Journal

EDvance is a practitioner-based resource for developmental educators seeking innovative methods of instruction for their classrooms. The journal publishes research-based pedagogy that challenges students to think deeply about their learning in highly creative and imaginative ways. The purpose of the publication is to extend the scope of what it means to teach students of the developmental level.

Submissions: Lessons must be thoughtfully designed and suited for the developmental English classroom. The editors anticipate a careful consideration of scaffolding that would be appropriate for various levels of developmental English.

Passings: Jayne Cortez

The life of poet and activist Jayne Cortez, who passed on December 28, 2012 due to a sudden illness, is honored in this memorial by Howard Mandel in the Arts Journal.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Native Filmmakers 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 short film scripts. The first stage of development is an intensive 5-day workshop, held May 20th - 24th, 2013. During the workshop, Fellows received intensive feedback on their projects from established screenwriters and directors.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sign Petition for Imprisoned Poet

Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion from 100 Thousand Poets for Change are asking supporters to sign an extremely important petition in response to Qatari poet Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami's imprisonment for the crime of reciting a poem extolling the courage and values of the popular uprisings in Tunisia. He as been sentenced to life in prison. Read the full petition here.

Rothenberg and Carrion write: "As poets and artists we have a personal stake in seeing this poet released from prison. His persecution is the persecution of all poets and we feel this is something we can’t stand by and watch without taking immediate action. We are very excited by the broad community support we have received thus far and it would be a great honor to have you join us in support of this action by signing the petition and forwarding it to like-minded friends."

Monday, December 24, 2012

Blog on Break

We're off enjoying some time with family and friends and hope you all are doing the same! The blog will be back on the 27th. See you then!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Open Utopia

Does the world really need another edition of Utopia? From Open Utopia creator/curator Stephen Duncombe: "This digital edition of Utopia is open: open to read, open to copying, open to modification. On this site Utopia is presented in different formats in order to enhance this openness. If the visitor wishes to read Utopia online they can find a copy. If they want to download and copy a version, I’ve provided links to do so in different formats for different devices. In partnership with The Institute for the Future of the Book I provide an annotatable and 'social' text available for visitors to comment upon what More – or I – have written, and then share their comments with others. Those who like to listen will find a reading of Utopia on audio files, and those who want to watch and look can browse the user-generated galleries of Utopia-themed art and videos. For people interested in creating their own plan of an alternative society, I’ve created Wikitopia, a wiki with which to collaborate with others in drafting a new Utopia. More versions for more platforms are likely to be introduced in the future."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Behind the Editor's Desk

With the new issue of Iron Horse Literary Review comes two brand new columns. "In the Saddle" will give a sneak peak into the habits and writing rituals of an author that the magazine editors admire. Since it is the first installment of the column, the editors of Iron Horse decided to go first. To the left is a photo of the editors' desk, labeled and commented on to the right. While some of the comments are insightful ("Once we accept a manuscript, everyone in the office . . . spends a little alone-time with the piece, copy-editing closely and massaging the writing into its best possible shape."), other comments are playful: "We complain about our office being windowless. Some folks say, 'Even if you had a window, you'd just be looking out at a brick wall.' So we hung a photograph of a brick wall, by Marcus J. Weekley."

In "Bits & Pieces," Leslie Jill Patterson talks about how Duotrope has wrongly listed Iron Horse as one of "The Slothful" journals, taking around a year to respond to submissions. After crunching numbers on their own, they showed that their average response time is actually more like one to two months. "For complaining and pointing out that what Duotrope is doing might actually be libelous, was certainly unethical, Iron Horse was booted from their Web site," she writes. "Fine. I like being a rebel. Let's see if we can set this thing on fire." She says that more news about this will be posted on their website and social media sites.

The rest of the issue includes new writing from Carrie Shipers, Charles Hughes, Juan Morales, Abby Geni, Asha Falcon, Mary Jo Melone, and more.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Responding to Tragedy in School

From the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE): "Literacy teachers, working with community members and educators across a school system, have a special responsibility in the wake of school tragedy. They help students build empathy and understanding through reading literature, informational texts, and multimedia accounts of events in and around their school. They help students gain perspective by learning to place events in cultural, social, and historical contexts. And they help students organize evidence so they can write persuasively about changes that will promote safety, security, and healing.

"In a time where violence and social disruption do not stop at the school house door, NCTE honors the vital work of literacy educators, and all who collaborate with them, to advance learning under the most difficult circumstances.

"We've assembled these resources on responding to tragedy in schools for you and your school community."

