Thursday, August 28, 2014

Glimmer Train June Fiction Winners

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

First place: Michael Varga [pictured, of Norcross, GA, wins $2500 for “Chad Erupts in Strife." His story will be published in Issue 95 of Glimmer Train Stories. This will be his first off-campus fiction in print.

Second place: Dana Kroos, of Houston, TX, wins $1000 for “These Things.”

Third place: Christine Breede-Schechter, of Geneva, Switzerland, wins $600 for “Goodbye to All That (Or Not).”

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

Deadline soon approaching - Short Story Award for New Writers: August 31. This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5000. No theme restrictions. Most submissions to this category run 1500-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. First place prize is $1500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. Click here for complete guidelines.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Students! Teachers! Readers! Shop for Lit Mags Here!

Now you can purchase single copies of a variety of current literary magazines from just one site with FLAT RATE SHIPPING $3! Buy one or buy a dozen, it's only $3 to your mailbox!

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!
• Put together lit mag gift baskets for friends.

Pick and choose single copies from the comfort of your keyboard and have them conveniently delivered to your doorstep.

Literature, Arts, and Medicine Research Database

I post this every fall because I think this is such a GREAT resource for academics: Literature, Arts, and Medicine.  This site is sponsored by New York University. 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, August 25, 2014

Milkweed Editions Award Winner Michael Bazzett

Michael Bazzett, winner of the Milkweed Editions 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, will have his collection of poems, You Must Remember This, published in November 2014. Pre-orders at a reduced price are being taken now on the Milkweed website. Bazzett will be reading at the Minneapolis Central Library on November 11 at 7:00 pm.

Pea River Journal :: The Prints Project

What happens when you send artwork to a writer and ask them simply to "respond"? Pea River Journal Editor Trish Harris found out after creating four original linocut and woodblock print portraits of famous authors and sending them to writers with no requirements whatsoever except: respond. So far the series of 12 includes four authors: Ann Akhmatova, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, and Emily Dickinson. Ten of each, signed and numbered copies, are sent out "into the world," with a new release of ten planned every few weeks. As the responses come in, PRJ is sharing them for readers here. Respondents thus far include Ab Davis, Laura Esckelson, Anthony Martin, John G. Rodwan, Jr., Edward Hunt, Corey Mesler, Jose Padua, Leslie Anne Mcilroy, Timothy Kenny, and Heather Hallberg Yanda.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Aren't You Reading Writer Beware®?

Writer Beware®: The Blog is sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with additional support from the Mystery Writers of America and the Horror Writers Association: "Shining a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls. Also providing advice for writers, industry news and commentary, and a special focus on the weird and wacky things that happen at the fringes of the publishing world."

A recent post by Victoria Strauss is one that answers a question I have heard time and again: How Not to Seek a Literary Agent: The Perils of "Middleman" Services. Strauss begins: "I know I've written about this before [this links to a previous article]. But I'm seeing an increasing number of these kinds of 'services,' and they are all worthless."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Death of Humanities and Lit Flipping

Paula Reiter, Mount Mary University, speaks in a video on "Creative Teaching Techniques: Flipping the Literature Classroom" addressing "the challenge of infusing the literature classroom with creative teaching techniques." Reiter notes, "I demonstrate how to 'flip' the classroom to make time for extended creative projects that involve students directly." Even more importantly, Reiter addresses the major concern/criticism of literature in our time: Why does this matter in my life?

Access this an numerous other pedagogy articles in Teaching College Literature, an online professional publication which is open to submissions, such as sample syllabi, advice on course planning and design, teaching tips, media (PowerPoint, video, etc.), as well as suggestions for links to resources including blogs, websites and media.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hear This :: "Butcher Day" by Kami Westhoff

The 2River View online publication of poetry, art, and theory, includes audio recordings for each of its featured poets. Each poet reads his or her own works, introducing themselves by name and title of poem. My general instinct when I find a site where an audio starts up immediately is to look for the X button to make it stop. There is no such option on The 2River View, and perturbed at first, I was grateful once I listened through "Butcher Day" by Kami Westhoff.

