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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Poetry, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. ‘Another Rape Poem’ Video Goes Viral

Brenna Twohy wrote a poem called “Another Rape Poem.” Twohy recited the piece at the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam.

The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted a video featuring her performance earlier this month and it has since attracted more than 25,000 views. What do you think? (via Upworthy)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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2. Angel Island; Gateway to Gold Mountain

by Russel Freedman. Chinese poems translated by Evans Chan. Clarion Books, 2014. (Library copy). This nonfiction text for young people covers the west coast immigration center Angel Island in San Fransisco Bay. Between 1910 and 1940 more than half a million people from 80 countries passed through this station. After being examined medically and interrogated, they often waited weeks or months in

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3. Disaster Strikes in Threes

Melinda Palacio
The calm after the storm

So the saying goes, disasters strike in threes. After I fell down the stairs and broke my leg, I wanted to count those two events as disasters two and three. Number one was earlier this year when our house was broken into. The good news on that was I had nothing to take. The burglars made a mess of the house, overturning drawers, taking out every box, stuffed into my closet. The rascals tore open a pretty envelope that I was saving to use when the mood struck me to surprise someone with old fashioned postal mail. I was even offended when the thieves didn't take any of my jewelry, opting instead to throw earrings and bracelets to the floor. However, what they did take was a jar of quarters. Somewhere, dirty thieves needed to do laundry. I hope they feel good about themselves in their clean clothes.

The work of messy thieves.

So the break-in and my broken leg counted as numbers one and two. Fate would not allow me to count the surgery as number three. The proverbial third shoe finally dropped three weeks ago when a broken washing machine caused the house to flood. A fifty-cent plumbing part nearly destroyed the house. Luckily, we have flood insurance which will cover the cost of the demolition (now finished) and restoration. As with my million dollar leg, a fall that resulted in a giant medical bill, I am very fortunate to have health insurance and flood insurance.
What used to be the kitchen. Walls, floors and ceiling flooded.


The good news is that the house will be even better than it was before and we will be able to get rid of the carpet on the stairs that caused me to slip and break my leg. Perspective is key here. After having been rushed to the emergency room with a dislocated ankle, my foot facing the wrong way, and a broken fibula, most other disasters like the house flooding, the ceiling caving in the kitchen, complete with sink, cabinets, and appliance, walls and floors needing to be demolished and rebuilt, doesn't seem that horrible. I'm able to continue writing. There are two rooms in the house that were unaffected. And luckily, I had my laptop with me and was not in the house when the disaster happened.
My million dollar leg
I spent the entire summer in the bed office due to my broken leg and I get to spend the next couple of months there again due to a near total house flood and forced remodel.

My leg is healing well, although it will be another couple of months until I am up and running, or dancing. In writing news, I took Rudy's challenge and entered the William Faulkner WisdomCompetition, I made it to the final round in Poetry. Congratulations to winner Claire Dixon. Entering poetry competitions is sobering and challenging, but it's nice to be recognized for work that has already been published. Last week, Nicole Thompson featured me in Latin Post.

Blas Falconer, Melinda Palacio, Michelle Detorie after the Mission Poetry Series reading.


A highlight of this summer was reading in the Mission Poetry Series with Blas Falconer and Michelle Detorie. The September day was gorgeous. With perfect weather on one of the last days for tourism in Santa Barbara, along with a street closed by the Sol Food Festival, the audience could have been sparse, but instead we had a crowd eager for poetry. As my friend reminds me, It could've been worse. 

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4. Call for Submissions from California Community College English Instructors: Inside English


Inside English is accepting submissions from writers teaching at a California community college for its spring 2015 issue. Deadline is January 15 and theme is teaching.

Inside English is the pedagogical publication of the English Council of California Two-Year Colleges and reserves First North American Serial Rights.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Paste your submission in the body of the email to:
 
 couringATsbccDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )
 
Also include a fifty-word biography including the California community college(s) where you teach.

In the subject line include the genre of the submission, title(s) and your name (Flash Fiction, “Restless Nights,” Marilyn Morgan)

We accept the following genres:

Flash Fiction: 1-2 pieces, a total of 1000 words.

Poetry: 1-2 poems, no more then 50 lines each.

Flash Creative Nonfiction: 1-2 pieces, a total of 1000 words.


Dr. Chella Courington, Creative Editor
Santa Barbara City College

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5. Poetry Competition: ARTlines2, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Writers are invited to submit original poems inspired by five works of art linked to this website and on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH).

Entry guidelines.


This competition accepts poems in two separate age categories: adult (age 20+) and teens (age 13-19). The deadline for entries is midnight November 30, 2014.

 
Five independent judges – Robert Pinsky, David M. Parsons, Patricia Smith, Mary Szybist, and Roberto Tejada – will each select a winner and 7 seven finalists for one of the artworks, totaling five adult winners and thirty-five adult finalists. Writers In The Schools/WITS will judge our free teen competition and select five teen winners.


Please read the Guidelines and other information on this site before submitting your poems. All teens should read the Teen page for separate guidelines.

