“Cocky” Is Taken, What’s Next?

Landscape with Woman Gardening (Paysage et femme jardinant)

Merriam-Webster’s definition of cocky

1 : boldly or brashly self-confident
2 : jaunty

It’s ironic that author Faleena Hopkins chose to trademark this particular word. Not “nice” or “humble”, for instance, but “cocky”.
The very fact that one can register a trademark for a word is incomprehensible, but here we are: if you write in the field of romance, you better choose your words carefully now.
No matter what else might happen with #Cockygate one thing is clear: it pays off to be humble and nice. And if you’re “boldly or brashly self-confident” — you’ll reap trouble.
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Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape with Woman Gardening (Paysage et femme jardinant), c. 1896. Oil on canvas (later mounted to fiberboard), Overall: 18 1/8 x 21 5/8 in. (46 x 55 cm). BF884. Public Domain. 

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Can We Talk? or the Battle for Free Speech Is in Full Swing

Luncheon (Le Déjeuner)

  • “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” — Linus

The majority of links I post are writing-related. Writing–like living, feeling, thinking–is inseparable from freedom. And this freedom is under attack.

However, no one is safe.

Adhere to the narrative, and you’ll be fine. Break a stereotype — you’ll be condemned. Your sexuality, race, gender won’t matter.

“Too many people of all persuasions act as though there are views, based on one’s perceived identity alone, that others must share. No matter what else might be said, that is an extraordinarily warped view of freedom.”

Fight for the right to write. The right to think, feel, live. Be brave.

Enjoyed the post? Share it with others, press ‘like’ — thank you.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Luncheon (Le Déjeuner), 1875. Oil on canvas, Overall: 19 3/8 x 23 5/8 in. (49.2 x 60 cm). BF45. Public Domain.

 

Never Forget

Russians_bury_their_fallen._Kollaanjoki_15.-16.7._1944._Kollaanjoki_15_to_16.7._1944.

Great Patriotic War: June 22, 1941 — May 9, 1945.

26.6 million lives lost.*

Fallen

Lay them down in the fields of sweet barley and rye,
Let them pause just a bit till they’re ready to fly,

Do not bend over them, do not morn, do not weep,
Don’t disturb their short rest, let them sleep, let them sleep.

They will gather their strength, and together they’ll rise,
All like one they’ll take flight to the still paradise,

Where the children await, where the wives of their own
They’ll embrace at the gate, where the fields lie unmown.

 

© 2012 Sasha A. Palmer

*Some Russian politicians and journalists put the total number of losses in the war, both civilian and military, at over 40 million.

Image credit: Soviet soldiers burying their fallen. Public domain.

 

On Submission Fees & Publishers with Class (or without)

Glimmer Train header

  • Submission fees have their pros and cons. There’s a number of things to consider when deciding if it’s worth it to “pay to play”. One of them, maybe the one, is the goodness of a place you’re about to submit your work to. Here’s what I mean by goodness:

“I was just describing what my experience has been like to another writer I’ve been encouraging…explaining that you are honest, and a force for good, and that sets a tone that comes through in everything, and produces all its own evidence, as all good work being done out of love does, and that’s what makes Glimmer Train different. It’s the two of you, it’s personal, and it matters. There is no warmer home for writers than what you two have built. And I feel so fortunate to have found my home early, because it’s made such a difference, and by some strange magic, always when I’ve needed it the most.” — Gabe Herron

My work hasn’t appeared in Glimmer Train, but I still remember their rejection letter. It was personalized, honest, and encouraging — it felt like acceptance. It came from a publisher with class, a good publisher.

Glimmer Train New Writer Award is open. 1st place wins $2,500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories! Deadline: 6/30. (The grace period for the Fiction Open and Very Short contests ends 5/10.)

  • Another reason to submit to Glimmer Train is that, sadly, after nearly thirty years it’s leaving. Being nice as they are, the two sisters who run it have given writers and subscribers plenty of notice. They’ll accept submissions for twelve more months.

