karen-solie

The Girls

They stayed at home. They didn’t go far.
Trends do not move them.
From picture windows of family homes

they cast wide gazes of manifest pragmatism:
hopeful and competent, boundlessly integrated,
fearless, enviable, eternal.

Vegas, Florida, Mexico, Florida, Vegas.
With children they travel backroads
in first and last light to ball fields

and arenas of the Dominion.
We have no children. We don’t own,
but rent successively, relentlessly,

to no real end. The high-school reunion
was a disaster. Our husbands got wasted
and fought one another, then with an equanimity

we secretly despised, made up over
anthem rock, rye and water. Our
grudges are prehistoric and literal.

It seems they will survive us. The girls
share a table, each pitying the others their looks,
their men, their clothes, their lives.

alan-shapiro

Stone Church

A space to rise in,
made from what falls,
from the very mass
it’s cleared from,
cut, carved, chiseled,
fluted or curved
into a space
there is no end to
at night when
the stained glass
behind the altar
could be stone too,
obsidian, or basalt,
for all the light there is.

At night, high
over the tiny
galaxy of cancles
guttering down
into dark chapels
all along the nave,
there’s greater
gravity inside the
the grace that’s risen
highest into rib
vaults and flying
buttresses, where
each stone is another
stone’s resistance to
the heaven far
beneath it, that
with all its might
it yearns for, down
in the very soul
of earth where it’s said
that stone is forever
falling into light
that burns as it rises,
cooling, into stone.

wioletta-greg

A Wedding Party

Our family traipses home at dawn,
through fields of poppies
the police haven’t sniffed out yet.

Children, their tiny boots knocking
the heads off bluish puff-balls,
fighting off mists with a flagging balloon.

We walk as exhausted as nun moths
which, having copulated all night,
rest on a bed of oak leaves.

Damp air turning talc solid
in wrinkles, unfurling perms,
seeking a higher incarnation
in far-off lights.

Someone’s slip-on shoe in a steaming turd,
puke on a clump of horseradish leaves.

We struggle across boggy meadows,
stumbling through the valley of Josaphat.

Shameless Magazine Talking Back Youth Writing Awards submission deadline

Title: Shameless Magazine Talking Back Youth Writing Awards submission deadline

Date: September 7, 2015

talking-back-awardsLocation: Canada
Description: Shameless is now accepting submissions for its very first creative writing contest, the Talking Back Awards! Shameless is an independent, volunteer-run, grassroots magazine for teen girls and trans* youth – a fresh alternative to typical teen magazines, packed with articles about arts, culture and current events, reflecting the day-to-day realities of diverse youth.

Shameless is looking for work from 13-19 year olds who identify as teen girls or trans* youth. All kinds of creative work qualifies for the awards, no matter the genre. There are three streams to the contest: Poetry, Short Fiction, and Creative Non-Fiction. They are accepting one submission per person per category. The maximum word count is 2,000 words for each entry. There is no minimum!

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

Black Warrior Review poetry contest submission deadline

Title: Black Warrior Review poetry contest submission deadline

Date: September 1, 2015

black-warrior-reviewDescription: Established in 1974 by graduate students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama, Black Warrior Review publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners alongside up-and-coming writers. Stories and poems appearing in Black Warrior Review have been reprinted in the Pushcart Prize series, Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, New Stories from the South, and other anthologies. Each issue features a chapbook from a nationally known poet.

The judge of this year’s poetry contest is Heather Christle.

Learn more here.

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Edinburgh International Book Festival: Innu Poetry from the Canadian Tundra

Title: Edinburgh International Book Festival: Innu Poetry from the Canadian Tundra

Date: August 29, 2015

edinburgh-bookfestLocation: Edinburgh, Scotland
Description: When the Book Festival invited three writers from the First Nation Innu people of Northern Canada to present their work in Edinburgh, three Scotland-based poets were invited to work with them. In this collaboration, which will also result in Anna Crowe, Rachel McCrum and J L Williams presenting their poems in Quebec next year, these poets have worked with Joséphine Bacon, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine and Naomi Fontaine to interpret the Innu-aimun verse and text and produce new work in English, comparing experiences of life in countries that are far apart, but on a very similar northern latitude. Come and meet them all.

Learn more here.

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Walt Whitman Award submission deadline

Title: Walt Whitman Award submission deadline

Date: November 1, 2015

academy-american-poetsLocation: US
Description: The Walt Whitman Award is a $5,000 first-book publication prize. The winning manuscript, chosen by an acclaimed poet, is published by Graywolf Press, a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature. The winner also receives an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in the Umbrian region of Italy, and distribution of the winning book to thousands of Academy of American Poets members.

The 2016 judge for the Walt Whitman Award is Carolyn Forché.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

Walt Whitman Award submissions open

Title: Walt Whitman Award submissions open

Date: September 1, 2015

academy-american-poetsLocation: US
Description: The Walt Whitman Award is a $5,000 first-book publication prize. The winning manuscript, chosen by an acclaimed poet, is published by Graywolf Press, a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature. The winner also receives an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in the Umbrian region of Italy, and distribution of the winning book to thousands of Academy of American Poets members.

The 2016 judge for the Walt Whitman Award is Carolyn Forché.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.

Poetry Prize 2015 from Bloomsbury and the National Literacy Trust submission deadline

Title: Poetry Prize 2015 from Bloomsbury and the National Literacy Trust submission deadline

Date: August 31, 2015

poetry-prize-bloomsburyLocation: United Kingdom
Description: Write a short poem about reading and books and it could be used to inspire children across the country! All forms of poetry are accepted, from sonnets to free verse to rap. Send in your poems inspired by reading and literature, and one of them could feature in a poster campaign in schools across the UK.

Learn more here.

Return to the International Poetry Calendar.