Monthly Archives: January 2013

Promotion and Call for Submissions for As/Us: A Literary Space for Women

Tanaya Winder and her fellow MFA alum, Casandra Lopez, have started the literary journal As/Us: A Literary Space for Women of the World. The first issue was published on New Year’s Eve 2012, and they would love to expand their readership and their submission pool. They seek to publish both emerging and established women writers and hope that As/Us will be a convergence of international voices that speak to both diverse and shared experiences. They welcome works that span a variety of topics – work that challenges conventions and aesthetics either on a narrative or formal level, work with purpose, vision, and something at stake.

Their submission period will be re-opening on February 1. Here are their submission guidelines, also available at their site at http://asusjournal.org/submissions/

Submission Guidelines

As Us accepts original and previously unpublished works by Indigenous women and women of color. Simultaneous submissions are allowed but please inform us immediately if your piece is accepted elsewhere for publication. As Us accepts poetry, spoken word, creative nonfiction, fiction, and academic essays. We are looking for writing that moves us in some capacity whether that be on a craft, emotional, or story level.

Poetry: please send us 3-5 poems. 12 pt Times New Roman. Poems should be typed with your name, address, phone number, and email address in the header of each page.

Fiction: Stories should be typed, 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced, and paginated, with your name, address, phone number, and email address in the header of each page. (no more than 7,000 words)

Creative Nonfiction: Essays should be typed, 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced, and paginated, with your name, address, phone number, and email address in the header of each page. (no more than 7,000 words)

Academic Essays: Essays should be typed, 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced, and paginated, with your name, address, phone number, and email address in the header of each page.

Reviews: If you have a review of a book written by an Indigenous author whose work you feel needs to be promoted we are definitely interested. Email as.us.journal@gmail.com for queries.

Spokenword: please send up 1-3 pieces. Pieces should be typed in 12 pt Times New Roman. Include your name, address, phone number, and email address in the header of each page. You can also include an audio of your work as well.

For international submissions: Please include your writing in your language along with an English translation.

Response time is typically 1-3 months.

Email submissions to as.us.journal@gmail.com.

Include name and genre in the subject line. Include a brief cover letter with a short biographical statement (including your Indigenous affiliation or cultural heritage) with each submission.

Forthcoming Theme Issues

Guest Editor Samantha Erin Tetangco will be guest editing this summer’s Queer online issue. Submissions for this issue will open June 1, 2013.

January haiku by Frank Higgins

past the gorging gulls,
a few more baby turtles
hurry to the sea

Frank Higgins has had productions of his plays across the country.   He is the author of two books of poetry, and two books of haiku.  He lives in Kansas City, Mo.

Write A Modern Ode

Thanks to Erin Adair-Hodges for today’s poetry prompt inspiration:

Today’s prompt is to write an ode. Not a classical or even English ode, which follow particular formats, but rather, just write a poem in praise of something. Except, since we’re post-post-post, not really. Write an ode to something not usually praised or for which you have, at best, mixed feelings. Here is a great example, Kevin Young’s “Ode to the Midwest.”

This exercise is inspired by my trip to the dentist today. There were kitten posters on the ceiling.

January Photographs by Mary Dudley

January looms large-
a huge floe on the sea
of the early year.
Thick, translucent ice
under which the crocus sleep.

January mornings dawn
as a pink blush in a crystalline sky.
The sun warms as hours pass
but noon still glares, brilliantly cold.

January’s dusk descends early
and its sun burns orange and red
setting behind the bare-branched tangle
of the back-yard trees.

January’s cold thickens
as the world darkens:
It seeps under the door frame,
pushes us into the circle of
the warmest room,
hangs over the haven of our bed
like a cold fog
that morning won’t burn off.

January looms large—
a month to reckon with.

Mary Dudley has written poems since childhood. She studied poetry before moving to NM in 1968, and changing her professional focus to family and child development. She’s published two chapbooks and her work has been included in the Rag, the NM Center for Peace & Justice Newsletter and calendar, la LloronaSin Fronteras , and 200 NM Poems.