- Sandy Hayes, NCTE President

The Gift that Gives to All

If you are reading the NewPages blog, chances are you already consider a book to be one of the best gifts out there (to give or receive). But why not consider another literary gift? A donation in someone's name to an independent publisher gives on multiple levels:
  • You are supporting not just the publisher, but authors (and by extension, readers) as well.
  • In some cases, publishers offer books at a certain donation level, so you'll still have something for your recipient to unwrap. (And if not, buy one of their books!)
  • Many independent presses, especially non-profit ones, are heavily involved in the improvement of their communities and dedicate funds to literacy and other programs, both local and worldwide. Your donation can have a far-reaching impact.
Unsure how to choose a publisher to support? Just pick a tactic. Go with the well-known: both Coffee House Press and Graywolf Press are non-profits; Graywolf notes on its site that a $25 donation can provide one of their titles to a high school student, and through 1/15/13, Coffee House is donating 10% of its sales to the worldwide literacy program Room to Read. Or go with a cause near to your recipient's heart: Kore Press, for example, publishes women's poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, including that of writers underrepresented in the cultural mainstream. They also seek to mentor and support women ages 14-20 with their Grrls Literary Activism Program. Find a press that supports GLBT literature...environmental activism...translations of obscure French poetry; whatever your recipient's interest, there's likely a small press that caters to it.

Countless publishers would appreciate your financial support, and any reader would enjoy having that support given in her/his name. And perhaps best of all, you don't have to go anywhere near a mall.

If you know of other presses like those mentioned, please add a comment about who they are and what they do to this blog post. (Comments are moderated to avoid spam, so give us time to post them.)

Technoculture: The Retro Issue

Technoculture (ISSN 1938-0526) is an independent annual peer-reviewed journal. Publishing both critical and creative works that explore the ways in which technology impacts this (or any) society, with a broad definition of technology.

Technoculture seek creative works that use new media and/or are on the subject of technology, and essays from a broad a range of academic disciplines that focus on cultural studies of technology. Essays published examine the topic “technology and society,” or, perhaps,“technologies and societies.”

For Volume 3 (2013), The Retro Issue, the editors are particularly seeking essays and creative works that focus on lost, ancient, old or dead technologies, technologies that no one uses, or very few people still employ. Topics could include depictions of technologies that treat a wide range of subjects related to the social sciences and humanities. These subjects might include:

  • technologies once popular that are no longer used, such as 8-track tape
  • film and television as technologies (especially in the early days of television and film)
  • celebrities' use of technology in a given historical moment, such as the early days of television or the heyday of radio
  • politics and technology, especially historical approaches
  • music production and dissemination, especially historical approaches (such as Listz' transcriptions of entire Wagner operas and Beethoven symphonies)
  • visual artists and their use of (or flight from) given technologies, especially historical approaches
  • literary depictions of technologies (especially in works from other decades than our own)
  • computer/video gaming (older games, rather than newer games)
  • the dissemination of the arts via technology to broad or to specialized audiences in particular historical moments
  • the disappearance of a given technology or technologies and what that disappearance/disappearances means/mean for the archival issues that surround the humanities.
  • sports and sports figures of the past
  • memorabilia and collectibles from the past

In particular, the editors are interested in a conception of “technology” and the “humanist impulse” that pushes beyond contemporary American culture and its fascination with computers; they seek papers that deal with any technology or technologies in any number of historical periods from any relevant theoretical perspective with a particular focus on old, dead and lost technologies for this issue.

Technocluture is not interested in “how to” pedagogical papers that deal with the use of technology in the classroom.

Technoculture will publish scholarly/critical papers in the latest MLA citation style, but also creative works including poetry and creative non-fiction are of interest to us. They will publish art work and especially media designed for display/dissemination on a computer monitor including still images, video or audio.

Submissions for Volume 3 (2013) accepted until 31 August 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NewPages Link Updates

Added to The NewPages Big List of Literary Magazines:
Five Quarterly [O] - poetry, fiction
Lunch Ticket [O] - poetry, fiction, nonfiction
New Haven Review [P] - poetry, fiction, nonfiction
Midwestern Gothic [P/E] - poetry, fiction, photography
Angle [O] - poetry
Chagrin River Review [O] - poetry, fiction
Glitterwolf [P] - LGBT, poetry, fiction, art, photography
Phoenix in the Jacuzzi [P] - poetry, fiction, art
Quickly [O] - poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, reviews
Sundog Lit [O] - poetry, fiction, nonfiction
The Whole Mitten [O] - fiction
Theodate [O] - poetry
iO Poetry [O]
Broad! [O] - poetry, fiction, nonfiction, visual art
Clockhouse Review [P] - poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, comics, graphic narrative
Quarterly Literary Review Singapore [O] - poetry, fiction, criticism, interviews
Storm Cellar [P] - fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, art
Swamp Biscuits and Tea [O] - fiction

[app] = publication available as an app for tablets/phones
[e] = electronic publication for e-readers
[o] = online magazines
[p] = print magazine

Added to Literary Links:
Burrow Press Review - fiction, nonfiction, columns, serials, interviews, book reviews
The Dying Goose - fiction
District - poetry, fiction, art
Animal - poetry, fiction, nonfiction
Revolver - an arts and cultural magazine based in Minneapolis
WhiskeyPaper - Drink words
The Barnstormer - to celebrate the intersection of sports and humanity with good writing
Dead Flowers - A Poetry Rag
The Bakery - poetry
Verity LA - (Australia) - creative arts journal, publishing short fiction and poetry, cultural comment, photomedia, reviews, and interviews.

