Subscriber News: May 2014
Winning Writers Editor Jendi Reiter won first honorable mention in the 2014 Utmost Christian Writers Poetry Contest for her poem "Lord of the Storm". This contest gives prizes up to $1,000 for the best unpublished poems by Christian writers. The most recent deadline was February 28. Read the winners here.
Congratulations to Charlie Bondhus. His poetry collection All the Heat We Could Carry (Main Street Rag, 2013) won the 2014 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry from The Publishing Triangle, an LGBT literary society. He kindly shares a sample poem here. Reporting on the award in the Washington Post, reviewer Ron Charles says: "His book—with that echo of Tim O'Brien's Vietnam War classic, 'The Things They Carried'—is a collection of poems about a gay soldier in Afghanistan. Three years after the U.S. military abandoned the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, Bondhus's poems aren't about serving in secret or worrying about being discharged. They don't concentrate on acts of homophobic prejudice or hazing. Instead, they're simply about what it means to fight, to watch your friends die and then to come home to a country that can't understand what you've endured." In other news, All the Heat We Could Carry was favorably reviewed by the poet Christopher Soden on the Lambda Literary Foundation blog in April. Soden says, "Charlie Bondhus takes excruciating, sometimes nightmarish, sometimes melancholy ordeals and makes them accessible, by the meticulous use of restrained, pointed, focused language. He taps into extraordinary subject matter by refusing to shift gears into something frantic or tawdry. The protagonist might be stuffing another soldier's corpse into a body bag, or gathering firewood in the back yard, or tussling naked, joyously, with his flawed yet perfect boyfriend. He draws us into these scenarios with sharp, intense, yet nuanced wisdom. He refuses to assign blame, yet none of us are off the hook."
Congratulations to Ellen LaFleche. Her poem "Prayer for Weeping" won the 2014 DASH Journal Annual Poetry Contest. DASH, a publication of California State University Fullerton, accepts short poetry and flash prose. The most recent deadline for this $1,000 award was March 1.
Congratulations to Sally Bellerose. Her short story "Corset" won the 2014 Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Short Fiction Contest judged by Jewelle Gomez. The winner and finalists will be honored at an award ceremony in New Orleans and published in an anthology from Bold Strokes Books, a small press specializing in LGBTQ literature. This is Sally's second time winning this contest, which gives prizes up to $250 for short fiction with LGBTQ themes.
Congratulations to Rolli. His flash fiction collection I Am Currently Working on a Novel will be published in June by Tightrope Books. From the publisher's blurb: "There are stories set in Hollywood, London, and the bottom of the sea. There are stories about ghosts, robots, love, Pointillism, death, and immortality. Though seldom longer than a few pages, there is more mystery and sadness and sheer mania in these slimmed-down fictions than a whole shelf-full of standard novels." Visit the author's website for more of his writing and cartoons.
Congratulations to Thelma T. Reyna. She was named Poet Laureate for the Altadena Library District for the 2014-16 term. Visit her website to read about her award-winning poetry and fiction collections. Her most recent book is Hearts in Common (Finishing Line Press, 2013).
Robert Paul Blumenstein's short story "Draining the Spirit Gland" was published as a stand-alone e-book by Alfie Dog, a UK-based publisher of books and stories for online readers. An interview with Blumenstein will be posted on the website on May 23. The story is a dystopian tale about a young couple who confront the seeming orderliness of their world and just say no to the system.
Elizabeth Hufford's poem "Echoes of the Game" was published in the anthology Insert Coin Here from Kind of a Hurricane Press, and will be reprinted in their annual best-of anthology, Storm Cycle. Her prose poem "Living with Scorpions" appeared in the first edition of 300 Days of Sun, a journal of literature and art by residents of the American Southwest.
Judy Juanita's essay "Cleaning Other People's Houses" was published in April at The Weeklings. Her novel Virgin Soul made BuzzFeed's list of 16 best books about San Francisco, with the following blurb: "Set against the rollicking backdrop of San Francisco in the '60s, Virgin Soul tells the story of a young woman becoming involved with the Black Panthers as she sets out to discover herself amid one of the most politically charged times in American history."
Robert Meadows III's poetry collection Country Versatility is available as a PDF e-book from Prisons Foundation, a nonprofit founded by ex-prisoners that publishes work by incarcerated writers and artists.
R.T. Castleberry had five poems accepted by Red Paint Hill Publishing for a forthcoming anthology of blues-inspired poetry. R.T.'s most recent poetry collection is Arriving at the Riverside, from Finishing Line Press.
Ruth Thompson's contribution to the "My Writing Process" blog tour is now posted on her website. Among other topics, Ruth talks about the unexpected gifts of the aging process: "I think young writers are sold a bill of goods about getting out there and getting published and being in a huge rush. I started late, so I had no choice—it's too late to change my stripes or even try on other stripes for size, which is a great blessing. All I can do is try to write more and more like myself. But the real surprise is what amazing riches are here in this time of life we are taught to dread. We all fear it so much we can't even look straight at it—the time of loss and dissolution, of forgetting the names of things and being terrified of what that means, of being un-beautiful and invisible—but it's also juicy with new sensations and experiences." Her most recent book is Woman with Crows (Saddle Road Press, 2013).
Published: May 9, 2014