American- Israeli Poet, Michael Dickel (War Surrounds Us) will be in Hamilton Ontario, Tallahassee Florida and Long Island, NY

“That some of those labelled as enemies
have crossed the lines to offer condolences
at the mourning tents; that the mourning
families spoke to each other as parents
and cried on each others’ shoulders;
that we cried for the children who died
on both sides of the divide; that the
war began anyway; that hope must
still remain with those who cross
borders, ignore false lines and divisions;
that children should be allowed to live;
that we must cry for all children who die”

– Michael Dickel, (Mosquitos) War Surrounds Us

“Thanks to musician and artist Zena Hagerty and HamiltonSeen (film-makers) for inviting me [Michael] to Ontario as a writer-in-residence to work in collaboration with other artists.

“Also, thanks to poet Michael Rothenberg and #100TPC for also inviting me to Florida for a residency, later in February.

“If any  people in our wider poetry community seeing this in or around Hamilton-Toronto or Tallahassee areas and have connections to help with arranging potential readings or campus visits during February (first part in Ontarion, second in Florida), please be in touch with me via Facebook chat / messenger if you are willing to help. I expect to be in the NYC-Long Island area the last week of January (28 Jan–03 Feb), also. Paying gigs would especially be appreciated, to help cover my travel expenses (which the residencies don’t have funds to cover).”


Watch for more details on time, days and locations to come under “Events” in upcoming Sunday Announcements. ./J.D.

You can read my [Jamie’s] interview of Michael: The Poet as Witness HERE and his essay A Defense of Activist Poetry HERE. Michael’s Amazon page is HERE.

Note: If you are reading this post via an email subscription, it’s likely you’ll have to link through to the site to view this video.

MICHAEL DICKEL a poet, fiction writer, and photographer, has taught at various colleges and universities in Israel and the United States. Dickel’s writing, art, and photographs appear in print and online. His poetry has won international awards and been translated into several languages. His chapbook, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism came out from Locofo Chaps in 2017. Is a Rose Press released his most recent full-length book (flash fiction), The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden, in 2016. Previous books: War Surrounds Us, Midwest / Mid-East, and The World Behind It, Chaos… He co-edited Voices Israel Volume 36(2010). He was managing editor for arc-23 and arc-24. With producer / director David Fisher, he received an NEH grant to write a film script about Yiddish theatre. He is the former chair of the Israel Association of Writers in English. Meta/ Phor(e) /Play is Michael’s blogZine Michael on Social Media: Twitter | FaceBook Page | Instagram | Academia  Michael is also an a member of The BeZine core team.




SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Calls for Submissions, Contests, Events, and Other Information and News


Opportunity Knocks

BEAR DELUXE art, culture, environment on the brink considers submissions of nonfiction, fiction, essays and creative nonfiction, poetry, art, illustration and cartoons on an ongoing basis. Compensation and one-year subscription. Details HERE.

CALIFRAGILE Poetry‘s editor, Wren Tuatha, says “in these times when the Earth and humanity seem so breakable, as if they might break each other, we search for answers in the air. What’s our next move? What did I just see on the news? What does this moment demand of me? Poets interpret their screens, sing to nature, and admonish us our selfishness. Califragile is a portrait of turning, questioning, stretching, stepping up.”  Details HERE.

COTTON XENOMORPH a newbie “journal produced with the mission to showcase new and ecstatic art” focused on social justice. Its editors categorize it as a “no creeps” publication … that is, no xenophobes, sexist, fat-shamers and the like … much the spirit of The BeZine. Nice!  Poetry, fiction and visual arts are of interest. Details HERE.

COFFIN BELL, a journal of dark literature a quarterly – is getting ready to publish its second issue, April 1, themed monsters.  The editors seek poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and creative nonfiction “that explore dark themes” not necessarily traditional horror. The say, “Send us your political horrors, dark political thrillers, your waking nightmares. Details HERE.

CONFRONTATION literary magazine considers poetry, stories and nonfiction. Details HERE.

HARPER’S MAGAZINE does not accept unsolicited poetry but does consider fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, art, illustrations and photographs.  Details HERE.

OPEN JOURNAL OF ARTS AND LETTERS “has as its primary ambition to gather, publish, and popularize notable contemporary writing and other fine arts and to promote the work of its contributors to a varied and discerning audience in the English-speaking world and beyond.” Publishing interests are: flash fiction, creative nonfiction as essay or memoir, poetry.  Details HERE.

MUSE, a children’s magazine published by Carus Published (the publishers of Cricket) is published collaboratively with Smithsonian  for children ages 9 and over. It features science, history and the arts. They accept commissioned features only so you will have to query first for the themed issues. Details HERE.

PIGEON PAGES a literary journal features diverse voices, emerging and establish feel compelling stories, proses pieces 4,000 words or less. No poetry. Details HERE.

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be. Submissions for the March issue – themed Peace – closes on February 10 at 11:59 p.m. PST .

