THE SUNDAY POESY: Opportunities, Events and Other News

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A Place for Freelance Artists (and Writers), The Haven Foundation (created by Stephen King) “gives financial assistance to provide temporary support needed to safeguard and sustain the careers of established freelance artists, writers and other members of the arts and art production communities who have suffered disabilities or experienced a career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster or personal catastrophe. Grants are awarded and renewed at the discretion of the Haven Foundation Board.” Details including eligibility guidelines and application are HERE.

The Authors League Fund (writers helping writers) has assisted professional writers and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune. Details HERE.

Human Rights Watch administers the Hellman/Hammett Grants program for writers who have been victims of political persecution or are in financial need. Hellman/Hammett grants typically range from $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000. In addition to providing much needed financial assistance, the Hellman/Hammett grants focus attention on repression of free speech and censorship by publicizing the persecution that the grant recipients endured. Details HERE: 212 292 4700

PEN Writers’ Fund Grants of up to $2,000 available to published writers in acute financial crisis. No membership necessary. Application and details HERE Note the next deadline is March 15.


Opportunity Knocks

Elixir Press announces its 16th Annual Poetry Awards open to poets writing in English. Two prizes: Judges Award, $2,000; Editor’s Award, $1,000 and possible publication. $30 entry fee. Deadline: October 31. Details HERE.

Killer Nashville, a place for thriller, Suspense, Mystery Writers and Literature Lovers, is an “advocate for beginning and mid-list writers, as well as a resource for platform-building for established authors. It is a community of genre and non-genre writers whose work contains elements of mystery, thriller, or suspense.” Their 2016 Falcon Awards offers opportunities to submit under a range of categories and subcategories – including eBooks. Deadline: April 30. Details HERE

The Wenlock International Poetry Competition 2016 is now open for submissions. The deadline is March 7 but you can submit online. Details HERE.

Smartish Pace announces its 2016 Erskine J. Poetry Prize. All contest submissions are considered for publication even if they don’t win the prize. Deadline: October 15, 2016  Winning poet receives $200. Details HERE.


Opportunity Knocks

Writespace has opened the submissions call for its second anthology, In Medias Res: Stories from the In-Between. The seek looking stories about characters who are thrown into or stuck between different cultures, communities, families, races, genders, self-images, dimensions, continents, etc. Deadline April 28. Details HERE.

The French Literary Review: twice-yearly international magazine of poetry and prose. The review seeks contemporary poems; short stories and articles (1000-3000 words); novel extracts that stand on their own; paintings / drawings, all of which must have a French connection. Deadlines: 30 July and 30 December Details HERE.

The BeZine submission guidelines and mission statement.


TODAY: A reading of Myra Schneider’s poem Birds from her collection Circling the Core is a feature on Poetry Please at 4:30 W.E.T. Details HERE.

HEADS-UP HOLLYWOOD: Every Saturday night …


HEADS-UP SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion are relocating and this may be your last time to hear Michael read in Berkeley. TOMORROW NIGHT …12744141_10207737672172762_6902229050544911951_n

Second Light Live, Poem of the Month series HERE.


All Poetry dubs itself the largest poetry community, more than 500,000 poets. “Friendly advice and encouragement and detailed critiques when you’re ready. All Poetry hosts free contests with $50 cash prizes, active discussion forums, and an annual anthology to which you may contribute.” Free and optional paid monthly memberships are available. (I have not sampled this myself, but a friend has and reports a mostly positive experience. She was involved for several years.)

d’Verse Poets Pub “is a place for poets and writers to gather to celebrate poetry. We are many voices, but one song. Our goal is to celebrate; poets, verse & the difference it can make in the world. To discover poetry’s many facets and revel in it’s beauty, even when ugly at times.” This is a smaller and more intimate group than All Poetry (above) would appear to be. I can testify that there are some excellent poets participating and coaching one another. This is quite an ambitious project, long running and lead by a dedicated team.


Poetry Space Success: Eggs on Toast Valentines Competition: Carolyn O’Connell’s (Timeline, poetry) poem Lovers in the Window was one of the five selected winners of this competition. It can be read on the Poetry Space website.

Woven Tale Press garnered a review in Kirkus: “New York Times Notable Book author Tyler (Blue Glass, 2014) and her editorial team of artists and writers  [including Michael Dickel (War Surrounds Us, Is a Rose Press, 2015)] present an eclectic collection of artwork and creative writing” You can sample Woven Tale Press by downloading their newest publication for free HERE.

Well done to Second Light Network (SLN) for yet another thumbs-up review. This one is from poet, publisher and educator, John Kilick, for their most recent anthology, Fanfare: “ …. another amazing piece of work, quiet equal to the first book [Her Wings of Glass], and introducing many new names.  The book is so tight thematically and the high standard is never relaxed.”

Cheers for Kingsley Tufts Award Winner Ross Gay, Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude and Kate Tufts Discovery Award Winner
Danez Smith, [insert] boy. Details and a sampling of poems (worth your time) HERE.


RUMOR (Cold River Press) by Silva Zanoyan Merjanian, author and publisher donate profits to the Syrian-Armenian Relief Fund. I believe they raised about $5,000 thus far. Three of the poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The book won Best Book Award in the poetry category, NABE Fall 2015. Rock on, Silva!

PETRICHOR RISING (Aquillrelle, 2013) an anthology of the Grass Roots Poetry Group for the benefit of UNICEF.  To read the Group’s story, link to Petrichor Rising and How the Twitterverse Birthed Friendships That In Turn Birthed a Poetry Collection.”

CANBERRA: ONE LAST BORDER (Gininninderra Press, 2016) – poetry for refugees. Co-authored by Helen Hall and Sandra Renew, “launched by Thomas Albrecht the regional representative for UNHCR. The poems were mostly written last year in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, to raise awareness and some money for refugees.” The launch is on March 12 in Canberra. Details HERE.

Hands & WingsHANDS & WINGS, POEMS FOR FREEDOM FROM TORTURE (White Rat Press, 2015).  The poems in it are freely shared by A-list poets. The proceeds go to help with the rehabilitation and support of torture victims seeking protection in the U.K. That made me look into what services specificially designed for victims of torture might be available in other countries and that readers might want to support through donations or volunteer work. You may find your country’s offerings listed HERE.

ARTEMISpoetry, Second Light Network of Women Poets, Poetry Communities

Please read my Disclosure HERE, particularly paragraphs four and five.

The Greek Goddess Artemis, call Diana by the Romans
The Greek Goddess Artemis, called Diana by the Romans

The mailbox is the most fun when it delivers literary delights: Poetry magazine, The Paris Review, The Hudson Review and a few others including ARTEMISpoetry, one that you may not have read much about except possibly in reading this blog over the years.

ARTEMIS, the well-chosen namesake of the magazine, is she of the hunt, of nature and birth. She is the moon goddess.

Artemis is an archetype for independence, courage, strength and confidence. Depicted with bow and arrow, she is a free spirit, both huntress and protector of wild animals. Not unlike Artemis are the free-spirited women poets who have the strength and courage, the independence and confidence, to shoot poetic arrows of intuition and insight. Speaking their hearts, they stir the wildness in our souls.

Among the many things that I like about ARTEMISpoetry is the idea behind the organization that birthed and publishes it, Second Light Network. Second Light was founded by English poet Dilys Wood as a movement to encourage and acknowledge a “second” start for older women who, without the responsibilities of their younger days, now have the time to devote to the craft of poetry. It gives women who were once almost invisible in the world of poetry …

        • a welcoming community of poets,
        • events at which to gather, learn and celebrate,
        • and a chance for professional publication of their work in their distinctly feminine voice in its magazine ARTEMISpoetry , on Second Light’s website and in its anthologies.

“The inspiration for Second Light was that vibrant, exciting work is absolutely not sex or age-related. Probably all serious editors and organisers know this, but some number-crunchers are obsessed with youth, trendiness, or any kind of gimic. There may be reverence for famous older poets, but the pattern of women’s lives may mean that a woman may be a ‘new poet’, just starting to publish, at any time up to old age.” Dilys Wood HERE in an article on this blog

English poet and Second Light Network Founder, Dilys Wood
English poet and Second Light Network Founder, Dilys Wood

Dilys Wood founded Second Light Network in 1994, which predates the birth in the late 90s of blogging and subsequently of social networking with their easy means to form communities of like interest. Blogs and other social networking technologies had to wait until the development of web publishing tools that facilitated online content publication by non-technical users. Through the gift of blogging we observe that there are many people of both genders that come home to their art – poetry or other arts – late in life, a second chance.

Blogging, however rewarding, doesn’t preclude off-line activities. Second Light Network is open to women all over the world, but is mainly active in England where it was founded and where the bulk of its members appear to reside. I’m guessing women in other countries would be welcome to start chapters, though you’d have to check with Second Light on that. I would start one here if I weren’t often home-bound and undependable due disability. Though my own poetry community is now largely an online adventure, I encourage other poets, women and men, to complement their online creative communities with off-line communities.

A reader of The Bardo Group blog who wishes to remain anonymous had this to say about such creative collectives:

“Prior creative and intellectual movements benefited greatly from geographic proximity. It wasn’t enough to be part of community, but that the community shared and debated some essential values and were in constant contact. The idea is that fervency, serendipity and discovery arise out of actual physical proximity.

“This is why artists still flock to cities. Despite the Internet, we still go to Mecca.

“Connecting technologies have always strengthened the bonds between people with like-minded interests (letter-writing, magazine letter columns, BBS, chatrooms, message boards, social networking, etc), fostering community. But, in the last 40 years, I haven’t seen technology yet truly replicate the creative synergy that occurs with physical proximity.”

1815_coversI find Second Light Network’s magazine, ARTEMISpoety, a welcome and refreshing read. While many of the poets included are fairly well know, the bulk of the work is by talented lesser-knows. I never have the feeling – as I do for example with American Poetry Review (APR) – that the work is largely (if not exclusively) about big names posturing for critics and marketing their classes and expensive university creative writing programs. Books are marketed through ARTEMISpoetry, but that’s fair, I think.

In addition to a wealth of poems and a dollop of original artwork, there is always an excellent interview or two. In the most recent issue (November 2013) Gillian Allnutt  was interviewed by Ruth O’Callaghan in a feature, Among the Already Occluded Worlds. There are thought provoking essays, like the one by Myra Schneider, published HERE as a post. There’s instruction on writing and the writing process. In the November 2013 issue Jill Eulalie Dawson showed the evolution of her poem Owl, a good lesson for those who don’t know what to do with their first draft or wonder how other people move through the development of a poem.

I find much to admire in the enterprise of the ladies of Second Light and much to value in their magazine and in their support of other women poets.  The ideals are real.

© 2014, essay, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo credits ~ Artemis, in the public domain; Dilys, © Dilys Wood, All rights reserved; magazine covers © Second Light Network/ARTEMISpoetry, All rights reserved