LATE BREAKING NEWS: Contests from PEN America and (3) University of Arkansas Press

opportunity knocks

The PEN Center USA Literary Awards, Calls for Submissions:”… is accepting teleplays by writers living west of the Mississippi River. Entries are reviewed and judged by panels of distinguished writers, critics, and editors. Winners will be announced in the late summer of 2017. Each winner receives a $1,000 cash prize, a one-year membership to PEN Center USA, and two tickets to the Literary Awards Festival in the fall of 2017.” Further Details HERE.

The University of Arkansas Press has deadlines coming up on three contests:

  • $5,000 Miller Poetry Prize deadline is September 30, 2017.  The judge is Billy Collins and the entry fee is $28.  This is for collections. Further details HERE.
  • 2018 $1,000 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize for a second book of poetry in English by a writer of Arab heritage.  “Since its founding in 1996 the Radius of Arab American Writers has celebrated and fostered the writings and writers that make up the vibrant and diverse Arab American community; and the University of Arkansas Press has long been committed to publishing diverse kinds of poetry by a diversity of poets. The series editors are Hayan Charara and Fady Joudah, and the prize is named in honor of the world-renowned poet, novelist, essayist, and artist Etel Adnan.”  $25 entry fee. Hayan Charara and Fady Joudah are judges and the series’ editors. Further detail HERE. April 15, 2017 is the dealine to be considered for the 2018 prize.
  • 2018 $1,000 CantoMundo Poetry Prize for “a book of poetry by a Latina/o writer. Since its founding in 2009, CantoMundo has cultivated and supported a community of Latina/o poets and the poetry they create, and the University of Arkansas Press has long been committed to publishing diverse kinds of poetry by a diversity of poets.” Deborah Paredez and Celeste Gúzman Mendoza are the judges and the series’ editors. $28 entry free. Further detail HERE. April 15, 2017 is the deadline to be considered for the 2018 prize.

Ms. Weary’s Blues, a poem


the helpless, hopeless, remorse-filled blues
when you’ve seen the doctor and she’s seen you
when Time runs out and Eternity beckons


the darkest hues with shivering slivers of
pewter muting to gray, muting to black,
muting to light fractures in a surface
permeable and permissible, heavenly Light

or, so “they” tell me …

But lost in that Universe of Light
will “I’ still be?
will “you” still be?
answer me that

What is the character of this Light?
Matter or myth?

Ah then…
after all, pondering on
I find I really don’t care
I’ll poem my blues and poem my light
until all that’s left of me is
what I leave behind…

and you?

Will you leave your unwritten
blue poem hanging in the air to be
sensed by the few who can?
Or, will you, like slaves of old,
paint yourself blue and boiling tears
dance round the fire’s edge and rebirth
your broken blue soul into wholeness?

This poem is written out of memory. Nothing untoward is pending … except, of course, for the fact of a world gone mad and who knows what’s next with that …

© 2017, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

“In politics being deceived is no excuse.” Leszak Kolakowski

Recommended read: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Left, right or center – American or not – it’s a must read for our chaotic times … and not just the list of lessons but Prof. Snyder’s commentary on each. This book is a rational enlightening little gem and a powerful wake-up call.

Lesson Four: “Take Responsibility for the Face of the World. The symbols of today enable the reality of tomorrow  Notice the swastikas and other signs of hate.  Do not look away, and o not get use to the.  Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.” Prof. Snyder

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