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1. Call for Submissions on the Theme of Atmosphere: The Quotable Lit

The Quotable Lit is open for Issue 17: Atmosphere

Submissions open January 1, 2015 – March 1, 2015
“Green was the silence, wet was the light,the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
― Pablo Neruda 

General Guidelines:

We seek:
flash fiction (under 1,000 words) - 1 submission per reading period
short fiction (under 3,000 words) - 1 submission per reading period
creative nonfiction (under 3,000 words) - 1 submission per reading period
poetry - 1 submission of up to 3 poems per reading period
We accept only original unpublished work. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but ask that you notify us immediately should your work be accepted elsewhere.

Submissions link.

To ensure fairness, The Quotable has a blind submissions process. Remove all identifying information - name, email address, etc. - from your manuscripts. We will decline any manuscript that contains the author's information. Contact us with questions.

Upon acceptance, The Quotable acquires first serial publications rights, after which the copyright reverts to the author. All accepted work will be archived on the site for so long as the site manager(s) should deem appropriate.

The editors of The Quotable envision a world in which all artists are paid handsomely for the considerable efforts they make to enrich mankind. While we labor toward that utopia, however, the only payment we can offer is the esteem of seeing your name in print and your work appreciated

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2. 2015 Mock Newbery discussions at Emerson, part 2: The Crossover + Dash + The Fourteenth Goldfish

Our students have had passionate, thoughtful conversations all year, recommending books to one another, considering which book they liked and why it resonated with them. Throughout, we talked about the key components of literature and storytelling: character development, plot and pacing, setting, language and themes.

Ever since I first shared Kwame Alexander's The Crossover with Emerson students, it was clear that this book spoke to our students in a unique way. It's been fascinating listening to kids talk about why.

The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
my full review
Your local library
ages 9-14
From the very first page, the language of The Crossover pulls young readers right into the rhythm and feelings of a fast-moving basketball game. Just look at the opening lines and you can see the combination of basketball terms, rhythm and rhyme, and downright attitude.
"At the top of the key, I'm
              MOVING AND GROOVING,
POPping and ROCKING--
Why you BUMPING?
              Why you LOCKING?
Man, take this THUMPING,
Be careful though,
'cause now I'm CRUNKING"
As Norah said, "It's not quite rhyming, but it's almost like rap, like a song." Mahari added that he likes the form of poetry: "It made it more interesting for me as a reader. The language conveyed the character's feelings." Norah added that it isn't just printed normal on the page. Kids really noticed that the way the words are arranged enhanced the way language conveyed both character's feelings and the author's message.

Other students commented on the character development in The Crossover. Maddy said that she "felt like she was there with the characters at every move" (that word choice seemed so appropriate to me, since there's so much movement in this story). Kids could really see twin brothers Josh & J.B. as distinct characters and relate to the tension between them. Madeline added that she felt their father was a very detailed character, because Alexander showed how much he loved basketball but how he also really loved his family.

I asked students if they felt that they could see what was coming (in other words, was the plot too obvious?), and they really felt like they were right there with the characters. While some might have had an idea of the foreshadowing, they really didn't notice the signs that the mother was concerned about the father's health -- certainly not the way adult readers would notice.

Several students commented on how The Crossover made them think a little more about what they were reading. They liked how the titles of the poems related to the themes and the plot--giving them a sense and focus. Several other students talked about how they had to take a second, reread a passage and ask what the author was really saying. I think this attests to Alexander's nuanced, layered language.

Historical fiction often draws the attention of the Newbery committee, and I was happy to see students respond so passionately to Kirby Larson's story about Japanese internment during World War II. "Dash is one of the best books I have ever read!"
by Kirby Larson
Scholastic, 2014
my full review
Your local library
ages 9-12
Here's Abby's recommendation from early September: "If you like dogs a lot, you'd probably love it. If you like books with hardship and struggle, you'll probably like it. It's also heartfelt, with a lot of love. Every single chapter keeps you hanging." She passionately shared this book all year long.

Right from the beginning, young readers relate to how alone Mitsi feels when her friends start avoiding her -- all because of something that happened in a war far, far away. Larson creates a unique, distinctive character, but focuses on elements that many readers can relate to. Just as I write that sense, I realize what a tricky balance that is!
"The author describes Mitsi's emotions so well, her love of being an artists and her talents and passion. She brings out who she is and who she wants to be. I could imagine what she looks like and what she's feeling at the moment."
Abby said, "The setting and details of the characters and their experiences were amazing. I could picture it like a movie in my mind---they should make a movie of it!" I would agree with Abby, especially noting the way I could picture the different camps in my mind and how the harsh conditions made life so much more difficult for Mitsi's family.
Mitsi Shiraishi and her beloved dog, Chubby -- inspirations for Dash
I was particularly moved reading in Kirby Larson's blog this letter from Louise Kashino, who endured experiences similar to Mitsi's:
I read DASH and poured over every sentence inasmuch as I was 16 when we were incarcerated on May, 1942. My family was assigned to Area D inside the Puyallup Fairgrounds, where our barrack among others was built inside the racing grounds. I don't know who guided you through the whole incarceration, but you did an excellent job of describing the experiences for someone like me. I also relocated to Chicago and eventually returned to Seattle, so again, your description of the whole movement brought back many memories. Thank you for your accurate descriptions of our experience to give the general public an insight into what we experienced during our incarceration.
We had a rousing discussion about The Fourteenth Goldfish, with students arguing on both sides of the fence. It had real supporters and others who just weren't drawn into it.
The Fourteenth Goldfish
by Jennifer L. Holm
Random House, 2014
my full review
Your local library
ages 9-12
Overall, my students loved Jennifer Holm's blend of realistic relationships, humor and science with a touch of fantasy. Maisy said, "It's a really good book because it has lots of science, but not too much so you can't understand it." I am impressed with how well Holm understands her audience, adding in just enough layering of science to introduce students to the history of science and scientific thinking without overwhelming young readers.

