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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Poetry, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 3,540
1. Call for Poetry Submissions: Really System

Really System, the journal of poetry and extensible poetics, will publish its fourth issue in Fall 2014. We are looking for vibrant poems inflected by our shared technocultural moment and the ways it envelops us, fascinates us, dances with us, ignores us, and fails us.

Submission deadline is September 1, 2014. Details and submission guidelines are available at our website.

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REVOLUTION HAS COME which side do you choose? our world moans and groans under the weight of “progress” while our trees die from acid rain and our rivers, once teeming with wildlife, are suffocated by our excess The future of our world, our children, are abused, silenced and tossed aside like pieces of trash with…

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3. #619 – The Lonely Crow by Paul Stillabower & David Johnson

image001The Lonely Crow

written by Paul Stillabower

illustrations by David Johnson

Book Guild Publishing         5/29/2014


Age 5 to 7      32 pages


“It’s bedtime and Crow is searching high and low for the perfect place to sleep. He finds a comfy looking perch . . . But a scowling owl sends him on his way! He sees a cosy pile of hay . . . But a trumpeting elephant won’t let him stay! Will poor old Crow ever find somewhere to rest his weary head?


“The night was icy and the sky was dark

When Crow flew high

over Regent Park.

His wings were tired and his legs were old,

So he looked for a place

to get out of the cold.”


Poor Crow, he was tired and cold. He flew the London sky looking for a comfortable and safe place to sleep. He tried a nice looking branch, but a mean owl threatened Crow as he told him to scat. That owl looks terrifying. I am surprised Crow even landed, yet he did land, and that grouchy old owl took a swing at Crow. Not a dumb bird, Crow left for safer accommodations. (Oddly, the next illustration has Crow back on a branch, from which he then flew off.)

Crow being a pretty smart bird, decided the London Zoo would be a safe place to find a spot to sleep. The London Zoo is nothing more than, according to Crow,

“A place for animals . . . a great, big farm!”

Zoos are fun and safe places, but maybe not for crows. Crow tried several warm, cozy spots, but each time another animal claimed the spot and Crow had to leave. In fact, two animals look like they might want Crow to stay, as long as he is their midnight snack. Ouch!


The bright illustrations give Crow bold coat of blue feathers and a nice light yellow beak. As the story progresses, Crow’s eyes close with sleepiness, until they are almost shut. At last, Crow is so tired his wings barely hold him up. It is easy to empathize with Crow. It should not be that hard to find a place to sleep. The characters all look a tad cartoonish, except for their eyes, which carry a great deal of emotion. The baby elephant, a cute little guy, shows expresses himself with his huge, bright smile. Crow left, thinking the little guy’s trumpet was a warning. The baby elephant looks like he wants to play with Crow, not get rid of him.

Written in rhyme, the story is an easy read. The rhythm is not completely smooth, with some lines having extra beats. My tongue tangled a couple of times trying to maintain the rhythm. Overall, Stillabower did a pretty good job writing the story in rhyming poetry. Poetry is very difficult to write correctly. It involves much more than simply finding words that rhyme.

The nicely produced hardback contains a great looking credit page. Many non-traditionally produced books forget this page, so it is nice to find one that has nearly all the needed information—for librarians (and fussy reviewers). The illustrator’s name is missing.  Having both names on the cover is best, yet it is understandable why the author wants only their name after spending so much for the illustrations. Still, credit the illustrator else, it looks like the author was also the artist.


Crow finally sees an empty nest high up in a tree. I don’t think Crow should land. It could be another owl ready to show him the fictitious door with a reality swing of his wing. Crow is very tired at this point and lies down in that empty nest. His eyes are barely open. Will Crow sleep the night away, or be shooed away once more?

The Lonely Crow tells a nice bedtime tale. Crow becomes more tired as he travels from place to place. All he wants to do is sleep. The same message parents try to tell their children. “Sleep, please go to sleep.” By the time Crow does find a place to sleep, the listening child should be ready to close their eyes as well. Young children will like Crow’s story. He is a likable character. The illustrations do a great job enhancing the lovely story. The Lonely Crow may well help many young children find sweet dreams.

THE LONELY CROW. Text copyright © 2014 by Paul Stillabower. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by David Johnson. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Book Guild Publishing, Great Britain.


Purchase a copy of The Lonely Crow at AmazonBook DepositoryBook Guild Publishingat your favorite bookstore.

Learn more about The Lonely Crow HERE.

Meet the author, Paul Stillabower, at his facebook page:

Meet the illustrator, David Johnson, at his website:

Produced by Book Guild Publishing:   http://www.bookguild.co.uk/



the lonely crow



Turns out The Lonely Crow is a popular title. Here are some others, all titled The Lonely Crow.

Danielle Wortman @ saarchiart.com

Photograph by Danielle Wortman @ saarchiart.com

by Pikoia @ pikoia.deviantart.com

Illustration by Pikoia @ pikoia.deviantart.com

The Lonely Crow a poem © Joshua McCaw

The Lonely Crow a poem © Joshua McCaw

a story (not yet available) by Mike Miles

a story (not yet available) by Mike Miles

The Lonely Crow Game by Tapp.com

The Lonely Crow Game by Tapp.com










Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: bedtime story, Book Guild Publishing, children's book reviews, crows, David Johnson, London Zoo, Paul Stillabower, picture books, sleepy, The Lonely Crow, UK

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4. Lunch Poems

Most days, I carry a copy of Lunch Poems with me on my bus ride to work. It has been an icebreaker, a talisman, a security blanket, and much more. This 50th anniversary edition is a great opportunity to revisit one of the most celebrated poetry collections of the 20th century, or to discover it [...]