New rules: Please send text in the body of the email not as an attachment. Send photographs or illustrations as attachments. No google docs or Dropbox or other such. No rich text. Send submissions to

Publication is March 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos or essays), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration.  No demographic restrictions.

Please read at least one issue and the Intro/Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines. We DO NOT publish anything that promotes hate, divisiveness or violence or that is scornful or in any way dismissive of “other” peoples.

The BeZine will be published on quarterly schedule in 2018 and for the foreseeable future:

  • March 2018 issue, Deadline February 10th. Theme: Peace.
  • June 2018 issue, Deadline May 10th. Theme: Sustainability
  • September 2018 issue, Deadline August 10th, Theme: Human Rights/Social Justice
  • December 2018 issue, Deadline November 10th, Theme: A Life of the Spirit

Suggestions for sub-themes are still being reviewed. Send yours to (Current suggestions  include: domestic abuse, eckphrastic poetry, the meaning/importance of poetry, and restorative justice.)

The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge submission or subscription fees.

Previously published work may be submitted if you hold the copyright. Submissions from beginning and emerging artists as well as pro are encouraged and we have a special interest in getting more submissions of short stores, feature articles, music videos and art.


NATIONAL POETRY SERIES open competition guidelines  seeks book-length poetry by U.S. citizens living in the States or abroad. Submission fee $30. Competition closes on February 28, 2018.  Details HERE

PAZ PRIZE FOR POETY awards one $2,000 prize every year – the even years – for “the publication of a previously unpublished book of poetry originally written in Spanish by an American resident. The 2018 prize will open on May 1 2018 and run though June 15, 2018.  Details HERE.

THE CAROLYN FORCHÉ PRIZE FOR HUMANITARIAN POETRY is $1,000 and publication. The prize “is awarded for a poem on the theme of improving people’s lives or reducing suffering, especially widespread suffering. Examples of humanitarian poetry include poems about refugees, humanitarian aid, escape, rescue, war and conflict.”  The  winner and ten finalists will be published in the upcoming 2018-2019 anthology, Elusions: Refugee Poems, to be published by WaterWood Press. Submissions begin March 15, 2018, and close August 15, 2018. $10 submission fee. Details HERE.

Carolyn Forche / Photo by Slowking4 under GFDL 1.2

“Different people have articulated … [poetry as] the natural prayer of the human soul. I feel very blessed to have this vocation. ” Carolyn Forché




THE 2018 INGRID JONKER PRIZE FOR ENGLISH POETRY has an open a call for submissions. Publishers or self-published poets are invited to submit three copies of any English poetry debut published in 2016 or 2017 for adjudication to:

Ingrid Jonker Prize Committee
c/o Finuala Dowling
Centre for Extra-Mural Studies
University of Cape Town
Private Bag|
Rondebosch 7701
Cape Town

The Ingrid Jonker Prize is awarded in alternate years to the best debut collections in English or Afrikaans.  The winner receives a cash prize dependant on the interest accumulated in an account originally established for this purpose.

In 2016 the Ingrid Jonker prize for a debut collection of poetry in English was awarded to Thabo Jijana for Failing Maths and My Other Crimes (uHlanga Press)

The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 31 January 2018. Entries should be accompanied by a cover letter with the contact details of the publisher and poet, as well as a declaration that the submission is the poet’s first collection of poetry published with an ISBN.

For the rules and regulations of the Ingrid Jonker Prize, see

For further information, contact Finuala Dowling, Convenor of the Ingrid Jonker Prize for English Poetry


  • LEDBURY POETRY FESTIVAL , 29 June – 8 July, 2018. Scheduled presentations, featured speakers and other details HERE.
  • SKAGIT RIVER POETY FESTIVAL 2018, La Conner, Washington, May 17-20. Tickets on sale now. Workshops, featured poets, tickets and other details HERE.
  • FAIRWAY GALLE LITERARY FESTIVAL,  January 24 – 28. The festival is celebrated annually, in and around the historic Dutch Galle Fort, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the southern shores of the tropical isle of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Details HERE. (Looks like some events are already sold out.)


More details
Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Mathew Ahmann, executive director of the National Catholic Conference for Interrracial Justice, at a civil rights march on Washington, D.C. / Public Domain photo

DIFFERENT TRUTHS, A Global Participatory Social Journalism Platform ” is a Social Journalism (a form of Collaborative Journalism) platform. Based on the tenets of Participatory Journalism, Social Journalism creates a synergy between Citizen Journalists (any lay person, who is not trained as a journalist to voice their opinions) and Professional Journalists. Social Journalism is a media model consisting of a hybrid of professional journalism, contributor and reader content. It is similar to open publishing platforms … Social Journalism helps to strengthen and deepening Democratic Values. It upholds the best traditions of secular, non-violent, non-racist and casteless society. Different Truths upholds non-discriminatory traditions, where Special Needs people have equal opportunities. It aims at unifying the Peoples from various parts of the globe to create the world without boundaries – a Global Village where Peace and Prosperity rules.”  To publish work to this platform – articles, poems, short stories, pix and videos – check out detail under “submission” in the blog roll to the right HERE.

