Photo by Katy Brown, Davis
—William S. Gainer, Grass Valley
Maybe it's a word,
a poorly placed
a slip of the tongue
as a voice is raised.
a soft kiss,
or gentle touch
you to hear
it's one of those things
that either brings us
or drives the nail
one of those
that's beyond our control—
Maybe it's fate
that pushes it to our
and leaves us wondering—
I've tried to put it together,
thought about it
I still don't
Thanks to Bill Gainer and Claire J. Baker for today's poetry, and to Katy Brown for the photos. Be sure to join Katy this Sunday (5/17), from 3-5 PM, as the Poets Club of Lincoln features her and an Open Mic at Twelve Bridges Library in Lincoln. Today's photos are parts of two series of hers: one, her Maine/moose series, and the other, her extensive wine series. (Yes, that's wine that's pouring in the second photo...)
And here's your homework:
Contest and Submission opportunities:
•••The FRIENDS OF THE SACRAMENTO PUBLIC LIBRARY literary contest started May 1; they say go to their website, saclibrary.org, for info, but I don’t see it there. There is a flyer at The Book Collector; check it out. The contest goes on for awhile; I’ll get info posted soon.
•••The SACRAMENTO POETRY CENTER Annual Contest began May 1. Go to their newly-refurbished/'way cool website (thanks, Richard Hansen!) for info—just click on the Sacramento Poetry Center link at the right of this column.
The rest of these were sent by Ellen Bass:
•••RACHEL CARSON SENSE OF WONDER CONTEST 2009
The EPA, Generations United, the Dance Exchange, and the Rachel Carson Council, Inc., announce a poetry, essay, photo and dance contest "that best expresses the Sense of Wonder that you feel for the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes." In 2009 many people, communities and organizations across the United States will celebrate the Year of Science (http://www.epa.gov/yearofscience/). Consider submitting an entry expressing how science has contributed to your sense of wonder and appreciation of the natural environment. Contestants will work across generations to share through one of these distinct mediums their own interactions with and reflections on the wonders of nature.
Dance video entries are not limited to the moving body. You can use live performers and/ or capture movement and change visible in nature: birds landing, trees shaking in a storm, a river flowing... Experienced and first-time dancers and video makers are encouraged to participate.
Entries are due June 10, 2009. Entries will be judged on its creativity, originality and its ability to capture a "sense of wonder." Entries will also be judged on 1) how the intergenerational team was went about planning and carrying out the project and what made it special because the project involved persons from different generations: and 2) how the creative project brought the team in touch with the natural world.
More information: http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/thesenseofwonder/index.htm
•••CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: BEST NEW POETS, AN ANTHOLOGY OF 50 EMERGING WRITERS, ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR ITS OPEN COMPETITION
Deadline: June 1, 2009.
Entering poets cannot have published a book-length poetry collection by November 2009 (chapbooks do not affect your eligibility). Entry fee: $3.50. Each entry can contain two poems. Selected poets receive five copies of the print anthology. This year's guest editor is Kim Addonizio. In 2009, we're taking entries through ManuscriptHub. To create your submission, go to www.bestnewpoets.org for details.
•••CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: ANTHOLOGY SEEKING POETRY BY MEN ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MAN TODAY
Deadline: June 30
Interested in poems that explore the complex psychosocial issue of male identity. Please avoid poems that project an overripe machismo. Submit to John Smelcer, P.O. Box 234, Binghamton, NY 13905.
•••CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR BELLEVUE LITERARY REVIEW’S ANNUAL PRIZES
Deadline: August 1, 2009
$1,000 Poetry Prize (Judge: Tony Hoagland)
$1,000 Fiction Prize (Judge: Gail Godwin)
$1,000 Nonfiction Prize (Judge: Phillip Lopate).
Looking for exceptional writing about health, healing, illness, the body, and the mind. Entry fee: $15 ($20 includes subscription). Submit online: www.blreview.org.
•••CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: THE TEACHER'S VOICE, A LITERARY MAGAZINE FOR POETS AND WRITERS IN EDUCATION.
A free online magazine and teacher resource, they seek poems, short stories, creative nonfiction, and essays about the promise and hard truths of teaching in our schools and colleges. Chapbook and poetry contests too. Send to: The Teacher’s Voice, P.O. Box 150384, Kew Gardens, NY 11415. Query: email@example.com/. Visit: www.the-teachers-voice.org/.
•••CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: AESTHETICA MAGAZINE, A UK-BASED INTERNATIONAL ARTS PUBLICATION, ANNOUNCES COMPETITION
Deadline: August 31, 2009
Three recipients to receive £500 (approx $750) each in three categories:
Poetry, fiction, artwork & photography
The 2008 Aesthetica Creative Works Competition provided a huge boost for the winners and finalists involved. Since the publication of the Creative Works Annual, some of the winners and finalists have enjoyed further publications and commissions, as well as exhibitions around the globe from London to New York.
