CalArts Appoints Matthew Shenoda to New Diversity Position

by Staff
6.25.09

Poet Matthew Shenoda has been named the first Assistant Provost for Equity and Diversity at California Institute of the Arts. The newly created position is part of an institute-wide initiative to promote intercultural awareness and develop support mechanisms for students from varying ethnic backgrounds. 

A String of Pearls: Who's Next?

The deadline for this year's Pearl Poetry Prize is July 15. The annual award, which offers a thousand dollars and publication by Pearl Editions, an independent press in Long Beach, California, is given for a full-length poetry collection. Below are the winners of the last ten contests. Who will judge Debra Marquart, herself a previous winner, pick this year?

2008: Alison Luterman's See How We Almost Fly, chosen by Gerald Locklin
2007: Lavonne J. Adams's Through the Glorieta Pass, chosen by David Hernandez
2006: Kevin Griffith's Denmark, Kangaroo, Orange, chosen by Denise Duhamel
2005: Ada Limón's This Big Fake World, chosen by Frank X. Gaspar
2004: Elizabeth Oakes's The Farmgirl Poems, chosen by Donna Hilbert
2003: Andrew Kaufman's Earth's Ends, chosen by Fred Voss
2002: Richard M. Berlin's How JFK Killed My Father, chosen by Lisa Glatt
2001: Micki Myer's Trigger Finger, chosen by Jim Daniels
2000: Debra Marquart's From the Sweetness, chosen by Dorianne Laux
1999: Robert Perchan's Fluid in Darkness, chosen by Ed Ochester

F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference to Honor Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez was recently named winner of the fourteenth annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award. The prize, sponsored by the F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference, an annual day-long event held at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, honors the achievements of a "great American author." Alvarez, whose most recent book is the novel Return to Sender (Knopf, 2009), writes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and books for young readers. She will recieve the award at this year's conference on October 17.

Previous recipients of the award are William Styron, John Barth, Joyce Carol Oates, E. L. Doctorow, Norman Mailer, Ernest J. Gaines, John Updike, Edward Albee, Grace Paley, Pat Conroy, Jane Smiley, William Kennedy, and Elmore Leonard.

The conference was started in 1996 when the city of Rockville celebrated the centennial of the birth of Fitzgerald, who happens to be buried in the town at Saint Mary's Church. This year's event will feature panel discussions, workshops, and "publication conversations."

PSA Launches Second Annual Times Square Poetry Contest

Times Square may have been reduced to a pedestrian mall—or elevated to a walker's oasis, depending on your perspective—but it's a safe bet that it will always retain a certain poetic quality. The fine folks at the Poetry Society of America know this, and they've launched the second annual Bright Lights Big Verse contest to prove it.

Four winners will each receive a prize of $750 and a trip to New York City to read their winning poems at an event in Times Square. Until July 15, poets may submit poems of any length that celebrate Times Square and the qualities it represents: diversity, desire, dynamism, and the marriage of commerce and culture, according to the PSA and its cosponsor, the Times Square Alliance. Robert Casper, Brett Fletcher Lauer, and Alice Quinn will judge.

Check out the PSA Web site for complete guidelines and instructions for online submissions. And remember, any poem submitted must be suitable for public display, which, since we're talking about Times Square, home to the Naked Cowboy, is open to interpretation.

 

Six Caine Prize Finalists Await Winner Announcement

The shortlist for the 2009 Caine Prize for African Writing was announced last month, and for the six finalists, the waiting is almost over. The winner of the annual prize, which is worth ten thousand pounds (approximately sixteen thousand dollars), will be announced at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England, on July 6.

The following shortlist was selected from 122 entries from 12 African countries: 

Mamle Kabu (Ghana) for "The End of Skill" from Dreams, Miracles and Jazz (Picador Africa)
Parselelo Kantai (Kenya) for "You Wreck Her" from the St. Petersburg Review
Alistair Morgan (South Africa) for "Icebergs" from the Paris Review
EC Osondu (Nigeria) for "Waiting" from Guernica Magazine
Mukoma wa Ngugi (Kenya) for "How Kamau wa Mwangi Escaped Into Exile"  from Wasafiri

The prize is given for a short story written by an African writer and published in English. Last year's winner was South African writer Henrietta Rose-Innes for her short story "Poison" from Africa Pens (Spearhead). 

 

Google Adds New Features to Book Search

by Staff
6.22.09

Even as the government continues its antitrust investigation of last year’s class-action settlement between Google and the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild, the online search engine is stepping up accessibility to its current collection of digitized books and periodicals.

First Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize Goes to Indigo Moor

Late last year we told you about Cave Canem's announcement of the inaugural Cave Canem Northwestern Press Poetry Prize, a second book award for African American poets. Six months later, the nonprofit has announced the first winner of the prize: Indigo Moor for his book Through the Stonecutter's Window. John Keene, who, along with Reginald Gibbons and Parneshia Jones, judged the prize, wrote that Moor's poems "open a sustained and impressive dialogue with the visual arts, history, the natural world, and the poet's dreams and nightmares, while dancing poly-rhythmically across and down each page."

Moor's first poetry collection, Tap-Root, was published in 2006 by Main Street Rag as part of its Editor's Select Poetry Series. Northwestern University Press will publish Through the Stonecutter's Window in March 2010. 

In addition, two poets received honorable mention: Remica Bingham for "What We Ask of Flesh" and JoAnne McFarland for "Acid Rain." 

Temporary Restraining Order Issued in Salinger Suit

by Staff
6.19.09

A federal judge in New York City has issued a ten-day restraining order blocking the U.S. publication of Fredrik Colting’s 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. In her Wednesday ruling, judge Deborah Batts said she needed more time to determine whether the unauthorized sequel to The Catcher in the Rye was allowable under “fair use” provisions.

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