Contests, Calls, and Poetry Humor

“Writers can write whatever they want, but after THE END, when they self publish their book, they become accountable to readers for the quality of the book they’re selling.” Eeva Lancaster, Being Indie: A No Holds Barred, Self Publishing Guide for Indie Authors

PROLETARIAis a journal dedicated to the art of literary one-liners. Taking the form of the monostich, monoku/ one-line haiku or anecdotal statements. These single line or single sentence verses are inspired by politics, philosophy and the phenomena of all worldly and natural events happening around us.” Submissions are open year round “24/7” and you are invited to submit 3-5 unpublished poems or statements. Details HERE.  Thanks to Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans) for sharing this site with us and congratulations to her. She submitted five pieces. Three were accepted by proletaria. They’ll be up for your reading pleasure on July 11, 2019.

WINNING WRITERS tells us: “The North Street Book Prize, now in its fifth year from Winning Writers, will award $10,500 in cash prizes to today’s best self-published books. Top prize: $3,000. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: $60 per book. Six categories: Mainstream/Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, Poetry, Children’s Picture Book, and Graphic Narrative (new). Enter books published in English in any year. No restriction on country of author. Entry fee. Cash award. Details HERE.


  1. THE WRITER Best in Show: 2019 Spring Short Story Contest is open through May 31. Entry fee. Cash award. Details HERE
  2. THE 15TH ANNUAL VOICES OF LINCOLN POETRY CONTEST is open with five categories. No entry  fee. Cash award. Deadline: July 20, 2019. Details HERE.

I don’t know who to credit for this. It was posted in Literary Jokes and Puns on FB. Priceless! 🙂

This response from Resident Skeptic, James R. Cowles, a member of The Bezine core team whose work is sometimes published in the Zine, on The Poet by Day, and weekly at Beguine Again.  “Know the signs … have you found Norton anthologies hidden under your child’s mattress? Does s/he quote, e.g., T. S. Eliot or Baudelaire or Dante or Emily Dickinson or A. R. Ammons in unguarded moments? Has s/he spontaneously evinced a desire to take poetry classes in college that are strictly elective? BEWARE!!!! THESE ARE DANGER SIGNALS!!!!”

Courtesy of Andrews McMeel Syndication 

Booklovers not-so-trivial trivia shared with us by university librarian, writer and artist, and member of The Bardo Group Beguines core team, Corina Ravenscraft (Dragon’s Dreams). It certainly a fun and new-to-me-and-maybe-you-too word:

Bibliosmia (noun)


It sounds like something catching and maybe it is. It refers to the scent of a good book, to its effect on us when we breath. It’s one of the things we miss when we read off our devices.  Corina says it hasn’t made it into the Oxford English Dictionary and thus it is probably considered slang at this point. Or perhaps a neologism.

The appeal of the scent of books appears to be a combination of chemistry, nostalgia, and a reminder of “all good things.”  Details HERE.


CELEBRATING MOTHERS’ DAY (U.S.) Part 1: Those Infamous New York Moms


1950 Brooklyn, NY – my mother, Zbaida, and me

“A woman in Brooklyn decided to prepare her will. She told her rabbi she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated. Second, she wanted her ashes scattered over the local shopping mall.

‘Why the shopping mall?’ asked the rabbi.

‘Then I’ll be sure my daughters will visit me twice a week.’

Note: This is the first in a three-part series celebrating Mothers’ Day, which is this Sunday. All the pieces were published some time ago – here and/or elsewhere and it just feels right to publish again this year. I hope you’ll enjoy this short series … And Happy Mothers’ Day to all the mothers and to all the dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and older siblings who are covering for moms who are gone.

I met my Jewish friend, Laurel, when she came to a meeting at our local Insight Meditation Center on the San Francisco Peninsula where we now live. Laurel and I  got on right away. We both like Broadway shows, opera, reading, writing, and good meals seasoned with great conversation. We’re both from New York and we’re about the same age. So we come from the same time and the same place.

Now New York moms get a bad rap, especially Jewish moms – but none of us gets off free. Laurel reminded me of that with a stereotypical New York joke at the expense of mothers. These jokes usually illustrate moms making caustic remarks or tell of their attempts to foster guilt in adult children. While we do use regional idioms and have a distinct style of delivery, I’m really not sure that mothers from our time and place had the corner on either caustic commentary or the laying on of guilt.

Like all of us, my mother was very much in process and very much a product of her place and time. Among other things, what that means is that modesty was a primary concern. For my Catholic mother this included modest dress, which in turn included girdles. Now I’ve got to tell you that until I hit forty I was mostly underweight. In fact at Christmas when I was nineteen, I was ninety-three pounds, stood 5′ 3 1/2″, and was three months pregnant with my son. Nonetheless, from seventh grade and until her death when I was forty-four, my mother was adamant that I should wear a girdle so that I wouldn’t “jiggle.” That would be immodest and unseemly. Only my mother, I would think, would put me through this torture for nothing. As my husband said, “What’s to jiggle? If she turned sideways and stuck out her tongue she’d look like a zipper.”

Those old, typically New York jokes at the expense of our mothers were funny because there’s an element of truth in them. They did pave the pathways to their homes and hearts with guilt. They could be cruelly caustic. Often, their fall-back position was stone-cold silence. They were as tough as life. They tended to be rigid and narrow on some subjects; their lives woefully circumscribed. Often they were unworldly and painfully unread. But they were also largely present.

They were idealistic. They worked hard, often at jobs as well as at home. Many of them worked for hours each week to make the most unbelievably complex old world dinners for traditional Sundays that included religious services and family gatherings. No matter how difficult things got, they did not resort to drugs or alcohol. They got us into the best schools they could afford and kept us in school for as long as they could afford to do so. They protected us from young men who did not have “honorable” intentions. Though they’d never admit to us that they were really pleased with us, they would proudly show photographs of us to all their friends and boast of our accomplishments.

In the parlance of the sixties, it took me years to understand where they were “coming from.” You can tell by the posture in the photo that ends this post, that well into my thirties, I was still struggling with mixed feelings. The reason in this particular case: Before I left for work, I left money on the kitchen table for a pizza. I called home at 5:00 p.m. as I was leaving the office and asked Mom if she’d order the pizza right away because I was “starving.” I got home and “binged”: I ate one slice of pizza and left the crust. “I thought you were hungry,” Mom said. “I was. Now I’m stuffed.”  The fact that I was in my thirties and still “eating like a bird” and underweight disturbed her. In turn, I was disturbed because she was still trying to tell me how to eat, which given my habits was a legitimate concern.  I do the same sorts of things to my son now, not about food, but about other things. Mom’s long gone now, but often I think of her and wish she was here nagging me to clean my plate.

♥ ♥ ♥

© 2011, words and photographs, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved