Thursday, April 30, 2009


Arts Club of Washington Announces Winners

Here below is the latest news about the Arts Club of Washington awards, per Kim Roberts:

The Arts Club of Washington has announced the winners of the third annual National Award for Arts Writing. The $15,000 Award, although relatively new, has one of the largest purses of any annual book award in the U.S., and is the only award for non-fiction books on the arts for a general audience.

For the first time in the Award’s history, there are two winners, who will split the prize, and the books make a fascinating study in contrasts. The winners are:

Michael Sragow,
for Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master (Pantheon Books)

Brenda Wineapple,
for White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Alfred A. Knopf)

The two biographies are fascinating read together, for what they tell us about the cultural construction of gender. Each is considered an iconic American voice within their fields of poetry and film, but the two artists are temperamental opposites--Dickinson representing the inward-looking female and Fleming the idealized, swashbuckling male.

White Heat illuminates Dickinson’s poetic influences, especially through her decades-long friendship with the former pastor and frequent Atlantic Monthly contributor, Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Although they only met in person twice, they kept up a decades-long correspondence that shows how they each influenced each other’s writing. Higginson, who would later make the posthumous publication of Dickinson’s poems possible, was known for his radical ideals (abolition and women’s rights) and for his lyrical nature writing. Although he was the famous one, Wineapple amply shows how Dickinson set the tone and tenor of their friendship. Former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins praises Wineapple for “unraveling this intriguing chapter in the Emily Dickinson story…with respect for the mystery of compatibility at its core.”

Victor Fleming is the first full-length biography of the director of such movie classics as Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. Sragow argues that Fleming’s greatest contribution was his molding of leading men such as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Gary Cooper. He writes, “The stars he helped create have never stopped hovering over the heads of Hollywood actors, who still try to emulate their careers, or of American men in general, who still try to live up to their examples. The director’s combination of gritty nobility and erotic frankness and his ability to mix action and rumination helped mint a new composite image for the American male. Fleming’s big-screen alter egos melded nineteenth-century beliefs in individual strength and family with twentieth-century appetites for sex, speed, and inner and outer exploration. His heroes were unpretentious, direct, and honest, though not sloppily self-revealing.”

This year’s judges for the Award were noted book and film critic David Kipen; Linda Pastan, former Poet Laureate of Maryland; and Reynolds Price, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner and author of twenty-two novels. Winners of the National Award for Arts Writing must be living American authors, and books must be published in the U.S. in the previous year. The award honors and encourages excellence in writing (“prose that is lucid, luminous, clear and inspiring”) and can be about any artistic discipline. The award goes to books that help readers build a strong connection with arts and artists.

For more information on the award, and how to submit books for the 2009 competition, see the Arts Club of Washington web site: ArtsClubOfWashington.Org Awards.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Rich Murphy Wins the Gival Press Poetry Award

Gival Press is pleased to announce that Rich Murphy of Marblehead, Massachusetts has won the 10th Annual Gival Press Poetry Award for his collection entitled Voyeur.

In addition to winning a cash prize of $1,000.00, Murphy will receive twenty copies of his book after publication, which is due to be released in early fall.
Voyeur was selected anonymously by Richard Carr, the winner of the award for the previous year.

Rich Murphy holds degrees from Boston University, including a graduate degree in creative writing. He studied with the late George Starbuck and Derek Walcott. For 21 years, he has taught writing and literature and directed undergraduate writing programs at Bradford and Emmanuel Colleges; he currently teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

His credits include a book of poems The Apple in the Monkey Tree (Codhill Press); chapbooks Great Grandfather (Pudding House Publications), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), and Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Press); poems in hundreds of journals in Anglophone countries; and essays in such periodicals as The International Journal of the Humanities, Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning, Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics Poetry / Literature and Culture, Fringe, and Big Toe Review. His essay on poetry’s evolving ecology will be in a special issue of The Journal of Ecocritism (University of British Columbia).


Salud, Salud by Susanna Childress of Holland, Michigan.

Because I Can Come Only This Far With You by Helen Klein Ross of New York, New York.

Eros Among the Americans by Chris Cessac of Houston, Texas.

