»

| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

Poets & Writers Blogs

The Oklahoma City-based Arcadia Magazine is currently accepting submissions for its inaugural short story contest. The winner will receive a prize of $1,000 and publication in Arcadia. The deadline for entry is February 15.

Fiction writers may submit a short story between 4,000 and 7,000 words, along with a $15 entry fee, via Submittable. There is no required criteria beyond the word limit; stories of any subject or style are eligible. Multiple entries are welcome, but must be submitted separately. All entries will be considered for publication. 

Founded in 2009, Arcadia is a print journal published twice yearly in the spring and fall that features the work of both emerging and established writers. In addition to the contest, the magazine accepts year-round submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as cultural criticism, drama, visual art, comics, music, craft essays, and everything in between—including letters, to be included in the new Epistolary feature on the journal's website. Whatever the form, the editors state on the site, We want to see it, read it, hear it, and love it. If it kicks ass, we will find a way to publish it. 

Visit the submissions page for complete guidelines. 

For more from the Arcadia editors, check out the September/October 2012 print issue of Poets & Writers Magazine for an article on how to submit to Arcadia

In Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction authors Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd describe how in "The White Album," an autobiographical essay by Joan Didion about the 1960s, Didion "uses her own responses to the times as a means of trying to capture a broad truth about events." Choose a period in your life, and write an essay about loosely related events you experienced that together offer insight into a certain time or place.

Write a story of 1,000 words from a main character's perspective about the moment his or her life took a significant turn. Keep the description about the moment sparse, focusing on what happened versus how it happened. For an example, read Denis Johnson's short story "Car Crash While Hitchhiking."

Barnes and Noble has announced the shortlist for its 2012 Discover Great New Writers Awards, which annually honor works of fiction and nonfiction by emerging writers published during the previous calendar year and featured in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. Of the six finalists, one winner in each genre will be receive $10,000.  

The finalists in fiction are Amanda Coplin for The Orchardist (HarperCollins), Eowyn Ivey for The Snow Child (Reagan Arthur Books), and Karen Thompson Walker for The Age of Miracles (Random House). The finalists in nonfiction are Katherine Boo for Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Random House), Kristen Iversen for Full Body Burden (Crown Publishers), and Cheryl Strayed for Wild (Knopf).

Established in 1990, the Discover program highlights books by debut or early-career writers whose work might otherwise be overlooked by the mainstream. This year’s selections were chosen from a list of fifty-three writers. 

A group of Barnes and Noble volunteers hand-picks Discover selections each year from a list of nominees, and a panel of judges in both genres selects the award finalists and winners. This year's fiction judges are Lan Samantha Chang, Alan Cheuse, and Karl Marlantes. The nonfiction judges are Susan Cheever, Wendy McClure, and Touré.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6. Second-place finalists will receive $5,000, and third-place finalists will receive $2,500. 

The 2011 Discover Great New Writers Award winner in fiction was Scott O'Connor for Untouchable, published by Tyrus Books; Michael Levy won in nonfiction for Kosher Chinese, published by Holt. 

Barnes and Noble accepts nominations for the Discover program four times yearly. For the Fall 2013 season, books published between August and October, 2013, may be submitted by April 4. Publishers may nominate books by debut authors or writers with fewer than three previously published books. Authors may not submit their own work. Works of literary fiction (including novels and short story collections) and literary nonfiction (including essay collections, memoirs, and other nonfiction works with a strong narrative) are eligible. Self-published or digital-only titles are not eligible. For more information and complete submission guidelines, visit the website.

Using scissors, cut up one of your poems that needs revision into its lines or parts of lines. Rearrange these clippings in various combinations and create a new draft. Write a revision of your poem based on this new draft.  

Cybele Knowles works as a program coordinator at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, where she coordinates the PW-funded Center’s Reading and Lecture Series, Classes & Workshops program, and Closer Look Book Club. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Arizona and an MA in English from U.C. Berkeley. Her poetry and prose have appeared in the Destroyer, Spiral Orb, Diagram, Pindeldyboz, the Asian Pacific American Journal, Faucheuse, and the Prose Poem.

Cybele KnowlesI have served as the coordinator of the University of Arizona Poetry Center Reading and Lecture Series for four years. The longer I work with this literary program, the more I admire it and understand its power. This year, the series celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. It has been sustained over the decades by an extensive community of individuals and organizations, including Poets & Writers through the Readings/Workshops program. It is capacious and generous, representing many poetic voices, and (for the most part) free and open to the public. One of the things I particularly admire about the series is that our poetry readings regularly attract audiences in excess of 150 people. In today's post, I want to share a sketch of how the Poetry Center creates an audience for poetry, using the example of a reading by Mary Jo Bang with Joni Wallace on October 6, 2011, which was supported by Poets & Writers.