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5. Call for Submissions: Black Sun Lit

Black Sun Lit is open for submissions year-round, will read only unpublished manuscripts, takes into consideration unsolicited material and accepts multiple submissions in the limit of two pieces of prose, five poems/pieces of verse and two pieces of non-fiction. We accept simultaneous submissions in the good faith that the writer notifies us when his or her work has been accepted elsewhere. Larger manuscripts, such as full-length novels, collections of short stories, books of verse, etc., will also be considered.

Black Sun Lit does not have a limit or minimum in regards to length; however, shorter work will be considered for Vestiges, our print journal, or online publication through our website. We are also open to works of drama and enjoy debate on any artistic endeavor as it relates to our mission statement. Please allow up to three to five months for a response.

Please also be advised that we require every writer to submit a brief cover letter, which may include:
– Influences
– Genesis of the work
– Technical details
– Contact information
– Author biography (optional)
– Where previous work has appeared (optional)
– Forthcoming work to be published (optional)

To submit, please visit our Submittable page.

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6. Call for Submissions: The Blueshift Journal

Submissions are currently open for Issue 1. The deadline is September 30, 2014. Send art, poetry, or prose to:

blueshiftsubmissionsATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

We accept simultaneous submissions, but retain first North American publishing rights. If your work is accepted elsewhere and you wish to withdraw your submission, please notify us on the same email thread as the work was submitted on originally.

Please read the following instructions before submitting to The Blueshift Journal.

1. Title the file containing your work as "[Catergory]_[Title]." For example, a short story by Henry Bemis called "Time Enough at Last" would be saved as "Prose_Time Enough at Last."

2. Title your email "[Category]: [Last Name of Author/Artist] [Title of Work]." The same story would be sent as "Prose: Bemis 'Time Enough at Last."

3. Include the following information in the body of the email:

​Author/Artist's Full Name:

Author/Artist's Age

Title of Work

Word Count: (if applicable

Medium: (if applicable

Author/Artist Cover Letter:

For text submissions: We ask that you not include author names anywhere within the submitted work. Please send files as .doc or .docx, and do not send more than five pieces per submission.

For artistic submissions: Please send image files as JPEGS. If you'd like to be considered for video submissions, please send us a private link to your work on a media sharing site like YouTube. Although we will still consider work that has been shared publicly, we will hold it to a higher standard. If your video is accepted, you will be required to include a link to The Blueshift Journal.

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7. No Frigate like a Book - Joan Lennon

October 8, 1940, after an air raid on London 
(AP photo)

There is no Frigate like a Book

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –

(This version of the poem is found on the Poetry Foundation website.)

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.

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8. Call for Submissions: The Quotable

The Quotable, the quarterly publication of quotable writers, is open for Submissions July 1-Sept 1 2014

Issue: 15, Theme: Desire

"Behind all art is an element of desire..." -Adrienne Rich

Submissions open July 1, 2014 – September 1, 2104

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 - 3 submissions per reading period
We are temporarily closed for art submissions
We accept only original unpublished work. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but ask that you notify us immediately should your work be accepted elsewhere.

Please submit only DOUBLE SPACED (except poetry) documents using 12 pt. Times New Roman (or similarly readable font).

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.

Cover letters should include your name and a brief bio to be used in the event of publication.

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9. Writing Competition and Call for Submissions: Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose

Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose is open for 2015 contest and non-contest submissions as of July 1. A prize of $1000 goes to one winning entry, and you have until September 5 to send us your brilliance.
Dogwood welcomes entries in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for its annual contest with a $1000 grand prize for one winning entry. The grand prize winner will be chosen from winners in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Winners in the other two genres will receive prizes of $250. 

Entry fee is $10 (reduced from $15 last year); all submissions considered for publication in the14th annual edition of this print and e-pub journal. Non-contest entries will also be considered; please submit under the "Non-Contest" tab with the $3 processing fee. Results of the contest will be announced in Spring 2015 and published in the 2015 issue of Dogwood. All entrants receive an electronic PDF of the journal. 

Please use our online submission manager for your submissions, and see the guidelines for all details. 


Creative Nonfiction
Jill Christman’s memoir, Darkroom: A Family Exposure, won the 2001 AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction and in 2011 was reissued in paperback by the University of Georgia Press. Her first e-book, Borrowed Babies: The Science of Motherhood, is forthcoming from Shebooks in Summer 2014. Recent essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, Brevity, River Teeth, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Brain, Child, as well as many other journals, magazines, and anthologies. She is an Associate Professor of English in Ball State University’s Creative Writing Program and teaches creative nonfiction in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program (where she is also a regular presenter at the River Teeth Nonfiction Conference). In 2013, Jill was elected to the Board of Directors of The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) and is currently serving as the Midwest Representative. She lives in Muncie where she lives with her husband, writer Mark Neely, and their two children. 

Mark Neely is the author of Beasts of the Hill (winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize) and Dirty Bomb (forthcoming 2015), both from Oberlin College Press. His chapbook, Four of a Kind, was published by Concrete Wolf Press and his poems have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Boulevard, Willow Springs, and Barrow Street. He is an Associate Professor of English at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and the editor of The Broken Plate. 

