The Renaissance House Residency Program, sponsored by the Helene Johnson and Dorothy West Foundation for Artists in Need, offered residencies of one to two weeks in July and August to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The residencies included workshops, lectures, and time to write. Participating writers included nonfiction writers Nancy Slonim Aronie, Jessica B. Harris, Susan Klein, and Moira Silver.
Renaissance House Residency Program, Helene and Dorothy West Foundation for Artists in Need, 484 West 43rd Street, Suite 37E, New York, NY 10036. (917) 747-0367. Abigail McGrath, Contact.
In her poem “Bestiary of Bad Kisses,” Ashley M. Jones compares bad kisses in the form of a catalog of animals with three sections titled: “The Frog,” “The Anteater,” and “The Bulldog.” The bestiary is a textual compendium of beasts, both real and imaginary, dating back to the Middle Ages that has seen a resurgence in contemporary literature. From Julio Cortázar to Donika Kelly, writers have sought ways to explore the metaphorical and literal resonances of cataloging animals. Write a poem in the form of a bestiary. How can you glean inspiration from myths and real-life stories? What is the relationship between your chosen animals?
Submissions are open for this year’s X. J. Kennedy Prize. Given for a full-length poetry collection, the prize includes publication with Texas Review Press, a $10,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and twenty author copies. Poets at any stage of their career are eligible to submit and the prize is not limited to a particular style or form of poetry.
Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 50 to 100 pages with a $28 entry fee by September 30. Kazim Ali will judge. The winner will be revealed in December. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
The X. J. Kennedy prize was first awarded in 1998 and the most recent winner was Brooke Sahni for her debut collection, Before I Had the Word. The prize’s namesake, X. J. Kennedy, has been widely celebrated for his poetry and books for young readers. Kennedy earned the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers in 2015 and the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America in 2009. In his citation for the Jackson Prize, the judges praised Kennedy for delivering “wit, savagery, and compassion” in his work. In admiration of his characteristic brevity, they added, “The size of his poems is small but their scope is vast.”
The Tusen Takk Foundation offers residencies of three to eight weeks from March to December to poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers at the modern Tusen Takk guesthouse on an isolated peninsula on Lake Michigan, approximately 25 miles from Traverse City, Michigan, in the northwest region of the state. Residents attend one at a time and are provided with private lodging including a kitchen, living area, and two bedrooms, as well as round-the-clock access to attached studio space and the Tusen Takk Foundation library.
Tusen Takk Foundation, 5560 Leland Woods Drive, Leland, MI 49654. (231) 224-6580. Maggie Pavao, Assistant Director.