On April 23, 2015, in celebration of National Poetry Month, a free public program at the Museum will feature ARTlines2 winners in both age categories, as well as comments about each work of art by an art historian.


Poems by all Winners and Finalist will be published with the accompanying artworks in an ekphrastic poetry anthology for ARTlines2 


EKPHRASTIC POETRY may include literal descriptions of a work of art, the poet´s mood in response to a work of art, metaphorical associations inspired by a work of art, or personal memories about a work of art.
ARTlines2 is a national competition organized by Public Poetry in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH).


Eligibility: Adults (20+) and teens (13-19).
Deadline: November 30, 2014

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6. Call for Submissions: The Lindenwood Review

The Lindenwood Review is currently accepting submissions of fiction, poetry, and personal essay for issue 5 through December 15, 2014. We are also accepting submissions for our free flash fiction contest through November 15.  

While current LU MFA students are not eligible, alumni are welcome to submit. 

Please visit our website for full submission guidelines and to read excerpts from previous issues.

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7. Call for Submissions: Prime Number Magazine

Prime Number Magazine is open for submissions! We're especially looking for excellent creative nonfiction (under 5000 words) and short essays (under 1000 words) in addition to short stories (under 5000 words), flash fiction (under 750 words), and poetry. (Book reviews and interviews, too, but query the Books editor first.) In all categories, we're looking for distinctive work. 

Full Submission Guidelines here

And check out our latest issue, #61.

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8. Writing Competition: Sequestrum's Editor's Reprint Award

Sequestrum is accepting submissions for our first annual Editor's Reprint Award! For complete guidelines, visit our website.
 

Contest Guidelines:

Open to reprints of fiction and nonfiction in any original format (electronic or print).

One $200 prize plus publication.
One runner-up prize including publication and payment (just above our usual rates). Finalists listed on the site.


$15 entry fee.
Tentative close date of April 30th
. (See site for details)

Include the name and email address of the original publisher in your cover letter.
Length and subject are open.
Submit via our online submission system.
Manuscripts reviewed on a rolling-basis.
Multiple submissions allowed.

No identifying information should be on your manuscript.

Not previously published? No worries! We're always accepting general submissions. Send them here.


About Sequestrum:
We average 1,000+ readers a month, keep our archives free and open to the public, are a paying market, and pair all our publications with stunning visual arts created by outside artists or our staff. Our contributors range from award-winning novelists and poets (with other works featured in publications including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The American Scholar, The Kenyon Review, many other university periodicals, and Best American Anthologies) to emerging voices and first-time writers.


We're proud of our little plot on the literary landscape and the writers and artists we share it with. Come see why.

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9. ‘YOU’ Poem Goes Viral

Jackson “Jack” Harries, co-founder of the JacksGap blog and video project, has written a poem called “YOU.” Throughout the piece, Jack talks about being a content creator in the modern age.

Jack’s recitation was posted on the JacksGap YouTube channel earlier this month. The video embedded above has attracted more than 748,000 views and over 9,000 “likes” on Facebook—what do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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10. More about the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

It is commendable that recent Prime Ministers have continued the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards even though, as with some other literary prizes, its future has often seemed under threat. It is a prestigious national award amongst the also-important state and other literary prizes. And it is lucrative, with winners receiving $80 000 and shortlisted authors […]

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11. Her House and Other Poems – Book Recommendation

Title: Her House and Other Poems Written by: Donna Marie Merritt Cover art by: Wendell Minor Published by: Stairwell Books, 2013 Themes/Topics: family, nature, gratitude, fragility Suitable for ages: 15+ Adult poetry, 64 pages Snippet: NOW                 … Continue reading

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12. Poetic Lines

How do you decide where to end each line in a poem. 

http://thelinebreak.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/lineation/

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13. Reaching Reluctant Readers, Poetry Friday, and a CWIM Giveaway!


Happy Poetry Friday, Everyone! Today I'll be sharing a fun, "spooky" poem by David L. Harrison. But first I'll tell you about my latest publication, an article in the 2015 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (Writer’s Digest Books), edited by Chuck Sambuchino. Then, at the end of this post, you'll find instructions for how to enter to win your very own copy of the 2015 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market!


If you're not familiar with the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (also known as the CWIM), here's an excerpt from the book's blurb.
"If you write or illustrate for young readers with the hope of getting published, the '2015 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market' is the trusted resource you need. Now in its 27th edition, 'CWIM' is the definitive publishing guide for anyone who seeks to write or illustrate for kids and young adults. Inside you'll find more than 500 listings for children's book markets (publishers, agents, magazines, and more)--including a point of contact, how to properly submit your work, and what categories each market accepts." 
In addition to the market listing, the CWIM includes great articles, interviews, and success stories. This year's edition features my interview roundup article, "Writing for Boys (and other 'Reluctant Readers')." The piece contains advice and insights from four award-winning authors known for writing books that appeal to reluctant readers: Matt de la Peña, Lenore Look, David Lubar, and Steve Sheinkin

Although  these authors write a wide variety of books, and everything from picture books to young adult novels, there was one bit of advice they all agreed on: If you want your writing to appeal to boys and other reluctant readers, don't try to target this particular audience. That's right, DON'T target them. Instead, write what moves, excites, or interests YOU. Then, "revise it over and over until it hums," as Matt de la Peña said. All four of the authors shared additional, specific advice on how to reach reluctant readers, especially boys. So be sure to enter our giveaway below for a chance to win your own copy of the CWIM!  