Rachel Basch is the author of two novels. The Passion of Reverend Nash (W.W. Norton) was named one of the five best novels of 2003 by The Christian Science Monitor.Degrees of Love (W.W. Norton, Harper Paperbacks) was translated into Dutch and German and was a selection of The Hartford Courant’s Book Club. Basch has reviewed books for The Washington Post Book World, and her nonfiction has appeared in n+1,Parenting and The Huffington Post. Basch was a 2011 MacDowell Colony Fellow. She received the William Van Wert fiction prize for an excerpt from her new novel, The Listener, which will be published by Pegasus Books in 2015.She teaches in Fairfield University’s MFA Program and in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at Wesleyan University. 

Some important stuff:
· Our contest is completely anonymous, so if you enter and your name is on the file, we have to bounce it. We understand that might be annoying, but those are our rules. So please double-check your file before pressing the “submit” button.
· Current and former employees and students of Fairfield University are not eligible, as are current and former students of the editor.
· We ask that you look at the names of the judges. If you have a strong relationship with one of the judges, we ask that you not submit work in that genre.
· More on why we like the anonymous contest

What did we pick for our winners and others to publish last year? You should read a copy to find out! If you’re planning to submit, you can get a copy of last year’s Dogwood as an electronic publication via LitRagger. We also have excerpts and past submissions on our site. You can also read a bit more vagueness about our editorial sense. If you submitted to last year’s contest, you should have received an email with an invitation to receive a free electronic copy of the issue. If you missed that, or if you change your mind and want to check it out now, please email the editor at dogwoodliteraryATgmailDOTcom and we’ll send you one. 

Please sign up for our periodic newsletter for information about future contests and announcement of the winners!

For more information, please see our website or email:

shuberATfairfieldDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

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10. Call for Submissions: Saw Palm

Online submission deadline: October 1, 2014

Saw Palm is seeking submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for Issue 9. We are an annual print magazine out of the University of South Florida. Our mission is to be the premier cultural barometer of Florida—to collect, publish, and review the best works of one of the most populous and diverse states in the U.S. We welcome writers and artists from across the globe as long as the work is somehow connected to Florida (via images, people, themes, etc.). 

We also welcome creative works from Floridians and former Floridians that are not obviously about someplace else.

Please visit our website for more details.

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11. Call for Submissions from Southwestern Writers: 300 Days of Sun

Online submission deadline: September 1, 2014

300 Days of Sun, a student-run print literary journal, is seeking prose, poetry, and nonfiction submissions from Southwestern authors. All topics are open, but we will give some preference to writing about the Las Vegas area.

To submit, use our online Submittable form.

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12. Call for Submissions: cahoodaloodaling: The Animal Becomes Us

The Animal Becomes Us

Email submission deadline: September 30, 2014

Issue #14 of cahoodaloodaling—The Animal Becomes Us—is open for submissions. We’re leaving this wide open to interpretation. Consider this your open invitation to send anything from light verse about your animal companion to speculative were-animal stories. 

Submissions due 9/30/14. Guest editor TBA. Issue live 10/31/14. See more information on submitting and read past issues here.

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13. Call for Submissions: Organs of Vision and Speech Magazine

Organs of Vision and Speech Magazine is open for submissions year round from poets and artists of every kind! We have a new group of guest editors each issue. This keeps our aesthetic fresh. We do not have themes.
We are currently reviewing submissions for the Winter 2015 issue.

Submission Guidelines and Link:
Name attachment with the title of the piece.
A cover letter with contact information and bio in the third person is required, but DO NOT submit that information in your poem attachment, use the Cover Letter / Biography text field to submit your bio and cover letter.

Please submit only one poem or image per file. If you submit more than one poem or image per file, your submission will be deleted. You may upload up to six poems or images in one submission.

We are now accepting submissions continually. Please report your submissions to Duotrope! It helps us a great deal. Only query after three months have past.

Please note:
Any and all submission sent through email, and not through the submission manager will be deleted. Please do not include any identifying information within your upload. If your submission has any identifying information on the document you submit, we will delete it.
We only accept two submissions per author/ artist per year. So about every 6 months, you can send a new submission. We publish in January/February and July/August each year.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome with IMMEDIATE notification of acceptance elsewhere, it is only polite. No previously published work, please!
Feel free to contact us with questions:

ovsmagATgmailDOTcom (Change At to @ and DOT to . )

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14. Poetry Translation Prize and Prose Competition: Gulf Coast

Gulf Coast Prize in Translation

To celebrate translation and translators, Gulf Coast has created a new translation prize and we're pleased as punch about it! In 2014, the inaugural Gulf Coast Prize in Translation is open to poetry and will be judged by Jen Hofer, a Los Angeles-based poet, translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, urban cyclist, and co-founder with John Pluecker of the language justice and literary activism collaborative Antena. The winner of the prize will receive $1,000 and publication in the journal. To share the love, two honorable mentions will also appear in issue 27.2, due out in April 2015. Pretty fierce way to start a translation prize, non? Share this good news with your translator friends and colleagues!

2014 Barthelme Prize

Think good things come in small packages? So do we! Gulf Coast is now accepting entries for the 2014 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose, judged by Amy Hempel. This annual contest is open to pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. Established in 2008, the contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions will also appear in issue 27.2, due out in April 2015. So dust off those keyboards, sharpen those pencils, put in a new typewriter ribbon, and write something fabulous in its brevity.