For complete details: http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/submission_guide.htm
•••FELLOWSHIP: MENDOCINO COAST WRITERS CONFERENCE AND POETRY CONTEST IN CELEBRATION OF ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY July 30-August 2, 2009.
Deadline: June 9, 2009
The Mendocino Coast Writers Conference is an intimate conference limited to 100 participants where you will be encouraged to find and express your own voice by excellent writers who are outstanding teachers. You will explore how your writing can shape the world. Whether fiction, nonfiction,or poetry, words are a powerful instrument for change. Faculty includes: Ellen Bass, Charlotte Gullick, Gennifer Choldenko, Robert McDowell and many others. A generous donor has offered to fund a full fellowship to the poet who wins the conference poetry contest.
For details on the poetry contest, other fellowship opportunities, and the conference program, see
HEART AND CRAFT: A MEMOIR WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN, TAUGHT BY ANNDEE HOCHMAN, November 14-20, 2009.
To be held in La Barra de Potosi, Mexico, a small, vibrant fishing village. We'll spend six days together (classes in the morning, writing/exploring in the afternoon on Mexico's Pacific coast (near Zihuatanejo). For beginning and experienced writers; we'll write stunning prose about the lives we've lived in an atmosphere of safety, inspiration and challenge.
Early-bird price is $1100 ($500 deposit due by June 1) includes tuition, accommodations in the magical Casa del Encanto, breakfast and dinner. More info about Casa del Encanto and La Barra at www.casadelencanto.com; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details and application.
•••PACIFIC COAST CHILDREN’S WRITERS WORKSHOP, August 21-23, 2009
Theme: "Vision and Voice."
Near Santa Cruz, CA at a beachfront conference facility. Congenial, team-taught seminar. Core faculty includes author and teacher MARION DANE BAUER, Knopf Senior Editor ERIN CLARKE, and literary agent STEPHEN FRASER, formerly a HarperCollins editor. The focus is on craft as a marketing tool; 90 percent hands-on. Open critique clinics are enhanced by pre-workshop interactive assignments. For the most critique options and lowest fees ($299-$599), apply ASAP. Contact Director Nancy Sondel: www.childrenswritersworkshop.com/.
•••UNIVERSITY OF CUMBRIA, INTERNATIONAL ONLINE POETRY COURSE— COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 2009
This course is followed by a weeklong summer school at the University of Cumbria’s Charlotte Mason Campus, Ambleside, in the United Kingdom. July 2010 (date to be announced). Tutors: Geraldine Green, Nick Pemberton, George Wallace. Nick Pemberton has written, published and performed his poetry seriously for the last fifteen years. He is the subject leader for creative writing at the University of Cumbria. Geraldine Green (BA Hons, MA Dist.) lives in Cumbria, is a poet and University lecturer. She has performed in the UK, Italy, Greece and America. Currently undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing at Lancaster University, New York's George Wallace (AB, MPH, MFA) is a university lecturer and a poet who has conducted writing workshops and readings widely in the US and UK. He has studied the craft of writing with recognized masters of the art, including Marvin Bell, David St John, Ellen Bass and WD Snodgrass; and dialogued with numerous others, including William Stafford, Robert Bly, Diane Wakoski and Allen Ginsberg.
This Online Poetry Course is suitable for:
a) Recent graduates of undergraduate creative writing programs
b) Continuing Education students wishing to participate in an online workshop setting
c) All poets at all stages of their writing—please indicate if you feel you are a beginner or wish to be classed as a poet who wants to ‘move on’
The Course aims to support you in developing your confidence in writing, editing and providing feedback and fostering a sense of community. For further details and to register please contact Nick Pemberton email@example.com/.
THIS IS FOR YOU JANE
—William S. Gainer
When I'm old,
strapped in my
the age difference,
You, gracefully mature,
a wisp of gray in the red
at your temples—
wishing I was gone.
In the end
I'll probably find myself
pushed into the traffic,
the off ramp—
I-80 and 49,
the commute hour.
We'll both scream,
"I'll, love you
The final words
of our romance
will be written
in the police report—
"She misses him now..."
—William S. Gainer
a long time
and the blood's
and the heart's
but never weak
to fall out of love
THE PAIN OF LOVING—
THE PASSION OF NOT
—William S. Gainer
where the softness
what it is
to bloody the other,
to lick the wound.
to feel the feelings,
the passion of not
of needing to...
"If the shoe fits"
try to find
the other one.