Questions Poetry Prompt

Thanks to Rebecca Aronson for today’s awesome prompt:

Today’s prompt: a question poem.

For this poem, write only questions. Let each question lead your mind to the next question–these can be as loosely or closely associative as you feel like. The questions need not be answerable, but they should feel to you like real questions. I suggest at least ten questions on the list.

(once you have a list of at least ten questions, you might find that the list is a kind of poem itself, or you might decide to choose one or more of the questions, or their possible answers to write from.)

Have fun!

The Problem with the Perfect Space

The characteristics of a perfect creative space are as varied and subjective as the myriad individuals who utilize them. What makes an ideal space for one may be abhorrent for another. One writer, for example, may prefer the solitude of a quiet room with a closed door while another prefers the white noise and human bustle typical of the neighborhood café. One painter may prefer En plein air while another longs for the consistency of the indoor studio. Too, such preferences alter in response to related personal needs and emotional states.  Perhaps yesterday the objective was to get out of the house and away from the dirty dishes, making the coffee shop, where the dishes are someone else’s concern, more conducive to working. Tomorrow the concern may be reducing caffeine intake and limiting sugary snacks, making the library a more attractive choice. Artists intuit this about themselves and constantly adjust to get their creative work done.

Artists also know that physicality of space is important to the creative process. The painter/sculptor must be able to make a mess; the musician must make noise without raising the ire of neighbors; the photographer must have space to store and use specialty equipment; and the writer must have something hard on which to write or a place to set the computer upon which she types. In developing one’s place of creativity, it may be useful to know that quiet is generally considered more conducive to creating than noise, that large spaces dissipate energy and small spaces channel it, that distractions can prove homicidal to focus. But more importantly is intention to create.

One of the ways artists undermine their intentions to create is to focus on acquiring a perfect creative space – even waiting to create until everything about a space is perfect. Manuscripts are postponed until the perfect house on the perfect lane with the perfect view are purchased, occupied and decorated. Musical arrangements delayed until the ideal music studio secured. Great paintings left imaginary until just the right cooperative opens up. Then, once the perfect space is acquired, the artist becomes paralyzed by that very perfection. The writer is so stunned by the view beyond the windows of their dream writing space they never write a word. The painter becomes afraid to make a mess in their newly built studio with its hardwood floors. The sculptor becomes distracted by loft-mates and other artists in the cooperative she joined. The perfect space, then, is just another way perfectionism can thwart an artist’s efforts.

The intention to create, then, is at least as important as one’s creative space.  Is it really the thought of those dirty dishes that interferes with creating, or is it fear of facing the blank page, empty canvas or block of stone? Is it fear of success? Or is the thought of those dirty dishes a distraction meant to delay the creative process and temporarily keep the ego comfortable? Will the perfect creative space really make you better at creating, or will the act of creating make you better at creating?

Take into consideration other professions in which lack of distractions is crucial to success. You would not want your dentist to be distracted by a stunning view while performing your root canal. Give the same level of focus to your creative work by providing your creative process with as much consideration as a surgeon gives the patient beneath his scalpel.

Zingara Poetry Pick: Song for Aishan by Wayne Lee

Red candles, red roses around you now—
scatter of petals across the floor, on your coat
like paw prints against the snow, curl
of birch bark, bed of fox fur under your head.

Aishan, Kirgi for Moon Heart, grandson
of the wind and moon—we sing your crossing
on a renegade gust.

Shanadii—shaman granddaughter of Geronimo—
named you stonecarrier of her Earth circle,
gifted the stone in a medicine pouch,
placed it on your chest as you lay in repose.

Today in this circle of stone, this cycle of wind
and moon, we sing Ohila—Apache crossing song—
sing it to the six directions.

You crouched at the edge, waited for your two-legged
to let you go, so you could cross
from her arms, a Bodhisattva in wolf body—
carried on the wind, gray legs twitching as in dreamtime.

***

Wayne Lee (wayneleepoet.com) is an educator/journalist living in Santa Fe, NM. Lee’s poems have appeared in Tupelo Press, The New Guard, Sliver of Stone, Slipstream, and other publications.