In researching "Writing for Boys (and other 'Reluctant Readers')," I discovered some very discouraging statistics about boys and reading. Not only do girls, on average, score higher on reading tests than boys, but the gender gap is widening. Fortunately, the news isn't all dire. As Jon Scieszka, the first National Ambassador of Young People's Literature and founder of Guys Read points out on the GuysRead website
". . . the good news is that research also shows that boys will read—if they are given reading that interests them."
Poetry can be a great way to hook boys (and other reluctant readers), especially if it's short, funny, and/or focuses on boy-friendly topics, such as sports, adventure, animals, and the supernatural. You'll find some wonderful books that fit this bill on the GuysRead list of poetry books. I also recommend just about anything written by David L. Harrison. His book Bugs: Poems about Creeping Things (Wordsong), illustrated by Rob Shepperson, is chock-full of poems with lots of boy-appeal. Here's one example: 

              cicada ghosts

              Haunted skins
              cling
              emptily
              to the rough bark
             of the hackberry
             tree,

             and farther up
             where I can't 
             see,
             ghosts are 
             buzzing 
             eerily:
             zz-zz-zz-zz
             zeeeeee!

          © David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

If you'd like to see the wonderful illustration that accompanies this poem in Bugs: Poems about Creeping Things, visit this page on David's blog (after you enter our drawing below!).

For additional resources on poetry and reluctant readers, see the Poetry Foundation article "Against Slogging: Engaging Poetry in the Classroomon" and the WBEZ piece, "Writing Poetry Improves Reluctant Readers." If you're a parent or teacher, you may also be interested in Literacy Connects compilation of activities to use with reluctant reader

Finally, before you head over to check out these resources or the other great poems in this week's Poetry Friday round-up at Today's Little Ditty, you'll want to enter to win your own copy of the 2015 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market. You can do that via the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post. You may enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options. For option 2, "Leave a Blog Post Comment," you must share a comment to TODAY'S blog post and include your name!
(If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com. )

The giveaway ends on Oct. 31. 

Good luck and happy writing!
Carmela

P.S. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address. Email subscribers: if you received this post via email, you can click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of this message to access the entry form.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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14. Call for Submissions: Loose Change Magazine

Call For Submissions: Loose Change Magazine 

Submissions portal.  

Loose Change, a journal of new writing from the WonderRoot Center for Arts and Social Change in Atlanta, is relaunching in January with the sexy-smart, mesmerizing work of Eric Baus, Pam Brown, Laura Carter, Bhanu Kapil, Douglas A. Martin, Miranda Mellis, Deborah Poe, and Kate Schapira, among others, and is still accepting submissions. 

We are interested in work that comes out of various traditions to move them forward, break them apart, reinvent or explode them. We want familiar modes made new and strange forms that renew us. Please review our submission guidelines before sending your previously unpublished work. We only accept electronic submissions through our submissions manager. In addition to our regular issue, we are also accepting submissions for a special portfolio, “Sexted Up—Wording In—Gen(d)re Qweery,” to be included inside the issue, and we will be happy to consider writing and art submitted to this category for our non-themed main section and vice versa. We look forward to receiving your work.

Loose Change on the Wor(l)d! Submit your challenging and ambitious best by November 15.

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15. Call for Submissions: Lockjaw Magazine

Lockjaw Magazine is currently accepting submissions for its first issue! YES! 

Submissions email:

submissionsATlockjawmagazineDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . ) 


Website 

We're a biannual, online-only journal publishing literary ephemera, visual art, music, and video. Obviously we want your best work, it hardly needs to be said (but we'll say it, just to put you at ease.) Beyond that: we don’t care about genre. There are lots of places to get Poetry and Fiction and while we’ll almost certainly publish some, we’re more interested in your unclassifiables, your orphans. This isn’t to say we’re averse to stanzas or stories (we’re not), but if you’re sending us a formal sonnet about your dog because that’s what poetry is supposed to look like, we will probably acknowledge that your dog seems awesome and politely leave it at that. We’re interested in the words and the sounds and the images, not so much conventional interpretations of genre.

Hopping off the soapbox: submissions are open through November 30; please visit our website for detailed guidelines and other stuff. Or throw caution to the wind and send your stuff to:


submissions(at)lockjawmagazine(dot)com (Change (at) to @ and (dot) to . )

But yeah, read the guidelines first. They're kind of funny.