Some students really enjoyed the fantasy elements. Talia noted that it reminded her of Tuck Everlasting. But other students found it a little confusing, especially at the beginning when Ellie is figuring out that this teenager is actually her grandfather.

I would actually venture to guess that the students who liked it were drawn in by the themes of the story -- the idea that you can figure out a solution, that things are possible if you work at a creative solution, and the idea that grandparents and grandchildren actually have a lot more in common if they could only discover a little more about each other as real people.

The review copies came from my home collection and our library collection and our classroom collections. Early review copies were also kindly sent by the publishers: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic, and Random House. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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3. 2015 Mock Newbery discussions at Emerson, part 1: Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond + Brown Girl Dreaming

Our 4th and 5th graders are buzzing with excitement from our Mock Newbery discussion and voting. We have been reading and reading, sharing books and ideas, trying to figure out what makes a book truly distinguished. This past week, we've had two lunchtime book club meetings for our final discussions and voting. Just look at our turnout!

2015 Mock Newbery discussion at Emerson School
Over the next several days, I will try to share my students' thoughts on our books. Each student has tried to read at least five books from our nominated books (see here for more about our process), and all were working hard to compare very different books with each other. I want other librarians, parents and kids to be able to hear some of their comments.

There is no way that our small group could read all the books that the Newbery Committee will be discussing. I wanted a representative sample that fell within our 4th and 5th grader's range. This year, I also wanted to give the students more responsibility and voice in nominating books to consider.

I think I've inspired new admiration from our group about just what the Newbery Committee must do -- from the amount of reading to the hard, hard decisions. I will discuss each book, simply in alphabetical order. Here are the posts on our Mock Newbery:
Part 1 -- The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond + Brown Girl Dreaming
Part 2 -- The Crossover + Dash + The Fourteenth Goldfish
Part 3 -- The Great Greene Heist + Half a Chance + The Life of Zarf
Part 4 -- Magic in the Mix + Nest + The Night Gardener
Part 5 -- Nuts to You + The Red Pencil + Snicker of Magic
Part 6 -- The Swap + Witch's Boy + Zoo at the Edge of the World
Part 7 -- OUR WINNER!!!
Our book club actually start last spring, much like the Newbery Committee does, excitedly reading new releases. One of the first books that quickly grabbed readers and rose to the top was The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond
by Brenda Woods
Nancy Paulsen / Penguin, 2014
Your local library
ages 9-12
Emerson's fourth and fifth graders were drawn to the way that Violet Diamond slowly builds a relationship with her grandmother, and how she discovered more about herself, her family and her identity in the process. Violet is biracial, like many of our students; but she never knew her African American father because he was killed in an automobile crash before she was born.
making notes for the Mock Newbery discussion
It was interesting that the students who really liked this book didn't speak up much about it. Perhaps it's because they read this in the beginning of the year. Or perhaps it's because it appealed to quieter readers. I just know that it stayed with my students, persisting to our final round of voting.

Brown Girl Dreaming was another book that probed identity, family and self-discovery -- but this book drew a much more vocal reaction from my students.
Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen / Penguin, 2014
2014 National Book Award winner
my full review
Your local library
ages 10-14
Woodson weaves together the story of her childhood, built from her family's memories as well as her own. She writes her memoir in verse, capturing the episodic, sensory-rich feeling of memories. As we talked about characters, Kaiyah spoke up, saying how well she got to know the characters in Brown Girl Dreaming from the dialog.
"In the first chapter, you can really understand what the dad was like and the mom, and the conflict between the two, because of how they wanted to name their daughter and how they talked." 
Other students agreed, saying how they got to know a wide range of characters, not just Jackie. Her brother and sister, her grandparents, her mother were all really well developed and distinct, showing you what different family members were thinking and feeling.

Moreover, my students commented how much they could connect to Jackie. Elani and Josselin said, "It's like we are actually in the book." Angel elaborated, explaining:
"Jacqueline Woodson described her own experiences so well that I knew how she felt, and I have experienced some of the same things, so I felt like she would understand how I feel."
Kaiyah and Angel also noted how well Brown Girl Dreaming captured the different settings, from rural South Carolina to urban New York City. Small interior images also stayed with our readers, like when Woodson's baby brother was eating paint chips from the wall.

I was impressed how articulate and passionate our Brown Girl Dreaming readers were. While this isn't necessarily a book for a wide audience within a classroom, it goes deep for the readers it touches, staying with them for a long time.

The review copies were kindly sent by the publisher Nancy Paulsen and Penguin Books for Young Readers, and we have purchased additional copies for our school library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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4. Writing Competition: The Winter Anthology Writing Contest

Final judge: Srikanth Reddy 

Entry fee: $10

Deadline: January 31

Please send up to 50 pages in any genre (a book or book-length manuscript somewhat over 50 pages is acceptable). Send writings of which you are the sole author and that were not written earlier than 1999. Published and unpublished writings are equally welcome. Two or three poems or a single story or essay are as welcome as entire books. 

To get a sense of our aesthetics, see our previous volumes. All work will be read by the editors, with finalists judged by Srikanth Reddy. Multiple entries are welcome, as are entries including a mix of genres. We accept entries until January 31st. The final decision will be announced here in late winter 2015. In the event that none of the entries meets our standards, no winner will be declared. 

The winner will be published in Volume 5 of The Winter Anthology and receive a $1000 honorarium. Finalists will also be considered for publication.
To enter electronically, use our Submittable page.

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5. Call for Submissions: Apple Valley Review

Apple Valley Review - Call for Submissions 

Submission deadline: March 15, 2015 

Apple Valley Review is currently reading submissions of poetry, personal essays, and short fiction for the Spring 2015 issue (Vol. 10, No. 1). All work must be original, previously unpublished, and in English. Please note that we do not accept simultaneous submissions. 

