Farther / Father

Our dead call out our dead / you show your filthy face
You useless tit / you runt / you piece of shit / a shame
Unleashed by plain-talk / begging before a threshing
From the old butcher / your leather strap / unbelted
Crescent buckle for a skinning / hiding / each of us /
Slickened with blood / held down in your hinterland
Each barren mile unabating / say mercy.

What dwells in the dog’s sleep / unbounded / darkness
The closer you are to the sun the more difficult you are
To see / penumbral / who runs from whom / until kept
Down / cowering / I do not move / you will not move.

You are no less dangerous than you were as you drag
Your bones / field stones / we never once wept upon
The firmament / eight children left with the lone wife
Who would not carry the quiet / the final cardiac pall
Paled thirty years / crescent moons / scars strapped
Below the heart.

A finisher with a surly disposition / better run boy
Run / before the shadow on an August day / flight
Of the dove interrupted / who should feel shame /
Worthless idlers / caught neurotic / we are taught
You will not be tamed.

Dirige / domine / deus meus / ignominious father / aberration
Uttered solemn / all you missed is nothing / noli me tangere /
Don’t touch me.

Each child dragged by its hair across the linoleum /
Given lip / good for nothing / illicit / dusk / dusk-lit
Let these bygones / cease holding on me.

We brace in the centre / attention / nothing more than this
Far-fetched ruckus / rot-gut fuss / a latched door farmhouse
Taunting / the slap-board remains / rants / lashed feverish
Your day’s demands / fraught / cling to the bleak / this filth
In plain sight / I am a man possessed.

Beyond two graves / yours and the child’s / a sole
Pine fallen from a lack of forest / the sun-downed
Dove-wing unfolds / under night / your closeness
Lies too close.

Birch box and iron nails / buried under the cover of lichen
Scrolled years / each letter etched by lime / faded shame
Be a lesser phantom / of the bleak / you will receive no less
No blossom braided in the child’s hair.

Rosemarie / rose of thorn / rose up from prairie
Wherever you have gone you will not take her /
Unfollowed to a harrow / kin / stone / infanta
Sub rosa / only her eyes cry.

Our dire wolf / bewildered / breath taken in plain sight /
Before the sun is farthest south / ruck-sacked / a shadow
Across the face / red zenith / dog-light / Dead Dog Creek
In the faithful hour / his small body filled with buckshot
Carry him / carry him.

Undreamt / the sleeper remains untouched.

Max Ritvo Poetry Prize submission deadline

Title: Max Ritvo Poetry Prize submission deadline

Date: August 31, 2017

Location: United States
Description: Designed to honor the legacy of one of the most original and accomplished poets to emerge in recent years — and to reward outstanding poets for years to come — the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize awards $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions to the author of a debut collection of poems. This year’s judge is Henri Cole.

Learn more here.

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Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award submission deadline

Title: Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award submission deadline

Date: July 31, 2017

Description: The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is an opportunity for any young poet aged 11-17 to accelerate their writing career. Since it was founded in 1998 the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices, such as Helen Mort, a successful poet whose first collection was recently published by Chatto & Windus. With entries from over 7,600 young people this year across from the UK and worldwide, it is the largest competition of its kind and its importance is widely attested.

This year’s judges are Sinéad Morrissey and Kayo Chingonyi.

Learn more here.

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The Shaken and the Stirred

Title: The Shaken and the Stirred

Start Date: August 17, 2017
End Date: August 19, 2017

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Description: Exploring acts of opposition and disobedience – the essential needs of poetry in a cracked and porous world – this event brings together five Canadian poets, including Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate. A key part of the country’s multicultural mosaic, these poems of beauty and knowledge honour Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Learn more here.

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The Shaken and the Stirred

Title: The Shaken and the Stirred

Start Date: August 10, 2017
End Date: August 11, 2017

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Description: Exploring acts of opposition and disobedience – the essential needs of poetry in a cracked and porous world – this event brings together five Canadian poets, including Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate. A key part of the country’s multicultural mosaic, these poems of beauty and knowledge honour Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Learn more here.

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The Love Poetry Festival

Title: The Love Poetry Festival

Date: July 29, 2017

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Description: The Love Poetry Festival was the brainchild of the poet George Elliott Clarke, Canada’s seventh national poet laureate. Co-organizers George and Michelle Alfano, Founder of the (Not So) Nice Italian Girls & Friends Reading Series, worked together to create the first annual Love Poetry Festival in honour of Milton Acorn and Gwen MacEwen to be held on Centre Island, where the couple lived for a few years in the 1960s, on August 6, 2016. This year, the event will be held at Queen Books in Leslieville, and will feature George Elliot Clarke, Patrick Connors, James Deahl & Norma West Linder, Karen Mulhallen, Charlie Petch, Robert Priest, Bänoo Zan, with Michelle Alfano emceeing.

Learn more here and here.

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Bookstock Literary Festival

Title: Bookstock Literary Festival

Start Date: July 28, 2017
End Date: July 30, 2017

Location: Woodstock, Vermont, US
Description: Bookstock supports the cultural richness and diversity of the Upper Valley and celebrates authors and poets, both established and emerging, from our region. New England is home to many talented writers representing diverse genres, from national Poet Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners to emerging young writers and those who have found their compelling voice at midlife. Bookstock encourages appreciation for good writing and other artistic endeavors by introducing residents and visitors of all ages to writers, musicians and artists in an intimate setting.

Learn more here.

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Debarker

I just want to go back
into the bush and eat
more blueberries
growing wild as she
drops me off at the lumber
mill I’m fifteen and a janitor
cleaning out the urinals
at the debarker I find
pubic hair the lumberjacks
have left long barbs curled
to “put me in my place”
debarker: where they
keep the machine that
cuts the bark away from
the trees years ago my
blood cousin fell in
and emerged skinless
that was before this brain
sprouted from my spine
in an allegory trees
would be distributed
evenly throughout the
narrative in a gesture
of looking back over
my shoulder as mom
pulls away from the
yard I have on a hard
hat that is orange and too
big over my weird bleached
hair I have only the same
rag for the toilets as the
dishes when I look up the
sky is obscured by smoke
I can never tell what
they’re burning

Alice James Award submission deadline

Title: Alice James Award submission deadline

Date: November 1, 2017

Location: United States
Description: The winner of the Alice James Award (formerly the Beatrice Hawley Award) receives $2000, book publication, and distribution through Consortium. The winner will also receive a $1000 honorarium and give a reading at the University of Maine at Farmington. In addition to the winning manuscript, one or more additional manuscripts may be chosen for publication as the Editor’s Choice.

Learn more here.

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