Lockjaw Loves You,

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16. Call for Submissions: A Common Thread

A Common Thread, an online literary journal run by undergraduate students at Valparaiso University (Indiana) is currently seeking submissions for its 2nd issue on the theme of "scars." 

Genres include poetry, fiction/ flash fiction, artwork/photography/comics, drama/screenplay, and creative nonfiction/flash creative nonfiction. 

Please see our website for more information and guidelines. Submissions deadline is December 1.

 Submissions portal.

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17. Carolyn Kizer Has Died

Carolyn KizerPoet Carolyn Kizer has died. She was 89-years-old.

Kizer (pictured, via) won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for her collection, Yin. Throughout her writing career, she published several volumes of poetry. Follow this link to read a few of Kizer’s poems.

Here’s more from The Los Angeles Times: “At 17 she published a poem in the New Yorker (her only poem to appear in that publication, as it turned out)…Throughout her career, she stood up for what she believed, persuading Lyndon Johnson to lift a travel ban against Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in 1970, and, 28 years later, resigning (along with her friend Maxine Kumin) as a chancellor of the American Academy of Poets to protest the organization’s lack of diversity.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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18. Call for Undergraduate Submissions: Runestone

The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University will shortly launch Runestone, a national online literary annual, compiled and edited by our BFA students. We plan to feature the best fiction, nonfiction, and poetry we can get our hands on, all of it written by — we hope — your students.

Runestone’s editorial process will take place each spring in our upper-level undergraduate course, Introduction to Literary Publishing: Runestone. The class is a collaborative effort among its faculty-editor; two assistant editors, both graduate students in our MFA program; and its undergraduate student editorial board. We will provide an intense level of mentorship, and invaluable hands-on experience of the publishing process, for our students and yours.

We are committed to excellence. We take seriously our role in creating the next generation of editors and publishing talented undergraduate students for what may be the first time. We believe we can create a digital journal that maintains or exceeds the standards of print. We believe that an online journal can be made physically beautiful. We will archive all issues online so that our authors and our editors can point to work they are proud of in the future.

Submissions are open at this link from October 15 to December 15.

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19. Writer's Conference Scholarships: Winter Prose & Poetry Getaway

 

Four scholarships are being offered for first-time participants of the 22nd Annual WINTER POETRY & PROSE GETAWAY, January 16-19, 2015 in the Atlantic City area. Recipients may choose from workshops in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoir, screenwriting and more, including special advanced sessions with Stephen Dunn and Kim Addonizio. In addition, the conference also offers open mics, tutorials, talks, sunrise yoga, dancing at the Getaway Disco and writerly camaraderie.

We have two different categories of scholarships available:
 
+ The Toni Brown Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Getaway faculty and staff, will offer places to two poets or writers age 31 and over. Deadline: Nov. 15, 2014.
 
+ The Jan-ai Scholarship will sponsor two poets or writers between the ages of 18 - 30. Deadline: Nov. 30, 2014.


-+-+-
ABOUT THE WINTER POETRY & PROSE GETAWAY
 
Escape the distractions of your busy life. Advance your craft and energize your writing at the Winter Getaway. Enjoy challenging and supportive sessions, insightful feedback and an encouraging community. Learn more at our website.

The Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway is presented by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Murphy Writing.

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20. Call for Submissions: The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review

The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review is now open for unsolicited submissions in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, book club, and our new humor column: Classifieds for Pathetic People. Also, don't forget our Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction (2015 winner Andrew McLinden) and our upcoming courses at The Eckleburg Workshops.

Submit your work to us today. We look forward to reading your words.


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21. Call for Submissions on Travel or Place: cahoodaloodaling

The online journal, cahoodaloodaling, is seeking writing and art submissions with the common theme of travel or place for its January 2015 issue, Travelogue. Issue #15 – Travelogue 

We are seeking submissions inspired by unique destinations, travel, international adventures, or simply the comforts of home. Send in your best works of “place” by the end of the year. Remember, we are open for all styles and forms of visual and audio art, poetry, literature, as well as essays, non-fiction, screenplays, collaborations and even letters home. Make us stand up and take notice. 

Submissions due 12/31/14. Guest editor April Michelle Bratten of Up The Staircase Quarterly. Issue live 1/31/15. 

Check out previous issues here.

Please review our submission guidelines here.

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22. She Will Die In Combat on Her Race Against Time

Camera poised and ready to shoot, I stand and wait as the Monarch paratroopers glide in, iridescently adorned in polka-dotted uniforms of orange and black. They’ve stormed my garden, scanning and probing it for flight fuel.

I zero in on one lone butterfly, fluttering overhead – her wings flapping hard against the late summer’s breeze, the full span of them glistening against midday’s high sun. She finally maneuvers low to navigate her perfect landing, descending onto the tip of the buttercup-shaped lantana where she sips her nectar, letting It nourish her before she takes flight again. In moments, recorded only by the click of my shutter, she drunkenly ascends and joins her airborne troop. I am saddened to know, in probably just a few short short weeks – she will die in combat – for she has always been on a race against time. Her brief lifespan was always destined to be fleeting, and so I feel special that she called upon me and that my garden was on her personal flight plan.