Several pieces from the journal have later appeared as selections, finalists, and/or notable stories in Best American Essays, Best of the Net, Best of the Web, and storySouth Million Writers Award. 

All published work is automatically considered for our annual editor's prize. 

To submit, please send 1-6 poems or 1-3 essays/short stories, all pasted into the body of a single e-mail message, to our editor:

editorATleahbrowningDOTnet (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

The current issue, previous issues, subscription information, and complete submission guidelines are available online.

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6. Call for Submissions: Anthology of Poetry, Short Prose Responding to Baga, Boko Haram Attacks

Call for Submissions: Anthology of Poetry, Short Prose Responding to Baga, Boko Haram Attacks

You've written poems for Ferguson, Gaza, Hong Kong, Palestine, and, most recently, Paris. Now is the time to write for Baga (the town where Boko Haram massacred 2000 people on the Nigerian-Chadian border).

Nigerian poet Damilola Michael Aderibigbe is editing an anthology of poetry and short prose responding to Baga and the atrocities committed by Boko Haram. This anthology will be published by Unbound Content, an independent publishing house founded by Annmarie Lockhart and based in Englewood, New Jersey.

Send 5 poems or 1 piece of short prose, in plain text, to Damilola Michael Aderibigbe at:

dammyg1989ATliveDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . ) 

Deadline: February 27, 2015

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7. Call for Submissions of Graphic Works/Graphic Narratives: The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought

The Account: A Jour­nal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought is read­ing sub­mis­sions for a spe­cial Spring ’15 issue: “Graphic Works/Graphic Nar­ra­tives.” We’re seek­ing graphic nar­ra­tives, illu­mi­nated man­u­scripts, rebuses, illus­tra­tions evoca­tive of sto­ries, and poems that inter­act with the page as a visual land­scape (such as con­crete poems, era­sures, and prose poems). Please sub­mit work via Sub­mit­table by March 15th for con­sid­er­a­tion. The Account does not have a read­ing fee. How­ever, we do require work to be paired with an “account” (of 150–500 words) that describes the thought, influ­ences, and choices that make up your aes­thetic as it per­tains to the spe­cific work you send us. 
account = his­tory, sketch, marker, repos­i­tory of influences
An account of a spe­cific work traces its arc—through texts and world—while giv­ing voice to the artist’s approach. We ask that if you choose to be satir­i­cal, you do so in ser­vice of the work you are sub­mit­ting. We are most inter­ested in how you are track­ing the thought, influ­ences, and choices that make up your aes­thetic as it per­tains to a spe­cific work.
Please use Submittable to submit. We will not consider work without an account. We do read simul­ta­ne­ous submissions.
You may still sub­mit work under one of our gen­eral cat­e­gories for a later issue.

Gen­eral Information

Please review The Account: A Jour­nal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought sub­mis­sion guide­lines for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
We will not con­sider work sub­mit­ted with­out an account. Simul­ta­ne­ous sub­mis­sions are wel­come, but your work must be with­drawn imme­di­ately if it is no longer avail­able. Authors retain their copy­right and will receive a con­tract upon acceptance.  
Crit­i­cism oper­ates on a solicitation-only basis.
Art cur­rently oper­ates on a solicitation-only basis. How­ever, if you are inter­ested in send­ing us a work sam­ple, CV, and query let­ter, you are wel­come to email us:
poet­rypros­ethoughtATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

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8. Poetry Competition: The Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize

The Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize is awarded annually by Writers & Books for an outstanding unpublished book-length collection of poetry. The poet will receive an honorarium of $1000, publication of the collection (in paperback, in the fall following the award, with Big Pencil Press), and a one-week fellowship at the Gell Center of the Finger Lakes. This year, the final judge will be Cornelius Eady.

Eligibility: Open to poets who are citizens or legal residents of the United States, are at least 18 years of age, and are not employees or relatives of employees of Writers & Books, Inc.

Manuscripts must be postmarked December 1, to January 31, 2015. Any manuscripts mailed outside of that period cannot be accepted.
• Manuscripts cannot be accepted by email.
Submit a book-length manuscript of poems (no illustrations), 50 to 100 pages in length.
• Download the entry form from www.wab.org, fill it out, and attach it to your manuscript. To receive an entry form by mail, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Writers & Books at the address below.
• Manuscripts must be the author’s own original work. No translations, please.
Include an entry fee of $25 (non-refundable) by check or money order payable to Writers & Books. If you send more than one manuscript, each must be accompanied by a separate entry form and a separate check.
• As work will be judged anonymously, each manuscript must include two cover pages. The first must have the book’s title, author’s name, and all the author’s contact information. The second must have the book title only, with no author’s name and no contact information. Do not include a bio note, or any other feature that might include the author’s real name or pen name.
• Format: Use regular white 8 ½ X 11” paper, black ink, with font of 11- or 12- points. One poem per page. Absolutely no handwritten manuscripts will be accepted.
• You must notify Writers & Books immediately by phone or by mail if your manuscript wins another competition, or is accepted for publication elsewhere.

• Poems in your manuscript may have been published in magazines, journals, on line, in anthologies, or in a chapbook. But the manuscript as a whole must be unpublished as a single book. Previously self-published books are not eligible.
Winner will be notified not later than April 7, 2015.
• Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard if you want to be assured that the manuscript has been received.
• Include a self-addressed, stamped No. 10 business envelope if you want to receive contest winner notification.
• Once a book has been sent, do not send changes or new pages for insertion. If your manuscript wins, you will have a chance to make changes before publication.
• Manuscripts will not be returned; do not send postage stamps or mailer for the return of a manuscript.
• The foregoing information is the complete listed guidelines. Do not call Writers & Books for further information.

