Subscriber News: January 2016
Congratulations to Robin Coste Lewis. Her poetry collection Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf, 2015) won the prestigious 2015 National Book Award for Poetry. The National Book Foundation confers these $10,000 awards for the best books of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction by US authors that were published by a US press between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the current year. The deadline is July 1. Read guidelines here. From the NBA website: "Robin Coste Lewis's electrifying collection is a triptych that begins and ends with lyric poems considering the roles desire and race play in the construction of the self. The central panel is the title poem, 'Voyage of the Sable Venus', a riveting narrative made up entirely of titles of artworks from ancient times to the present—titles that feature or in some way comment on the black female figure in Western art. Bracketed by Lewis's autobiographical poems, 'Voyage' is a tender and shocking study of the fragmentary mysteries of stereotype, as it juxtaposes our names for things with what we actually see and know." Read Noemi Press editor Diana Arterian's review of this book at The Rumpus. Robin will be featured in a reading sponsored by the literary journal Gulf Coast at the University of Houston's M.D. Anderson Library, 114 University Drive, Houston, Texas, at 5:30 pm on February 2.
Congratulations to Kathleen Spivack. Her novel Unspeakable Things will be published later this month by Alfred A. Knopf. The first stop on her book tour will be Sunday, January 31, at 2:00 pm at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. Visit her website for more dates, advance praise for the book, and ordering information. From the review at BookList Online: "[Spivack] portrays Jewish refugees from Nazi Austria in her hallucinatory first novel, Unspeakable Things. Herbert, a man of secrets and influence, tries to help others in his predicament, including the courageous, bizarrely afflicted Tolstoi String Quartet, even as his own family suffers. Spivack's illumination of her characters' loss and fears, set against blaring, brash New York in grating contrast to shadowed, tyrannized Europe, are gorgeous and despairing in their precision, yet this is not a work of straightforward historical fiction. Instead, it is a macabre fairy tale of monstrous fascinations, horrific exploitations, and desperate strategies of survival."
Congratulations to Lucia Galloway and Suellen Wedmore, co-winners of the 2014 QuillsEdge Chapbook Competition. Galloway's The Garlic Peelers and Wedmore's Mind the Light were published in October 2015. Read a sample poem from The Garlic Peelers here. Visit the publisher's website for purchasing information. This contest offers publication for poetry chapbook manuscripts by women aged 50 and up. The 2015 contest is currently open through January 31.
Congratulations to Joan Kantor. Her memoir in verse, Fading into Focus, won first prize in the poetry category of the 2015 Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. The 2016 contest is open through April 1, with a grand prize of $8,000 and top awards of $1,000 in each genre. Fading into Focus depicts a mother-daughter relationship changed by Alzheimer's.
Congratulations to Terri Kirby Erickson. Her most recent poetry collection, A Lake of Light and Clouds (Press 53, 2014), was a 2015 USA Best Book Awards Finalist for Poetry. Visit her website for her other books and awards.
Congratulations to David Kherdian. In December, Beech Hill Publishing Company released a 25th anniversary edition of his poetry collection The Dividing River/The Meeting Shore, which was first published by Lotus Press of Santa Fe. The expanded edition includes seven new poems and an interview with the author. He kindly shares a sample poem here.
Congratulations to Des Mannay. His poem "A Dream in the Storm" won first prize in the 2015 RethinkYourMind Competition. With its pledge to "creatively support positive mental health", the project asked people to submit poetry, art, and photography with the focus on "I feel better when I am..." Des's poem formed the song lyrics for a single and a track on an EP to raise money for the project's main venture, The Yellow Book, a compilation of wellbeing advice, art, and poetry distributed free of charge throughout the NHS and mental health organizations in England. In other news, Des won second prize in Disability Arts Cymru's first annual poetry competition. Download the winners' booklet for free from their website. Des also won a Gold Award in the Creative Future Literary Awards, which celebrates talented writers who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, health or social circumstance. The top 12 poems are included in the anthology Impossible Things.
Congratulations to Ruth Hill. Her poem "English as a Second Language" won First Prize in the 2015 Anita McAndrews Award from Poets for Human Rights. It is Ruth's fourth placement in the Anita McAndrews Award, with four different judges, and no authors' names on the poems. The most recent deadline for this $200 prize was November 30. In other news, Ruth's poem "Returning the Light to Poetry" was accepted by The Deronda Review. Her poems "Mr. Havard", "Tears in My Watercolors", and "Things You Don't Know about Me" were all included in the Silverbow Publishing 2015 Royal City Poets Anthology in New Westminster, BC. "Autumn Colors in the Far North", "Hairy", "Not All," and "Go Get Your Gaiters" were featured online in the Royal City Literary Arts Society monthly e-zine, edited by Janet Kvammen. "See Forever" was published in Lucidity Vol. 28 No. 6. Her poem about Abraham Lincoln, "Lines Drawn", scored ninth out of 645 entries in the 2015 Poetry Super Highway Contest. Winners shared $895 and other prizes in this contest, whose closing date was October 31. This is the third year in a row Ruth has placed in the PSH Top Ten tier. Ruth sends encouragement to all: "You can't win if you don't send them in."
Winning Writers Contest Judge Ellaraine Lockie was profiled in the Winter 2015 issue of the British journal Sein und Werden. The feature includes two of her poems and an extensive interview about and photographs of her "pollages", a term she coined for the art pieces she creates using her poetry, handmade papers and collage. Ellaraine's poem "Goose Bumps" was published on the website of Silver Birch Press in December as part of their holiday series.
Joanie Holzer Schirm's nonfiction book Adventurers Against Their Will is available in print and e-book formats from the major online retailers. Based on her father's collection of 400 WWII-era letters by 78 writers, Adventurers Against Their Will is the deeply personal account of a daughter's investigative journey 70 years later to locate seven of the Czech correspondents and their descendants around the world. The author has developed high school lesson plans based on the book, and in December she gave a presentation to over 400 students at Satellite High School in Florida. Visit her website to bring her to your classroom.
Desiree Woodland's article on International Survivors of Suicide Day was published in December at Color On! Magazine, a digital magazine for coloring-book enthusiasts of all ages. The article discusses the creation of mandalas as a healing technique for people who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Larry Lefkowitz's novel The Novel, Kunzman, the Novel! is available in print and e-book formats from Lulu.com, Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, and other popular platforms. From the book blurb: "The assistant to a well-known literary critic suffers from the dominance of the critic. After the critic's sudden death, the assistant believes that he has been freed from the critic's dominance. However, when the critic's beautiful wife asks him to complete an unfinished novel written by her late husband, the assistant finds himself still under the influence of the critic, as well as his wife."
R.T. Castleberry's poems "Salvation Days", "Late, the Beauty", "All I Had Was Gone", "It Sounds Dramatic", "Triptych", and "January Binds the Days" were published in Antarctica Journal in November and December 2015. His poems "Desert Explanations", "Weeping House Blues", and "Events Leading to an Aftermath" were published in December in 'Merica Magazine.
Tricia McCallum's essay "Melancholia, Without the Romance" was published at the Huffington Post in December. It discusses living with clinical depression and the healing power of writing.
Tony Thorne's book The Singularity Is Coming: The Artificial Intelligence Explosion will be published in a Chinese edition by Posts & Telecommunications Press.
Donna Thompson's poetry anthology The Compilations of Foresta Gump is available from Xlibris. Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit BC Children's Hospital. The book features poetry by Internet marketing experts Marsha Friedman, Tracy Repchuk, and Joe Vitale.
Published: January 7, 2016