Tonia Allen Gould
©2014

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23. Poets Laureates Farewell and Welcome • Chingón LATC Fest • On-line Floricanto

Laureate Closes Term Poetically: The Most Incredible & Biggest Poem on Unity in the World

Michael Sedano

The “crown jewel” of the University of California system shifted from Berkeley to UC’s Riverside campus last week, where faculty member and California Poet Laureate emeritus, Juan Felipe Herrera
closed out his two-year term with a Unity Poem Fiesta.

Stephen Cullenberg, Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, rounded up a cohort of sponsors to give the event first-class cachet from entry onto campus to the siting of the free lunch, poetry tables, and presentations on a main campus walkway. Hundreds of passersby, if for only the minute’s traverse, shared The Most Incredible & Biggest Poem on Unity in the World.  Click here for sponsor details.

A major bugbear of attending University public programs is paying nine bucks parking to attend a free event. UCR took care of it, free parking. Organizers set aside the closest-to-campus parking lot for poetry. Making sure drivers find their free parking, directional signs line the highway approaching campus.

This superb planning put smiles on faces following the signs to the fiesta a quarter mile distant. Reaching the walkway, the first tent greeting visitors is the free lunch. A soft tacos bar—three per eater, asada, pollo, vegetables--with the trimmings.

In the shady park, multiple hydrating stations offer iced water, juice, coffees. Another proof of top-notch planning, there’s ample supply of cups.

Ambience goes unnoticed in events like these, and this is the curse and compliment of being among the organizing staff. The curse is not being noticed for your crucial role, the compliment is visitors aren’t supposed to notice planning, preparation, attention to detail. Nothing staff can do about the intense desert sun. Empty rows of folding chairs close to the speeches and readings weren’t enough to lure any but a few gente from the cooling lawn and deep shade.

Herrera, Chancellor Wilcox, Dean Cullenberg, Winer
The speeches met their epideictic obligations but the speakers kept their style informal and affectionate. They spoke of Herrera the poet, Herrera the person. Mixed in were accolades for the Laureate, the Professor, the Friend. Dean Cullenberg read his remarks bilingually. It was heartfelt and it worked. Chancellor Kim Wilcox and Andrew Winer, chair of the Department of Creative Writing, also took the lectern.


African-Colombian music from UCR’s Mayupatapi ensemble opened the preliminaries, but poetry was the order of the day. The ceremonies begin with 4th and 5th graders from Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary in Moreno Valley.

The kids perform a beautiful choral reading of their composition Roses are red violets are blue There's only one unity between me and you! The poem was composed by the students as an element of the Poet Laureate’s The Most Incredible & Biggest Poem on Unity in the World Project.


The highlight of the fiesta is the Unity Voice Choir assembled from myriad regional poets and writers, including La Bloga friends Liz Gonzalez and Iris de Anda, along with La Bloga’s Michael Sedano.

Improvising from a chapbook assembled from the Unity poem, the choir performs call-and-response voice music. The bass and drums of Trokka Rhythm & Spoken Word Percussion Group, featuring poet John Martinez on congas, add to the enjoyment of both the choir and the audience. Martinez lays down some complex beats.

Herrera has invited poets from across California to join him today. They form the heart of the Unity Voice Choir. Herrera begins the aural feast by reading off the chapbook page. The choir follows along, guided by the book. Inspiration conquers page and Herrera calls out rhythmic and singsong variations, short gasps or multisyllabic chant, puro a la brava taking off on rhyme and reason that have the choir laughing to keep up. The words call out all manner of inspiration from fruit to vegetable to love.

Puro fun, this closing segment of the California Poet Laureate Project, The Most Incredible & Biggest Poem on Unity in the World.


Video by Concepción Valadez

The Unity Poem Fiesta sent-off the California Poet Laureate in grand style and highest spirits. Herrera’s work as Laureate lends significant prestige to the University, one more signal of UCR’s rapid coming-of-age as a major cultural force for the Inland Empire. Read about the Unity Poem Project here.

Click here to read the California legislation creating the California Poet Laureateship.



Luis J. Rodriguez Named Los Angeles Poet Laureate


A nourishing sign of poetry continuity arrives even as Juan Felipe Herrera closes his two years as the California Poet Laureate. The day after the UCR fiesta, the Mayor of Los Angeles announced the Los Angeles Poet Laureate is Luis J. Rodriguez.

A candidate for Governor of California, Rodriguez lost in the primary despite articulating a philosophy of unity and opportunity. The Los Angeles Laureateship reminds gente that foremost Rodriguez is a poet. Given Rodriguez' activist nature, Los Angeles should look forward to eye-opening poetry initiatives that reflect the City's objectives for the Poet Laureate program:

Enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts in Los Angeles;
Create a focal point for the expression of Los Angeles culture through the literary arts;
Raise awareness of the power of literature, poetry, and the spoken word;
Inspire an emerging generation of critical thinkers, writers, storytellers, and literary artists;
Bring the literary arts to people in Los Angeles who have limited access to poetry or have few opportunities for exposure to expressive writing;
Encourage both the reading and writing of literature; and,
Create a new body of literary works that commemorate the diversity and vibrancy of the LA region.