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15. Call for Submissions: The Cartier Street Review

The Cartier Street Review is a literary and art magazine seeking poetry, short story submissions and jpgs of original art.

We accept previously published works and simultaneous submissions.
Below are our publishing rules.

Submission Rules

1. Write your last name in the subject line and the type submission, for example, poetry or art in an email to tip us off what you are sending. Address the submission to:
VioletwritesATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

2. Provide a greeting. "Hello" or "Dear Editor" works great.

3. Include a very short bio. For example, "I am John or Jane Poet". Wow, that's easy!

4. Thank the people you are sending your submission to for taking the time to read it.

5. Add a closing salutation with a name at the end. "Sincerely, John and/or Jane Artist".

6. Send as a microsoft word attachment, open office attachment or copy into the body of the email.

7. Don’t send more than 4 pieces maximum.

8. We accept previously published works as long as you, (the author) maintain publishing rights.

9. You can try this out and we'll consider your pieces for publishing. Or you can say, "Forget that!" in which case we wish you luck!

Previous issue.

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16. Review of Hi, Koo!

muth hi koo Review of Hi, Koo!Hi, Koo!:
A Year of Seasons

by Jon J Muth; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Scholastic    32 pp.
3/14    978-0-545-16668-3    $17.99

Twenty-six haiku are presented by young panda Koo, whom fans of Muth’s Zen Ties will recognize as the haiku-spouting nephew of Stillwater, the Zen Buddhist panda from Zen Shorts and Zen Ghosts. Here, Koo is on his own, eventually joined by two human children who appear on his doorstep to play. The story told through the haiku follows the cycle of the seasons, from fall (“Autumn, / are you dreaming / of new clothes?”) to winter (“snowfall / Gathers my footprints / I do a powdery stomp”) to spring (“New leaves / new grass new sky / spring!”) to summer (“Tiny lights / garden full of blinking stars / fireflies”). Muth’s watercolors are as clear and translucent as the child-friendly, easily understood haiku, the gentle mood of his paintings perfectly matching the tranquil emotion of the poems. In an author’s note at the front Muth explains his choice to forego the traditional five-seven-five syllable pattern and states that “a haiku embodies a moment of emotion that reminds us that our own human nature is not separate from all of nature.” Each haiku contains just one capital letter, in order from A to Z; although the randomly capitalized words can look awkward, young readers may enjoy tracking the “alphabetical path” through the book.

From the July/August 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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17. Books Saved Me. A poem by Cheryl Rainfield.

Books saved me.
They drew me in,
their paper arms enfolding me,
their words wrapping around me,
absorbing my pain,
transporting me to other places,
other worlds,
where I could forget
just for a little while
the darkness that filled me,
the pain my lungs drew in and out.
Books allowed me to breathe.

Books saved me.
They showed me people who cared
when no one in my life did.
Showed me the tender side of people,
moments of kindness and empathy
when all I knew was cruelty.
Books allowed me to believe in the good in people.
They showed me, too, secret agony and grief
when I was so wracked in pain
I wanted to die.
Books whispered “You are not alone.
You will survive.”

Books saved me.
They gave me precious minutes, hours,
time elongated,
escape from the torture and abuse
I was living. They allowed me to dream,
to hope, to see beyond my dark world.
Hope that bolstered my soul
with paper and ink and words that swirled inside me
making me stronger, more whole,
feeding me when nothing else did.
I’m not sure I could have survived
if I hadn’t had books.
Books saved me.
I hope they’ll save you, too.

© Cheryl Rainfield, July 8, 2014.

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18. Literary Diversity: Publish Your Own. Fútbol On-line Floricanto. Call for Poets.

Review: Pepperpot. Best New Stories From the Caribbean. NY: Peekash Press (Akashic), 2014. ISBN: 9781617752711 e-ISBN: 9781617752834

Michael Sedano

Peekash Press started out to be not a role model for U.S. publishers but the antidote. “we acknowledged that writers based in the Caribbean are less likely to be published than those living in the British or North American diasporas.” In Pepperpot. Best New Stories From the Caribbean,  the publisher does both. Clearly, one  answer to exclusion and lack of diversity is publish it yourself. Now readers need  to discover and prove there's a market.

The thirteen stories collected in Pepperpot come from six island nations, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Belize, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas. The editors chose for quality not token inclusiveness from Caribbean-region entries to the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Readers want consequential characters in diverse roles and authenticity of everyday life. Good writing that sets stories off with compelling plots and rewarding insights make or break any collection of short fiction, no matter how inclusive. Most stories in Pepperpot: Best New Stories From the Caribbean make it. Readers will enjoy the characters' interesting awareness of dialect and ways the writers use their Antillean setting.

Irony happens irrespective of location. So do coming out, murder, incest, redemption, perversity. In some ways, everyday sins and what they look like here. One character laments how completely a father can disappear on a small island. Another gets insulted for being called an up island snob. Anarchy arisen from gang-dominance makes up the daily fabric of some neighborhoods of walled-in homes.

Island food and smells play key roles in other stories. The soup of the title raza will recognize as cocido. What makes jam heavier coming out than the fruit going into the mass murder's neighborhood stove? Readers will be glad to see the perverts get their just desserts, like the creep who liked to suck soft fruits and his sleeping mother’s nipple,  who “was particular to fleshy, squishy fruits where juices dripped—sweetsops, custard apples, melons, hog plums, star apples, mangoes, and so on.”