Added to The NewPages Big List of Alternative Magazines:
thisthatSAID [O] - a critical examination of contemporary issues
Gadfly [O] - culture that matters

Added to Writing Conferences, Workshops, Retreats, Centers, Residencies, Book & Literary Festivals:
Whistler Readers & Writers Festival [Canada]
BookFest Windsor
Blood & Tea Mystery Conference

Added to Creative Writing Programs:
Augsburg College (MN) MFA program
Benedictine College [Springfield, IL] BA in Writing & Publishing
Monterey Peninsula College [CA] creative writing classes

Added to Independent Publishers & University Presses
Triangle Square - YA imprint of Seven Stories Press
Great Weather for MEDIA - poetry, fiction, monologues, nonfiction, anthologies
Torrey House Press - fiction, nonfiction, environment, American West
Soberscove Press - art-related books

Crazyhorse Fiction and Poetry Contest Winners

The Fall 2012 issue of Crazyhorse announces the winner of the Crazyhorse Prize in Fiction: "Candidate" by Amina Gautier, selected by Joyce Carol Oates. The winner of the Lynda Hull Memorial Prize, judged by Carl Phillips, is Lo Kwa Mei-en's poem, "Man O' War." Both winners received $2,000 and inclusion in this issue.

Other contributors to the issue include Karen Brown, Nona Kennedy Carlson, Aaron Gwyn, Caitlin Horrocks, Molly McNett, Karen Munro, Lia Purpura, Peter Stine, Monica Berlin, Traci Brimhall, Daniel Carter, Jean-Paul de Dadelsen, Kara Dorris, John Estes, Elisa Gabbert, Sarah Giragosian, Karin Gottshall, Sarah Gridley, Katy Gunn, Marilyn Hacker, Allison Hutchcraft, Karen An-hwei Lee, Göran Malmqvist, Edward Mayes, Wayne Miller, Scott Minar, Matthew Minicucci, John A. Nieves, Deirdre O'Connor, Lynne Potts, Kathleen Rooney, Mary Ann Samyn, Peter Jay SHippy, Avery Slater, Travis Smith, Ingela Strandberg, and Eric Weinstein.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tupelo Press 30 Poems in 30 Days

The 30/30 Project is an extraordinary challenge and fundraiser for Tupelo Press, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) literary press. One poet per month will run the equivalent of a “poetry marathon,” writing 30 poems in 30 days, while readers can “sponsor” and encourage her or him every step of the way by making a donation to Tupelo Press in honor of the poet. The first volunteer, Rebecca Kaiser Gibson, is already off and running. Readers can follow the poets by having each new post delivered via e-mail. Tupelo plans to continue the 30/30 Project for a full year. If you’d like to volunteer for a month, contact with your offer, a brief bio, and three sample poems.

Art of Takanori Aiba in Stone Voices

Takanori Aiba's art is featured in the Winter 2012 issue of Stone Voices. He "creates incredibly detailed tiny worlds using craft paper, plastic, plaster, acrylic resin, paint, and other materials. His work is inspired by his early experiences with maze illustration as well as with the Japanese art forms of bonsai (miniature trees) and suiseki (stone appreciation)."

The art is truly amazing and detailed; I only wish I could see the pieces in real life. I'm particularly enraptured with the pieces that incorporate the bonsai tree. "My work comes out of my extraordinary, fantastic, and sometimes even chimerical imagination," he writes. "People believe that my creations are real buildings and spaces because I depict not only the outline, but also all the elaborate details in each piece. I create the side, back, and even the inside of the buildings."

I was also taken with Vincent Louis Carella's column and photography, "The Little People." He takes photos of miniature plastic people in the environments around him. "Taking these photos has raised for me a thousand questions," he writes. "How is it exactly that bodies speak? The language of the human form has no vowels, it defies the tongue and teeth. . . These little figurines speak loudly." Later he says, "What I've discovered is that I overlook so much."

The rest of the issue includes art portfolios by Kristin Reed and Rae Broyles and features Naomi Beth Wakan, M. M. De Voe, Marsha Bailey Andersen, and David Denny.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

LiveCast: Junot Díaz and Julie Otsuka

The 92 Street Y Reading Series will feature Junot Díaz and Julie Otsuka on Monday December 17 at 8:00pm EST. The free livecast allows viewers to post questions to a Twitter feed. Junot Díaz’s new collection of stories is This Is How You Lose Her. His writing is “radiant with the hard lives of those who leave and also those who stay behind—it is a rousing hymn about the struggle to defy bone-cracking history with ordinary, and extraordinary, love,” wrote Walter Mosley. “His characters explode off the page into the canon of our literature and our hearts.” Julie Otsuka won this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award for The Buddha in the Attic. She “creates a voice that is hypnotic and irresistible, and renders her story with the power of the most ancient, timeless myths, the legends that crowd our dreams, and the truths we cannot bear,” wrote the judges.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fellowship for Jewish Scholars & Writers

The Posen Foundation is proud to announce a unique international fellowship for junior scholars and emerging fiction writers. Each member of the Posen Society of Fellows receives a two-year, $40,000 award, as well as a special opportunity to collaborate with peers and learn from seasoned scholars and writers.