THE PRICE WE PAY
Since we've expanded
here and there
we now pay more
never bothered me.
But "bull" left standing
bothers me alot.
—Claire J. Baker, Pinole
SnakeWatch: What's New from Rattlesnake Press:
Rattlesnake Review: The latest Snake (RR21) is now available (free) at The Book Collector, or send me four bux and I'll mail you one. Next deadline is May 15 for RR22: send 3-5 poems, smallish art pieces and/or photos (no bio, no cover letter, no simultaneous submissions or previously-published poems) to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. E-mail attachments are preferred, but be sure to include all contact info, including snail address. Meanwhile, the snakes of Medusa are always hungry; let us know if your submission is for the Review or for Medusa, or for either one, and please—only one submission per issue.
Also available (free): littlesnake broadside #46: Snake Secrets: Getting Your Poetry Published in Rattlesnake Press (and lots of other places, besides!): A compendium of ideas for brushing up on your submissions process so as to make editors everywhere more happy, thereby increasing the likelihood of getting your poetry published. Pick up a copy at The Book Collector or write to me and I'll send you one. Free!
WTF!: Join us on Thursday, May 21 at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sacramento for the unveiling of the second issue of WTF, the free quarterly journal from Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe that is edited by frank andrick. Next deadline, for issue #3, is July 15. Submission guidelines are the same as for the Snake, but send your poems, photos, smallish art or prose pieces (500 words or less) to email@example.com (attachments preferred) or, if you’re snailing, to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. And be forewarned: this publication is for adults only, so you must be over 18 years of age to submit. Copies of the first issue are at The Book Collector, or send me two bux and I'll mail you one.
ALSO NEW FOR MAY: A new rattlechap, Sinfonietta, from Tom Goff; Vol. 5 of Conversations, the Rattlesnake Interview Series by B.L. Kennedy; and the inauguration of a new series, Rattlesnake LittleBooks, with Shorts: Quatrains and Epigrams by Iven Lourie. Now available at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, or from the authors, or [soon] from rattlesnakepress.com/.
COMING IN JUNE: Walt Whitman Orders a Cheeseburger, a rattlechap by Bob Stanley; Mandoria: A Prelude, a littlesnake broadside from frank andrick, and a brand-new issue of Rattlesnake Review! All at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30, on Wednesday, June 10. Free!
Medusa's Weekly Menu:
(Contributors are welcome to cook up something for any and all of these!)
Monday: Weekly NorCal poetry calendar
Tuesday: Seed of the Week: Tuesday is Medusa's day to post poetry triggers such as quotes, forms, photos, memories, jokes—whatever might tickle somebody's muse. Pick up the gauntlet and send in your poetic results; and don't be shy about sending in your own triggers, too! All poems will be posted and a few of them will go into Medusa's Corner of each Rattlesnake Review. Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline for SOWs; respond today, tomorrow, or whenever the muse arrives. (Print 'em out, maybe, save 'em for a dry spell?) When you send us work, though, just let us know which "seed" it was that inspired you.
Wednesday (sometimes, or any other day!): HandyStuff Quickies: Resources for the poet, including whatever helps ease the pain of writing and/or publishing: favorite journals to read and/or submit to; books, etc., about writing; organizational tools—you know—HandyStuff! Tell us about your favorite tools.
Thursday: B.L.'s Drive-Bys: Micro-reviews by our irreverent Reviewer-in-Residence, B.L. Kennedy. Send books, CDs, DVDs, etc. to him for possible review (either as a Drive-By or in future issues of Rattlesnake Review) at P.O. Box 160664, Sacramento, CA 95816.
Friday: NorCal weekend poetry calendar
Daily (except Sunday): LittleNips: SnakeFood for the Poetic Soul: Daily munchables for poetic thought, including short paragraphs, quotes, wonky words, silliness, little-known poetry/poet facts, and other inspiration—yet another way to feed our ravenous poetic souls.
And poetry! Every day, poetry from writers near and far and in-between! The Snakes of Medusa are always hungry.......!
Medusa encourages poets of all ilk and ages to send their POETRY, PHOTOS and ART, as well as announcements of Northern California poetry events, to email@example.com (or snail ‘em to P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726) for posting on this daily Snake blog. Rights remain with the poets. Previously-published poems are okay for Medusa’s Kitchen, as long as you own the rights. (Please cite publication.) Medusa cannot vouch for the moral fiber of other publications, contests, etc. that she lists, however, so submit to them at your own risk. For more info about the Snake Empire, including guidelines for submitting to or obtaining our publications, click on the link to the right of this column: Rattlesnake Press (rattlesnakepress.com). And be sure to sign up for Snakebytes, our monthly e-newsletter that will keep you up-to-date on all our ophidian chicanery.