Subscriber News: February 2016
Congratulations to John Stokes. His poetry collection Fire in the Afternoon (Halstead Press, 2014) won the 2015 Writing and Publishing Award from the ACT Writers Centre. The most recent deadline was September 11 for this A$100 prize for small press and self-published books by residents of the Australian Capital Territory.
Congratulations to Karen Braucher Tobin. Her latest poetry collection, Grit & Whimsy, was recently published by Cawing Crow Press. From the blurb by award-winning poet Paulann Petersen: "Voices that inhabit this collection sing with bold and compelling female force. These are Shakti poems, work that hums with the often angry, always outspoken mien of the Hindu goddess whose name means the power. With satire, with wit, with notable imagery and music, Karen Braucher Tobin gives us a Poemata Feminea powered by considerable candor and arresting inventiveness." The release party and jazz dance/concert for the book and audiobook will take place on Saturday, February 27, at 7 PM Pacific time, at the Refuge PDX, 116 Yamhill Street, Portland, Oregon. Kyle Devine of Portland's Flatline Studios enhanced the spoken words with sound and music to create spoken word art, including saxophone, drums, and sound effects.
Congratulations to Joan Leotta. Her first picture book for children, Whoosh!, was published in 2015 in print and e-book editions by THEAQ Publishing. Illustrated by Rebecca Michael Zeissler, it tells the story of a child and her father enjoying a snowy day. Her short story collection, Simply a Smile, was published by Western Fictioneers. Spanning the genres of historical fiction, mystery, and romance, each tale was inspired by a piece of art or a simple object such a shell, a recipe, and even an historical marker. Secrets of the Heart, the fourth volume in her "Legacy of Honor" series, came out in 2015 from Desert Breeze Publishing. The historical romance series follows several generations of an Italian-American family through the Civil War to Operation Desert Storm.
Congratulations to Jen Karetnick. Her poem "I'm Nothing Without Blood" won first prize in the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards from Poetica Magazine, a journal of contemporary Jewish writing. The most recent submission period for this $250 award was May 1-September 1.
Congratulations to Lind Grant-Oyeye. The Nigerian-born Irish author's poem "M-Moments" won first prize in the 2015 Human Rights Poetry Award from the Universal Human Rights Student Network. She kindly shares it with us here. The theme this year was "Refugees and Their Message to Europe". The most recent deadline for this free contest, with a top prize of 300 euros, was November 20.
Congratulations to Theresa C. Vara. Her poetry collection Through Salt and Time was released in 2015 by Antrim House Books. Read sample poems here. Reviewer Elizabeth Thomas says of this book, "The painful past of father, friends, students, and the poet herself, described in stunning detail, is alleviated by moments of sudden relief, like the grace notes of the father’s bass viol. Blessedly, the troubled past is followed by the fulfillment of a richly satisfying career in teaching and by the 'birdsong blue' of a loved one’s eyes."
Winning Writers Editor Jendi Reiter's debut novel, Two Natures, will be published in September by Saddle Road Press. Set in New York City in the early 1990s, Two Natures is the coming-of-age story of Julian Selkirk, a fashion photographer who struggles to reconcile his Southern Baptist upbringing with his love for other men. Read an interview with the author at David Alan Binder's literary blog. In other news, Jendi's poem "The Fear of Puppets and the Fear of Beautiful Women" will be reprinted in The Doll Collection, the first anthology from Terrapin Books, a new literary press in New Jersey. This poem originally appeared in her chapbook Swallow (Amsterdam Press, 2009); email her for ordering information. Her poetry collection Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree, 2015) was profiled in the December/January 2016 issue of Shelf Unbound (see page 115), a magazine that reviews small press and self-published books.
Paul Fericano's poetry collection The Hollywood Catechism (Silver Birch Press, 2015) was favorably reviewed by Benjamin Schmitt in At the Inkwell and Jerome Sala on his poetry blog Espresso Bongo. Schmitt writes: "Paul Fericano is the creator of the literary movement known as 'Stoogism.' This is a literary movement that seeks to satirize the pretensions found in various schools of literature and is partly based on the cinematic works of The Three Stooges...This kind of absurdist spiritual practice is the great achievement of The Hollywood Catechism, a book in which stooges become poets, actresses become saints, and Jesus hangs out with Charles Bukowski." Sala calls it a "wonderfully witty and satiric book" that takes a playful look at the way celebrity worship almost resembles a religion."
Isobel Cunningham's illustrated poetry collection Northern Compass is available on Amazon.com. The book includes love poems and reflections on the natural world, set in Montreal, Canada, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Visit Isobel's blog for her creative writing and photography. She kindly shares a sample poem here.
Annie Dawid's essay "Almost" was featured in bioStories Magazine. Her story "The Empathetic Listener" appeared in Knut House Magazine, Vol. 1 (2015). Her story "Saved by the Pig" was published in Structo, Issue 14. Her story "The Elizabeths" is forthcoming in Fiction Attic. Her story "What Happens to Smart Women" will be published in Litro this month. Her story "Still at Sea" will appear on February 29 on the flash fiction site Spelk.
Diana Anhalt's poem "I Suppose When Death" was published in Kentucky Review online and will be included in the 2016 print annual.
Akua Lezli Hope's poems "Waking Daddy", "Mouse Song (for Megan)", and "Hubble 25" were published in Gyroscope Review, Issue 16.1 (January 2016). Her poem "Noragami" appeared in Eye to the Telescope, Issue 19 (January 2016), whose theme was "Mythopoesis".
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's new collection of poetry about social justice, Imperfect Echoes, was favorably reviewed in the January 2016 issue of Midwest Book Review, in the Small Press Bookwatch column. Reviewer Jim Cox says, "Carolyn touches on the isms of the world—racism, ageism, even what might be termed 'wallism' but was once referred to as xenophobia. In her poem 'Crying Walls,' she sounds a low warning reminiscent of Robert Frost: 'Chains linked. Wire barbed,/ Krylon smeared. Feeble,/ useless, unholy billboards,/ anything but mending walls.'...Carolyn Howard-Johnson is articulate, gifted, insightful, iconoclastic, and a truly impressive literary talent."
Published: February 8, 2016