Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Last-minute deadline reminder: Best G/L Poetry anthologies

NB: the guidelines give contradictory deadlines of 12/31/08 and 1/30/09:

Best Gay/Best Lesbian Poetry 2009 Seeking Nominations - Deadline December 31

For the 2009 editions of this exciting new series celebrating the best in gay/lesbian poetry, A Midsummer Night's Press invites submissions of poems PUBLISHED during 2008 for BEST GAY POETRY edited by Lawrence Schimel and BEST LESBIAN POETRY edited by Linda Alvarez.

Poems can have appeared in print or online magazines, journals, or anthologies; we are also willing to consider poems from books or chapbooks published in 2008, even if the poem was originally published previously in periodicals--so long as the poet has the right to reprint the poem.

We are open to all styles of poetry, from formal to free verse; we are likewise open-minded in terms of content, so long as it somehow fits (even if pushing the boundaries of) what might be considered "gay poetry" or "lesbian poetry".

We are willing to consider slam poetry, so long as it has been published in text form, not merely performed; the poem must also work on the page, for these anthologies.

We are open to English-language poetry from all over the world, and actively look to include non-North American voices.

Please title documents with the poet's surname. Please include contact information (both street and email address), bio, and where the poem was published WITHIN the .doc file, as documents will be read separately from the emails. Submissions from individual poets or queries should be sent by email in .doc format to one of the following addresses, as appropriate:

Deadline is January 31, 2009.

In each volume, A Midsummer Night's Press also plans to include a round-up of all books/ journals/ anthologies of gay/lesbian poetry published the previous year. (We also welcome recommendations or suggestions of appropriate poems from editors of journals, anthologies, or presses.) Books and journals for review can be sent to the attention of the appropriate editor at:

A Midsummer Night's Press
16 West 36th Street
2nd Floor
New York NY 10018


About the Editors:

Linda Alvarez is the editor of the anthologies Best Lesbian Poetry 2008 (A Midsummer Night's Press), Best Date Ever: True Stories That Celebrate Lesbian Relationships (Alyson) and Dyke the Halls: Erotic Lesbian Christman Tales (Circlet) and lives in New York City.

Lawrence Schimel is an award-winning author and anthologist who has published over 90 books, including First Person Queer (Arsenal Pulp), Two Boys in Love (Seventh Window), The Future is Queer (Arsenal Pulp), PoMoSEXUALS (Cleis), and Two Hearts Desire (St. Martin's Press), as well as Best Gay Poetry 2008 (A Midsummer Night's Press). His first collection of poems written in Spanish, Desayuno en la Cama (Desatada/Egales) , was published in 2008. He also edited the first (and so far only) anthology of gay love poetry to appear in Catalan, Ells S'Estimen (Llibres de l'Index). His poems have appeared in a diverse array of periodicals, from The Christian Science Monitor to Physics Today to The Lyric, and have been widely anthologized in Gay Love Poetry, The Practice of Peace, Chicken Soup for the Horse-Lover' s Soul 2, and The Random House Treasury of Light Verse, among others. He lives in Madrid, Spain.

About the Publisher:
A Midsummer Night's Press (http://www.amidsummernightspress.com/) is an independent publisher devoted primarily to poetry, publishing under three imprints: Fabula Rasa for work inspired by fairy tales or mythology, Funny Bones for light verse and humor, and Body Language for works exploring sexuality and queer subjects. The press' titles include This is What Happened in Our Other Life by Achy Obejas, Banalities by Brane Mozetic (translated by Elizabeta Zargi with Timothy Liu), The Good-Neighbor Policy: A Double-Cross in Double Dactyls by Charles Ardai, and Fairy Tales For Writers by Lawrence Schimel. A Midsummer Night's Press is distributed by SPD (http://www.spdbooks.org/).


It's been four years today since I started this blog. We still live in the same apartment, though now it's just the two of us. Back then, I was double-adjuncting at Bucknell and Bloomsburg; now, I'm about to start my last semester as a VAP at Lyco.

Some friends--or those I thought were friends--are no more, but I've reconnected with other (better?) ones and made some new friendships that I hope will last.

In '04, my micropress was just a persistent dream. Now, it's a reality, and even though it takes more time than I sometimes have to give (and even though I'm behind schedule at the moment), I find it to be a deeply rewarding project. I'm grateful to everyone who's expressed their support for the press.

And though we both love this area and feel deep connections to the landscape of central PA--the mountains, the river--it's evident that we've reached a new threshold. I'm hoping for the best, not just for us, but for all our friends and acquaintances.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Our irrepressible, irreplaceable Sadie died suddenly on December 18th. A good dog can change your life. She was a great dog.

