Long-Listed for the Erbacce-Prize

Ursinus College Commencement Program, “Awards,” taken by me, 18 May 2019.

Not only am I having a great time watching my Parsons (history) Prize winning son graduate from Ursinus College, but I had first Litro (USA) Lab’s podcast of my piece, “The Big Dream,” and now the news that I have been long-listed for the erbacce-prize!

Thanks to the contest administrators and judges. I am honored to be one of the relatively few selected from a pool of almost 8,000.

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“The Big Dream” Up on Litro Lab Podcast

Howell Carnegie District Library

I am excited to have my second gender-reversed homage to Raymond Chandler (the first, “Cafe Noir,” is here) up on the Litro (USA) Lab Podcast. A library is involved, hence the picture, above.

I originally recorded my dramatic reading of this noir psychomachia about writer’s block, complete with music clips pulled from Public Domain noir films, for a contest. Only after it went nowhere there did I realize how few potential outlets there are for such work. But I followed my policy of persevering with work I believe in, even submitting it to Litro New York, though I had no idea whether my amateur production would interest a venue of their caliber and sophistication.

When I submitted, “Litro New York,” as it was called at first, had not even been launched, so my piece sat in Submittable for over a year, after which I had lost hope that it would find favor at such a prestigious venue. It was therefore a delightful surprise to find that they did like it. I hope you will, too.

Photo credit: RaboKarbakian. Howell Carnegie District Library in Howell, MI. 27 September 2015. CC BY-SA 1.0.

“How I Became a Social Justice Warrior Princess” Is Up on Lemon Theory

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Xena: Cosplay at the 2014 New York Comic Con.

I am pleased to say that my essay, “How I Became a Social Justice Warrior Princess,” is up at Lemon Theory. Many thanks to Editor Sarah McKinnon for seeing merit in the piece. It’s about how literature helped me understand the nature of patriarchal power and how, as a woman, I could have a constructive relationship to that power. I did not conclude that it could have a constructive relationship to me. Moreover, I try to remain mindful that as a white, middle-class, cisgender woman I also occupy a privileged position in relation to other groups, but I believe the path I sketch is relevant to everyone’s relations to power.

Finally, it may be a stretch to call myself a “social justice warrior.” As a violinist, I cannot attend political meetings or many demonstrations during other people’s after-work hours, so I am perhaps not active enough to justify that title. But I show up when I can and give what I feel I can, and besides, I couldn’t resist the phrase, “social justice warrior princess.”

In the interim between my acceptance and publication at Lemon Theory, I have managed to read a little of it, and thoroughly recommend it, especially to young women struggling with issues surrounding female identity and mental health. There is also a section and an editor devoted to issues pertaining to military troops, which I believe is laudable and much needed. So please check it out and help a deserving fledgling enterprise spread its wings.

 

Photo credit: Docking Bay 93. Xena: Cosplay at the 2014 New York Comic Con. 10 October 2014. Wikimedia CommonsCC BY 2.0.

 

When Life Gives You Lemonade

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Sometimes life gives you lemonade. Also, it never rains but it pours.

Today I am reminded of L. Frank Baum’s lesser-known but delightful The Magical Monarch of Mo because in Mo the rain is lemonade and the thunder and lightning are Wagner operas. Similarly, directly after playing Holst’s wildly dramatic The Planets, I got two acceptances in two days–a virtual downpour. And the second of these is from Lemon Theory, a digital magazine  “dedicated to mental health awareness, lifestyle and photography stories of humans.” 

I am especially happy about this, not only because the magazine looks interesting and professionally presented, but also because my piece, an intellectual memoir that charts my development as a feminist, seemed to fall between the stools of the trendy literary strictures on creative nonfiction, which it doesn’t quite meet, and more journalistic writing, which it isn’t quite. I am grateful that Editor Sarah McKinnon valued “How I Became a Social Justice Warrior Princess” and will publish it on May 7th. In the meantime, I look forward to exploring the stories of so many others that Lemon Theory beautifully presents. 

Photo credit: altiemae. Lemonade Truck. 4 October 2013. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 2.0.

 

Mysterious Acceptance from Litro

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110 Auckland Road, London SE19 2BY, former residence of Raymond Chandler

In October, 2017, I submitted an audio recording and a manuscript of “The Big Dream,” my second gender-reversed homage to Raymond Chandler, to Litro NY‘s podcast. Today Submittable informed me the piece was accepted. But was it accepted by the podcast? Will it be aired, or are they only going to print the manuscript? When will it appear?

Since I am not actually a female version of Philip Marlow, my only recourse was to inquire of the editor. I hope I will not be sucked into a web of corruption full of wild metaphors, sexy but shady hommes fatals, down-and-out drinkers, small-time thugs, and big-time corrupt officials before I find the answer. 

Stay tuned . . .

 

Photo credit: Spudgun67. 110 Auckland Road, London SE19 2BY – former residence of Raymond Chandler.jpg. 22 October 2014. CC BY-SA 4.0.

 

Honorable Mention at Allegory

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Photo credit: Sealle, Glass half full or half empty. 3 Aug. 2017. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0.