Send your best work, pay a submission fee, and add Glimmer Train to the list of your publications! Good luck.

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image: Glimmer Train header

On Poetry Submissions & erbacce-press

Apples (Pommes)

  • When it comes to submitting poetry, five is a common number.

Sometimes the limit is three poems. Most journals will not read more than five poems per submission.

It is also common, if not standard, when formatting your submission to “type only one poem per page, even if your poem is very short.”

If the editors don’t mind seeing more than one poem on the same page, they’ll specify it in the guidelines.

  • However, sometimes they don’t.

When erbacce-press states they want five pages of poetry, they don’t want to see one short poem on a page. They want five completely filled pages, which is great, especially if you write short poems — it’s your chance to submit more of them. But…

Here’s how I found out about their preferences:

Alan Corkish (Dr. Alan Corkish MA MSc, poet, writer, publisher and reviewer who (together with Dr. Andrew Taylor MA) is the editor and owner of the erbacce poetry journal and of erbacce-press)
12:44 PM
to me
“Some advice to YOU; try actually READING what is said and stop being so arrogant as to presume guidelines apply to everyone else but don’t apply to you; to date we have 5000+ entries this year and not ONE has been so stupid as to presume 20 lines = 5 PAGES!”

  • “PLEASE do enter! There really is no catch; it’s entirely FREE!” erbacce-press site reads. Indeed, if Dr. Alan Corkish finds your IQ test results tolerable, you’ll probably be okay. So, if you consider yourself smart enough, go ahead and enter. As for me, I’ll pass.

My two cents: don’t get beguiled by the “no catch & entirely FREE!” slogans.

Research before you submit. Read the previous issues. Look up editors on social media, and see what they post. If it feels like a good fit — submit. If not — move on. Plenty of other opportunities out there.

Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it, don’t be shy.

 

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Apples (Pommes), 1914. Oil on canvas, Overall: 7 1/16 x 12 3/8 in. (18 x 31.5 cm). BF55. Public Domain.

 

 

“Just listen, let it wash over you…”: Jeremy Irons on Narrating the Poems of T.S. Eliot

On hearing Jeremy Irons recite her late husband’s poetry, Valerie Eliot called the actor “today’s voice of Eliot.”

Jeremy Irons who recently narrated an audio book  “The Poems of T.S Eliot” talks to Stephanie Bastek of The American Scholar about the project.

  • How is driving a Lamborghini similar to understanding poetry?
  • What’s the reason Jeremy Irons listened to T.S. Eliot reading his own poetry?
  • How do you achieve a recording that’s got tremendous energy to it?

Find out. Don’t miss, it’s a delight. 

And if you are into reading poetry, rather than listening to it, here’s a different perspective on reading poetry out loud.

Finally, do you want to win a $25,800 fellowship?

  • Are you between 21 and 31 years of age?
  • Are you a US citizen, or do you reside in the US?
  • Do you write poetry?

Try your luck at Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. Submissions are accepted until April 30, 2018. Hurry.

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image credit: T. S. Eliot in 1923, by Lady Ottoline Morrell, public domain

 

National Poetry Month: Stay Inspired

 

margaretcook_leavesofgrass22

“The yellow half-moon enlarged, sagging down, drooping, the face of the sea almost touching,
The boy ecstatic” — Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”

2018 National Poetry Month poster, designed by AIGA Medal and National Design Award-winning designer Paula Scher, celebrates typography and is suggestive of concrete poetry and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.”

How’s your poetry month going?

  • The Poem-A-Day challenge is in full swing over at Poetic Asides. Never too late to join the fun. Write to all the prompts or choose the ones that speak to you most, share your work with others or pigeonhole it for now. Up to you. Just write.

Need more inspiration?

How about even more inspiration?

How are you celebrating National Poetry Month? Share in the comments.

Enjoyed the post? Press “like” and share the post on social media — thank you.

Image: Margaret C. Cook via http://www.brainpickings.org

 

April Is Here — Are You Poeming?