We (the Poetry Center staff) conceive of our task as creating an audience not just for poetry events, but for Poetry with a capital "P." Therefore we treat each reading not just as an event, but as an occasion to educate local communities about the poetry being presented. To get people reading the poems before the event, and to help keep them engaged afterward, we schedule ancillary programs in conjunction with each reading.

In the case of the reading by Mary Jo, the ancillary events included a visit to a University of Arizona literature class and a “shop talk” about Mary Jo’s work. Shop Talk is the Poetry Center’s poetry discussion group, which is free and open to the public. We also led our Poetry Center docents (a group of fifteen dedicated volunteers at the time; currently, there are many more) through an introduction to Mary Jo’s work. The reading itself, attended by 160 people, was recorded for the Poetry Center’s online audiovisual library, voca. Recordings are tagged with accurate metadata, which enhances their value as an archive. Now available on voca, Mary Jo’s reading can continue to be enjoyed and experienced by many others. And last but not least, about a year after the reading, we scheduled our Closer Look Book Club to read Mary Jo’s translation of The Inferno. Typically our book club reads prose, of course, but we took advantage of a seasonal theme of “Narratives in Translation” to “serve up” poetry to our prose readers. Both the Shop Talk and Book Club were led by poet Joni Wallace, who also read with Mary Jo, and whose first book, Blinking Ephemeral Valentine, was selected by Mary Jo for the 2009 Levis Prize.

We have additional ways of connecting visiting poets to local communities. Other ancillary events we schedule for a visiting poet might include a meeting with middle- and high-school students, or a workshop offered through our community Classes and Workshops program, or a meeting with Poetry Center donors or other specific community- or university-based group.

Through this multi-pronged approach, we introduced Mary Jo to many readers, and I know that through this process she garnered new fans, as did Poetry with a capital “P.” As you can imagine, pulling all this off took a lot of coordination! Even though the Reading Series is only one of the Poetry Center’s many areas of activity, all eight of the Poetry Center staff, and many volunteers, must pitch in to produce the series in the manner described above. In my post next week, you’ll meet some of the hard-working team at the Poetry Center.

Photo: Cybele Knowles. Credit: Allie Leach.
Support for Readings/Workshops events in Tucson is provided by an endowment established with generous contributions from the Poets & Writers Board of Directors and others. Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.

P&W-supported poet Tim Stafford is a poet and public school teacher from Chicago. He is the editor of the classroom poetry anthology Learn Then Burn (Write Bloody Publishing). You can find him onstage at the Encyclopedia Show, the Louder Than a Bomb Poetry Festival, and in June throughout Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. In December, Stafford taught a workshop at Team Englewood High School in Chicago and facilitated the Riots on the Warp Land slam. We asked him to blog about the experience.

Tim StaffordTo some, Team Englewood High School on Chicago’s South Side seems like an unlikely gathering spot for over one hundred young poets. Englewood is a neighborhood that many folks view negatively, even though a large number of them have never stepped foot inside. The Riots on the Warp Land poetry slam, now in its third year, was created to bring awareness to some of the great things that people who live and work on the South Side are doing.

The Riots on the Warp Land (the title is borrowed from South Side poet Gwendolyn Brooks) is a regional prelude to the Louder Than a Bomb Teen (LTAB) poetry slam festival, a citywide event that occurs every February. The two events share a similar goal: get kids from all over the city together in a safe space to create and share their own stories. 

The event’s founders, Dave Stieber, Stephanie Stieber, and Melissa Hughes, invited me to facilitate some of the bouts and help out with the group writing workshop. All three of the founders are public school teachers who wanted to create more poetry-based community-building outside of the LTAB festival.

The event kicked off with an activity called “Crossing the Street,” in which kids on the fifteen teams split up into brand new groups. The groups got to work on prompts given by myself and teaching artists from Young Chicago Authors centering  around identity, community, and neighborhoods. They created poems collaboratively. Before we started the actual “competition,” some groups presented their work to the crowd of about two hundred students and guests. The kids were familiar with the workshop model and were able to create some fascinating work despite the limited time.

Riots on the Warp LandAs far as the slam itself, there were three preliminary bouts, with the winner going to finals. I won’t go into detail about who won or who scored the highest. I, the promoters, and Young Chicago Authors don’t place emphasis on the competition, and we tell the kids that from the get-go. Writing and interaction are our goals. Calling it a poetry slam is our gimmick to get kids and community excited about poetry, which is why slam was invented.

