A few years ago--maybe five or six--I found a cactus leaf on the floor of a local greenhouse, next to a floor drain. A single leaf, rather small and wan, already limp from having been knocked off its mother plant--but looking around, I couldn't locate the source. I slipped the leaf in my shirt pocket and, fortunately, remembered it at the end of the day. After floating in a cup of water for a day or two, it seemed visibly revived, and I had not much trouble rooting it. I think I had to wait almost six months before it actually put out a second leaf.
Fast forward to last year: the wee cactus has been steadily growing in a narrow wall pocket (planter) in my bathroom and has four or five arching stems. Then, finally, it popped: seven or eight tiny flower buds that opened nearly all at once, after growing and growing for a couple weeks, into gorgeous shaggy multipetaled crimson blossoms. Such a nice surprise.
That was last year. This year, the cactus is a bit larger, though still on the smallish side, and still growing in the same planter. There's finally enough of it that I felt comfortable removing a three-leaf section to root for a friend. And it's blooming again, only this time one bud will appear, grow and swell for a couple weeks, and finally open--expanding open during the day and half-closing at night. Each blossom lasts about a week before closing up for good and eventually dropping off. Meanwhile, a second bud starts to develop on another stem, and then another, each taking its turn. It's a nice extension of the blooming period, but I don't know why it's behaving this way: the plant has been in the same location for years now.
Spent half the day printing, folding, cutting, gluing, frowning, squinting, correcting, re-printing, re-cutting, resetting margins, re-printing, recutting, re-folding, squinting some more, holding my head in my hands once or twice, getting up and walking away more times than that, coming back, hitting a groove, more printing, more gluing, more puzzling and pondering. Result: one proof copy of Number 3 in the Editor's Series. Two titles in one: Jeff Stumpo's The Icarus Sketches and Crystal Boson's The Icarus Series. It was due to go out in the mail today, but tomorrow will do. More news will be up soon on the 7KP blog, as soon as we get the cover image finalized. The publication date is scheduled for July 15th.
Really fun accordion-style construction, such that you can read both titles by continuously turning the pages right to left--when you reach the end of one book and close the cover, you just open it again and read the other book. I totally owe the construction specs to Michele, one of our spring interns, who figured out how to make what I had tried to describe with my hands in the air by taping little two-inch squares of blue paper together.
Our prize is $350 and 20 free copies. We also want to send every entrant a copy of the winning collection.
Page Limit: 32 pages
Deadline: extended to Wednesday, July 15, 5 PM
If you are looking for clues as to what we look for a winner, we wish you luck because our selections are unpredictable and eclectic. We like to take risks if the poems interest us. We do not know what poems will interest us either until we see the poems. Sometimes we request poems from the manuscripts for our magazines.
Please make out a check for $20 to Hotmetalpress.
Send it to Carole Towers; 1173 Sea Eagle Watch; Charleston SC; 29412.
ENDED DEADLINE - Journal of Lesbian Studies Special Issue on Black Lesbians- Call for Proposals
Call for Contributors— please consider and let your friends and colleagues know!
Thematic issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies on LESBIANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT: CONTEMPORARY perspectives by Bianca D.M. Wilson and Verlena L. Johnson
The Journal of Lesbian Studies will be devoting a thematic journal issue and book on the topic of LESBIANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT. This journal issue will focus on some of the contemporary topics being discussed among lesbians of African descent, including creation of community, resisting oppression(s) , intersectional identity politics, sexual culture, negotiating family life, etc. Pieces that locate their work and perspectives in the current historical, political,20cultura l, and/or social context will be given preference. We welcome several forms of work, including personal essays, empirical papers, theoretical papers, poetry, and visual artwork. All work should have been written or developed in the last ten years. Authors may use a pseudonym if they prefer.
If there is a piece you published more than ten years ago, you may want to submit a commentary on your own work regarding how things stand now.
For written pieces, please send a one-page abstract of your proposed contribution. For visual art proposals, please submit five images maximum for consideration and a 250-word artist statement/bio. Send all proposals to Bianca D.M. Wilson at bwilson@csulb. edu or Verlena Johnson at verlenasroom@ yahoo.comby July 3, 2009. Abstracts will be evaluated for originality, diversity of experience, and writing style. Please keep in mind that selected 1-page proposals will need to submit full drafts by mid-September, 2009.
Please let your friends and colleagues know about this project. We are limiting submissions to authors who identify as lesbian or same-gender loving women of African descent.
All thematic issues of the Journal of Lesbian Studies are simultaneously reprinted in book form by Taylor and Francis. We hope that the resulting book will be used in social science and humanities studies courses and will be available in feminist and Black community bookstores.
We hope you will consider writing about contemporary topics relevant to lesbians of African descent, so that important aspects of our communities receive the attention they deserve!
Bianca D.M. Wilson and Verlena L. Johnson Guest Editors, Journal of Lesbian Studies Special Issue