La Bloga sends abrazos and felicidades to Luis J. Rodriguez, Poet Laureate of the City of Los Angeles.


News & Notes
Teatro Summit Sweeping Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Theatre Center in the heart of Los Angeles is the site of an historical gathering of professional raza theater companies from across the nation. If LATC's publicity sounds ambitiously chingón that's because they stand behind their work.

A vibrant company that hires local actors and develops plays by local writers, LATC recognizes an obligation to widen the artistic horizons of what people get to see on stage. Per LATC's website, Encuentro brings

a month-long celebration of Latina/o theater from October 12 through November 10. This groundbreaking month-long event is the first theater festival in the U.S. to bring together more than 19 theater companies and 150 artists from the U.S. and Puerto Rico to present 19 works that represent the multi-faceted Latina/o experience on stage – from violence at the border and pressing immigration concerns to the complexities of romantic relationships and families.

Visit the teatro's website for tickets and curtain times.


News & Notes
Anaya Lecture Slated for Albuquerque

The UNM Department of English hosts distinguished writer Ana Castillo to deliver the 5th annual Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya Lecture on the Literature of the Southwest, on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in George Pearl Hall room 101. A reception will follow. George Pearl Hall houses the School of Architecture and Planning and is located on Central and Cornell NE. The lecture is free and open to the public.


On-line Floricanto for the 14th of the Tenth
Victor Avila, Richard Vargas, Oralia Rodríguez, Jeff Cannon

The Moderators of the Facebook group Poets Responding to SB 1070; Poetry of Resistance commend four poets in the second of this month's pair of La Bloga On-line Floricantos.


Looking Through Chain-Link at McAllen Station
by Victor Avila

Although this young girl is not Ruby Bridges
and has never heard her name
she has the same heart of forgiveness
for those looking to blame
this anonymous child for every ill in the world
as she tries to get sleep in McAllen Station.

In her dreams she looks into the eyes of an ambiguous nation
and sees two completely different faces.
One speaks with empathetic eyes that understand her suffering.
While the other face...speaks about God's love and mercy
but seemingly, only on Sundays.

She's awakened by the hum of fans on the ceiling-
beside her, a younger sister who is still sleeping.
She notices a orange butterfly just outside the window.
She wonders what it would be like to have wings
that could fly over any wall or any border.

No, her dreams of becoming a butterfly will not be denied.
Certainly not by those who shout venomous words
that she can't understand. She's beginning to learn
that forgiveness is greater than hatred found in some hearts.
And that humility is a sign of true strength no matter the circumstance.

It's as if God has polished her heart
and it now reflects His light for the world to see.
Her love is His love and a beacon for all
including those who protest her presence through ill-conceived notions.
Yes, the butterfly has flown and left McAllen Station
And flutters northward beyond the reach of ignorance and hatred.


Victor Avila is an award-winning poet.  His poetry was recently included in two anthologies: Occupy SF-Poems From the Movement and Revolutionary Poets Brigade-Los Angeles. He is also writes and illustrates the comic book series Hollywood Ghost Comix.  Volume Two will be released in November through Ghoula Press.  Victor has taught in California public schools for twenty-five years.






song for Shenandoah… for Luis Ramirez
by Richard Vargas

“The Devil has the people by the throat…” Annina, explaining to Rick why she is leaving her country.              Casablanca

I.
oh Shenandoah, strip mined and bare
by the sweat of men cursing in broken
English as coal-black dust streaks their
European faces with eyes on the
look-but-don’t-touch prize

mother to Tommy and Jimmy
Dorsey who gave our soldiers
big band swing music as they
dodged bullets on the way to
victory over Berlin and Tokyo

land of Mrs. T’s Pierogies
and a meager slice of the
American dream worth
$12, 562 per capita income
at the start of the 21st century

Shenandoah
some say the name
Shenandoah
is derived from indigenous tongues
Shenandoah
means “beautiful star daughter”

II.
small town once proud once
thriving thirty thousand strong
today’s headcount barely five thousand
Shenandoah hangs on like another
forgotten whistle stop crying out
for new blood new people
until we heed your call

we climb your walls and
wade through muddy brown river
we walk and run across deserts
hide in bushes and seek shade
while drinking warm water from
discarded plastic Coke bottles
tied to our waists with twine

we die with swollen tongues from border heat
we smother in the trunks of cars and asphyxiate
packed like sardines in 40 ft. trailers left to
bake in the noonday sun for the jobs you
don’t want and the wages you refuse

III.
the grass will always be greener
the grass will always be greener
the grass will always be greener

Shenandoah, we claim you
cut your lawns
bus the tables
wash your dishes
take out the garbage
sweep your sidewalks
shore up crumbling walls
patch the cracks in your
weathered face with flowers
that bloom in the spring