This is the second time I’ve been able to take part in this event, thanks to Poets & Writers. Seeing the progression in the quality of the written word from one year to the next is a humbling experience. The passion and attention to craft instilled by their teachers, coaches, and mentors is paying off in poetry that is mature beyond the years of its young writers. I look forward to seeing some of you next year at the fourth annual Riots on the Warp Lands.

Photos: Top: Tim Stafford. Bottom: The winning team is announced. Credit: Stephanie Stieber.
Support for Readings/Workshops events in Chicago is provided by an endowment established with generous contributions from Poets & Writers' Board of Directors and others. Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.

Claremont Graduate University has announced the finalists for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Given annually for a book published in the previous award year by a poet in midcareer, the Tufts Award is one of the most prestigious prizes given to an American poet. The winner receives $100,000.

The finalists are Marianne Boruch for The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon Press), Edward Haworth Hoeppner Blood Prism (Ohio State University Press), and Paisley Rekdal for Animal Eye (University of Pittsburgh Press).

Boruch is the author of eight previous collections, including most recently Grace, Fallen from (Wesleyan, 2008), and a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (Break Away Books, 2011). She is a professor of creative writing and poetry at Purdue University. Hoeppner is the author of two previous collections, including Rain Through High Windows (New Issues, 2000). He directs the creative writing program at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Rekdal is the author of three previous collections, including most recently The Invention of the Kaleidoscope (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007). She is an associate professor of English at the University of Utah. 

Claremont also announced the finalists for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a prize of $10,000 given annually for a debut poetry collection. The finalists are Rebecca Morgan Frank for Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon Poetry), Francine J. Harris for Allegiance (Wayne State University Press), and Heidy Steidlmayer for Fowling Piece (Triquarterly Books).

This year's panel of judges for both awards includes Linda Gregerson, David Barber, Kate Gale, Ted Genoways, and Carl Phillips. Winners will be announced in March and recognized during a ceremony at Claremont Graduate University in April.

Timothy Donnelly of Brooklyn, New York, received the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for The Cloud Corporation (Wave Books). Katherine Larson received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for Radial Symmetry (Yale University Press).

Authors, editors, and publishers may submit books for consideration for both the Kate and Kingsley Tufts Awards. For the 2014 awards, books published between September 1, 2012, and August 31, 2013, are eligible, and must be postmarked by September 15. Visit the website for more information and complete submission guidelines

In honor of the 100th anniversary on February 1 of New York City's famed Grand Central Station, write an essay about a time in your life when you travelled—it could be daily travel, such as the commute to and from a job; seasonal travel, such as heading to a beach community every summer; or a vacation, such as a trip to a foreign country. Focus on what compelled you to go and the transition of leaving one place and arriving in another.

Write about a main character for a story, focusing on his or her occupation. Freewrite for five minutes about this character, considering the following: What is his or her job? How did the character get it? How long has he or she held it? What does he or she like and dislike about it? Set your freewriting aside, then research details about this occupation, taking notes along the way. What kind of language would a person with this job use? What kind of equipment? Where would the office be located? Who would be the boss? What would the job title be? Use your freewriting and your research to inform a story about this character.

Elena Martinez, advisory board member for Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) and folklorist at City Lore, blogs about the P&W-supported readings with the Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC). Martinez has an MA in Anthopolgy and an MA in Folklore from the University of Oregon. She co-produced the documentary, From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale, which won the National Council of La Raza 2007 ALMA Award for Best TV Documentary. She is currently on the Advisory Boards for Casita Maria/Dancing in the Streets' South Bronx Cultural Trail, WHEDco's Bronx Music Heritage Center, and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Archive at Hunter College.

Since 2010, I have been part of a group of musicians, artists, advocates, and educators driving the planning and development of the Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC). We were brought together by the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), a Bronx-based nonprofit that sees value in preserving and promoting Bronx music and cultivating Bronx artists as a way to spur neighborhood revival and bring cultural programs to the community. Currently, BMHC programming takes place in the BMHC Laboratory, a storefront in the Crotona East neighborhood of the South Bronx.

This fall, I worked with Grammy-nominated musician Bobby Sanabria to co-curate Bronx Rising! Music, Film & Spoken Word of the Borough, a new series at the BMHC Lab. Our goal was to showcase art about the Bronx, by Bronx artists, or significant to the Bronx community. Over the course of the series we maintained a loyal audience but struggled to get community members, who might peer in the windows, to come into the Lab and stay awhile.

