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.

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CNF Out in Scarlet Leaf Review

IMG_0672The house I grew up in, taken by me.

I am excited to report that The Scarlet Leaf Review has published my creative nonfiction, From Candy to Courage: Four Life Lessons on People and Politics, which is about how I grew up to be engaged with the political process. I have a sentimental attachment to this piece, which evokes the intensely intellectual milieu of Oberlin in the late 60s through the 70s. Although my family was dysfunctional, I was in many ways highly privileged. I believe this piece shows how that privilege led me to become an informed contributor to our times, and I’m grateful to The Scarlet Leaf Review  for publishing it.

So check it out! And in the meantime, enjoy this 1952 recording of my father’s second symphony, featuring the Oberlin Orchestra, which I recently discovered online:

 

Two Can Poems Out in Clockwise Cat

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I’m pleased to see my poems, “Can #6: Pet Pride Shredded Chicken & Salmon in Gravy” and “Can #11: Clabber Girl Double Acting Baking Powder,” out in Clockwise Cat. “Can #6” was first published in ShufPoetry and republished as part of “Erosion” in Malevolent Soap (now defunct). “Can #11” is one of my favorite can poems and says a few important things about how women are treated/constructed in America.

In the interim between when these can poems were accepted and now, I have been familiarizing myself with the previous issue. Editor Alison Ross collects energetic, cutting-edge pieces that have something critical (in every sense) to say, and say it in a challenging (in every sense) way. It is bracing and sometimes a little scary.

In addition, Ross is paying tribute–briefly in the current issue, fully in the next–to the late Felino Soriano, whose life was cut short at 44. I am not familiar with Soriano or most of his poetry, but, having now read a little of his work, I can say I deeply respect his quest for inventive poetic idioms for our time, and particularly his allegiance to the bond between poetry and music, which is ever-present in my own mind as I write poetry and too often lacking since the days when recitation was still part of every school child’s cultural education. I also know that he generously assisted other poets, including Heath Brougher, who in turn generously recognized my own work and published it in Luminous Echoes (which I discussed here, among other posts).

I am grateful to be in the same company with other poets who are pushing the poetic envelope and paying tribute to those who did so. I look forward to inspiration, encouragement, and a little intimidation from this issue of Clockwise Cat, and I encourage everyone to plunge in with me.

Photo credit: Giftgarden Black Cat Wall Clock Home Decoration for Pets Gifts. 27 Feb. 2017, Flickr Commons. PD.

“Etheree for Heather Heyer” Out in Poetry South

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Unattended pushcart advertising “frankfurts” with sauerkraut or onions, ice-cold soft drinks, and pies for 5 cents on a rain-soaked wharf.

I was pleased to receive a wonderful holiday package in the mail today: four copies of Poetry South, with my Pushcart-nominated “Etheree for Heather Heyer” among many other works I am looking forward to reading.

In the interim between my nomination and the arrival of the journal, I have been reading poems from 2017 that are published at Poetry South’s website. They couple a dreamy, lyrical sensibility with a sense of the urgent and ominous in a way that seems at once traditionally Southern and reflective of our current fraught moment in history. Although I was born and raised in the North, my mother was originally Southern, and I seem to have, perhaps through her, a taste for lyricism and a sense of tragedy that fit with strong themes running through Southern literature, from Faulkner through Tennessee Williams, and again, in different form, in Poetry South. However I acquired these, I am happy that my poem partakes of them and is out in strong, distinctive company.

Photo credit: Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Overseas Operations Branch. New York Office. News and Features Bureau. Picture Division. Exhibit Section. (1942 – 1945). Unattended pushcart advertising “frankfurts” with sauerkraut or onions, ice-cold soft drinks, and pies for 5 cents on a rain-soaked wharf. Ca. 1939. image.png PD. Wikimedia Commons.

“Birds of a Feather” Podcast by Nosleep!

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I am thrilled that my story, “Birds of a Feather,” first published in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned 27, has been podcast by Nosleep Podcast! It is in a podcast called “Suddenly Shocking, Volume 9,” which is only available to Season 11 subscribers, but then Season 11 is available on the Nosleep website for a mere $19.99. For that price, you get a ton of stories, and your money goes to support the authors, voice actors, and other elements of Nosleep‘s fantastic production values.