Send manuscript, check, and entry form to:

Gell Prize
Writers & Books
740 University Ave.,
Rochester, NY 14607

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9. Poetry in motion: Terrific virtual visit with Kwame Alexander (ages 10-14)

"Oh man, I love that book." -- that's Theo, one of my 5th graders, when I told them last week that we were going to Skype with Kwame Alexander, the author of The Crossover. How cool is that? Just hearing Theo sigh and declare his love for a book was enough to melt my heart. But now we are all soaring, with all the inspiration, smiles and love from our visit this week.

Huge thanks go out to Kwame Alexander -- first for writing a book with so much heart, so much swag, so much appeal that it's got kids passing it from friend to friend. But also for taking his time to visit with us.

You can get a sense of what it's like for our students to Skype with Mr. Alexander in this picture below. Two fifth grade classes gathered in the library (about 50 kids), of whom about 15 had already read The Crossover. We first listened to Kwame tell us about the book, but the bulk of our time was spent asking questions back and forth.
Skyping in the Emerson library with Kwame Alexander
As students started asking questions, I captured some of what Kwame was saying. I'd like to share a few excerpts here.
"Basketball is like poetry in motion."

Asking Mr. Alexander a question
"I was inspired to write this book by my relationship with dad. He was a really good basketball player, like Josh & JB's father, but I wasn't. I played tennis instead. I also wanted to this because I love basketball so much. And I wanted to write a book that boys (and girls too) would really want to read, and I knew that basketball would draw a lot of kids in."

"Why did you write this story as a novel in verse? Because poetry is the coolest form of writing on the planet, and I happen to be the coolest dude on the planet! But it's more than that -- poetry is rhythmic and concise, and when you do it write, poetry has a lot of swag. This is just like basketball -- players have rhythm, movement, a lot of swag. A novel in verse also doesn't have a lot of words on a page, so kids who don't like to read won't be intimidated by this book. That was important to me."
One student asked what the first novel in verse was that he read, and Kwame talked about how Love That Dog by Sharon Creech was just amazing. Then he asked her what other novel in verses she liked. When she told him that she loved Words With Wings, by Nikki Grimes, Kwame took out his phone and texted her! Then he took this selfie to show Nikki!!
We asked him about what you do when you get stuck writing. Kwame asked if any of us played soccer. When you play soccer, you do a lot of running, but you aren’t always scoring goals. Writing is like that. You write and write and write, and eventually something will click and you’ll score. The Crossover took Kwame five years to write.

Here’s how he goes about writing a poem.
  1. Somebody tells me what I have to write about, or I have to figure out my topic
  2. I make a list of as many words I can think of about that topic. I write down 30-50 words.
  3. I think about the structure -- what kind of poem am I going to write? Maybe I’m going to borrow a poem, model this poem on a poem I really like.
  4. Then I take my list of words and start fitting them into that structure. I add verbs or adjectives to link the words together, connect them, and keep playing.
Special thanks to Kwame for taking time out of his writing day to visit with us. And special thanks also go to the Berkeley Public Schools Fund and our school PTA that made this visit possible. If you're at all inclined to try out Skyping with an author, reach out and see if they're interested.

If I could, I would send every 5th grade teacher a copy of The Crossover. Not only can it capture kids' attention, but it holds them there with an emotionally resonant story told with powerful, crafted language. The review copy came from our school library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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10. Call for Submissions: Fairy Tale Review

Submissions are now being accepted for the twelfth annual issue, The Ochre Issue, of Fairy Tale Review. The Ochre Issue has no particular theme—simply send your best fairy-tale work along the spectrum of mainstream to experimental, fabulist to realist. 

We accept fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry, in English or in translation to English, along with scholarly, hybrid, and illustrated works (comics, black-line drawings, etc.).

The reading period will remain open until the issue is full—we predict closing it sometime in late spring or early summer. 

For full guidelines, visit our website.

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11. Call for Submissions: Amuse-Bouche

The Antioch University Los Angeles Creative Writing MFA program's bimonthly publication, Amuse-Bouche, is accepting submissions for its upcoming issues. Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, YA, Translation, and Visual Art submissions are all welcome. 

Visit Lunch Ticket's website for submission guidelines (please read guidelines CAREFULLY before submitting).

Deadline: January 31st, 2015.

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12. Call for Panel Proposals: Poetry & Transportation

Do your poems feature wings, wheels, rails, keels? If transportation is a recurring theme, image, or topic in your work, please consider submitting a proposal for a 10- to 15-minute presentation for a panel on Poetry & Transportation. The panel will take place during the new Poetry by the Sea Conference May 26-29 in Madison, CT.

Please submit a brief proposal (250-300 words) and 2-3 sample poems by February 1 to Pat Valdata at:

pvaldataAzoominternetDOTnet (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Include your proposal and samples in the body of the email—no attachments, please, or my spam filter will grab your message.

Please note that if your proposal is chosen, you will need to register for the conference. One-day registration is available for those who cannot attend the entire conference.

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13. Poetry and Essay Book Competitions: Cleveland State University Poetry Center


From January 1 to March 31st the Cleveland State University Poetry Center is accepting submissions for three book contests:

--our First Book Poetry Competition (Judge: Eileen Myles),
--our Open Book Poetry Competition (Judges: Lesle Lewis, Shane McCrae, & Wendy Xu),
--and our brand new Essay Collection Competition (Judge: Wayne Koestenbaum).

Submission guidelines can be found at our website.

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14. Miller Williams Has Died

millerPoet Miller Williams has died. He was 84-years-old.

Throughout his writing career, Williams published 37 books of poetry and prose. He also devoted more than 30 years to working as a professor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He was invited to perform a reading at President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration ceremony.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “Mr. Williams’s poems were written in common and accessible language, beginning with his own everyday experience but leading to something a reader could recognize as universal. The poem he read at the 1997 Clinton inauguration, ‘Of History and Hope,’ reflected on the past and future of the country and asked: ‘But where are we going to be, and why, and who?/ The disenfranchised dead want to know.’”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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15. Call for Submissions of Narrative Poetry: Naugatuck River Review

Naugatuck River Review, a print journal of narrative poetry, welcomes submissions for
the Summer/Fall 2015 issue beginning January 1st and ending March 1st at midnight.

Submission guidelines:

This is an open (no fee) submission period and runs from January 1st through March 1st at midnight. We accept electronic submissions only through our ONLINE SUBMISSION MANAGER. Please go to our website first to read the guidelines and to connect to the Submission Manager program.

Accepted contributors will be rewarded with a copy of the journal. We are not in a position to pay you otherwise, but hope the journal is worth much more than the cost of its paper.

--During the submission period ONLY please submit no more than 3 unpublished NARRATIVE poems of no more than 50 lines through the online submission manager.
--Put them all in one MSWord (docx or rtf) file.
--Please remove your name from your file, as the poetry is read blind by our
editorial staff. 

Questions (ONLY): Feel free to email us at:

naugatuckriverATaolDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Multiple submissions are discouraged, but simultaneous submissions are fine, as long as you inform us right away if your poem is accepted elsewhere. Please send work that has not been previously published. 

Lori Desrosiers
Naugatuck River Review

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16. Call for Submissions for Anthology on Fracking: Ice Cube Press

Ice Cube Press is inviting submissions for Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America. We are looking for new prose and poetry that speaks to the complexity of fracking, conveys a sense of place, and includes personal experience. 

No fee to submit. Deadline June 1. Visit the publisher's website for guidelines:.

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17. January Blues…

I love January, but my sweet homeschool kiddos don’t seem to love it quite as much. Thus, a blues poem for my girls and all the students who wish they were still on  Christmas vacation…   School is in session Equations are flying Students are moaning Brain cells are frying Reading and painting Dividing and…

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18. Lucky Duck

You might have noticed the pretty new cover over in the sidebar.


Last fall I was asked to write a few poems on spec for a new poetry anthology Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong had in the works. Last month I found out one had been accepted, a poem called “December Solstice.”

Sylvia and Janet are the superstars behind the Poetry Friday Anthology series, books that have been adopted by hundreds of school districts across the country. The series “helps teachers and librarians teach poetry easily while meeting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and the Texas TEKS for English Language Arts (ELA)/Poetry and Science & Technology.”

This anthology, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, releases in April, also known as National Poetry Month. For more information, click through!

The post Lucky Duck appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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19. January is here — and I’m loving it!

It’s strange. From October to December, there seems to be very little time to do much other than marvel at how fast time flies. I do as much as I can to get done what needs to be done. I love that time of year, even the hustle and bustle of it all. But from…

3 Comments on January is here — and I’m loving it!, last added: 1/5/2015
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20. Call for Submissions on the Theme of Music: The Museum of Americana

the museum of americana is happy to announce that we are open to submissions for our Spring issue, which will be a special music-themed issue, from now until January 15th, 2015

We seek writers who explore and/or repurposes the cultural history of America’s music, especially jazz, country, blues, and rock n’ roll, into fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, photography, and of course songs. For general guidelines, visit our Submissions page.

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21. Call for Experimental Writing and Multimedia: Small Po[r]tions

Small Po[r]tions is accepting submissions for Issue 4! We publish work that minimizes, blurs, or exaggerates distinctions between genres and hope to offer a shared space for experimental creative fiction and nonfiction, lyrical fiction, poetry, and multimedia pieces. Small Po[r]tions issues have a print component with a focus on book arts and an online component featuring selections from the print issue along with media work. You can view work from our previous issues at our website. Print copies are available on our website as well.

Please submit up to 1000 words or one multimedia work to:

submissionsATsmallportionsjournalDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

by January 18th to be considered for publication in Issue 4.

For additional information, visit our website 

or find us on Twitter 
or on Facebook  

Direct questions to:

editorsATsmallportionsjournalDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

We look forward to reading/viewing your work!

Small Po[r]tions Editorial Board

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22. Call for Poetry Submissions to Anthology: Accents Publishing

CFS: Wild Women Poetry Anthology

Accents Publishing seeks submissions for Circe’s Lament: An Anthology of Wild Women. Edited by Bianca Spriggs and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, we welcome poems by authors of all genders about goddesses, gun-slingers, shape-shifters, blues-singers, oracles, and scandalous divorcees, or any wild woman you know, including yourself. 

Email 1-3 poems to: 

circeslamentATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

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23. Call for Submissions from Teen Writers: Vine Leaves Literary Journal

Are you a writer aged 12–17? Would you like to submit a vignette to us for our new Blooming Vine Leaves feature? 

Please submit no more than 800 words in total per submission period. This means you can send one piece worth 800 words, or 8 pieces worth 100 words each, and/or anything in between. If you are submitting multiple pieces, please submit them all in one document.

Deadline for submissions: Feb. 28, 2015

If you are submitting your work as part of a school project, please let us know which school you are from.

If more than 20 students from the same school submit at the same time, and you are all accepted, we will send your school a generous package of books for your school library.

Submit your work here.

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24. QEPD Michele Serros. Floricantos Rock Rose and On-line.

My intent was to hook the preponderantly raza employees on reading, so I stocked lunchrooms with sci-fi, detective novels, a classic or two, and Michele Serros' Chicana Falsa. The most disappeared title was Michele Serros' Chicana Falsa.

One day while walking through an office I heard loud guffaws and poked my head in. One of the executives had picked up Chicana Falsa and couldn't put it down. He was reading instead of working. Michele's chicharrón story had him in tears. Better still, the vato had been one of the company's English-only crowd, and the book softened his heart. Orale, Michele.