Eligible scholars should be completing a doctoral dissertation on a topic related to modern Jewish history or culture. Eligible fiction writers should be working on a Jewish-themed novel or short story collection, and should not yet have published their first book.

The inaugural class of Fellows will include six scholars and two fiction writers, who will convene each summer to share work, discuss progress, participate in workshops, and attend lectures by senior scholars and writers. The first gathering of Fellows will take place August 11–13, 2013, in Berkeley. Each Fellow will be expected to attend two annual gatherings, and, later on, to submit a report on their progress and adapt their work for a public audience.

To be considered for the Society, scholars must submit a dissertation prospectus, a writing sample of no more than 15 pages, a letter of recommendation from a major advisor, and a curriculum vitae. Scholars must have completed their comprehensive exams or have commenced writing their dissertations by April 1, 2013.

Writers should submit a writing sample (for novelists: 30-40 pages of prose; for short story writers: two or three completed stories), curriculum vitae, a description of the work in progress, and an explanation of how the writing sample fits into the larger work.

The Posen Society of Fellows is not restricted to any religion or nationality. Participants from outside North America should be in possession of valid visas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Best of the Best Essays

In an article for Publishers Weekly, Robert Atwan, the founder of The Best American Essays series, picks the 10 best essays of the postwar period. Six of the essays are available to read full-text online, and one via subscription (New Yorker).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tin House and Octopus Collaborate on New Poetry Series

Tin House Books and Octopus Books have announced a new collaborative poetry series. Acquiring titles in the new line will be Matthew Dickman, poetry editor of Tin House magazine, and Zachary Schomburg, editor at Octopus Books. First in the series will be Brandon Shimoda's Portuguese. The two editors discuss the reasons for the new collaboration in their editors' note:

"We represent two different types of small presses, with two different aesthetics, and two different audiences, but we're both based in a city [Portland, Ore.] that has a palpable collaborative energy that is proving itself every day. And at a time when many larger presses are thinning their poetry rosters, we wonder if publishing collaboratively is a model that presses are missing out on, a model that smaller independent presses are capable of, because there is nothing to lose in teaming up to publish books for a multiplied and overlapped audience. This is a model that is necessary for a new kind of conversation to begin, not to see how we can meet in the middle, but how we can meet at the edges."

Portuguese will be published by Tin House Books and Octopus Books on March 12, 2013 and distributed by Publishers Group West. Shimoda is the author of three previous books of poetry and is currently coediting, with poet Thom Donovan, a retrospective collection of writing by Lebanese American poet Etel Adnan (Nightboat Books, forthcoming).

In 2014, Tin House and Octopus will again collaborate to publish Bianca Stone's new collection, Someone Else's Wedding Vows.

Interview :: Juliana Spahr

"I often wish [poetry] was more didactic. I like it to mean things, I confess."

Juliana Spahr talks to Full Stop about historicized reading in the classroom, academic labor, and Meaning as part of the series Teaching in the Margins. With Teaching in the Margins, Full Stop looks to poets, novelists, educators and academics to survey the state of the humanities and explore the relationship between innovative writing and pedagogy.

You can find the interview here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Latinos in Children's Literature

The New York Times blog City Room provides a reading list of children's books with Latino characters in response to an article published in the NYT questioning: Where are all the Latinos? Aurora Anaya-Cerda, owner of La Casa Azul bookstore in East Harlem, provided the list, and readers are invited to continue contributing their selections via the comments.

NANO Fiction Prize 2012

In the fall 2012 issue of NANO Fiction, the 2012 NANO Prize is announced and printed: "Hand Over Hand" by Patrick Swaney. The judge, Ryan Call, says, "While I read several entries that struck me for their unique presentation of the form, I loved how simply and unexpectedly the turns of the winning story occurred. . . . Swaney has quickly shared with us yet another brief, awkward interaction between strangers."

Other contributors to this issue include Selena Anderson, Garrett Ashley, Lauren Becker, S.G. Childress, Jasmine Dreame Wagner, Nicolle Elizabeth, Bryce Emley, Kendra Fortmeyer, Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes, Scott Garson, Elisabeth Geier, L.P. Griffith, Elise Hunter, Simon Jacobs, Jason Joyce, Benjamin King, Kenneth Kronenberg, Emily Link, Maxim Loskutoff, Dan Lundin, Sam Martone, Rupprecht Mayer,John A. McDermott, Nicole Miller, John Poch, Alexis Pope, Michelle Reale, C. R. Resetarits, Scott Riley, Matt Sailor, Jared Yates Sexton, Patrick Swaney, Anthony Varallo, Mark Walters, Zack Wentz, A. Werner, and Gregory Zorko.