I liked my story before, but the dark intro, voice acting, sound effects, music, and even cover art for Volume 9 all add immeasurably to the original written piece. It is exciting to hear it in this medium, and I can’t wait to hear all the other stories, too. So if you are at all horrifically inclined, check out Nosleep. I can’t guarantee you’ll be glad you did, but your nightmares should be vivid and interesting.  

 

Photo credit: Jean-Baptiste Coriolan, Harpie. Monstrorum historia d’Ulisse Androvandi, p. 337, 1642. Wikimedia Commonsimage.png PD.

Pushcart Prize Nomination!

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Unattended pushcart advertising “frankfurts” with sauerkraut or onions, ice-cold soft drinks, and pies for 5 cents on a rain-soaked wharf

If you remember, my poem, “Etheree for Heather Heyer,” was accepted by Poetry South and will be out this month.

I am still reeling from the news that Poetry South has nominated me, along with five other poets, for a Pushcart Prize! This is the first time I have been nominated, and I am deeply grateful. The murder of Heather Heyer,  who was extraordinary yet unassuming in her kindness, is tragic both in itself and when viewed as a synecdoche for all the needless suffering under our country’s current regime. I hope this recognition of my small tribute will lead to a few more people reading it, and perhaps feeling afresh all we have lost.

 

Photo credit: Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Overseas Operations Branch. New York Office. News and Features Bureau. Picture Division. Exhibit Section. (1942 – 1945). Unattended pushcart advertising “frankfurts” with sauerkraut or onions, ice-cold soft drinks, and pies for 5 cents on a rain-soaked wharf. Ca. 1939. image.png PD. Wikimedia Commons.

 

Three Poems Accepted by M58

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

I’m very happy to report that my poems, “Can #10: spindrift Sparkling Water,” “Can #13: Progresso Bread Crumbs, Italian Style,” and “Trending Facebook Feed Senryu,” have been accepted by M58. I’m grateful to Editor Andrew Taylor for accepting these, and for his work publishing avant-garde poetry in diverse forms.

I do not love work that is experimental to the point of being utterly random and obscurant, but I do like adventure, surprise, and being asked to bring an active imagination to texts. Unfortunately, I have found journals dedicated or even open to such poetry to be few and far between, and as I mentioned, I was essentially trolled by an editor for presuming to submit such material.

So again, especially grateful to Andrew Taylor, and looking forward to reading more of what M58 has to offer.  

“From Candy to Courage” Accepted by Scarlet Leaf Review

IMG_0672.jpgThe house I grew up in. It was all white then, and instead of a picket fence there was a tumble-down, detached garage. The maple tree in front was spindly but climbable.

If you want to know more about my unusually intellectual childhood, you will soon have the opportunity. My essay, “From Candy to Courage,”  has been accepted by the Scarlet Leaf Review.  According to their About page, the review has an interest in global identities and cultures. My essay fits with this because it is about the formation of my political consciousness through education about and contact with different cultures and both national and international issues. I look forward to becoming part of this publication’s contribution to the conversation around global issues today. 

Photo credit: My former house, taken by me. 23 March, 2015.

“Birds of a Feather” Out in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned

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I am thrilled to have my flash horror story, “Birds of a Feather,” out in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned 27. It is flattering to be referred to as a “master of speculative fiction” by best-selling author Daniel Arthur Smith. He and Editor Jessica West were great to work with, and I love the consistent pulp fun underlying the chills and thrills of the stories in Canyons. It’s also exciting that issue 27 was a Top 20 Hot New Release on Amazon.  I can’t wait to read the whole issue!

Photo credit: Jean-Baptiste Coriolan, Harpie. Monstrorum historia d’Ulisse Androvandi, p. 337, 1642. Wikimedia Commonsimage.png PD.

 

Monstrous Flash Forthcoming at Canyons of the Damned

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After a bit of a dry spell (OK I was panicking), my flash horror story, “Birds of a Feather,” has been accepted by Canyons of the Damned, where it will appear in ebook and paperback, and possibly be podcast as well. I am thrilled that best-selling author Daniel Arthur Smith accepted my work for this publication, and I look forward to familiarizing myself further with the magazine and podcast.

The story involves a starving woman sharing an island with a harpy. It does not end well.

Cheers!

Photo credit: Jean-Baptiste Coriolan, Harpie. Monstrorum historia d’Ulisse Androvandi, p. 337, 1642. Wikimedia Commonsimage.png PD.