In “A Good Friday”, beguiling aromas rising from a woman’s waist capture a man's attention. “She not so cool, after all. She not so cool." He could smell the fragrances of her, her skin, her breath, her hair—cinnamon, coconut, peppermint, vetiver, and oh, Y’boy KarlLee can’t tell which is which, only it warm and nice and sweet”

Readers new to Caribbean literature will find dialect among the most notable elements of the genre; nearly every story contains moments where characters, even narrators, relax into everyday speech.

Bilingual readers will appreciate the way these writers handle dialect and code-switching. For the most part they don’t. The writers adopt standard orthography and grammar, using dialectal variation and local knowledge to inform an ethos and otherwise make a tactical point.

Kimmisha Thomas’ characters use a code-alternating style during intimacy that reflects their relationship. Jackie yields to constraints of straight society while Berry looks to free her lover from being uptight:
“Is like I could feel you coming,” she said, squeezing me tightly.
“Okay, I’m happy to see you too. Don’t squeeze the life out of me.
“All right, man. You too soft and dainty.”
Once free, I looked around. Nobody was watching us. Maybe they were just pretending.
“Stop it,” Berry said, tapping my chin, “nobody nah pree we.”

I suppose a non-dialect reader like me doesn’t need to know for sure what that all means word for word. Jackie found Berry’s words reassuring, and that’s where it matters, and what it sounds like, in Jackie’s life.

Kevin Baldeosingh’s Sukiya is comparing her one-percenter world to a minimum-wage bank teller when a surprising error shakes her enough that years of dialect discipline nearly slip away. “Except, now, Sukiya was facing one of these very tellers and feeling a flutter in her stomach. She said, “What you mean—“ then stopped. She took a breath to make sure her voice was steady and, making sure to pronounce each word properly, said, “I don’t undertand what you mean. That cheque is for five million dollars.”

Sukiya will be among a reader's favorite characters in the collection. She’s an up-from-nowhere girl writing contracts and moving money around the world for oil and mineral exploration interests, contracts, bribes. A crook. Her boss intended the erroneous five million bucks to finger Sukiya for all the fraud and let him walk away rich and clean, while she rots in jail minding her accent.

For me, the best dialect usage is something not used--appositional translation. When a character uses a word like “rassclaat,” or “pickney,” the discourse flows along without accounting the language switch. It’s the nature of multicultural expression, text selects its readership. Tipos who resent being left out by diversity can Google the terms, join the audience.

“Bomborassclaat! Me dead to rass! Me’s the Queen of England, me’s royally and unmentionably verbed!”

Most often, context is sufficient to fill in the gaps, and after a few paragraphs sprinkled with dialect a reader catches the regularities of style and readily grasps the story, enriched by the lives and sounds of these characters and stories. The Caribbean ambiente adds its own unique pleasures that can be discovered for the first time only once. Pepperpot. Best New Stories From the Caribbean will make a grand first impression, then lead into deeper exploration.

Readers seeking additional Caribbean writing will enjoy Akashic's Caribbean interest catalog and such noir collections as Trinidad Noir, Haiti Noir, Havana Noir, or Kingston Noir.

Order your copy of Pepperpot. Best New Stories From the Caribbean from an independent bookseller in your town and take Pepperpot along on vacation. It’s an ideal summer read and a loud promise from the publisher: If you want diversity and inclusion, keep buying it.

Fútbol On-line Floricanto • A Taco Shop Poet

©2013 michael v sedano
Continuing into the semi-finals, the world stops for 90 minutes hoping to hear the announcer's lusty scream, "¡gggooolll!" Lástima, for the US side, as today's Taco Shop Poet laments "we" lost in many more ways than on the Brazilian grass.

there are no winners tonight
By A Taco Shop Poet

our last hope of america,
the united states lost today.
it lost in more than one way.
it lost by points
but also, by way of a lost
love of america. it lost.
it lost its head, it lost its heart
it lost its word.
it lost its hope.

during the match,
the post from the child
says, “lo que me gusta
de la selección estadounidense
es que nunca se da por vencido”
the u.s. team never, ever
gives up. this, while i look
on and see the failure
of soccer moms. the failure
of status quo. the failure of
signs and of protest.
and truth be told,
there weren’t enough
brown and black faces.
there were not enough
poor faces. faces with legs
willing to run to another
country to win.

such are the days
we live in. we have
never seen war. we’ve
never seen drugs or la bestia.
we don’t know survival.
and we’ve pushed
the border so far south
that central america
is now the beginnings
of the fence.

when i was
thirteen, i recall seeing
a man at plaza bonita
one day. he asked me what direction
and how far los angeles was. see,
he’d just crossed. and i pointed.
north. he’d told me
he’d walked from
guerrero. guerrero.
to los angeles.
from san diego.
from my home.
didn’t seem like
a distance too far
if you’ve traveled.

and two weeks ago,
i didn’t even want
to ponder the depth
of the rabbit hole
children might have traveled.
such are the days
when i try my hardest
to understand a broken
system. it hurt just
to think of children
that have walked
from honduras,
from guatemala,
from el salvador.
and as a parent,
i couldn’t bear it.
the weight of so many
paces. alone.