Thanks to Poets & Writers, we were able to present two exceptional Bronx Rising! poetry nights in honor of Puerto Rican Heritage Month. On November 19, 2012, we hosted Americo Casiano, an original Nuyorican Poet. Americo was backed by his NuYoRican Poetry Jazz Ensemble, which accompanied his poetry seamlessly. During the program, two young men, enticed by the activity they viewed from the sidewalk entered the Lab. These newcomers actively listened, participated, and quickly became Lab “regulars.”

The December program paid homage to the declamadores of Puerto Rico, who use the language and themes of the area’s African heritage throughout the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. While the declamadores work within oral tradition, historically literary poets have also been proponents, among them Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico) and Federico Garcia Lorca (Spain), whose poems were included in this program. The poetry was recited by organizer and declamador Sery Colón, Prisionera (Paula Santiago), and Tato Laviera, another original member of the Nuyorican Poetry Movement. This evening was once again punctuated by a few new faces that had been drawn to the prophetic personalities and socially-minded works filling the Lab. Robert, a first-time visitor, likened the event to “a revival." He said, “Once the crowd got going, the energy was infectious and I began to understand why these powerful messages needed to be delivered that way.”

These events, where new community members interacted with the BMHC, were symbolic for the series. Over the last few months, audience members who came into the Lab for hip hop stayed for Latin Jazz. People who came in for a photography exhibit returned for African drums.

On our last evening of Bronx Rising! Word(s) on the Street, five minutes before the program started, I realized we had a new problem on our hands. We ran out of chairs. For the first time, the BMHC Lab was packed to the brim with nearly 100 audience members. With this momentum, we are looking forward to our next season. We hope to see you there.

Photo: (left to right) Chris Nieves, Tato Laviera, Prisionera, Sery Colón, Elena Martinez, Jorge Vazquez. 

Photo Credit: Thomas Haskin.

Support for Readings/Workshops in New York City is provided, in part, by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, with additional support from the Louis & Anne Abrons Foundation, the Axe-Houghton Foundation, the A.K. Starr Charitable Trust and the Friends of Poets & Writers.

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the death of American poet Robert Frost. To honor this day, read Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" on the Academy of American Poets' website. Analyze the poem's structure, and write a poem with the same rhyme scheme and number of lines.

The Loft Anthology: New England Poetry and Art is accepting submissions for its annual Loft Prize for Poetry until February 1. The award, which includes $1,000 and publication in the Loft Anthology, is given for poems about visual art, written by poets who reside in or are natives of New England.

Poets may submit up to two poems by e-mail with a $15 entry fee. Poems inspired by a piece of artwork from a New England museum are eligible. A list of museums is available on the Loft Anthology website; artwork can also be found online at the Athenaeum. Winners and finalists will be invited to read at an awards reception at the Providence Public Library in Rhode Island on June 6.

Poet Denise Duhamel, whose latest collection, Blowout, will be released by the University of Pittsburgh Press in February, will judge.

The Loft Anthology is published by the Cranston, Rhode Island-based Poetry Loft, a nonprofit literary arts organization that provides free poetry workshops in Rhode Island. The anthology publishes original work by both established and emerging poets in an effort, as stated on the website, to paint “an intimate portrait of the rich state of poetry in our region, informed by the distinct voices and souls of New Englanders. We humbly seek to inspire and disseminate the best poetry of New England.”

Copies of the 2012 anthology can be ordered through the Loft Anthology website, and are available for purchase at Brown Bookstore, Books on the Square, Symposium Books, and Cellar Books in Providence. For more information and complete submission guidelines, visit the website or send questions by e-mail to info@thepoetryloft.org.

PW-funded poet Camille Dungy blogs about the daily life of writers and the role Poets & Writers' Readings/Workshops program plays in that life. Dungy is a professor in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University. She has published three collections of poetry—Smith Blue (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the 2010 Crab Orchard Open Book Prize; Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press); and What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press).

Camille Dungy

1) The writer asks questions.

2) The writer answers those questions.

3) The writer elaborates on the answers. In other words, a writer doesn't just stick with ROYGBiV answers, but answers questions the way a bird can see colors, as in more completely, more complexly, more deeply than most humans can imagine.

4) The writer imagines.

5) The writer worries. Does anyone care? Does it matter? Is anyone out there? Can anyone see what I say I have seen? Does anyone care?

6) The writer asks a series of questions that override the worry for awhile. What, for instance, is it about writing, the writer asks, that would cause a group of young people in Mozambique, a nation devastated by decades of war and until recently listed as one of the 10 poorest in the world, to found Revista Líteratas, a blog dedicated to discussing the vibrancy of Afro-Lusophone literature? The writer won't rest until she can begin to understand what is it about the literature that keeps the writer going back to the page, even if the page is written in something as foreign as Portuguese.