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Lit on the Block :: The Golden Key

NewPages is happy to welcome yet another new, online magazine—The Golden Key. Publishing fiction and poetry twice a year, the magazines is available online and in PDF form for free. The magazine publishes speculative and literary writing, stories and poems that “grip,” “enchant,” and “enthrall” the editors.

The name of the magazine is inspired by the Grimm's fairy tale by the same name. Co-Editor Susan Anspach says that the story “concludes with a boy lifting the lid of a little iron chest before revealing to readers what the chest contains. The Grimms,” she continues, “chose to end their collection of fairy tales with this story as a reminder that there exists an endless reserve of stories still yet untold. In the same spirit, our journal seeks to publish work that is open to strange and marvelous possibilities.”

During her MFA program at University of Maryland, Anspach met Co-Editors Carlea Holl-Jensen and LiAnn Yim. They were all reading a lot of speculative and strange work. “We were excited to share our fascination with the weird and the oft magical, and we knew we wanted more of it,” Anspach says. Thus, the magazine was born.

But compared to some other online magazines, this magazine will remain digital. The editors don’t have hopes of eventually turning it to a print publication because they wish to make “the best digital imprint [they] can.” Anspach says that this will help keep the costs low so that they can eventually pay their contributors.

The poems in the first issue include "Let's Hurt" by Cat Richardson, "My Son to His Therapist:" and "Daughters of the Spindle" by Mary Elzabeth Lee, "Song of Solomon" by Maya K Lowy, "You tell me" by M.S. Rooney, and "dream, tiger" by Nancy Chen Long. The fiction includes "Bones" by Sylvia Linsteadt, "Fetching Whiskey Bill" by Lily Bruzas, "The Wooden Frame" by Alexander Gifford Howard, "Trail of Stones" by Adam Smith, and "Duplicator" by James D. Reed.

Every issue of the magazine is themed. The magazine accepts submissions via email starting Jan. 1 and running through March 31 for the next issue. You can follow The Golden Key on Facebook and Twitter (@GoldenKeyLit) for announcements on submissions, issue themes, and release dates.

International Human Rights Day

In honor of International Human Rights Day (today), Jersey Devil Press is publishing a special one feature issue, featuring Robert Buswell's "How I Upstaged Anne Frank."

"No, Jersey Devil Press has not gone overtly political. (And hopefully never will)
So why are we publishing this story? Three reasons.

First, one of our missions at JDP is to publish stuff that deserves to be published that a lot of other people won’t touch. We like being the indie lit community’s Isle of Misfit Toys. Sometimes that means publishing a novella about poo-eating aliens. Sometimes it’s a story about peeing on a magical unicorn. And sometimes, it’s something a lot, lot darker.

Second, we think we have a thoughtful readership that can handle this story, that can see why we had to publish this incredibly dark piece of satire once it was submitted to us.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, we’re publishing this because it’s about something truly awful that actually happened to a real person. As we weighed the pros and cons of publishing this, that’s the thing that kept coming up: the chance to give a voice – even a satirical one – to a woman who died young and horribly.

And that’s why we decided to publish this story even though it violates many of our guidelines and particularly the one about rape. (We probably should say TRIGGER WARNING, by way of preface.)

It’s not an easy read, by any means, but we do think it’s a worthwhile one."

Hunger Mountain 10th Year Anniversary

Ten years ago, with the fall issue of 2002, Hunger Mountain lit mag was born. To honor their anniversary in the Fall 2012 issue, Hunger Mountain asked past contributors and editors to make lists of ten things, any kind of list they wanted. Here are some of the lists:

Robin Black: 10 spaces in my ideal home
Abby Frucht: 10 names for men's hair dyes
Sascha Feinstein: 10 possible engravings for the tombstone I won't have
Jewel Parker Rhodes: 10 books that I share with my kids
Bruce Smith: 10 songs with chicken in the title
Gish Jen's daughter and friend, age 13: 10 things not to eat while reading

These lists and more can be read in the Fall 2012 issue along with new writing from Kirsten Clodfelter, Clarence Lai, Donald Quist, Gary Moore, Suzanne Parker, Jesse Damiani, Katherine Hollander, Muriel Nelson, Ellen LaFleche, Steven Harvey, Pam Houston, Sally Derby, and many more.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

K-12: Which Literature to Cut?

Washington Post article on the new common reading core in K-12:


The Common Core State Standards in English, which have been adopted in 46 states and the District, call for public schools to ramp up nonfiction so that by 12th grade students will be reading mostly “informational text” instead of fictional literature.
English teacher J.D. Wilson agrees with much of what the standards aim to accomplish. But he is disturbed by the subtle shift the new standards are already causing in his classroom at Wareham High School in Wareham, Mass. “Reading for information makes you knowledgeable — you learn stuff,” Wilson said. “But reading literature makes you wise.” Wilson has wrestled with which poems to cut from his lesson plans and which nonfiction to teach instead. And then he hit upon an idea. This fall, he has taught “Literature Is Not Data: Against Digital Humanities,” “Shakespeare, a Poet Who Is Still Making Our History” and “Who Killed the Liberal Arts?” They are all essays that emphasize the value of literature.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Paul Dry Book Sale

All Paul Dry Books 30% off until December 15 and shipping is free. Buy 3 or more books and they'll throw in a free copy of either A Russian Schoolboy or Up in the Hills. (Tell them your pick in the "Notes" section of the order form.) Enter the coupon code HOLIDAY-2012 during checkout to receive this discount.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Gift Idea: Literary Magazines!