Michele Serros had that effect on everyone whom she touched with her rapier wit, cultural insight, and elegant prose. Ave atque vale, Michele.

Que en paz descanses.

In lieu of flowers/gifts, Michele humbly requests you please contribute to her Give Forward campaign. Donations can be made online or sent via mail to:
Michele Serros
c/o Flacos
3031 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703

Art and Floricanto at Rock Rose
Michael Sedano

The phone caller told me she was looking at new-to-her lyrics to Quirino Mendoza y Cortés' Cielito Lindo and had I heard these? Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin planned to sing the song, along with Las Mañanitas, at the artists' reception for Images of La Virgen de Guadalupe through the eyes of Aparicio de Guatemala, Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin, Pola Lopez, Julie Soto, and Antonio Rael at Highland Park's Rock Rose Gallery.

Coincidence? That is my grandmother's and mother's favorite song. I'd been playing Cielito Lindo daily during the holidays, remembering my gramma and my mom. Vibiana invited me to be the accompanist on Rock Rose's baby grand.

I arrived tempranito so Vibi and I could rehearse. Gallerist Rosamaria Marquez had the piano in tune. We sounded good, though we needed a bit of work. As with many highly popular songs, gente tend to alter the tempo and shift the tied notes to different measures from the score. "De la sie..rra" becomes "De la sierra..." A lifetime of singing it that way is tough to unlearn.

Few experiences match a pianist's joy at hearing voices singing along with one's fingers. Cielito Lindo is a waltz, so I emphasized the 1-2-3 bass and endeavored to keep the melody consistent with the singers' habitual styling. The singing was totally beautiful and together we found our rhythm. Everyone knew the words and the entire audience joined in with broad smiles and sentimental warmth. We did three choruses and I know my gramma and mom enjoyed it. For me, it was puro magic.

Chamberlin--one of the veteranas from the 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto, emceed with excellent improvisation. We skipped Las Mañanitas, a good thing because my plan to segue into Happy Birthday to You depended on my fingers remembering a chord change I invariably mess up.

Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin reads and performs "La Llorona." Aparicio-Chamberlin opened her reading honoring her mother Isabel Luna Aparicio (b. 1917).

Luna De Leche
by Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin

Dedicated to my mother, Isabel Carrasco Luna Aparicio

Sacrificial scent of a bursting moon.
Violet and taut are the veins
on your forehead.
Abundant and clear is the liquid
released down your thighs.

From you,
I am expelled
in spasms of heat and ice,
a bruised slippery body.

I am alone.
Torn from your velvet womb.
My desperate mouth,
my tongue, my throat cry out.
Searching for you.
Mamá. Madre.
Luna de leche.

You give me comfort,
you give me courage.
Your gift is your milk.
Warm healing honey.

Each breast, a promise of a
brown wooden bowl of flour,
 shortening, un poquito de agua
and a pinch of salt,
for an endless meal
of warm round tortillas.

Mi luz.
Source of endless leche,
de su ser
Your blood
Mi sangre
Cada gota
Cada pulso

Pleasure sweeps between us.
Stomach satiated.
Soul sanctified.

Miriam Quesada follows with a Spanish language piece as sculptor Aparicio de Guatemala looks on.

Abel Salas, publisher of Boyle Heights' community newspaper, Brooklyn & Boyle, shares a reading from his telephone screen.

John Martinez stepped out of his comfort zone and read his work in Spanish translation. His is a beautiful effort to expand the role of language in poetry for monolingual Chicanos like him. Ajua! John--Juan--for a magnificent strategy.

Poets with sculptor Aparicio de Guatemala stand in front of Aparicio's Guadalupe sculpture, one of two. The second, a standing piece not pictured, he fashioned from red heart wood, acquired locally from a tree-trimmer.

Images of La Virgen de Guadalupe through the eyes of... runs through January at Rock Rose Gallery, 4108 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, California, (323) 635-9125.

Spanish Novels in English Translation

Hispabooks seeks deeper penetration into the United States' Spanish-Literature-in-Translation movimiento. Editorial Director Gregorio Doval writes, "Ya distribuimos desde hace más de un año a través de Ingram / Lightning Source (en librerías y online, paperback & ebook). Pero el próximo 1 de junio de 2015, nos comenzará a distribuir "on a larger scale" Consortium. Desde entonces nuestros libros estarán ya en todas las librerías que los deseen."

If you're Spanish-challenged, or faltando el Castellano, but enjoy excellent writing from an Iberian imagination, you'll be pleased learning Hispabooks has been distributed in the US by Ingram / Lightning Source. In June, distribution steps up to una escala más grande via Consortium.

From Hispabooks' Facebook About:
"Hispabooks is a publishing house focusing on contemporary Spanish fiction in English-language translation, both in eBook and trade paperback format, targeting readers around the world who want to explore the best of today’s Spanish literature."

Already released titles include:
"THE HAPPY CITY", by Elvira Navarro
"UPPSALA WOODS", by Álvaro Colomer
"THE HOTEL LIFE", by Javier Montes
"THE BIRTHDAY BUYER", by Adolfo García Ortega
"THE STEIN REPORT", by José Carlos Llop
"PARIS", by Marcos Giralt Torrente
"RAIN OVER MADRID", by Andrés Barba
"A MAN ON HIS WORD", by Imma Monsó
"WOMAN IN DARKNESS", by Luisgé Martín
"THE HISTORY OF SILENCE", by Pedro Zarraluki

Forthcoming titles:
"THE PLIMSOL LINE", by Juan Gracia Armendáriz
"UNPAID DEBTS", by Antonio Jiménez Barca
"THE SAME CITY" by Luisgé Martín
"LA MALA MUERTE", by Fernando Royuela
"OJOS QUE NO VEN", by José Ángel González Sainz
"VENÍAN A BUSCARLO A ÉL", by Berta Vías Mahou
"LA HORA VIOLETA", by Sergio del Molino
"LA MALA LUZ", by Carlos Castán
"LANDEN", by Laia Fàbregas
"INTENTO DE ESCAPADA", by Miguel Ángel Hernández

La Bloga happily shares this news, and hopes the editorial will open its presses to more women writers.