today, we lost a match
we lost a game.
but life continues on.
the cruel cynicism
slaps me straight in the face.
it slaps me and tells me
i may not be “american”
enough. and yes, i feel anger.
i feel anger for the young
lives turned away.
i feel anger for having protested
and been treated like a criminal
while rights of others
are respected.

today, we lost a match.
there was no fire.
there was no next time.
there were only children.
children held in prisons.
children left alone.
children wondering
when they will see
their mothers again.
children with lives
like my children and
we couldn’t do so much
as offer shelter
or food.

what would’ve jesus
said? i can tell you jesús
believes in america.
in his posts. during the game,
he believes, we should love.
believes that we can
be both mexican and american
and american and mexican.
but he wonders if these are the values
we’ve shared?

the match was too long.
and we lost. we lost our perspective.
we called them wetbacks
we told them that they carry
has the story ever changed?

this, this is the jimi hendrix
star spangled banner
crashing. this is the
bald eagle that has died
from DDT. this, this is the
home for refugees
following an armed conflict.
but not one from a conflict
caused by our consumption.
policies. police. drugs.

this is the day that we lost.
we lost our heads.
we lost our hearts.
we lost the game.
we lost the love.
of what it means
to be

Jazz-Inspired Poetry Anthology: Call for Poets

Pick a jazz artist and write three poems. “Jazz” is a big word and that’s what bloguera emerita Lisa Alvarado and Tara Betts intend. Pick your jazz genre and write about 3 songs. As Lisa told La Bloga, the proposed anthology is “looking for the best words about the music.”

LOVE YOU MADLY will be edited by Lisa Alvarado and Tara Betts. They seek poetry for a new anthology - poets write jazz. Each poet picks one jazz artist and writes three poems based on 3 songs.

Here’s a link to the Facebook page that includes all the details and specifications.

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19. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Gilda Evans, Author of Girl Talk


Most of my audience knows me as an author and speaker, but few are familiar with my poetry.
My poetry is as diverse as my other writings – the meter, subject matter and innate rhythms vary greatly. The one I’ve chosen to share now is one of my earlier poems. It is freeform with a distinctly feminine subject.  It was inspired on a rather lonely, rainy day several years ago while I was contemplating the view from my window. I felt a most interesting swirl of emotions, that encompassed isolation, peace, sadness, hope and wonder all rolled into a kaleidoscope of feeling that came out on paper in the form you are about to read.

In particular, for the purpose of Shelley's blog I'd like to say that certain foods will inspire me to write. Which ones often depends on the mood of the day.  In this particular case, it was a hot cup of coffee with my favorite creamer, coupled with a fresh, warm buttermilk biscuit and jam.  Feeding my body certain things that make me smile helps me write with passion and from the heart.  And through my writing I feed my soul as well.  Perhaps that's this writer's personal meaning of "soul food"!

I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to receiving any comments you'd like to share. My sincere thanks to Shelley Workinger for allowing me the privilege being a guest on her blog!

The sound of the rain pounds against the beating
of my heavy heart.
Would that it could be lightened…
By a soft, sweet voice,
a tender word,
a hand extended.
I watch the water meet the earth under a gloomy sky.
It matches the mood.
A tear rolls down my cheek
as I look up and notice the droplets
clinging to the needles of the pine,
and perched high in the branches of the weeping willow,
glistening like diamonds for the taking.
As if in answer to my plea, the wind gently moves the boughs
as a hoot owl sounds its acknowledgment.
One by one, the droplets fall
offering to me something precious,
something right there within my grasp
if I will only reach for it.
I am uplifted.
Nature beckons, and I feel the Mother’s hand
caress my chin.
“Do not be sad, daughter,” she says.
“I am here. I will guide you.
My jewels will adorn you. And
our hearts will be forever as one.
Rejoice. For when you are with me,
all is possible.”

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Gilda!

GILDA EVANS started her first business while in college at the age of 20, which she sold at a profit when she was 24.  Winning her first poetry contest at the tender age of 9 and her first essay contest at 10, writing and speaking have always been natural forms of expression for her.

Her first business was followed by two years of teaching lighting design at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.  The long and winding road then led Gilda to begin her stint as a television writer/producer/director, working for such venues as CBS, HBO, Showtime and Warner Brothers.  It was during this time that she also met and married her children’s father.  Twelve plus years and three Emmy and Ace award nominations later, Gilda left the TV industry to devote herself to her family.

Unfortunately, the happily ever after was not to be back then, and after a fourteen year marriage she found herself going through a divorce.  It was at that point she decided to reinvent herself and her career.  Her myriad of experiences comes to the forefront in GIRL TALK…a book series twenty years in the making whose time has finally come.  As Gilda likes to say, “I have a PhD in relationships from the school of life!” She is also working on a YA novel series, THE ALTERNATES. 

Connect with Gilda here:
www.GildaEvans.com Pinterest 

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20. Environmental Book Club

You've probably noticed that I'm interested in seasonal books that embrace living with nature as it changes over the course of a year. Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems, selected by Paul B. JaneczkoMM and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, called to me.

The poems here definitely are short.  While they are lovely and spot on with their imagery, I think they're a little uneven in their seasonal connection. Though if used as a read aloud, that would be a good discussion point with young listeners. What, exactly, does a poem called Window about looking out at the night from a railroad car have to do with spring?

Whether or not you agree with dividing these poems up as representing the seasons of the year, this is a good collection, and a lovely looking one, for all who appreciate their poetry on the short side, whatever your age.

By the way, Connecticut author Patricia Hubbell has a poem in Firefly July.

