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Issue 55 is IN and Ready for Reading!

August 19, 2014

For your end-of-summer reading, featuring the work of Leslie Pietrzyk, That Rutkowski, Mary Collins, Ashley Strosnider, Linda Parsons Marion, William Cordeiro and many others.

Our beautiful cover, "Heron," photographed by Philip Friedman

Our beautiful cover, “Heron,” photographed by Philip Friedman

A New Year and Good News

August 6, 2014

PR docks its rowboat for the season and heads back to the work of producing the literary magazine, beginning with the very good news that Editor-in-Chief  Julie Wakeman-Linn and Fiction Editor J.W. Wang will be going to AWP15. Their proposal, “Slush Pile Standouts,” was among the 500 out of 1300 proposals accepted for the conference to be held in Minneapolis in April. Read the full proposal below, and, if you’re attending the AWP, plan on joining us for this lively and informative session:     

Slush Pile Standouts: Thoughts from the Editor’s Desk. (Julie Wakeman-Linn, Mark Drew, Cara Blue Adams, Erin Hoover, J.W. Wang)

The slush pile acceptance rate at a typical literary journal is less than 1%, and frequently the editors do not read past the first page. What do editors look for, and what can writers do to give their submissions a greater chance of success? How much effect do cover letters have? This panel offers thoughts, comments, and suggestions from the editors’ point of view: what catches our attention, what are some common pitfalls, and what we love to see, and what a “dream submission” may look like.

Postcard From a Wednesday Evening

July 16, 2014

While PR floats and spins down the river in a literary inner tube, dragging her toes through ripples of possibility, she is proud to report on some of the happenings of our more active editors.

Associate Editor Marianne Szlyk sends us a link to her book review in the Philadelphia Review of Books.

Robert Giron reminds us that, and I quote his Facebook post on this,

The Gival Press Short Story Award deadline is coming up on August 8th. Prize: $1K and online publication.


Lisa Lister-Conover travelled to Ireland and back with creative writing students from George Mason University, where she teaches.

And, I, Joanna Howard, am hard at work on the essay “When Good Cats Go Bad:  How to Tell If Your Cat (or mine) Has Been Using iPhoto.”  Evidence below:




A Tease of What’s to Come. . . Soon

July 9, 2014


Electric Lit: Lanette Cadle and DMAC

July 2, 2014

PR is delighted to have Lanette Cadle, poet, Moon City Press senior editor, and Associate Professor of English at Missouri State University, share some of the work she has done at the Digital Media and Composition Institute (DMAC) at Ohio State University this year.  If anyone is using digital technology to further creative and critical composition, it’s Lanette.  Here’s what she has to say about her work at DMAC this year:

The Digital Media and Composition Institute at Ohio State University describes itself as a “two-week institute on the effective use of digital media in college composition classrooms,” one that lets participants “explore a range of contemporary digital literacy practices—alphabetic, visual, audio, and multimodal.” (quotes from the DMAC site ). This summer institute run by Cynthia L. Selfe and Scott Lloyd DeWitt gives composition teachers and graduate students the opportunity to intensively examine and practice multimodal composition in ways that encourage transferring those experiences to the classroom. As a DMAC participant who teaches composition, poetry and rhet/comp pedagogy for classroom teachers, my experience at DMAC served to enrich and expand my current practices into a deeper appreciation and implementation of 21st century literacies. It also served to highlight for me the similarities rather than the differences between the writing genres I teach. For example, a persuasive video uses heightened poetic tropes in its literal imagery. In the same way, a video or podcast poem uses persuasive constructions usually thought of as rhetorical to mesh image and sound with text.

Below are some examples of Lanette’s project, Concept in 90.


The Essay version:

The Poem:

And Another Poem, “In the Days of Tra-la-ing”

From Just a Blog, a post describing the process that went into the production of each video.


Reading from Before There Is Nowhere to Stand: Israel/Palestine: Poets Respond at Performetry: Old Poems, New Poems, Your Poems

June 20, 2014

Associate Editor Marianne Szlyk writes about last week’s event at Bloom Bars.


One of the pleasures of living near a major city is discovering various neighborhoods and local institutions. This year I’ve begun attending Performetry: Old Poems, New Poems, Your Poems, an event held once a month at Bloom Bars, a DYI arts venue in Columbia Heights. This venue is a peaceful, old-school storefront on a quiet street parallel to 14th Street’s mix of big-box stores, hip eateries, and pedestrians with strollers and shopping bags. Unlike the cafes and restaurants that line 14th Street, Bloom Bars is alcohol-free. It is also family-friendly, and Performetry is very much a family event, run by local writers Elizabeth Bruce and Robert Michael Oliver. In fact, they provide home-cooked food (soup, bread, and vegan dessert) at their event for poets and audience members alike. The food is free although a donation of $10 is recommended for those who attend.


This past Sunday I helped to organize a reading from Before There Is Nowhere to Stand: Israel/Palestine: Poets Respond, an anthology edited by my University of Oregon poetry teacher Joan Dobbie and her niece Grace Beeler. Performetry and Bloom Bars seemed a natural setting for this reading as they are part of the poetry scene related to Split This Rock, a political-poetry festival held in D.C. every other year. Joan and I, in fact, reunited at the 2012 Split This Rock where she and other poets read from the anthology.


This time around local poets from the anthology and writers/professors from Montgomery College read from Joan and Grace’s anthology. Potomac Review associate editor Stephen Bess reminded the audience of the works’ importance before reciting the three poems that he chose. History and Women’s Studies professor Jean Freedman juxtaposed a poem by a Palestinian with one by an Israeli with one by an American.  She also wrote a song in honor of this reading, which she performs a capella. Poet and novelist Mike Maggio, also an associate editor at PR, set his two poems reflecting his experience in the Middle East, “Sunday Morning – Amman” and “Dirge,”alongside poems by other authors, including Sam Hamod’s poignant “There Must Be Something Dangerous About a Zoo in Rafah Palestine.” The engaging poet, playwright, and women’s historian Bonnie J. Morris concluded this part of the reading with her poems, one of which revealed how she chose a life of activism.


Although the audience was not large, as Sunday was Father’s Day, Performetry always provides a way for poets and poetry-lovers from different milieu to mingle and find common ground and ways to collaborate. Indeed, attending Performetry is a way to plug into the vibrant literary scene in DC, as Elizabeth and Michael also facilitate Writers on the Green Line, a literary workshop led by various local poets, and Performetry itself offers a chance for writers to perform at the open mic or even as featured writers. Elizabeth, Michael, and Sarah Pleydell are also teaching Acting for Writers Summer Intensive FLYER in B&W word June 21-Aug 16 2014 starting Saturday, June 21 and continuing through August 16 at Centronia at 1420 Columbia Rd., NW, in Columbia Heights (Washington, DC). ACTING FOR WRITERS will be a great way to engage live audiences and meet other writers in the area.

The next Performetry will be held on July 20 with Laneta J. Hill as the featured reader. The evening will also be a farewell party since she is moving to Newark, NJ. Performetry will resume in September.



Reading: Performetry and BloomBars in DC

June 11, 2014

before-there-is-nowhere-to-stand-palestine-israel-poets-respond-to-the-struggle Associate Editor Marianne Szlyk brings us this information on a reading on Sunday, June 15:


Four poets, three of them from MC, will be reading from the anthology BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: Palestine/Israel, Poets Respond to the Struggle. The reading will take place at Performetry: Old Poems, New Poems, Your Poems in D.C. Our section of the event will begin shortly after 6 pm and continue for about 30 to 35 minutes. Readers will include poets Mike Maggio, Bonnie Morris, and Stephen Bess as well as Prof. Jean Freedman. The featured poet, Gowri Koneswaran(@gowricurry), presents next, followed by an Open Mic. We strongly encourage you to stay for the entire event.

Performetry is at BloomBars, 3222 11th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Street parking can be found in that neighborhood, but come a little early to find your space. You may also take Metro. BloomBars is a short walk from the Columbia Heights station on the Green Line.

There will be homemade food (soup, bread, and vegan dessert) at the event–but not alcohol. (BloomBars is not that kind of bar!!) Some of the food at the event may be gluten-free, but I am not sure.

Please note that BloomBars is a donation-based community arts center and encourage your friends to support this wonderful organization with a suggested donation of $10 (children free). Performetry is a project of Sanctuary Theatre’s Performing Knowledge Project and is funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from Poets & Writers, Inc. and individual supporters. Hope you can stop by — or spread the word!

Here’s a video clip to whet your interest.



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