On-line Floricanto: First in 2015
Kai Coggin, upfromsumdirt, Mario Angel Escobar, Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Xico González

La Bloga On-line Floricanto is a monthly feature at La Bloga-Tuesday. On-line Floricanto, now in its fifth year, features poetry nominated by the Moderators of the Facebook group Poets Responding to SB1070: Poetry of ResistanceFounded by Francisco X. Alarcón as a poet's response to the hate legislation spewed by Arizona's legislators in 2010, Poets Responding to SB1070 is a living resource for contemporary poetry from a diverse community of like-minded gente.

A second On-line Floricanto in January will feature the Best Poems of 2014.

February's On-line Floricanto celebrates St. Valentine's / Love and Friendship Day. Visit Poetry of Resistance on Facebook for guidelines on submitting for February.

“⌘ Planting An Acorn After A Massacre” by Kai Coggin
“An Open Letter To My Daddy Anem” by upfromsumdirt
"I can't breathe"by Mario Angel Escobar
“We Can't Breathe” by Odilia Galván Rodríguez
"Free Birds" by Xico González

⌘ Planting An Acorn After A Massacre
by Kai Coggin

When I heard the news
of the 132 school children massacred,
the taliban suicide bombers in
explosive-lined vests
blowing up the lights of brightened futures,
emptying thousands
of shell casings into the heads of innocents,
I went outside with my grief,
couldn’t hold it indoors,
I walked in circles
and wondered
how the sun
could continue this charade,
how the breeze could decorate
the almost barren trees
with dancing dried skirts,
quivering leaves.
I held the hands of the sky
and whispered unknown names
into the afternoon silence,
as two turkey vultures
cut the blue by
flying infinities overhead.

I walked.
Each step accompanied
by the sound of dried leaves
crunching underfoot,
and fallen acorns shone slick
in the light of the sun,
some dusted with grains of sand
that reflected prismatically
into the tiniest rainbows,
almost invisible.

I picked one up.
It had cracked open,
its red root arm reaching out for earth,
seed sprout seeing possibility,
the process of growth
inherent in its nature.

Without question and without fail
scores of acorns around me
had split open
in these cold months,
split open and started the process of
digging themselves down into the dirt,
the brilliant design that unlocks
wooden hinges and breaks free.

I thought of the children,
their arms reaching toward futures
that they could not see
but could feel,
their brilliant design,
their chubby reddened cheeks,
their laughter,
their learning becoming
scattered schoolbooks
and bomb-blasted classrooms,

they will not become trees,

they will not get past the point
of just barely breaking through,
red blood arms shielding faces
that wonder how this could be the end,
then it is,

The innocents should not die
for a God that does not live by the moral code
that innocents should not die.

I get lost in all this,
the soft breeze,
the blood,
the peaceful valley of my home,
the massacre that touches the same earth floor
dirt on which I stand and gather bursting-open acorns,
juxtaposition of death and life,
my red root fingers dig for the meaning,
for the karmic and cosmic balance,
and all I can do is find a patch of softened moist soil,
a spot that gets good sunlight,
and I shovel a small hole with a jagged flat rock
and lay the
the hole
with the red root
pointing toward the planet’s core.

“Something small must have a chance,”

I say to myself,
and I cover the acorn with the supple

I encircle the life burial plot
with a mandala of 11 acorn caps,
(you know the little hats that acorns wear)
I make a circle,
because circles are unbroken,
because life should be unbroken,
because something small must have a chance.

I close my eyes,
and let the sun kiss me
until I am warmed inside
with the red of late afternoon,
until I see the mightiest oak tree in my mind,
132 sprawling green limbs
reaching up, up, up,

An Open Letter To My Daddy Anem
(a non-poem)
by upfromsumdirt

maaaan, i really wish yall'da made
a world for yall then and not one
for us today, because
all of our tomorrows are borrowed.
i really wish yall'da fought for land
(mississippi, georgia, florida, 'bama)
places to farm and fort and export...
placing Black America on an actual map,
an african american Writ Of Existence.
maaaaan, with a land your own
yall coulda built a car company,
"university" universities
without the need for culturally
enabling signifiers. coulda built
museums and rockets
and slums as low-end shelter
and not slums as black-face-hiders.
yall coulda built a wall
to stall the racists. a gall divider.
green parks and industrial dumps
all ours... maaaaan, but naawww...
oppression turnt us into pacifists
and dream-merchants with new
access to pension plans... but
no places for us to go in a pinch
when those with the most rights
are unruly.
point blank:
i wanna die a surprise
and not die the price
for equality
insufficiently funded.
maaaan, i recognize yall did yall's best
teaching us to trust a system
not built to embrace us. but
that was wrong.
and i dont want my own son
singing this samosong
in his letters to me.

I can't breathe
by Mario Angel Escobar

In memory of Eric Garner

Officer, officer,
My family is waiting for me.
Please listen to me.

I can't breathe!

Officer, officer,
I don't want to be another anonymous death
in the holocaust of indifference.

I can't breathe!

Officer, officer,
Don't let me fall on the sidewalk.
Dirty pavement where I've been since the days of slave patrol.
Ancestral language
stripped naked
in chains.

I can't breathe!

Officer, officer,
people will missed me at the dinner table.
I am lifeworthy.
Please listen to me.

I can't breathe!

Officer, officer,
The soul bleeds.
Please don't let darkness open its jaw.
Earthquake in my lungs.