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21. Nominations Open for 2014 Best of the Net Anthology: Sundress Publications

Sundress Publications is now open for the 2014 Best of the Net Anthology nominations. This project continues to promote the diverse and growing collection of voices who are publishing their work online.

The internet continues to be a rapidly evolving medium for the distribution of new and innovative literature, and the Best of the Net Anthology aims to nurture the relationship between writers and the web. In our first seven years of existence, the anthology has published distinguished writers such as Claudia Emerson, B.H. Fairchild, Ron Carlson, Dorianne Laux, and Jill McCorkle alongside numerous new and emerging writers from around the world. This year’s judges are Kathy Fagan, Lily Hoang, and Michael Martone.

Kathy Fagan's fifth collection of poems, Sycamore, will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2016. Winner of the National Poetry Series and Vassar Miller prizes, she has received grants from the NEA, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council, and her work has appeared in venues such as FIELD, Narrative, Ninth Letter, The Paris Review, and Poetry. Fagan teaches in the MFA Program at Ohio State, where she also serves as Series Editor of the OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Poetry Prize.

Lily Hoang is the author of four books, including Changing, recipient of a PEN Open Books Award. With Blake Butler, she edited 30 Under 30, and with Joshua Marie Wilkinson, she is editing the forthcoming anthology The Force of What's Possible: Writers on the Avant-Garde and Accessibility. She teaches in the MFA program at New Mexico State University, where she is Associate Department Head, and she serves as Prose Editor for Puerto del Sol.

Michael Martone's most recent book of essays is Racing in Place. The Flatness and Other Landscapes was the winner of the AWP Creative Nonfiction Prize. He has authored a dozen books of short fiction and edited several collections short prose including The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction. He currently teaches at the University of Alabama and has taught at Iowa State University, Harvard University, Syracuse University, and Warren Wilson College.

Nominations for the 2014 edition must be sent to:

bestofnetATsundresspublicationsDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

between July 1st and September 30th, 2014. Further submission guidelines can be found here.

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22. Call for Submissions: Lunch Ticket

Lunch Ticket is currently accepting submissions for Amuse-Bouche, its bimonthly production, until July 31, 2014. 

Submissions in the following genres are all encouraged: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for young people, visual art, and translation. Send us your best work! 

For guidelines and submission manager, visit our website.

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23. Call for Submissions: The Boiler

Online submission deadline: August 15, 2014

The Boiler is accepting submissions in poetry, short stories, and short memoir/essays (prose under 3,500 words) for its Fall 2014 issue. Submissions close Aug. 15, 2014. We look forward to reading your work. For submission guidelines visit our website.

About The Boiler: The Boiler was started online in 2011 by a group of MFA students from Sarah Lawrence College. Now publishing quarterly. Recently published authors include: Rigoberto González, Tara Betts, Lisa Marie Basile, Kristen Keckler, Leah Griesmann, Tomaž Šalamun, and others.

The Boiler Journal

Follow us on: Twitter
Like our page on: Facebook

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24. Above the Dreamless Dead - a review

Duffy, Chris, ed. 2014. Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics. New York: First Second.
(Advance Reader Copy)

Above the Dreamless Dead is an illustrated anthology of poetry by English soldier-poets, who served in WWI.  They are known collectively as the "Trench Poets."

Poems by famous writers such as Wilfred Owen and Rudyard Kipling are illustrated by equally talented comic artists, including Hannah Berry and George Pratt. The comic-style renderings (most spanning many pages), offer complementary interpretations of these century-old poems. The benefit of hindsight and perspective give the artists a broader angle in which to work.  The result is a very personal, haunting, and moving look at The Great War.

This is the "case" for Above the Dreamless Dead.
This, and many other interior photos at 00:01 First Second.

Look for Above the Dreamless Dead in September, 2014. Thanks to First Second, who provided this review copy at my request.

French soldiers of the 87th Regiment, 6th Division,
at Côte 304, (Hill 304), northwest of Verdun, 1916.
Public Domain image.
Note: Although this is not an anthology for children, it should be of interest to teens and teachers.  It could be particularly useful in meeting Common Core State Standards by combining art, poetry, history, and nonfiction.
Today is Nonfiction Monday.
See all of today's nonfiction posts at the Nonfiction Monday blog.

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25. Editing Poetry: “Say It or Don’t Say It”

As poet and Pulitzer nominee Clifford Brooks states below, “…just as it is crucial that a writer creates his or her own voice, the way we edit is also a matter of self-discovery.” I couldn’t agree more. I’m a true believer in the idea that no two poets create or edit the same way, nor should they, but here Clifford Brooks explains why the process of editing is as vital as getting the words down in the first place.

* * * * *

The process of editing poetry is a bare-knuckle brawl between good grammar and bad habits. Ham-fisting through my first book of verse (two volumes in one) The Draw of Broken Eyes & Whirling Metaphysics was a hard introduction into the relentless expectations of a poetic Fight Club. It was necessarily brutal, but like any art that requires intense, singular, obsessive attention to detail—be it heart surgery, classical guitar, a gun fight set dead-bang, or architecture—this is a process that gets into your DNA. The only other result is failure.

As I write my new book of poetry, Athena Departs, the process is less maddening. It’s still work—hard work—but where there were open wounds the first go-‘round, now it’s iron, intellectual musculature. I flex my whole self tense and then use my previous experience to write more deliberate, self-aware poetry.

