"someone is collecting the lost" by Poetry Finalist Aimee Herman

 

Aimee Herman is the author of two full length books of poetry, “meant to wake up feeling” and “to go without blinking” and currently teaches writing in the Bronx. Read more words at aimeeherman.wordpress.com.

One Month Left to Apply for the Sarabande Writing Residency

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Located at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Louisville, Kentucky, the Sarabande Writing Residency offers an annual residency to writers of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. The residency includes a two-to six-week stay in a private cottage, as well as a $500 travel stipend. Sarabande Books, founded in 1994, publishes works in poetry, short fiction, and essay, hosting about 225 readings, workshops, and lectures per year.

You can learn more about this residency and how to apply at Sarabande Books.

Off the Grid Press Contest for Poets Over 60

From the 19th-Century Album of Ottoman Fashion courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Off the Grid Press is currently accepting manuscript submissions of previously published work from poets over the age of sixty. The contest runs through September 15th, and one winning poet will receive $1,000, plus a published collection of their work. Founded in 2005, Off the Grid Press is a non-profit focusing on providing a forum for older, perhaps recently overlooked poets.

To learn more and submit your manuscript, visit their site.

 

Vestal Review 12 Word Competition

What would you write on your tombstone? The Vestal Review wants to know! In 12 words or less, enter what you would like to see written on your tombstone. Entry is free and the winner of the best monthly feature receives a $10 prize. The Vestal Review is a semi-annual print magazine. It remains the oldest magazine dedicated exclusively to flash fiction. Check out more about this contest here!

Museo de la Palabra Micro Fiction Contest

The Museo de la Palabra has recently announced its third short tales contest! This edition’s theme is “Words and Freedom.” The Micro stories Award aims to represent people, cultures and nations of many different traditions. In the past two editions of the competition, over twenty thousand stories were submitted from upwards of a hundred different countries. The competition is free to enter and the overall first prize for best story is $20,000. The Museo de la Palabra, a Palace in the heart of the Cervantine route, stands as a place for study and exchange, and remains an emblem of the Fundación César Egido Serrano. Check out more about the contest here!

INTERVIEW: Geoffrey Nutter on Teaching Poetry

Autumn by Robert Walrond, courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Friend of Augury Geoffrey Nutter (The Rose of January, Wave Books, 2013) has long been hosting poetry seminars in Upper Manhattan. Nutter recently took some time to sit down with Augury intern Emily Kaufman to talk about his current classes at the home of Wallson Glass, among other things.

Emily: Being a writer yourself, what prompted you to begin teaching? What value do you find in teaching creative writing? 

Geoffrey: I love talking about poetry with other poets. I think it’s important for a teacher of poetry to help poets gain a sense that they are, as my old friend Matthew Rohrer puts it, “surrounded by friends.” Not only fellow poets, but the fellow poets of the past and present, famous or otherwise. These are our kindred spirits.

Poets are often intimidated or alienated by the feeling that the poet has no place in our society. It’s a strange predicament, being in love with something that is so exalted on the one hand, and yet whose value is so questioned by the society we are a part of. It even causes us, the poets, to question our own value. It’s a predicament that merits thought and discussion–but one that I think creative writing study can help poets overcome.

Emily: What do you feel is the most important element in teaching poetry? 

Geoffrey: The making of poems involves radical freedom–the freedom to experiment with form, experiment with language, experiment with self and consciousness, and push these experiments to extremes in order to create experiences and bring them to a consummation. Part of what excites me about teaching is how it enables me to guide other poets through experiments that will help disclose some of poetry’s world-making possibilities.
Emily: What do you hope your students will get out of your classes?

Geoffrey: Poems! And the willingness to take poetic risks; a broadened sense of how poems can be made; fellowship with other poets and kindred spirits; and faith in the powers of poetry and a renewed sense of how poetry does what nothing else is able to do.

Basho was a great teacher of poetry in 17th century Japan. He urged students to try to identify closely with the things of the world, to feel a direct sympathy with them to the point of inhabiting them through imaginative projection. (Keats was able to achieve something of this sort as well–it’s reported that when he saw the wind sweeping through a field of grain, his body would start swaying imitatively). Language is the point of physical identity between the observer and the observed (whether the thing observed is something in the objective world we move through, or something in the objective world of the imagination {yes, itself an objective world}), which is where the idea of precision becomes so important. But language is also, of course, how we discover what we observe. We move through language toward discovery–not the other way around.

I also hope the people who study poetry with me come away with an awareness of something that John Dewey expresses so beautifully: that poems “do not seem to come from the self, because they issue from a self not consciously known.”