I can't breathe!

Officer, officer,
Don't deny me of that precious oxygen.
This drum still beats strong.

I can't breathe!

Officer, officer,
don't dismiss my plight.
Don't erase my name.
You and I travel together
in this floating asteroid.
Please let me be.

I can't breathe!

Officer, officer,
Every time you see me,
you try to mess with me.
Please listen to me!

I can't breathe!

We Can't Breathe
(no justice, no peace)
by Odilia Galván Rodríguez

we witness

that without justice

there can be no peace

without justice

there can be no peace

no justice     no peace

when we must raise our children

to be murdered at anytime

on these mean streets

by those whom we pay to protect us --

there is no justice

no justice      no


Free Birds
by Xico González C/S

Black birds
Brown birds
White birds
Yellow birds
Red birds
Multi colored birds
Rainbow colored birds
Fly together in rhythm
Yearning to be free

Pajaritos y pajaritas
Preparan nidos
Para protegerse de los elementos
Y de los golpes duros de la vida

Little birds
prepare nests
to protect themselves from the elements
and the hard knocks of life

hace fuertes las plumas débiles
de nuestras alas y de nuestras almas
Volar es nuestro destino
Duro es el camino
pero se tiene que atravesar

transforms feathers of wings and souls
from weak to strong
Flying is our destiny
The trail is rough,
but it must be crossed

Pájaros de todos colores
No reconocen fronteras
Se mueven de aquí pa’allá y de allá pa’ aca

Birds of all colors
Do not recognize celestial borders
and move freely in the immense sky

Pájaros de todos colores
Piden libertad, respeto,
Igualdad y justicia social

Birds of all colors
Demand freedom, respect,
social justice, and equality.

Black birds
Brown birds
White birds
Yellow birds
Red birds
Multi colored birds
Rainbow colored birds
Fly together in rhythm
United and free.

• Meet the Poets • 
Kai Coggin, upfromsumdirt, Mario Angel Escobar, Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Xico González

Kai Coggin is a full-time poet and author born in Bangkok, Thailand, raised in Southwest Houston, and currently a blip in the three million acre Ouachita National Forest in Hot Springs, AR. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Poetry and Creative Writing from Texas A&M University. She writes poems of feminism, love, spirituality, injustice, metaphysics, and beauty. Kai has been published in Elephant Journal, Cliterature, The Manila Envelope, [empath], Catching Calliope and an anthology released summer 2014 called Journey of the Heart.

She released her first chapbook, In Other Words, in August 2013. Her first full-length book of poetry PERISCOPE HEART was published by Swimming with Elephants Publications in September 2014. She is also a Teaching Artist with the Arkansas Arts Council, specializing in bringing poetry and creative writing to classrooms around the state.

Kai knows that words hold the potential to create monumental and global change, and she uses her words like a sword of Beauty. She can be found most Wednesdays at Maxine’s, reading her poems into an open mic, hoping the wind carries her words out to the world. Find more about her at her website.

upfromsumdirt is a visual artist and poet who operates under the grand delusion that he is the spiritual lovechild of singer Nina Simone and artist Pedro Bell. he shares his work and life with author and professor, Crystal Wilkinson. he lives in Lexington, Ky where he is currently running their bookstore, The Wild Fig, into the ground.
Eshu help him!

Mario A. Escobar (January 19, 1978-) is a US-Salvadoran writer and poet born in 1978. Although he considers himself first and foremost a poet, he is known as the founder and editor of Izote Press. Escobar is a faculty member in the Department of Foreign Languages at LA Mission College. Some of Escobar’s works include Al correr de la horas (Editorial Patria Perdida, 1999) Gritos Interiores (Cuzcatlan Press, 2005), La Nueva Tendencia (Cuzcatlan Press, 2005), Paciente 1980 (Orbis Press, 2012). His bilingual poetry appears in Theatre Under My Skin: Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry by Kalina Press.

Odilia Galván Rodríguez, eco-poet, writer, editor, and activist, is the author of four volumes of poetry, her latest, Red Earth Calling: ~cantos for the 21st Century~. She’s worked as an editor for Matrix Women's News Magazine, Community Mural's Magazine, and most recently at Tricontinental Magazine in Havana, Cuba. She facilitates creative writing workshops nationally and is a moderator of Poets Responding to SB 1070, and Love and Prayers for Fukushima, both Facebook pages dedicated to bringing attention to social justice issues that affect the lives and wellbeing of many people. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, and literary journals on and offline.

Xico González is an educator, artist, poet, and a political and cultural activista based in Sacramento, California. He received a MA in Spanish from Sacramento State, and a MFA in Art Studio from the University of California at Davis.  González currently teaches Spanish and Art Studio at the Met Sacramento High School.

The work of Xico González seeks to empower people uniting in common cause against a common oppressor disguised in different máscaras.  Gonzalez’s silkscreen posters address and support numerous political causes, such as the struggle for immigrants’ rights, the Palestinian and Zapatista struggles, and the right for Chicana/o self determination.  González is not only an artist, but is also an activist/organizer that puts his artistic skills to the benefit of his community.  Xico’s work contributes to the long dialogue of art, activism and the legacy of the Chicano Art Movement.  González has been influenced primarily by his mentors, Chicano artists Ricardo Favela (RIP), and Malaquías Montoya, and by early Chicano art collectives like the Mexican American Liberation Art Front (MALA-F), and the Rebel Chicano Art Front also known as the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF).

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25. ‘In Which I Do Not Fear Harvey Dent’ Video Goes Viral

Brenna Twohy wrote a poem called “In Which I Do Not Fear Harvey Dent.” Twohy recited it at the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam.

The piece features mentions of several famous superheroes including Spider-Man, Aqua-Man, and Rogue from X-Men. The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted a video with her performance and it has since attracted more than 33,000 views.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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