I don’t usually post about rejection. I assume most of us would prefer to dwell on that inevitability as little as possible. But this one had a few redeeming features, so I thought I would mention it, in the spirit of viewing the glass as half full.  

From their hundreds of submissions, Editor Ty Drago and his associates at Allegory choose twelve that fit together for each issue. The titles and authors of other stories the editors liked are listed in an “Honorable Mention” category. That’s where I and my story’s title, “The Pussy Hat,” will be in the next issue.

Not great news, but on the other hand, gets my name out there a little, and Editor Drago said nice things about how much he liked the story, which validates my efforts even more than having it on a list. I hope the piece will see the light of day eventually.

 

“Bad Date” Accepted at The Courtship of Winds

Dumpster_(2)

I am pleased to announce that my story, “Bad Date,” has been accepted by The Courtship of Winds and will appear in their next issue. I’m grateful to Editor William V. Ray for appreciating the story.

“Bad Date” is special to me because it was conceived on my twenty-fifth anniversary trip to Berlin. My husband and I ate at a fancy restaurant, one of whose walls was almost covered by an enormous painting of a dumpster in a forest glade. I just started imagining the sort of guy who would think this was a great place to take someone. Luckily enough (?), I had indeed (decades ago, obviously) gone out with someone who might, with a little updating, fit the bill, and voilà, a story was born.

I do not know much about The Courtship of Winds yet, but I selected it to submit to because a brief perusal showed me that Editor Ray had a taste for sophisticated humor. I look forward to familiarizing myself further with his journal.

Photo credit: Neekoh.fi, Dumpster. 6 June 2012. CC-by 2.0.

Two More Can Poems and a Senryu up at M58

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Graphic I created for my can poem, “Can #10: spindrift Sparkling Water”

I am happy to report that two more can poems and a “Trending Facebook Feed Senryu” are seeing the light today in M58. Many thanks to Editor Andrew Taylor, another voice pushing the poetry envelope.

This batch includes my least favorite can poem, #10, and my current favorite, lucky #13. For #10, I felt there was barely enough material there, and I feel certain some readers will come away feeling it says nothing much. Still, I think it does enough to qualify for membership in what I hope will become a chapbook of twenty-five. #13, on the other hand, has action, rich and inventive imagery, and story. Thank you, Progresso Bread Crumbs, Italian Style.

The third poem literally popped up in my Trending Facebook Feed, back when Facebook had that. I couldn’t pass up its rich, though loose and open-ended, associations.

That is the little family out today, and I am happy to think of them rubbing shoulders with the likes of Jeff Bagato’s conceptual nonsense poems, A616’s intriguing video about the Lea MarshesHolly Painter’s inventive “Cryptic Crosswords,”  and John Cope’s “Vine Stalk Poem after Camilla Nelson.” 

So if you feel you need something new in your life, head over to M58. Enjoy the poetry buffet there, and don’t forget to let the “crispy casseroles” of “Can #13” “toss your seas.”

 

Five Can Poems Up at Brave New Word

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I’m grateful to Editor Volodymyr Bilyk for including five of my can poems in Issue #13 of Brave New Word. It is especially gratifying to read in his introductory “Editor’s Note” that he believes the work in this issue is “good. Really good.” I look forward to reading the whole issue.

In the brief interim between my acceptance and this publication, I have been perusing some other issues, and have already gotten some education in avant-garde poetry, learning about mail art and the Art Strike, and generally enjoying the eclectic offerings.

I encourage everyone to check out Editor Bilyk’s unique curatorial vision, pushing the boundaries of all that poetry can be. 

Photo credit: EPA. OLD STYLE CASH REGISTER AND CANNED GOODS. . . . Wikimedia Commons. PD.

Five Can Poems Accepted by Brave New Word

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In the fastest turnaround I have ever experienced, Volodymyr Bilyk, Editor of Brave New Word Magazine, has accepted five of my can poems in one fell swoop. These are a representative bunch: a sardonic swipe at the South, a mystical poem about birth (with some irony since, as a poem about canned tuna, it’s also about eating life), a poem about an imagined Parisian fling gone wrong, a depressing poem about old age, and a sketch of a fictional wealthy character, or perhaps the actual wealthy as a class.

Editor Bilyk says these will all be up on Brave New Word soon, and judging by the speed of his response, I believe him. I look forward to showing them off in public, and in the meantime will enjoy familiarizing myself with as many of the experimental techniques on display at Brave New Word as I can wrap my mind around. 

 

Photo credit: EPA. OLD STYLE CASH REGISTER AND CANNED GOODS IN A BUTCHER SHOP IN NEW ULM, MINNESOTA. THE TOWN IS A COUNTY SEAT TRADING CENTER OF 13,000 IN A FARMING AREA OF SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA. IT WAS FOUNDED IN 1854 BY A GERMAN IMMIGRANT LAND COMPANY THAT ENCOURAGED ITS KINSMEN TO EMIGRATE FROM EUROPE. POPULATION STABILIZED AT 8 TO 9,000 DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THIS CENTURY, THEN GREW SLOWLY AS MANUFACTURING FIRMS ARRIVED. THE TOWN’S BUSINESS DISTRICT WAS REVITALIZED DURING THE LATE 1960’S. Wikimedia Commons. PD.