Self-Evident by Scott Hightower of New York, New York.
Gival Press books are available from
Ingram 800.937.8000 & BookMasters 419.281.1802 ~ ~ Gival Press 703.351.0079
or ask at your local bookstore

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Cave Canem Foundation Call for First Book of Poetry

Cave Canem Foundation
a home for black poetry


Enter the 2009 competition for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, an annual first book award dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by African American poets. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa will serve as final judge.

Deadline for entry: Postmark April 30, 2009

For complete guidelines, follow the link below.
2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

CAVE CANEM FOUNDATION, INC. * 584 Broadway, Suite 508,New York, NY 10012 * / 212.941.5720


Poets.Org Is Conducting a Fundraising Event for Poetry Month

Here is an announcement from

If you'd like to help support poetry programs, you can take out your phone and donate $5 right now by texting the word POETS to 20222. Your donation will be charged directly to your mobile phone bill and will help the Academy of American Poets and raise much needed funds for National Poetry Month and the many free and public poetry resources they offer all year long. will select five mobile donors at random to receive a free copy of their newly released Poem in Your Pocket anthology. Again, simply text the word POETS to 20222. You can donate right now, or at any time during National Poetry Month. To make a larger donation, you can send multiple texts or visit them online at

If you have any concerns or questions, contact Poets.Org at (212) 274-0343.

Happy National Poetry Month!

Academy of American Poets
584 Broadway, Suite 604, NY, NY 10012

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The 2009 Bethesda Literary Book Fair

This year's Bethesda Literary Book Fair at the Writer's Center certainly was graced with good weather. One couldn't have wished for better climate.

Though not all DC area magazines and presses were present, those who caught my attention are the following:

From the site:
Women Artists/Women Healing: Multicultural Artistic Narratives of Trauma and Survival is a five-part narrative series featuring literary readings, performances, exhibitions and facilitated discussions.

Women Artists/Women Healing is produced by Elizabeth Bruce, author of ‘And Silence Left the Place,’ stage actor, playwright of ‘Sheila’s Iron,’ and educator. The series is associate produced by Alivia Tagliaferri, author and documentary film-maker of Ironcutter Media, and Timothea Howard, political activist, visual artist and program manager of CentroNía’s Community Schools Program.

Women Artists/Women Healing is funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, and hosted by CentroNía (1420 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009). The series is also funded in part by the Readings & Workshops Program of Poets & Writers, Inc.

Santa Fe Writers Project
The Santa Fe Literary Awards Program is quite impressive and deserves attention.

It was interesting to learn that Little Patuxent Review has resurfaced.
Little Patuxent Review

BarrelHouse Magazine

Potomac Review
Potomac Review has recently added submissions via the Internet.

Kings Estate Press can be reached by email at:

Having a table next to No Tell Motel Books / No Tell Books, Reb Livingston and I discussed the business of publishing.

After a couple of hours, I commented: "Where are the young writers / college-age writers?" We both agreed that the Internet virus has changed interests and behavior of students of writing and perhaps not for the best. Many buy fewer books these days, if any. Certainly this makes the publishing business difficult.

Visit: No Tell Books

Toad Hall Media has recently released its first book, Judah's Lion by Anne Caston.
Visit: Toad Hall Media

Settlement House Books has recently opened with a Virginia focus.
Visit: Settlement House Books

Gargoyle Magazine a stalwart of the area and its editor Richard Peabody were present.
Visit: Gargoyle Magazine

The oldest continuously published poetry journal in the US was also present. And thanks to its editors, Jody Bolz and E. Ethelbert Miller, it now takes poetry submissions year round.
Visit: Poet Lore

The Washington Writers' Publishing House group was also present. Its annual book competition runs from July 1 to November 1, 2009.

And of course Gival Press was present to promote its recent anthology, Poetic Voices Without Borders 2.

As is often the case after leaving the Writer's Center, I wish there were such a center in Arlington, where we have a vibrant literary public.

Monday, April 06, 2009


Lastest News from Split This Rock Related Events

Dear Friends of Split This Rock,

Happy poetry month. So many great events happening this month, but one of our favorites is the poem a day challenge. We hope you'll join us in pledging to write a poem a day this month and that you'll bring your new poems out to share with us in the near future.

Please join us also for Naomi Ayala's book launch for her "first fire" writing workshop April 18th. Then celebrate young writers at Sol y Soul and Split This Rock's World and Me Poetry Contest Celebration. Close the month with some poetry in the think tank..Sneak away for a poetry lunch with E. Ethelbert Miller and Melissa Tuckey at Institute for Policy Studies.

***And tonight, April 6, check out Celebrating Resistance, 100 Days Campaign to Shut Down Guantanamo with DC Poets Against the War, Yael Flusburg and Alan King, along with music from Emma's Revolution, Fuad Foty, and Perry V. King at the Friends Meeting of Washington on 2111 Florida Ave NW, from 7-9:30 pm.

Love and Light,

Split This Rock

Book launch
Sunday, April 19
4-6 pm at the Langston Room; Busboys and Poets, 14th & V

COME CELEBRATE Naomi Ayala's new book of poems This Side of Early (March 2009 by Curbstone Press). Ayala's book, Wild Animals on the Moon (Curbstone Press, 1997) was selected by the New York City Public Library as a Best Book for the Teen Age.

A Native of Puerto Rico, Ayala resides in Washington, DC, where she works as a full-time writer and editor for a communications company that specializes in the field of public health. She also teaches at The Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD. Recipient of numerous awards for her work, Ayala's poetry regularly appears in noteworthy anthologies and journals. Her third book of poems is scheduled for release by Bilingual Review Press.

Sunday Kind of Love is hosted by Katy Richey and Melissa Tuckey. Sponsored by Busboys and Poets, Split This Rock, with funding from DC Commission on Arts and Humanities.

With Naomi Ayala
Saturday, April 18, 1-3 pm
$25, participation is limited

Whether you are a beginner now-or beginning once again-return to that starting place with this workshop designed specifically to have you reaching in new corners of your mind. Using a unique set of activities involving dictionaries, research, prompts, dreams, photo/art expeditions, simple poetic forms, and the instructor's exercises developed over the course of 25 years of teaching, you will generate new poems and gain insight into your creative process as you expand your breadth.

SIGN UP NOW by sending a note to ""
first come, first serve.

Workshop will be located at Institute for Policy Studies;
1112 16th Street NW, Suite 600; Washington DC
Two blocks from Farragut North Metro stop.

This event is made possible with a grant from DC Commission on Arts and Humanities.

Saturday April 18, 4-6 pm
Langston Room, Busboys and Poets
14th and V

Come to hear the winners of the Sol y Soul and Split This Rock youth poetry contest read their winning poems. Winners to be announced....with special guest hosts Naomi Ayala, Regie Cabico, Toni Asante Lightfoot, and Melissa Tuckey.

The reading will be followed by a youth open mic. Come and hear what youth have to say.

The event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by Busboys and Poets.

A poetry reading featuring
E. Ethelbert Miller and Melissa Tuckey
Wednesday April 29
from 12:00-1 pm
at Institute for Policy Studies
1112 16th Street NW; Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036;
two blocks from Farragut North Metro

E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist. He is the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. Mr. Miller is also the board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank located in Washington, D.C. He is a board member of The Writer's Center and editor of Poet Lore magazine. The author of several collections of poems, his last collection How We Sleep On The Nights We Don't Make Love (Curbstone Press, 2004) was an Independent Publisher Award Finalist. In March 2009, Busboys and Poets Press published The 5th Inning, a second memoir. Mr. Miller is often heard on National Public Radio (NPR).

Melissa Tuckey is co-director of Split This Rock, a project supported by Institute for Policy Studies. She's author of Rope as Witness (Pudding House Press Chapbook, 2007) and her poems have been widely published in literary journals, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Hayden's Ferry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Verse Daily, and anthologized in DC Poets Against the War Anthology, Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds, and Poets for Palestine Anthology. She's recipient of artist fellowship grants from DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities and Ohio Arts Council. She holds an MA in literature from Ohio University and MFA in poetry from George Mason University.

This event is free and open to the public. Bring a brown bag lunch, if you like.

Call for Proposals: Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2010
Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness invites poets, writers, activists, and all concerned citizens to Washington, DC, March 10-13, 2010 for four days of poetry, community building, and creative transformation as our country continues to grapple with two wars, a crippling economic crisis, and other social and environmental ills. We invite you to send proposals for panel discussions, group readings, roundtable discussions, workshops, and small-scale performances on a range of topics at the intersection of poetry and social change. Possibilities are endless. Challenge us.

The deadline is May 30, 2009.
Details and guidelines are online at:

Discussion and community building are at the heart of Split This Rock. We value diversity, creativity, and new ideas. Check out last year's schedule for inspiration: Please join us! Help Split This Rock Spread the Word Forward this email, post it on your blog, send a message to all your Facebook friends. We are a grassroots movement and need your help to reach a wide variety of poets and poetry lovers. Thanks!
Split This Rock Needs Your Support!

Support Split This Rock, the national network of activist poets. Donations are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, the Institute for Policy Studies. Click here to donate. Or send a check payable to "IPS/Split This Rock" to: Split This Rock, c/o Institute for Policy Studies, 1112 16th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036. Many thanks!
Contact for more details or to become a sponsor.

Split This Rock Poetry Festival


Latest News from Richard Peabody / Gargoyle Magazine

Notes from the Bell Tower
News from Gargoyle Magazine/Paycock Press/ and Richard Peabody
Three upcoming events of note that will attract a large % of the local lit community.

1. Conversations & Connections

Saturday 4/11 there's the 3rd annual "Conversations & Connections" conference at Johns Hopkins DC campus near Dupont Circle. Runs 8:30am-5pm, featuring Amy Hempel. Reg fee is $55.

2. Small Press Fair at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD.
Saturday 4/18 the , Noon-5pm A few blocks from Metro. 4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815
(301) 654-8664

And from their site:

Bethesda Literary Festival and Small Press Fair, April 17-18
4/17/2009 [7:30 PM - 10:30 PM]
7:30 p.m. on Friday April 17 The Writer's Center will host a reading and discussion with Kimberly Dozier and E.J. Dionne.

Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 18
Meet editors and publishers of literary journals and small presses at the Small Press Fair. Participants include The National Endowment for the Arts, Abbey, Barrelhouse, Cherokee Books, The Delmarva Review, Gargoyle/Paycock Press, GirlChild Press, Gival Press. Kings Estate Press, Little Patuxent Review, little press books, Poet Lore, Potomac Review, Pretend Genius, Settlement House, Toad Hall Press, Washington Writers’ Publishing House, and Wineberry Press.

1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Creative Writing for Younger Children with long-time Writer’s Center Workshop Leader Sally Canzoneri

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18
Poetry reading by David Keplinger and Michael Collier at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD

Keplinger is author of, author of The Prayers of Others, The Clearing , and World Cut Out with Crooked Scissors: The Selected Poetry of Carsten Rene Nielsen (translations).

Michael Collier is author of Dark Wild Realm, The Neighbor, and The Ledge. The reading will be followed by a reception and book signing.

8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD

Bethesda Idol, April 18
4/18/2009 [8:30 PM - 11:00 PM]
The Writer’s Center hosts Bethesda Idol. Similar to the pop culture TV show, this will be an opportunity to have your work judged by industry professionals: literary agents Deborah Grosvenor (from Kneerim & Williams) Jeff Kleinman (from Folio Literary Management) and Paige Wheeler (from Folio Literary Management).

To participate, please STAPLE together your entry in the following order: (1) a cover sheet with your project’s name, genre, and “tag line” (a one-to three-sentence description of your story), (2) one-page query letter addressed to "Dear Agent," and (3) the first three pages of your book. DO NOT include identifying information on any page of your submission. All genres are welcome (except children’s, young adult, poetry, plays, or screenplays). Prizes include free tuition to a multi-session Writer’s Center workshop (up to a $345 value), and a free one-year membership to the Writer’s Center.