Literary magazines make great holiday gifts! Perfect options for everyone on your gift list! Purchase single copies of a variety of current literary magazines from just one site: NewPages Magazine Webstore

• Find titles you recognize and discover new magazines.
• Browse issue content to find favorite authors as well as new voices.
• Research magazines before submitting your writing.
• Teachers & Students: FINALLY! One site to get classroom reading.
• Support writers and publishers of literary magazines!

Pick and choose single copies from the comfort of your keyboard and have them conveniently delivered to your doorstep! Order NOW and get your holiday shopping done early!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Documentary :: Harana

HARANA, a film project that Florante wrote and conceived about the search for harana practitioners, debuted at the BUSAN and HAWAII International Film Festivals in October 2012.

About Harana: Upon his father's death, Florante, a classically trained guitarist returns to the Philippines after 12 years of absence. During his stay he rediscovers the music of harana - a long-forgotten tradition of Filipino serenading when men sang under the window at night to fearlessly declare their love for a woman.

Intent on unearthing these unheralded songs, Florante travels to the remote provinces where he discovers three of the last surviving practitioners - a farmer, a fisherman and a tricycle driver. Astounded by their golden voices, Florante asks them to travel with him to perform and record these unknown songs. During their travels, the haranistas meet Brian, a shy young man who for years has been secretly in love with a schoolmate. The haranistas, who have not serenaded in the last thirty years, offered their services to serenade Brian's object of affection, resulting in one of the most tender moments of genuine harana captured on film.

[From the film website.]

Writer Patches: Sterling journal

Sterling, a magazine we have just added to our complete guide to literary magazines, sends out its third issue with an attached patch. Meant to resemble the boy scout patches, the cover features patches for writers including "Rejection Letter," "Keen Observer," "Filled a Journal," and my personal favorite, "Rhymed with Orange." The editors says, "For the first printing, an actual iron-on embroidered patch was used for the wordmark. This 3" square of awesomeness is well suited for denim, baseball caps, and framing."

The issue features new poems, plays, and stories by Vincenzo Aliberti, David Bester, Michael Casteels, Channah Cohen, Armel Dagorn, Teresa Del Mastro, Simona Dragu, Tina Gagliardi, Channie Greenberg, John Grey, Stacey Lane, Joe Massingham, Steven Mayof, Daniel Perry, Jeannine Pitas, Kaye Spivey, and Hilary Trapp.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Comprehensive New Collection of Louise Glück's Works

A new collection of the poetry of Louise Glück was released last month from Ecco and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Poems 1962 - 2012, at 628 pages, is a clearly comprehensive look at the ouevre of the Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet.

Beginning with Glück's Firstborn, published in 1968, Poems gathers 11 of her titles in total, ending with 2009's A Village Life. Included are The Wild Iris (1992), which earned Glück the Pulitzer; Ararat (1990), for which she earned the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress; and 1985's The Triumph of Achilles, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Boston Globe Literary Press Award, and the Poetry Society of America's Melville Kane Award. Her list of additional awards is extensive.

Glück's poetry is devoid of frills, of cloying layers of too-heavy imagery. Instead, her language is sparse and plain, though no less descriptive in its detail:

     I look out over the sterile snow.
     Under the white birch tree, a wheelbarrow.
     The fence behind it mended. On the picnic table,
     mounded snow, like the inverted contents of a bowl
     whose dome the wind shapes. The wind,
     with its impulse to build.

          —"World Breaking Apart," from Descending Figure

The stripped-down language is deceptive in its simplicity. Glück can draw you in to her quiet world and then deliver a sudden blow:
     Late December: my father and I
     are going to New York, to the circus.
     He holds me
     on his shoulders in the bitter wind:
     scraps of whitepaper
     blow over the railroad ties.

     My father liked
     to stand like this, to hold me
     so he couldn't see me.

          —"Snow" from Ararat
With poetry like this, there is little need for allegory or other traditional techniques. Which is not to say Glück does not use them: 2006's Averno draws its name from a crater lake near Naples that was regarded by ancient Romans as the entrance to the underworld, and the 18 poems in the book retell the Persephone myth. But regardless of the devices used, Glück's work remains simple, beautiful, almost hauntingly so; as she says, "I am prepared now to force / clarity upon you."

Andrei Codrescu on Reddit AMA Thursday, Dec. 5

Andrei Codrescu, author of the just-published Bibliodeath (Antibookclub), will be participating in a Reddit AMA session on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. Central time/11 a.m. Eastern.