This poem was a stunner for me. It is haunting enough in its shift between contextual imagery, but the audio recording takes all its content a step further for the reader's experience. Westhoff's reading aloud forced me to continue at a steady pace through the connections she makes, from the slaughter of a family cow, to the rape of her sister, to their innocence as children:
Today is butcher day. Clover drags her impossible tongue over the salt lick, slips it into one then the other nostril. Our dog, Blackie, burrows into a bone from last night's roast, her teeth clunk low and wet until the marrow offers. . . 
. . .Today we are eight and twelve, and don't yet know there is never enough time to be forgiven.
Her reading added to the emotional gravity of the poem, which by the end had gripped me so strongly, I was on the verge of tears. Like many of the poets in this issue, Westhoff has a second poem, which the recording went directly into. I had to hit the mute button on the computer to give myself "a moment" to let that poem resonate before moving on.

Other poets in this issue include Bradley J. Fest, Kathryn Haemmerle, April Krivensky, Kristin LaFollette, Michael Lauchlan, Gloria Monaghan, Darren Morris, Sherry O’Keefe, Jacqueline Dee Parker, Sally Van Doren, Kami Westhoff.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trust a Librarian? Who, me?

After yet another season of school boards banning books most of them have never bothered to read for themselves (except, oddly enough, for all the naughty bits), Don Flood's commentary in the Cape Gazette provides a thoughtful response, exemplifying the professional respect librarians (and educators) deserve:
Perhaps I’m going out on a limb here, but it is my belief that librarians don’t choose their career out of a desire to destroy the minds and corrupt the values of our nation’s youth. They become librarians because of a deep, passionate interest in reading and education, a desire to help students develop into intelligent adults who think for themselves.
Read the rest here: Districts Should Take Advantage of Librarian's Expertise 

Musicworks Music Sampler

Keeping with its tagline, "Exploration in Sound," Musicworks truly does provide music "for curious ears." Based in Canada with subscription service to the US, each of the three issues per year includes a sampler CD of some truly unique music. In an almost overwhelming abundance of "new" to listen to from around the globe, Musicworks presentation is a helpful sifting of great art. Some of the tracks are available for listening on their website, but, for the truly ecclectic, two seconds into the first track on CD #119 (Jerusalem in My Heart - using buzuk, Analog Solutions Telemark synth, Oberheim two-voice synth and voice, and tape delay) should have you looking to have this publication delivered to your doorstep. As with any sampler, there may be some that don't quite suit, but that's what I love about samplers: the ability to try something completely new. There were a few I wouldn't necessarily choose to listen to again - but I did enjoy them for the artistic quality and unique approach.

From their website: "For over thirty years Musicworks magazine has been dedicated to the development of new and passionate audiences for experimental music. Promoting both emerging and established experimental musicians, Musicworks features composers, improvisers, instrument designers, and artists who work in genres such as radio, electroacoustics, concert music, sound installation, and sound sculpture. This tri-annual magazine, along with its curated CDs, dynamic website and outreach programs creates an inclusive community within which to exchange and develop ideas, and tantalize curious listeners with adventurous music."

Beecher's Contest Winners

Beecher's Spring 2014 issue publishes the winners of their recent contests in poetry, nonfiction, and fiction:

Poetry Contest Winner, selected by Frank X. Walker
Roy Beckemeyer's "Tree Shadows"
"tree shadows
    their     skeletal souls
          like  Chinese

Nonfiction Contest Winner, selected by Eula Biss
Anne Penniston Grunsted's "The Art of Not Turning Away"
"My five-year-old son Bobby has terrible, all-consuming anxiety at the doctor's office. Any doctor can trigger him—his doctor, my doctor, a vet. As soon as he realizes where he is, he starts to retch. I hold him. I distract him. I gently whisper calm assurances. His service dog sits near, providing comfort the best he can. Nothing, really, helps. We just wait together for the anxiety to pass..."

Fiction Contest Winner, selected Manuel Munoz
Penny Perkins's "Car Ride Through Corn Fields (1975)"
"She is sitting in the backseat of the family station wagon. Her father is driving an scratching himself. Her mother is in the front seat next to her father, wearing sunglasses over puffy, red-stained eyes and looking straight ahead at the lonely two-lane highway that stretches out before them on the flat, Midwestern plain. She is a child, almost a teenager. She is the almost-teenager child of her parents and there is no escaping that oppressive fact. Even now, especially now, here on a teary Sunday afternoon drive.