Agent Bios

Deborah Clarke Grosvenor
Deborah Clarke Grosvenor is a Director of Kneerim and Williams. Grosvenor ran the Grosvenor Literary Agency for 10 years before merging her agency with Kneerim and Williams in late 2007. Her client list includes nationally prominent writers, New York Times bestselling authors, and Pulitzer-prize winners, among them Stephen Coonts, Eleanor Clift, Morton Kondracke, Thomas Oliphant, Henry Allen, Aaron Miller, Scott Wallace, Nina Burleigh and Curtis Wilkie.

Before becoming an agent, Grosvenor worked in book publishing as an acquisitions editor and in subsidiary rights. Her best known acquisition as an editor was a first novel, The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. During her publishing career, she has edited or represented hundreds of nonfiction books in the areas of narrative nonfiction, history, biography, politics, current affairs, memoir, the environment, the Middle East, the military, science, and the American South, all areas in which she maintains a strong interest. For fiction, she is particularly interested in works with historical or American South themes and settings or set in Italy. Grosvenor is a recipient of the TWIN award (Tribute to Women in Industry), an award given by the YWCA and industry to "outstanding women who have made significant contributions to their companies in managerial and executive positions."

Paige Wheeler
Paige Wheeler is a founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC. Over the course of her career, Ms. Wheeler has worked as an agent in both a literary and entertainment capacity. Prior to FOLIO, Ms. Wheeler founded the literary agency, Creative Media Agency, which she ran for nine years. At New York-based Artists Agency, she repped writers, producers and celebrities for television. She also worked as an editor, for both Harlequin/Silhouette in NY and Euromoney Publications in London.

Ms. Wheeler has worked with a wide variety of award-winning authors and celebrities, such as Nora Roberts, Robin Leach, Kathleen Eagle, Gordon Elliott, Candace Camp, Bob Vila, Emilie Richards, Karen Salmansohn, Kate Kingsbury, and The James Beard Foundation, to name a few.

Currently she represents international and award-winning authors in commercial fiction, and upscale fiction, which includes women’s fiction, mysteries, thrillers, psychological suspense; as well as narrative nonfiction and prescriptive nonfiction including self-help, how-to, business, pop-culture, popular reference projects and women’s issues.

Jeff Kleinman
Jeff Kleinman is a literary agent, intellectual property attorney, and founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC, a literary agency in New York and Washington DC which works with all of the major U.S. publishers (and, through subagents, with most international publishers). He’s a graduate of Case Western Reserve University (J.D.), the University of Chicago (M.A., Italian), and the University of Virginia (B.A. with High Distinction in English). As an agent, Jeff feels privileged to have the chance to learn an incredibly variety of new subjects, meet an extraordinary range of people, and feel, at the end of the day, that he’s helped to build something – a wonderful book, perhaps, or an author’s career. His authors include Garth Stein, Robert Hicks, Charles Shields, Jon Clinch, Bruce Watson, and Philip Gerard.

Nonfiction: especially narrative nonfiction with a historical bent, but also memoir, health, parenting, aging, nature, pets, how-to, nature, science, politics, military, espionage, equestrian, biography.

Fiction: very well-written, character-driven novels; some suspense, thrillers; otherwise mainstream commercial and literary fiction.

No: children’s, romance, mysteries, westerns, poetry, or screenplays, novels about serial killers, suicide, or children in peril (kidnapped, killed, raped, etc.).

3. Anthology reading
Thursday 4/23 7pm Free

Anthology reading from Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, edited by Robert L. Giron. Featured readers: Luis Alberto Ambroggio, Naomi Ayala, Mel Belin, Jody Bolz, Ye Chun, Teri Ellen Cross, Patricia Garfinkel, Peter Klappert, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, C. M. Mayo, Judith McCombs, E. Ethelbert Miller, Miles David Moore, Richard Peabody, Kim Roberts, Blake Robinson, M.A. Schaffner, Gregg Shapiro, and J. D. Smith

Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd., Virginia Square neighborhood, Arlington, VA. (703) 248-6800. Arlington Arts Center A few blocks from the Virginia Square Metro stop on the Orange line.

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