I will not quote other writers, artists, or musicians concerning their editing wisdom. If you take this science of poetry seriously, you know all the famous quotes. I got into this turf war late in my 30’s and went without reading other Creators to make sure what I penned was mine without a shred of cross-contamination. In the event that you feel Art breathe through you as a force of spiritual frenzy as well as a financial means to an end, you are well aware the source of that blessing is beyond an academic map. Therefore, editing isn’t going to be found in a book or locked in some wordsmith with more mileage than you. No, just as it is crucial that a writer creates his or her own voice, the way we edit is also a matter of self-discovery.

Editing is essential for the obvious reasons: Yes, you need to get the spelling right. You need to ensure the verbs and nouns make nice. Are your references to historical events/people 100% accurate? If you use a foreign language in your poetry, is it essential, and more importantly, is it you? Be meticulous in your search to ensure that that you are in no conceivable way mimicking a hero. As Nietzsche said, go ahead and kill those bad boys. Heroes are only helpful in comic books. This is your time.

Yet, because we all know what we mean as we read our own work, getting another pair of eyes to give our verse a once-through to verify what we wrote is what we meant is brilliant. Pick someone who is not afraid to get down-and-dirty with us on content, but not be a jackass about it. Finding more than one of these scholars-and-gentlemen is an excellent move. Homonyms have snuck in on me, and punctuation goofs have slipped by me after obsessively compulsively combing over every line of my work. Writers are well known for being OCD about their paper-encased children; it’s worth the extra steps to make sure your infant puts its best foot forward.

After you get the mathematics in place, the next step may convince neighbors that you’re losing a few marbles: This is where I suggest you read and reread every syllable aloud to hear how the sounds marry symphony and the intended place-strong story. I have a neurosis about perfection, but it’s because I absolutely adore this art. I’ve had a lifelong fascination with the sounds I’m able to wring out of words if I get them in just the right order. It’s a game of perfect-pitch angels and sickeningly-flat devils to make sure lines are engineered to create a tangible cadence.

When I walked myself through this process and tore apart my book of poetry, The Draw of Broken Eyes & Whirling Metaphysics, it was the first time I’d ever gone so deep to delve out the truth in words that illuminated the most for a reader, and cut the deepest in me. This process seemed to skin my nerves from the inside out. I promised myself that I would tell the whole truth—all of it—without hiding behind murky imagery and/or cryptic metaphor. Because once we commit ourselves to paper, it’s the poet’s job to tell the truth whether we feel particularly jazzy about it or not. In my opinion, to squirm out of the responsibility of putting on your big boy britches when composing poetry is tantamount to cheating. Verse and song are cathartic. To deliver anything less is like selling snake oils to the suffering. That doesn’t mean it’s an easy job.

You see, I have peers who are more talented with poetry than I, and they were incredible help when I thought I’d pushed the harmonic threshold. When I tried to mask the shame or grief over some event to save face, they shoved me towards absolute disclosure. One editor of mine repeated the phrase, “Say it or don’t say it. If you’re not going to say it, pull the whole poem.” I live by that rule to this day and it has never failed me.

My first professional editor was Larry Fagin. He was a hardnosed mentor that set fire to the course of my career. He taught me that every word counts. Being too verbose, obvious, and long-winded are the earmarks of prose. Personally, I try not to repeat words more than absolutely necessary in one poem. I think it’s a novice mistake of being redundant, and proving a lack of an adequate vocabulary. Exploring vocabulary has brought me to a crystal clear final product that’s able to speak on several levels. For me it’s all about challenging yourself at every turn. Because of Fagin’s tutelage, I now experience more moments of euphoric creativity. I don’t try to stem the flow for few words, but spray the page with every mirage that crosses my mind.

Then, when the poems are on the page and the new process of chopping and slicing begins, I start by plucking out disjointed words, or whole lines, that may not fit the piece at hand. I extracted the melodrama aimed at myself for acts that didn’t need a soap opera to give the full picture. More important, perhaps, is when reading over the poetry I wrote years ago, I began to tear into emotional wounds I thought long dead. Personally, to write an honest poem about something that happened in the past, I mentally/emotionally needed to live there again. Through the process of editing I learned to build a tougher exterior to make sure the memories and events in my book Whirling Metaphysics were as equally accurate today as they were 15 years ago. Still editing this material was far more emotionally vicious that I expected. But I grew more as a poet and as a man in this time than any other before it, or since.

* * * * *

Clifford spoke at great length about the emotional and technical process and pitfalls, but what I included here is pretty spot-on for poets who are about to begin their own editing process. Aim for euphoria, strip away the needless words, and, most of all, “Say it or don’t say it,” because if your work doesn’t say it…what’s the point of writing it, right?

Feel free to post your own thoughts on editing poetry below!

Clifford Brooks is a native of Athens, Georgia. Being a “Huck Finn” kind of boy in his early years, and not a fan of public school (or being indoors for that matter), he began to write as an escape. His passion for letters grew into short stories and the humorous non-fiction he became known for in smaller literary circles. Before turning teaching and creative writing into a means of financial survival, Clifford worked as a bookseller, juvenile probation officer, and social worker. His book, The Draw of Broken Eyes & Whirling Metaphysics, has been nominated for a Pulitzer in Poetry, two Pushcart Awards, and garnered him a nomination for Georgia Author of the Year. For more, visit www.cliffbrooks.com.


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