Category Archives: Writing, Revising, Blogging

“Directions Back to Childhood” by Judith Waller Carroll

Turn left at the first sign of progress
and follow the old highway
along the Stillwater River.
When you hear the whistle of the train,
take a right and cross the covered bridge
that leads to the rodeo grounds
where the silver-maned bronc
caused so much havoc the summer you were ten
and the ghost of your grandfather’s jeep
rests behind the bleached-out grandstand
choked with blackberries.
As you round the corner into town,
there’s a white picket fence
laced with lilacs. Walk through the gate.
You’ll see a blue and white Western Flyer
lying on its side in the middle of the sidewalk.
It will take you the rest of the way.

Judith Waller Carroll is the author of What You Saw and Still Remember, a runner-up for the 2017 Main Street Rag Poetry Award, The Consolation of Roses, winner of the 2015 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Prize, and Walking in Early September (Finishing Line Press).

“Porch” by Martina Reisz Newberry

We cast curses at the moon,
watch its face travel over     then behind     clouds,
then come to the fore
as if beckoned
when it most certainly was not.
Booze and blackberries on the front porch
and the cries of dead beasts and warriors out there.

Imagine it                     Hold it in your head
as you do song lyrics and prayers.
The strange scents of late nights
call us to remember our weaknesses
and the ill will we’ve encountered in others.
We talk of these things     bring them closer.

And oh the madness of this porch        how it dares to receive
our complaints and our compliances             how it
rests under our flip-flops and naked toes     how it
shifts under spilled sweet tea     and dripped foam
off cans of Bud Light

Does it make you grin that I’ve said this?

So, the moon hovers and we here below
pull it over us, imagine it soft when            in truth
it’s dense as a mango dum dum.

Inside, we look for rest knowing our mendacity
could pull down the stars                  knowing our joys
are simple masks for grudges
the way they jibe

My God                     The way we consume bitterness
fill our plates, pour on gravies
and sauces of fear and then
dare to sleep on that repletion.

Martina Reisz Newberry’s recent books: NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE (Deerbrook Editions), and TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME (Unsolicited Press).Widely published, she was awarded residencies at Yaddo Colony for the Arts, Djerassi Colony for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Disciplinary Arts.

Martina lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian.

“Wanting” by Diana Raab

Wanting
I
Rainbow

The rain trickles
down my paned window
as I stand up to hunt the sky
for the stripes of my childhood.
The more I want to touch
that rainbow, the more it drifts away.

II

Persuasion

When you wonder about
what you want anew
try persuading yourself
and the answer will come to you.

III

Wishing Well

Yesterday I released a penny
in that deepest tunnel
of darkness, crossing my fingers
and begging for wellness.

Diana Raab, Ph.D. is an award-winning poet, memoirist, blogger, essayist and speaker.  Her book, “Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life” was published in 2017.  Raab is a regular blogger for Psychology Today, Huff50 (The Huffington Post), and PsychAlive. More at dianaraab.com.

 

National Poetry Month Call for Submissions

Zingara Poetry Review is celebrating National Poetry Month this April by publishing a poem every day of the month and wants YOUR submissions.

  • Send 1-3 previously unpublished poems 40 lines of fewer in the body of an email, any style, any subject, to ZingaraPoet@gmail.com with National Poetry Month as the subject of your email.
  • Include a cover letter and brief professional biography of 50 words or fewer, also in the body of your email.
  • Submissions will be accepted through April 30th, unless otherwise announced.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let me know immediately if submitted work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Published poets receive bragging rights and the chance to share their work with a diverse and ever-growing audience.
  • Submissions which do not follow these guidelines will be disregarded.
  • If accepted work is later published elsewhere, please acknowledge that the piece first appeared in Zingara Poetry Review.
  • There are no fees to submit. All submitters will be subscribed to the Zingara Poetry Review monthly newsletter and digest.
  • Check Zingara Poetry Review every day in April to read great poems and celebrate National Poetry Month.
  • Send me your twitter handle and follow Zingara Poetry Review @ZingaraPoet and I will tag you the day your poem is published.