7) The writer works toward penning answers to those questions. This is what the writer might call the spreading of truth. This is what the world might call translation.

8) The writer elaborates, wondering how the time she spends writing her own poems or translating others' can honor the time writers in organizations like California Poets in the Schools spend teaching second grade students, and high school students, and hospital-bound children, and children moving through the juvenile correction system, and students moving past the juvenile correction system, and junior high school students, and first graders how to learn to love poetry. The writer could go on and on about the importance of expanding people's access to literature.

9) The writer worries that the questions she is asking have been asked already or that the answers, those particular answers the writer spent so much time elaborately imagining in tones far beyond red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and even violet, have been written already by someone who is better at writing than the writer believes herself to be. The writer also imagines that the answers she has taken such care elaborating upon will reveal Poets & Writers' secrets and will, she half worries, trigger the release of some agent who will set out hot on her tail. Will the agent laugh at the writer's tail?

10) The writer asks what on heaven's earth is the relationship between a tail and a trail and a tale and when the words diverged or converged, if ever they did either; and how to most colorfully get this cacophony of ideas down on the page without confusing the reader, if there is a reader out there to confuse; and if these are questions worth spending time writing about...

That's what writers do all day.

Go ask a writer.

Photo: Camille Dungy.  Photo credit: Marcia Wilson/Wide Vision Photography.

Major support for Readings/Workshops in California is provided by The James Irvine Foundation. Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.

P&W-supported poet James Arthur recently gave a reading at Seattle’s Hugo House in celebration of Copper Canyon Press. Arthur’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, and The American Poetry Review. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, an Amy Clampitt Residency, and a Discovery/The Nation Prize. His first book, Charms against Lightning was published by Copper Canyon Press in October 2012. Event coordinator Elaina Ellis blogs about the event below, and has a few questions for Arthur.

Copper Canyon poetry party participantsWho do I write for?
For you, and everything alive inside of you.
                --Vicente Aleixandre

On December 14, Copper Canyon Press launched our fortieth anniversary celebration at Seattle’s Richard Hugo House, elbow to joyful elbow with nearly two hundred of our closest friends. This was no typical end-of-year soiree, and it was definitely not your average poetry reading. It was a poetry party, and it was every bit as nerdy and exciting as that sounds.

For the first hour of the event, we simply let conversations unfold. Highlights in the crowd included the teenager who shyly inquired how she might learn to write poetry; the seventy-three-year-old visual artist who told us, “I came for the food, I’m staying for the poems”; and faces from all corners of the literary world, including booksellers, slam poets, and teachers.

At  eight p.m. we ushered the crowd into the theater, where local writers including Ed Skoog and Matthew Dickman performed the works of C.D. Wright, Hayden Carruth, June Jordan, Natalie Diaz, and Pablo Neruda. Our featured poet for the evening, James Arthur, gave an impassioned reading that was supported by Poets & Writers. He was met with audible enthusiasm from listeners, and we couldn’t help but hope that this room might represent the future of poetry. We asked James to share his thoughts below:

James ArthurWe had quite a lively crowd at this particular reading. How does the character of an audience impact you?
 
I depend on the crowd’s enthusiasm. When an audience is excited, I get excited. If an audience seems bored, I take that to heart. I know some poets feel uncomfortable reading their poems publicly, and are writing primarily for the solitary, silent reader; I have no argument with those writers. But I want my poems to be heard. Half the meaning is in the rhythm.
 
Readers today seek poetry in a variety of venues: e-books, YouTube, poetry slams, and of course that old-fashioned bookshelf. Where do you hope poetry goes from here?
 
E-books and the internet have already affected how poetry is published, and I’m sure they’re affecting how poetry is written, too. My method is pretty old-fashioned; I go for long walks, I look at the things around me, and I compose my poems by sound association.
I try not to cultivate any prescriptive ideas about how poetry in general should develop. It’s easy to get drawn into arguments about how poetry should be, and about how other people should write—but for me, at least, those debates are unhealthy. They eat away at my doubt and curiosity, and those are the two qualities that a poet needs most.

Who do you write for?

I want my poems to explore serious questions and still be widely accessible. I write for anyone who’s listening! 

Photos: Top: "poetry party" participants (James Arthur is on the right). Credit: Hugo House. Bottom: James Arthur. Credit: Shannon Robinson.
Support for Readings/Workshops events in Seattle is provided by an endowment established with generous contributions from the Poets & Writers Board of Directors and others. Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.

<< first < previous Page: 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 next > last >>

991 - 1005 of 2010 results

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2016. All Rights Reserved