YOUR SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS may be emailed to Please do so at least a week in advance.

If you would like me to consider reviewing your book, chapbook, magazine or film, here are some general guidelines:

  • send PDF to (Note: I have a backlog of six or seven months, so at this writing I suggest you wait until June 2018 to forward anything. Thank you!)
  • nothing that foments hate or misunderstanding
  • nothing violent or encouraging of violence
  • English only, though Spanish is okay if accompanied by translation
  • your book or other product  should be easy for readers to find through your site or other venues.



PLEASE do not mix the communications between the two.

Often information is just thatinformation – and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications or other organizations featured in my regular Sunday Announcements or other announcements shared on this site. Awards and contests are often (generally) a means to generate income, publicity and marketing mailing lists for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I rarely attend events anymore. Caveat Emptor: Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.



“The Horizon Written” – music by Joseph Alen Shaw, inspired by an Ed Roberson poem, introduced here by John Anstie

A new composition from composer, Joseph Alen Shaw, is indicative of a man of considerable musical talent, who doesn’t let the grass grow under his feet. Not for the first time, has he used poetry to inspire musical composition. Last year I was flattered that he asked me to write a brief text on the seasonal theme of Autumn. The haiku triplet was beautifully woven into a song by some alchemical musical magic and is here. This also appeared in the October ‘Music’ themed edition of The BeZine. The title of his new piece, he explains, was taken from the text of poem, As at the Far Edge of Circling by Ed Roberson. In my view, the music fits well with the text of the whole poem. You can judge for yourself.

The new composition, The Horizon Written, was commissioned by musician, Elliott Walker, the Church Organist at St Paul’s Rotherham in the UK, specifically for their Festival of Remembrance, which was held last November. Joseph’s own words in his blog, best describe it. The blog also contains a live recording of the music. (The link to his blog is at the start of this paragraph).

I hope you enjoy his music as much as I do.
John Anstie (My Poetry Library, FortyTwo … of Life, the Universe and Everything and The BeZine)

Photo courtesy of Junior Libby,


New York State Tries to Restrict Prison Access to Books; PEN America’s Annual Prison Writing Contest; Prison Foundation Publishes Books of Inmates and Returning Citizens

Partial View of Gowanda Correctional Facility with Power Plant in Background at Left, September 1996

Efforts to restrict inmates’ access to books in New York State prisons reveal a troubling disregard for inmates’ right to read and appear to have no reasonable basis, PEN America announced on Monday.

In New York State, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Directive 4911A, put in place December 4, 2017, restricts prisoners’ ability to receive packages and articles: packages must be sent from a list of approved vendors, or face possible rejection. As of January 8, only six vendors are approved to send books. As a result, Directive 4911A prevents inmates from being sent books—including used books or books unavailable through purchase in any catalog—outside of these vendors’ limited lists.

Currently, the Directive is a pilot program, and applies only to three correctional facilities: Greene, Green Haven, and Taconic, with the possibility that the Directive will later be applied to all state facilities.

While this Directive does not restrict access to prison library facilities, NYC Books Through Bars has noted in a January 3 letter to Governor Cuomo that they have received requests for books from prison employees who are “struggling to stock libraries for the general population.”

“The State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision needs to promote moral and responsible prison policies that uphold inmates’ access to information and safeguard the right to read,” said Summer Lopez, PEN America Senior Director of Free Expression Programs. “Directive 4911A, a ruinously over-broad restriction on inmates’ ability to access published materials, goes in the opposite direction. We encourage the Department and the Governor’s office to revoke this ill-considered directive, and to ensure inmates have access to as much outside publications as possible.”


PEN America Center’s annual writing contest is open to anyone incarcerated in a federal, state or county prison in the year prior to September 1, the annual deadline for poetry, fiction, drama and nonfiction. No submission fees. Cash award for first, second and third place. Details HERE.

Link HERE to read the winning manuscripts from the 2017 contest.

PEN America has run a national prison writing program for over forty years, including the above referrenced contest.

“Founded in 1971, the PEN Prison Writing Program believes in the restorative, rehabilitative power of writing and provides hundreds of inmates across the country with skilled writing teachers and audiences for their work. It provides a place for inmates to express themselves freely and encourages the use of the written word as a legitimate form of power.”

The program includes a free Handbook for Writers in Prison and a Mentoring Program.


Prisons Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, “seeks a more creative and fulfilling world for both incarcerated and free citizens.”

Manuscript Submission Guidelines All books by prisoners and returning citizens and those who write about them and books by all citizens who donate are welcome for publication.Click Here for further information and submission guidelines for inmates.

Photo credit: Gawanda photograph courtesy of Daniellagreen under CC BY-SA 3.0 license; NY Correctional State Services logo is public domain.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. PEN champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.