I look forward to reading your submissions. Happy National Poetry Month!

Making AWP Your Own

It’s time again for the annual AWP conference and dozens if not hundreds of blog posts and articles are popping up everywhere offering advice on how best to network, navigate, or otherwise survive the three-day write-a-palooza.

And for good reason.

With 20-30 panels occurring simultaneously at any given moment and hundreds of tables and booths offering all types of free swag and publishing advice during the day and dozens of on-sight and off-sight readings, signings, and parties at night (not to mention hotel room gatherings), AWP is something like a child’s wildest Christmas fantasy, provided that child is a writer who spends most of the rest of the year isolated or with her nose in a book (or grading papers).

This level of stimulation can overwhelm the new-comer and quiet-at-heart, or trigger a kind of high for the more gregarious, extroverted go-getters among us.

Which is exactly the nature of AWP. It is both exciting and overwhelming, humbling and empowering, energizing and draining, and many things in between, too, so you might as well make the kinds of choices that are meaningful to you.

Putting friends first, for example. You know, those people who comprise your literary community, both now and in the future. The ones who hold your hand when you receive a string of rejections and the ones who celebrate your successes, whatever the size, with glee? Friends who help you maintain perspective and are quick to buy you a drink when its lost? They are, after all, the reason you are here at all.

Or attending panels because their subject matter seems genuinely interesting to you, not just because you want to meet the people facilitating or presenting (unless they are your friend, of course; then attend in a show of support). It’s pretty hard to make a meaningful connection at most panels, anyway. Might as well have some integrity.

And speaking of integrity, remember to look at a person’s face before checking out their name badge. You can’t truly know how important you may become to one another until you spend time with, and get to know, one another. Choose meaningful connections over superficial.

AWP is all about over doing it, so go ahead, but remember your career is worthless without your health, so take care of yourself, too.

  • Drink plenty of  water, especially if you are relying on caffeine and alcohol for energy.
  • Stop in for a daily restorative Yoga for Writers session at 9am and/or 12pm in room 10 of the convention center.
  • Attend a daily 12-step meeting at 7:30 am or 6:30 pm in room 11 of the convention center (everyone is recovering from something).
  • Get outside for fresh air and take a nice walk (while being aware of your surroundings).
  • Collect your thoughts in the Dickinson Quiet Space, rooms 32 & 32, fourth floor of the convention center.
  • Fuel yourself with the best food you can manage (pack whole foods, avoid fast foods).
  • Plan a non-conference activity (lots to do in Tampa).
  • Wash your hands frequently.

The best way to avoid the post-AWP crud, or any crud at all, is to pay attention to your limits. While it’s true you will be around a lot of germs, it is also true that you are always around a lot of germs. Becoming run-down is what allows them a chance to infiltrate and attack your weakened immune system. Stay strong. Stay healthy.

Network wisely and sustainably. Don’t take it personally because your connection looks past you when someone more famous shows up nearby. Likewise, don’t break your connection with someone just because someone you think is famous appears behind them.

And when it comes to meeting famous people, just be cool.

Also,

  • Be sure to visit small press tables. They need and want your work more than the big guys. Some of them may even become a big press someday, and you will have been with them from the start. All of them are important.
  • Have real conversations. Finding an editor you mesh with, who likes your work and supports you, is invaluable.
  • Stop by booths and tables of the journals who have published you. Tell them thanks!
  • Like all disciplines, the literary world has it’s share of assholes. You don’t have to be one of them.

AWP is all about fanning ambition, making smart connections, and furthering your career. Don’t leave your heart, mind, or soul behind.

And Happy Conferencing!

(And here’s a peek into what we were all up to this time last year: AWP Poets, Writers Plan Protest in DC)

 

7 More WordPress-Hosted Sites Accepting Poetry

Allegheny Review:  The Allegheny Review, now entering its 32nd year of publication, is one of America’s few nationwide literary magazines dedicated exclusively to undergraduate works of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and artwork. Published annually, the periodical showcases some of the best literature the nation’s undergraduates have to offer.

Calamus Journal: A monthly publication of poetry and visual art. The journal is named after the “Calamus” poems, a group of male-male love poems from Walt Whitman’s collection Leaves of Grass. We seek work that stuns with what it has to say as well as how it says it. We like treatises on identity, mixtures of the literary and scientific, and form as function. We have zero tolerance for xenophobia or bigotry of any sort. For more information about who we are and what we’re all about, check out our interview with Jim Harrington of the “Six Questions for…” project.

Echo Literary Magazine: Submit work via Microsoft Word as an attachment including the cover letter. All submissions must be emailed no later than Aug. 28th to echoliteraryjournal@gmail.com. If your story is accepted or rejected you will receive an email. Deadlines for stories: 28th of each month ALL RIGHTS: The right to own your work. You are free to reprint your material or to sell it elsewhere after publication.

Eyes+ Words: Words have immense power and, when used responsibly, they can help shape the world in hopes to make a better tomorrow. Let’s come together and share a story or two. Please feel free to share your original poetry/stories and we will gladly post them on our website, full credit will be given. Email us: EyesPlusWords@gmail.com

Gulf Stream Literary Magazine: Publishing emerging and established writers of exceptional fiction, nonfiction and poetry since 1989. We also publish interviews and book reviews. Past contributors include Sherman Alexie, Steve Almond, Jan Beatty, Lee Martin, Robert Wrigley, Dennis Lehane, Liz Robbins, Stuart Dybek, David Kirby, Ann Hood, Ha Jin, B.H. Fairchild, Naomi Shihab Nye, F. Daniel Rzicznek, and Connie May Fowler. Gulf Stream Magazine is supported by the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

Little Patuxent Review: The submission period for the next issue of Little Patuxent Review opens on August 1st, 2017 and will close on October 24th, 2017. The issue is unthemed. Please read the information below and then click on the link to the right to submit your work and to review further details such as deadlines. We thank you for your submissions!Little Patuxent Review is a community-based publication focused on writers and artists from the Mid-Atlantic region, but all excellent work originating in the United States will be considered.Although our issues are organized around themes, we allow considerable leeway in how contributors interpret them in order to ensure access to the broadest range of high-quality work.

Wild Goose Poetry Review is an online journal of poetry, reviews, and poetry-related news, edited by Scott Owens, located in North Carolina. To facilitate further conversation about the poetry in the Goose, Wild Goose posts commentary by the poets and invites readers to leave their comments as well. All comments are screened by the editors to insure appropriateness. The intention is to publish new issues of Wild Goose in mid February, mid May, mid August, and mid November. Reality, however, sometimes intercedes with such plans. Submissions for each issue close at the end of the month preceding publication.

First Digest of 2018 and OPEN SUBMISSIONS

Hello Dear Readers,

This is the first time I’ve had a minute to put together a digest since September. I’ve been negotiating a number of major life events, including a few health challenges and a career change. It’s been trying, but I’m the better for having gone through them and am happy to return once again to my passion project.

I am also happy to announce that submissions are once again open. In addition to taking poems for the weekly Zingara Poetry Pick, I am asking for poems to publish during National Poetry Month. If enough poems are received to post a poem every day, I will so. If not, I will just post however many I can. If, on the other hand, I receive more than I can fit into a month’s time, I will post them at other times of the year. So, please send your best work and tell all your poet friends. Open slots will fill quickly. Submission guidelines, which you should review, can be found here.  Please mention in your cover letter if you are submitting for National Poetry Month or for the regular feature.

Now on to this month’s fine selection of  truly wonderful poetry by talented poets who have generously shared their work and talent with Zingara Poetry Review.

Watch for February’s digest for a recap of January poems and definitely keep an eye out for more upcoming stunners.
Thanks everyone, and WRITE ON!!
Lisa