To join in the discussion or ask a question, follow this link Thursday at the specified time:

Bibliodeath is a book-length essay that addresses the end of the book in its print form. Codrescu mingles his thoughts about the migration of books to new formats with a memoir of his own writing history. Footnotes, pages long at times, serve as a parallel commentary to the book. Instead of falling into one camp or the other, Codrescu uses the concept of archives, both literal and metaphorical, to meditate on the transformation of the written word.

Codrescu is a poet, novelist, and contributor to NPR's All Things Considered. He is the author of numerous books and was a distinguished professor at Lousiana State University before retiring to the woods a few years ago. A new collection of his poetry, So Recently Rent a World: New and Selected Poems, 1968-2012, is forthcoming next week from Coffee House Press. More information about the author and his wors can be found at his website.

Reddit's AMA (Ask Me Anything) series lets readers submit questions to the participant, who will respond to them in real time. Questions can be on any topic. Participants have ranged from a driveway sealcoater, a toll booth worker, and a professional circus acrobat to Eric Idle, Larry King, and Barack Obama.

Copper Nickel Contest Winners

The most recent issue of Copper Nickel features the winners of their 2012 contests. Fiction was selected by Kevin Wilson, and Paisley Rekdal judged poetry.

First Place
Anne Valente: "Dear Amelia"

Special Mention
Sarah Gerkensmeyer: "My Husband's House"
Adam Sturtevant: "The Pretenders"

Shabnam Nadiya: "And We Rise How We Rise"
Leslie Rakowicz: "Celia"

First Place
Tarfia Faizullah: "Reading Célan at the Liberation War Museum"

Honorable Mention
David J. Daniel: "Danny Starr: A Lament"

Maud Poole
George Kalamaras
Anna Claire Hodge
Ansel Elkins
Kristin Robertson
John Hoppenthaler

On Writing Every Day for Two Years

Poet Luisa Igloria on the second anniversary of her writing a poem every day for the past two years: "Perhaps ninety percent of whatI've written isn't very good. Perhaps a few poems have promise. But what blows my mind is that I’m writing: writing every day. And that I have 730 poems thus far to return to and revise, if I so choose, is also a pretty astounding idea."

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

LitRagger: New App for the iPad

A brand new, free app called LitRagger is now available—released on Dec. 2. Exclusively for small press and university publishers, this app sells editions of journals featuring fiction, poetry, and essays. Readers can download the app for free and then purchase either single issues or subscriptions to the magazines.

Current participating magazines include Hobart, Prairie Schooner, Sycamore Review, Willow Springs, Bellevue Literary Review, Gulf Coast, Revolution House, FIELD, and Salamander. "The app features page turn animations, interactive tables of contents, and sharing on multiple devices—as well as regularly updated, free content."

From the press release: "Developed by Adam Lefton and Landon Sandy, a computer science student at Purdue University, LitRagger simplifies the process of digital publication for journals with small staffs and even smaller budgets. As Managing Editor of Sycamore Review, Adam discovered that the methods currently available for entering the digital marketplace were too costly and inefficient for biannual and quarterly publications. With Landon’s coding expertise, they built LitRagger to make it easy and cost effective for literary journals to offer content on the iPad."

To get the app on your iPad, you can search "LitRagger" in the app store, or go here for a link to download it.

Maya Angelou Interview

The editor of Splash of Red magazine thanked the readers for being loyal by asking them if they had anyone they would like to see interviewed. One ambitious reader asked for an interview with Maya Angelou, and Splash of Red was able to deliver.

In the interview, Angelou discusses her writing process: "When I’m writing a book, I keep a hotel room in town - whatever town I’m living in - and I’m on the first floor. I rent it by the month. I talk with housekeeping management and I explain that I don’t want anybody in my room so they never have to change sheets or change towels. I don’t use any of that. I go in around 6:30 in the morning. And I keep in the room my Bible, a Roget’s Thesaurus, a Random House dictionary, stacks of yellow pads, and pens and crossword puzzles. . . ."

After further discussion on this answer, SoR asks "Even though you have performed with dance and been involved in theater, what is it that inspires you to write poetry as a creative medium?" Angelou admits that she doesn't think she has ever been asked that question before: "I love the sound of the human voice. I’ve never been asked that before, I don’t think. I know I’ve never given that answer before but that’s really what it is. You see poetry is music written for the human voice and I love it. I spent six years of my life as a mute, a voluntary mute. I could speak but I wouldn’t. I would go into a room and think of my whole body as an ear. And I could go into a room and absorb all of the sound osmotically through my pores, my ears, and my hair. And I’ve never found any human voice I didn’t like. I’ve found words they’ve said...but the voice itself - I love the human voice. English to me is the most fantastic language."

You can read the full interview on Splash of Red's website.

White Whale Ale

Another great gift idea for the holidays: "Powell's Books has collaborated with Rogue Ales and Spirits to create a beverage for anyone who has a thirst for books and artisan craft beer — White Whale Ale, infused with the seafaring spirit of Moby-Dick. The concept behind the project was to go where beer has never gone before — by adding actual pages from a copy of Moby-Dick to the brew."