2018-npm-poster-image

National Poetry Month is underway. How are you celebrating?

Are you participating in the Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day challenge? If not — catch up!

Remember: if you choose to post your work on PA blog, or your own website/blog — your work will be published. Is it a good thing, or a bad thing? It all depends.

Here’s an agent’s perspective on whether you should post your work online.

Consider the pros and cons of posting, but whatever you decide to do — keep on writing!

Do you post your work online? Has the practice ever affected you negatively? Share in the comments. Enjoyed the post? Press “like” and “share” buttons — thank you.

Me, Myself & I; or on Using First Person in Lyric Poetry & Novel Writing

Girls in the Grass Arranging a Bouquet (Fillette couchée sur l'herbe et jeune fille arrangeant un bouquet)

  • In response to an interview question “Is there a poem you are a little embarrassed to like?” Kathleen Flenniken, formerly Poet Laureate of Washington State, said:

“Not so much a particular poem, but I feel defensive about one genre of poems that still speaks to me—the first person lyric grounded in everyday experience. It’s unfashionable, but it’s what brought me to writing.”

Poet Judy Kronenfeld knows the feeling,

“I admit to a similar impulse, at times, to the instinctive or deliberate use of “you,” “she,” “they,” or even “we,” as opposed to “I,” or the avoidance of pronouns altogether. I also admit to related impulses such as connecting the personal to history and politics, or writing by means of the portrayal of objects, without persons at all—which can make a poem feel, well, more “objective.” These impulses stem—at least in part—from an unease similar to the one that seems to lie behind Kathleen Flenniken’s statement.”

“…when a gatekeeper encounters a first-person manuscript, it goes without saying that a little red light goes on (from his/her past experiences) that chances are pretty good this mss came from a… less seasoned writer. And, it’s just a fact of life and the business of writing that the newer the writer, the less likely the mss will be of publishable quality.”

However, the good news is that

“If it’s a book that should have been written in first rather than third, and it’s written well and is of publishable quality, no problem. Any good editor or agent will be able to tell within a couple of pages if it’s written well or not, no matter what POV stance the author has elected.”

  • Do you use first person in your writing? Do you opt for third person because of the notion that it makes your writing “more objective”? Are you fond of reading/writing lyric poetry “grounded in everyday experience”?

Share in the comments. And if you’ve enjoyed the post, press “like” and “share” buttons — thank you.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Girls in the Grass Arranging a Bouquet (Fillette couchée sur l’herbe et jeune fille arrangeant un bouquet), c. 1890. Oil on canvas, Overall: 12 13/16 x 16 9/16 in. (32.5 x 42 cm). BF155. Public Domain.

 

On April Poem-A-Day Challenge & Free Speech for All, Including Poets

Poetic Asides Blog by Robert Lee Brewer

Got any plans for April?

2018  April Poem-A-Day (PAD) Challenge will be here before you know it.

Check out the guidelines,  and note the interaction that took place in the comments. Here’s an excerpt from it:

Kateland
March 6, 2018 at 12:47 pm
“Well, there are very wide interpretations of “hateful” nowadays. …
Perhaps a set of rules on what themes are considered “hateful” or “intolerable”…

Robert Lee Brewer Post author
March 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm
“I believe in diversity as far as the form and content of poems–expressing a wide range of opinions. As long as it is done respectfully.

I know for a fact that we have poets from around the world, of various faiths, of various political parties and slants, genders, ages, etc.”

Now, if you’re new to the challenge, Poetic Asides is not a political forum — it’s a poetry blog. However, it’s very refreshing to see its commitment to remain a place of free expression. We should not be afraid to voice our opinions.

Write poetry, be respectful while exercising free speech, don’t be a troll — that’s what PA is about. So, flex your poetry muscles!

Have you participated in PAD challenges? Are you in for the poem-a-day this April? Share in the comments.

If you’ve enjoyed the post, press “like” and “share” buttons — thank you.