Emily: Your classes in the past have generally had a clear direction or focus. What do your upcoming classes focus on?     

Geoffrey: In the coming months I’m going to continue doing what Wallson Glass has been doing: many, many writing exercises in each session that experiment with different ways of using language and looking at things. Classes so far have been very productive, the energy very high and intense, and the quality of the writing exceptional. Many participants have published books, and many go on to publish poems that they write during our sessions. So the classes have been attracting amazing writers.

And look for an all-night writing session soon, and a late-night writing session at a restaurant in Koreatown in the coming months!

I will also have some six-week workshops happening beginning in September. And since I’ve started to have numerous students from out of state, I’m working on a week-long residency for Summer 2016. Keep checking back!

Emily: What encouraged you to pursue writing originally, as opposed to engaging in a different career path?

Geoffrey: I probably started writing poems for the same reason most (or many) people start: to figure something out, and set that “figuring out” into motion. To hear what the self sounds like when it’s trying to figure things out, in a way that makes that self seem surprising and new.

When I was younger, I found it extremely encouraging when a friend would read a poem I wrote and tell me that it was interesting or beautiful or striking. And that’s still the case. Don’t all poets feel this way? I assume so, which is why it’s so important for me, as a teacher of poetry, to be attentive to the unique and amazing things that fellow poets are setting into motion in their poems.

 

For more information on Geoffrey’s classes (and to read some of his poetry) check out his site!

 

Augury’s Reading Period Is Open for Prose and Poetry May 1 – July 31, 2015:

Submit now via Submittable, and thank you for your interest in Augury Books!

Augury Books Among New School Writing’s Must-Read Magazines and Presses

From Harry Clarke’s illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1919), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

We’re happy to acknowledge that Augury Books has been listed as one of New School Writing’s must-read magazines and presses founded by New School MFA alumni. Others mentioned include Coldfront, Moviefied NYCThe Agriculture Reader, and Birds, LLC.

Founded in 1931, Creative Writing at The New School continues to promote, engender, and shape innovative literature.

Read the full list of magazines and presses here.

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Augury Books’ spring/summer 2015 reading period is now open for submissions in poetry and prose. For guidelines and general information, please visit our submissions page.

Randall Horton Featured in 2015 PEN World Voices Anthology

Carleton Watkins’ Among The Tree Tops Calaveras Grove (1829), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

We would like to congratulate Randall Horton on having an excerpt from Hook: A Memoir through Letters featured in the 2015 PEN World Voices Online Anthology. Hook is forthcoming from Augury Books in 2015. The PEN collection is comprised of prose, poetry, and dramatic writing from the participants of this year’s World Voices Festival. Among the other authors included are Nathalie Handal, Zoe Pilger, and Cormac James.

PEN’s World Voices Festival, running from May 4th to the 10th, celebrates literature from all over the globe. This year’s theme, On Africa, strives to make heard the voices of contemporary African artists.

The full PWV Anthology can be read online here. New writings are added weekly.

More on Randall Horton

Halina Duraj’s The Family Cannon Nominated for CLMP Firecracker Award

From E. Weiß’s Bilderatlas der Sternenwelt (1888), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) released the nominees for their new Firecracker Awards. Inspired by the Firecracker Alternative Book Awards, CLMP’s awards strive to honor and support literary works from independent publishers and self-published writers.

The finalists are divided into six categories: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, young adult, graphic novels, and literary magazines. Among them is Augury author Halina Duraj for her book of short stories, The Family Cannon. Other finalists across categories include Jeffery Renard AllenMartha Baillie, Bonnie Friedman, Allen Crawford, and Ransom Riggs, as well as several literary magazines, including 6 x 6, A Public Space, and Mosaic. Tin House, Graywolf Press, Ahsahta Press, and Tender Buttons Press are all among the publishers that have titles shortlisted. The winners in each group will be announced on May 27th at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO.

To see the complete shortlists for the Firecracker Awards, view CLMP’s press release.

For more about Halina Duraj and The Family Cannon, click here.

Evan Lorenzen Designs Pin-Sized Books

Pin-Sized Book Reminds Us of Life's Little Pleasures

A detail from “Life’s Lil Pleasures.” Photo credit: Gizmodo / Evan Lorenzen

 

Illustrator and designer Evan Lorenzen has spent the past year designing tiny, pin-sized books. The books comprise a “micro-library” of guides and curiosities, including “Life’s Lil Pleasures,” “The Little Book of Big Ideas,” and “The Mini Book of Major Events.” Thanks to Gizmodo for highlighting Lorenzen’s work. You can see more little books on his website.