Chad Walsh Poetry Prize

Each year, Beloit Poetry Journal awards $4,000 for the Chad Walsh Poetry Prize, honoring Chad Walsh, the cofounder in 1950. The prize this year is the gift of Alison Walsh Sackett and Paul Sackett.

The award goes to Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. for her poem "Albania" that was published in the Winter 2011/2012 issue.

Former winners include Margaret Aho, Karl Elder, Jessica Goodfellow, Mary Molinary, Lucia Perillo, Glori Simmons, Onna Solomon, and Charles Wyatt.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Track Your OWN Submissions

Matt Bell, author and NMU professor, shared his submission tracker spreadsheet for all to use, copy, and share freely with others. It's a "simple" Google doc, but includes the essentials that writers need to note as well as an active data formula for response time - a feature that seems of interest to many. To make your own copy, go to "File" and and select "Make a copy..." (Thanks for the directions, Matt!).

New Lit on the Block :: the museum of americana

We are happy to welcome the museum of americana to our guide to literary magazines. Born from the desire to “revive and repurpose our cultural heritage” and pass it on to the next generation, the magazine publishes nonfiction, fiction, poetry, reviews, interviews, photography, and artwork. Editor Justin Hamm says that this quarterly online magazine's name contains the word “museum” because it is what they’d like to accomplish. “One of the best parts of a museum experience is the juxtaposition,“ he says. “Dozens of periods exist under the same roof, which can create a pretty interesting mixture. We want our readers to have that kind of experience with each issue, to move from, say, Thomas Jefferson to Doo-Wop in one mouse click. At the same time, ‘museum’ is not meant to imply ‘retired’ artifacts under glass. We're especially interested in work that makes Americana new, that experiments with or repurposes it in unexpected ways.”

Hamm says that beyond excellent reading and art, you can expect to experience “something akin to running into an old high school friend after twenty years, a simultaneous mixture of familiarity and foreignness.” Hamm says that the editors woud like to restore the cultural heritage’s vitality by “publishing work that uses the old as construction material for something new. Americans are down in a lot ways right now. We're divided. Now seems like a good time to revisit our shared past.”

The first issue of the museum of americana includes poetry from Tony Barnstone, Scott Beal, Jenn Blair, Jeff Kass, Kathleen Kirk, Norbert Krapf, Christopher Martin, Kevin Millar, Dale Patterson, Pepper Trail, David Walsh, and Karen Weyant; fiction by Sean Conaway, Joyce Goldenstern, Paul Jaskunas, and Dan Mancilla; and nonfiction by Chelsey Clammer.

In the near future, the editors hope to add music and short films to the website as well as develop a team of regular reviewers to “spotlight Americana-themed books.” Eventually, they would like to become a print publication, perhaps even publishing some chapbooks and books.

Other editors include Poetry Editors Karrie Waarala and Tim Hunt, Prose Editors Lauren Alwan and Lindsey Griffin, and Photography/Art Editor Jennifer Joy Jameson.

The next reading period is the month of December. Submissions can be sent via email with full guidelines on their website. “We hope you’ll add submitting to us to your holiday to-do lists,” Hamm says.

Rattle Poetry Prize 2012

The most recent issue of Rattle announces and publishes the winning piece of the 2012 Rattle Poetry Prize for $5,000: Heidi Shuler's "Trials of a Teenage Transvestite's Single Mother." The editors writer, "A good poem doesn't need to impress us with sophisticated language or fresh and unexpected metaphors. It doesn't need to rhyme or not rhyme, or explore the until-now unexplored. But a good poem does have to take us somewhere and make us feeling something. With a momentum and a sense of emotional suspense that made us hold our breath, Heidi Shuler perfectly captures the intersection of a mother's loving fear and a teenage son's innocence about the world." Here are the first two stanzas of her poem:

My son's black ruffled skirt is shorter than the straight denim one
he usually wears. We're late for school. Don't dawdle, I say
as he swings one leg out of the truck and then the other, far unlike

how my grandmother taught me--knees clasped, pivot at the hips,
feet land together, and stand, ladylike. Those were Iowa manners;
this is Eugene, Oregon, etiquette, twenty years later. . . .

The poetry prize finalists include Lytton Bell, John Brehm, Norma Chapman, Kim Dower, Anna Evans, Catherine Freeling, David Hernandez, Krista Lukas, M, and Kenny Williams.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Glimmer Train September Fiction Open Winners

Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their September Fiction Open competition. This competition is held quarterly. Stories generally range from 2000-6000 words, though up to 20,000 is fine. The next Fiction Open will take place in December. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

First place: Doug Lawson [pictured], of Los Gatos, CA, wins $2500 for “The Mushroom Hunter.” His story will be published next November in the Winter 2014 issue of Glimmer Train Stories.

Second place: Meghan Kenny, of Baltimore, MD, wins $1000 for “Heartbreak Hotel.”

Third place: Andrew MacDonald, of Toronto, Ontario, wins $600 for “Four Minutes.”

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