Om-pah-pah
Om-pah-pah
the bass of a tuba
vibrates dirty windows
shakes the dust off
worn and faded curtains
we bring tortillas and pico
de gallo to your table
Tecate and pan dulce
the laughter of children
breaking open Spider-Man
piñatas on birthdays
we are grateful because
for us a day’s hard work
is a gift from God


IV.
Shenandoah, your children walk
the streets angry and drunk on
the sweet lies of corporate media
mouthpieces singing empty and false:
The Mexicans are coming!
The Mexicans are coming!
The Mexicans are here!

a man’s head kicked hard
with the force of a hate unleashed
from the dark side of fear and loathing
will crack like a melon dropped
on the pavement and its juices
will slowly leak and stain the street

a religious medal hanging from
the neck and stomped into a man’s
chest will imprint the holy face
of the savior deep into the skin
brand him in the name of
twisted salvation
   
Jesus salva
he convulses
Jesus salva
he foams at
the mouth
Jesus salva
he is still

hiding behind screen names
on the internet a new generation
of minutemen join in
take aim and post comments:
“these boys sacrificed their futures
in much the same way a marine
sacrifices his life on the battlefield
we are being invaded
if i was on the jury no way
these boys would be convicted
more dead illegals will discourage
future border jumps”

V.
sometimes a moment
is an hour, a week, a year
sometimes a decade or
a century passes in the blink
of an eye when all it takes
to recall the history of
our people buried deep
in our genes is the
sound of one word
wetback
is the humiliation of
tired and hungry ancestors
enduring its ugly sound
while picking Texas cotton
and California grapes from
sunup to sundown
wetback
is the mean reminder of
all that can never be and
all that will be denied
wetback
is the neighborhood
where houses can be rented
and the side of the railroad
tracks that are off limits
after dark
wetback
is long drives down
dusty roads looking
for crops to pick and ditches
to dig in a strange land
where wages are determined
by skin color

VI.
and still we come
again and again

Shenandoah, why are you weeping
why are your shoulders hung low
do not hide your face in shame
your sad cry rolling through
the valleys and bouncing off
the mountains is not in vain
no matter how many miles
there are between us
how many walls are raised
to keep us out

we are
coming home
coming home

coming home
to you


“This poem began to take form while I was a student of Prof. Jesse Aleman at the University of New Mexico. He provided early criticism that helped me shape the poem into what it is today. A few years later, at the National Latino Writers Conference, (National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM) I had a one-on-one session with poet/teacher, Francisco X. Alarcon, and he gave the poem an in-depth critique that led to the final edits. I am grateful for their consideration and professional input.”



Richard Vargas was born in Compton, CA, attended schools in Compton, Lynwood, and Paramount. He earned his B.A. at Cal State University, Long Beach, where he studied under Gerald Locklin and Richard Lee. He edited/published five issues of The Tequila Review, 1978-1980. His first book, McLife, was featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac, in February, 2006. A second book, American Jesus, was published by Tia Chucha Press, 2007. His third book, Guernica, revisited, was published April 2014, by Press 53. (Once again, a poem from the book was featured on Writer’s Almanac to kick off National Poetry Month.) Vargas received his MFA from the University of New Mexico, 2010. He was recipient of the 2011 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference’s Hispanic Writer Award, and was on the faculty of the 2012 10th National Latino Writers Conference. Currently, he resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he edits/publishes The Más Tequila Review.

He will be reading at the following Midwest venues in Oct. 2014:
10/15: Left Bank Books, St. Louis
10/16: The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Indianapolis
10/17: Rainbow Bookstore Co-op, Madison, WI
10/19: City Lit Books (w/Diana Pando and Carlos Cumpian) Chicago



GAZA/2014
por Oralia Rodríguez

Tumultos de cenizas
ríen, al no poder llorar,
los cuerpos
se volvieron flores deshojadas
son llevados
en brazos por el viento,
la muerte danza, danza
en un eterno letargo,
las bombas
marcan su ritmo.
Las sombras se abrazan
al escuchar los alaridos
de los jazmines mutilados,
el dolor vuelto a nacer,
el estómago es un nido de alacranes,
¿Dios, Dios,
aún estas ahí?.
La humanidad se viste de indiferencia
las palabras son menos que sal,
mientras
el cielo vomita lumbre,
el laúd esta de luto,
ahora guía al cortejo
de trozos de ilusiones, sueños y esperanzas,
que ni la embriaguez
diluye,
los gobiernos como perros se disputan,
muerden, ladran, engañan
en la tierra de nadie.
La Tierra cual cántaro de sangre,
las bestias, se jactan, besan los trozos
que encuentran a su paso
de
humanos.
Cuando la mar se seque sabrá
del dolor,
que muerde mis adentros,
la verdad, ¿cuál verdad?
Tan simple, tan llano
son genocidas.

