Kei Miller and Carolyn Forché

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In this virtual event from the 2020 Cúirt International Festival of Literature, Kei Miller and Carolyn Forché read their poems and discuss the exploration of place, hope, and community in their work with poet Jess Traynor. Miller’s second essay collection, Things I Have Withheld (Grove Press, 2021), is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Upcoming Contest Deadlines


Seize the back-to-school spirit—whether or not you have returned to a classroom this fall—and apply to literary grants and awards. Three of the opportunities below require no entry fee. All offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more and close on September 15 or September 17.

Cave Canem Foundation Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Jai-Alai Books is given annually for a poetry chapbook by a Black poet. The winner will also give a reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival in April 2022. Lillian-Yvonne Bertram will judge. Deadline: September 15. Entry fee: None.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Writing Fellowships: Fellowships of approximately $50,000 each are awarded annually to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on the basis of exceptional creative ability. Citizens and permanent residents of the United States and Canada with a significant and appropriate record of publication are eligible. Deadline: September 17. Entry fee: None.

Literary Arts Oregon Literary Fellowships: Fellowships of $3,500 each are given annually to Oregon writers to initiate, develop, or complete literary projects in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. A Writer of Color Fellowship of $3,500 is also given. Deadline: September 17. Entry fee: None.

The Moth Nature Writing Prize: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,191) and publication in the Moth will be given annually for a poem, story, or essay that features “an exploration of the writer’s relationship with the natural world.” The winner also receives a weeklong stay at the Circle of Misse artist’s retreat in Misse, France. Helen Macdonald will judge. Deadline: September 15. Entry fee: €15 (approximately $18).

University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham and Felix and Pollak Prizes: Two prizes of $1,500 each and publication by University of Wisconsin Press are given annually for poetry collections. Additional finalists will be published in the press’s Wisconsin Poetry series. Carmen Giménez Smith will judge. Deadline: September 15. Entry fee: $28.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Brief but Spectacular: Tongo Eisen-Martin

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“To walk down the streets in the Bay Area is really to walk through a dystopia,” says San Francisco poet laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin about the rapid gentrification of his native city as he discusses how poetry serves as a tool for revolution in this installment of PBS NewsHour’s “Brief but Spectacular” series.

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Homeland

“My father was reading War and Peace when he gave me my name. / I was born near Easter, 1966, in Mississippi,” writes Natasha Trethewey in her poem “Miscegenation,” which begins with the story of her parents traveling to Ohio to marry in 1965 when interracial marriage was still illegal in Mississippi. The poem is a ghazal, a form that consists of couplets ending on the same word or phrase. Write a ghazal with your city of origin as the repeating word. Try, as Trethewey does, to weave together various subjects that speak to the time and place of your homeland.

Maria Popova and Patrick Rosal on Biophilic Cities

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In this NEW INC virtual event, Brain Pickings founder Maria Popova speaks with Patrick Rosal about art, cities, and nature and how poetry helps connect people to the natural world. Rosal’s latest collection, The Last Thing: New & Selected Poems (Persea Books, 2021), is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Alice Oswald: Interview With Water

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“It is a wonderful gift to be able to swim in rivers, especially on bright, clear days like these. You step into an inverted version of the world,” says poet Alice Oswald about the connection between water and grief in this 2020 virtual lecture for the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. “The water fits around you like a velvet suit, and you float along seemingly decapitated by reflections.”

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Renaissance House Residency Program

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.

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RESIDENCY
Ignore Event Date Field?: 
yes
Event Date: 
October 22, 2021
Rolling Admissions: 
ignore
Application Deadline: 
October 22, 2021
Financial Aid?: 
no
Financial Aid Application Deadline: 
October 22, 2021
Free Admission: 
no
Contact Information: 

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.

Abigail McGrath
Contact
Contact City: 
Martha's Vineyard
Contact State: 
MA
Country: 
US

Bestiary

8.31.21

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?

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