Monday, December 15, 2008

bits and pieces

Congrats to Larry on his first publication! Check him out, along with the other fine work in the new issue of Limp Wrist. . .
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I'm racing to finish a quilt. It's been so long since I sat down to quilt, I'm out of practice. Keep stabbing my finger. There's DNA on the thread. I licked my other finger and tried wiping the speck of blood off the quilt, so I guess now there are two DNA samples in it.
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So warm today, I feel I should be home raking the yard. I don't rake until spring. Even in April, I'm reluctant to "clean up" the beds--they dry out so quickly if I don't replace the compacted leaves with mulch immediately.
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Trying to catch up on some 7KP projects as well. Thanks for all the well-wishes on our newest project, the ReBound Series. The submission deadline is Dec 21. I won't get the final submission data posted until 12/28 (sorry about the lag time but I'll be out of town).
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I'll be out of town, and most likely away from internet access, from 12/18-12/28. If I don't get back to you immediately, that's why.
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Mark your calendars

Thursday, March 12
7 pm
Reginald Shepherd Memorial Reading
New York University, Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
58 West 10th St. (between 5th and 6th Avenues),
New York City

A beloved and admired poet, critic and teacher, Reginald Shepherd (1963-2008) inspired many with his passionate commitment to poetry, an art he viewed as inextricably connected to history, politics and everyday life. Raised in housing projects in the Bronx, he went on to publish five collections of poetry, two anthologies and a collection of essays, Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry. An impressive roster of poets will read, including Timothy Donnelly, Marilyn Hacker, Timothy Liu, Kevin Prufer, Evie Shockley, Susan Stewart and Yerra Sugarman.

Free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by Poets House and the New York University (NYU) Creative Writing Program.


--my sincere and public thanks to Andrew Demcak, who has recently shown interest in my poems, and to Grady Harp, who has generously reviewed my book, which I had thought was dead and buried after four years. I'm genuinely touched.

A link to Grady's review appears in the right side column.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lavender Languages Conference: follow-up

passing this along from Bill Leap, the conference organizer:

Volunteered papers in two areas have been submitted:

1. Some papers use textual materials and other forms of linguistic evidence to retrieve issues in lgbtq history.

2. Some papers look at lavender implications of politeness, quotatives/intensifiers, and other features of language use in face-to-face conversation.

If your research falls in one of these areas, the program committee is pleased to receive a proposal for a presentation at Lav Lgs XVI. Please share this message with a friend who might share similar research interests.

Thanks, Wlm Leap www.american.edu/lavenderlanguages

Call for poetry mss by ethnic minorities

Steel Toe Books selects manuscripts through open reading periods. Our next open reading period will be January 1-31, 2009. In an effort to diversify our catalog, during this reading period we will only be considering manuscripts by ethnic minorities and first-generation immigrant, non-native speakers of English. During our October 2008 open reading period, we received 52 manuscripts, from which we selected one for publication (Domestic Fugues by RichardNewman).

Guidelines: http://www.wku.edu/~tom.hunley/steeltoebooks/submit.htm

CFS: The Still Blue Project

The Still Blue Project : More Writing By (For or About) Working-Class Queers

Writers are encouraged to send their work for possible inclusion in theStill Blue Project. Writers of any and all genders are welcome! If your writing illuminates our realities, our struggles, our resistance to assimilation and mental gentrification, and if it's well written, I'll consider it respectfully. (Submissions of previously publishedwork, as long as you hold the copyright, are also welcome.) Please *do not* submit erotica, as I cannot use it. Send submissions as an email attachment formatted in Word to me at: editor (at) everythingihaveisblue dot com . [If your server doesn't like that address, try me at wendell.ricketts at gmail dot com.] Be sure to include a biography. There is no deadline, as the Still Blue Project is ongoing.

Like Everything I Have is Blue: Short Fiction by Working-Class Men about More-or-Less Gay Life (http://everythingihaveisblue.com/), theStill Blue Project is a showcase for our imaginative writing: short fiction, essays, memoir, work that doesn't fit the categories.

Coming soon: work by John D'Emilio, Patricia Nell Warren, and others.
Many thanks!
Wendell Ricketts
Currently online:

Fiction: Keith Banner - Lowest of the Low; Sally Bellerose - National Blank Book; Allen Conkle - Day by Day; Louie Crew - Ben's Eyes; Amber Dawn - Melhos Place; L. A. Fields - Walls; Donal Mosher - The Werewolf; Sarah Nolan - Whybeblue

Poetry: John Gilgun - Counting Tips; John Gilgun - What Work Is; Kevin Shaw - End of Shift

Essays/ Memoir/ Life Writing: Going from ZERO to SEXY on High Caloric Queer Overdrive - An essay onbeing fat, queer, and radical by CAConrad; Anton Veenstra - Finding Home, Going Home

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Call for papers

passing this along--I am not on this panel, nor do I have any further information about it; please contact the moderator directly:

Michael David Franklin ( U Minnesota Twin Cities) is circulating this updated version of his call for papers for the session he is organizing for Lavender Languagess XVI. If interested, please contact him directly at mdf@umn.edu.

Language, Difference & the State of 'Queer'
How do we recognize when a subject is queer? How do social differences such as race, class, nationality, and dis/ability factor into our calculation of queer formations? And in what ways can an examination of language illuminate the emergent ways in which we understand queerness under global capitalism at the start of the twenty-first century? Taking its cue from the growing body of queer of color critique scholarship (including but not limited to Roderick Ferguson, Jacqui Alexander, Gayatri Gopinath, David Eng, and Chandan Reddy), this panel seeks papers that consider the current state of 'queer' with attention to the uses of language. By approaching queerness as an instrument of knowledge production and/or as a vector of daily life, papers can approach how language contributes to the relationship between queer and difference by using a variety of methods: ethnography, oral history, textual analysis, the archive, policy analysis, etc.