© Oralia Rodríguez 


MARIA ORALIA RODRIGUEZ GONZALEZ. Poeta y pintora, nacida en Jerez Zacatecas, radicada en Tijuana B.C. Estudió la Licenciatura en Informática en el Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana, y la Licenciatura en Educación Primaria en la Normal Fronteriza Tijuana. Trabaja como docente de educación básica. A participado en antologías en México y Argentina , en encuentros literarios. Actualmente estudia la maestría en Cultura Escrita en el Centro de Posgrado Sor Juana y el Diplomado de Creación Literaria del INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE BELLAS ARTES en el Centro Cultural Tijuana.




Before the Darkness
by Jeff Cannon

I fold a homeless leaf weary
writing to the air

Then your distant light falls on me
potent fire thread
I uncurl from that brown devouring mouth
Eating me
Swallowing me into the sad stomach of
its Detroit trashed home
where boarded windows weep
life less rooms eat me with
their endless moans
the food betrayed dreams can only place
on empty tables

Lift me poet light from this dungeon
i am alive
must speak despite the words that fail me
words no longer moist
more brittle autumn whispers than
volcanic passion that rose before
the clamp
darkness pressed against my throat

Save me poet light
warm me by your sounding
the way Neruda passed the vibrant ocean
to everyone imprisoned

I am your wounded kin
my fleshless palm still presses against
the open wound
spurting what’s left of me against
dead concrete side walks
angry roads, death fumed cars, mad driver driven

Since the vocabulary of love got stopped
at the border
the guards couldn’t find its number
sent love back into the desert to die

Well
my word brothers, my verse sisters
i may be sinking ankle caught but
not ready yet to descend into oblivion
without at least
another swing
before the bullets

© Jeff Cannon, 08/08/2014, 12:09 am, at desk with thanks to my sister and brother poets, in particular this time to Francisco X. Alarcon.

Besides the honor of this second poem in La Bloga, Jeff Cannon appears in Boundless 2014 and in Goose River Anthology: 2014. Jeff is the author of three books of poetry: Finding the Father at Table and Eros: Faces of Love (2010, published by Xlibris Corporation), Intimate Witness: The Carol Poems by Goose River Press, 2008, a testament to his wife’s courageous journey with cancer. He first appeared in the anthology celebrating parenthood, My Hearts First Steps in 2004. He has been a featured poet at Manchester Community College, CT and at local Worcester poetry venues as well as in New Hampshire. He is the father of two daughters, retired and “can’t stop writing” although he does not read out as much as he would prefer.

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24. Scary stories for beginning readers (ages 5-8)

Kids get so excited about Halloween -- and I love tapping into that excitement in the library, especially if I can hook more kids into reading. Writing for beginning readers must be one of the most difficult tasks. Here are two books that are goofy-scary, funny but with enough creepiness to keep young kids reading.

illustrated by Michael Emberly
Little, Brown, 2007
ages 5-8
These stories, part of a favorite series with 1st and 2nd graders, are ideal for reading aloud. Each poem is meant to be read by two voices, alternating back and forth. Hoberman uses the spooky settings creating delightful fun and celebrating joy in reading.

Here's the beginning of "The Mummy" as two kids go exploring and discover a mummy. "Let's explore inside this tomb, / I'm afraid we'll meet our doom." I love the rhythm and rhyme of Hoberman's text, and Emberly's pictures reach just the right balance between goofy and creepy.
sample from Mary Ann Hoberman's website
Hoberman's poems focus on thirteen different Halloween mainstays, ranging from "The Skeleton" to "The Witch and the Broomstick." Seek out all the titles in this terrific series.
Monster School
The Spooky Sleepover
I Can Read! #2
by Dave Keane
Harper Collins, 2014
Your local library
Amazon
ages 5-8
Norm is a nervous about his first sleepover--it's going to be at school, and it's his first time sleeping away from home. "I miss my bed already," worried Norm. Kids will relate to Norm's worries, but they'll laugh at all the word play in this story.

Norm's friends at school are all monsters, from Gary the ghost to Harry the werewolf who turns hairy. Keane does a great job creating funny interplay between the words and pictures. Below, you can see that Isaac, the purple monster in the blue PJs, is literally crying his eyes out -- and they're bouncing all around him. 2nd graders love this play on words, plus the silly gross-out factor.
sample from iTunes preview
Keane's Monster School series works well for kids who can read longer sentences on their own, but still want short, high-interest stories to keep them engaged.

Are there other monster or ghost stories that work well for your developing readers? Our superhero beginning readers are also in high demand right now, especially with kindergartners and first graders.

The review copy of Monster School was kindly sent by the publishers, HarperCollins Publishers. The review copy of You Read to Me, I'll Read to You 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.

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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25. Writing Competition: 2014 Dana Awards



19th ANNUAL DANA AWARDS. Deadline October 31.
 
$1,000 awards each in NOVEL (first 40 pages only), SHORT FICTION, and POETRY.
For crucial guidelines, visit our website or e-mail:
 
 danawardsATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

or send SASE to:
 
Dana Awards
200 Fosseway Drive, 
Greensboro, NC 27455.

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