COVEN EDITIONS – Shiny New Small Press in Ottawa!

Coven Editions Launch Party February 27th 2018 Bar Robo - 7pm

Coven Editions Launch Party
February 27th 2018
Bar Robo – 7pm


 
Coven Editions is a brand new small press in Ottawa, specializing in broadsides and handmade chapbooks. They’re a woman-run press, though they don’t only publish work by women.
They’re having their launch party this February 27th at Bar Robo. There will be poetry performances (of course) and broadsides for sale, as well as a very short run of Magical Micropoems collected for the occasion.
 
As someone who write a LOT of magic-related poetry, I think it’ll be a good time.
 
See you there,
A.

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LGBTQ+ Literary Magazines/Journals

Relevant to my interests, and possibly yours as well.

Trish Hopkinson

21-lgbtq-literary-magazines-journals Image courtesy of https://peculiarjournalblog.wordpress.com

The listings below are literary magazines/journals that specifically focus on the artists and writers in the LGBTQ+ community. There are many other literary magazines that support LGBTQ+ contributors. For a more general list of all-inclusive/feminist lit mags, check out my list here: Feminist Lit Mags and Journals.

These literary magazines/journals are listed alphabetically; some are currently accepting submissions, some are temporarily closed. I’ve also included whether or not it is a paying market in the notes column. These lit mags/journals also fit the following criteria:

  • Generally do not charge fees to submit (although some may charge fees for some types of submissions and for contests).
  • They accept poetry submissions.
  • All accept electronic submissions.

If you have suggestions for lit mags/journals I’ve missed, please contact me here or leave a comment below.

Lit Mag/Journal Notes Duotrope
About Magazine Accepts individual pieces and manuscripts for their publishing…

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How to Write a Poetry Cover Letter

Relevant to my interests. Perhaps also to yours. 🙂

The Watering Hole

We always get questions about cover letters and it’s only because of our work on both sides of the desk (poet and organizer) that we’ve began to understand this a little better. Yes, we work for The Watering Hole, but we have also worked for The South Carolina Review, Yemassee, among others. We’ve been through hundreds of cover letters. Hopefully, this will demystify them for you.

Cover letters change shape based on what you are applying for. Sometimes poetry submissions lay out exactly what they are looking for in a cover letter. Often they don’t. Always, check that organization’s guidelines.

In general for poetry retreats, residencies, and fellowships, the poetry is read first, then the editors make a shortlist of acceptances, after which the cover letters are read, and more cuts are made. However, for publication, the cover letters are only read a month after all…

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Queer Femme Poets – Adele Barclay

So I’ve been working on a poetry manuscript for a while now. A series of glosas riffing on the poetry of other queer femmes. Femmes get a lot done with a little, draw inspiration and strength from each other, collaborate with each other, and generally lift each other up. I think the poetic form of the glosa – a style where you take four sequential lines of someone else’s poem and write your own four-stanza, forty-line response poem incorporating one of the lines into the same point of each ten-line stanza (usually as the last line of each stanza, but not always) – works really well, in and of itself, as a metaphor for femme solidarity and mutual inspiration.
To that end: A small series talking about the poets and poems that are inspiring my manuscript.
 

Cover of Adele Barclay’s “If I Were In A Cage I’d Reach Out For You” (Nightwood Editions, 2016).


 
Some Thoughts About This Book: If I Were In A Cage I’d Reach Out For You was recommended to me by a friend when I put a note up on Facebook asking for the names of queer femme poets I should be reading. I rattled off a list of the femmes whose work I either already had, or had on order either from a bookstore or through the library. When I looked up the author on twitter, I discovered that she’s the same kind of witchy queer poet that I am (turns out we are mirror witches – I’m a Scorpio with a Cancer moon, and she’s a Cancer with a Scorpio moon – which makes me inordinately happy, for weird, woo reasons that I’m more likely to delve into over at Urban Meliad than here. 😉 ). Being my kind of witch, it’s no surprise that she brings astrology, tarot, and kitchen magic into her work (as well as a delicious mix of explicitly formal and more free-verse styles of writing – which have inspired me to write aubades and other interestingly shaped or themed poems since reading it). It’s also no surprise that I love this book for the way she (re) enchants the urban landscape or, maybe more accurately, makes visible the magic that has always been there. I love the way water – the suit of feeling and healing – comes back again and again and again all through this book.
 
Which poem I chose to gloss and why: I chose to gloss the poem “Yukon River Breakup”, though there are a LOT of poems to draw on in this book (“Sea Hag”, “Cardinal vs Mutable”, “Last Night”, “Brackish”, the whole “Sara” collection, though “Sara VI” in particular…). I chose it because of the way she asks how a river breaks (“like a day // or like an egg” – hope & possibilities vs irreparable, disastrous damage), and because I also know that a photograph is a spell, and that humans love to make meaning out of everything. I also chose it because it’s position – the first new moon of a new year – is a good one for the kind of poem I wanted to write, about surfacing with wisdom gleaned from your own depths, and stepping towards a new way of being.
 
 
Cheers,
A.

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Queer Can Lit Newsflash: New Arsenal Pulp Press Books, Queer Canadian Books on 2017 Best Books Lists, and More!

SO MANY GOOD BOOOOOOOOOKS!!!

Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian

Is this December’s Queer Can Lit Newsflash or is it January’s?? Only time will tell! Here are some things that have been happening in Canadian LGBTQ2IA+ bookish world:

Vancouver’s Arsenal Pulp Press has some new books coming out in 2018, two of which are by two of my favourite authors: Amber Dawn and Casey Plett.

Plett’s novel is called Little Fish and it sounds AMAZING! You can read an early excerpt of the novel as a work in progress from Plenitude Magazine. Here’s the publisher’s description:

In this debut novel by the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning story collection A Safe Girl to Love, Wendy Reimer is a thirty-year-old trans woman in Winnipeg who comes across evidence that her late grandfather–a devout Mennonite farmer–might have been transgender himself. At first she dismisses this revelation, having other problems at hand, but as she and her friends struggle to cope…

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Queer Femme Poets – Amber Dawn

So I’ve been working on a poetry manuscript for a while now. A series of glosas riffing on the poetry of other queer femmes. Femmes get a lot done with a little, draw inspiration and strength from each other, collaborate with each other, and generally lift each other up. So I think the poetic form of the glosa – a style where you take four sequential lines of someone else’s poem and write your own four-stanza, forty-line response poem incorporating one of the lines into the same point of each ten-line stanza (usually as the last line of each stanza, but not always) – works really well, in and of itself, as a metaphor for femme solidarity and mutual inspiration. It’s also, of course, the form used in Amber Dawn’s Where the words end and my body begins, and her influence on my own writing has been pretty significant.
 
So, to the surprise of nobody, I’m starting this little blog series with that very same book.
 

Cover of Amber Dawn’s “Where the Words End and My Body Begins” (Arsenal Pulp, 2015).


 
Some Thoughts About This Book: This book was the beginning of it all, even before I decided that I could write glosas as a project, as a chapbook let alone a full-length manuscript, because reading it gave me the push to try using formal poetry as a way to unlock my writer’s brain and trick myself into creating Actual Poetry (as opposed to “paragraphs with funny line breaks”, which free verse – or at least MY free verse – can stumble into). Because, in Amber Dawn’s use of the form, she’s not afraid to mess with it, to move things around a little. It felt like permission to do the same – to divvy those quatrains up into the second or sixth or eighth line of each stanza, rather than the first or last, or to stick to the form hard, and then cheat it just a little in the last stanza.
But I also chose to work with poetry from this book, rather than from, say, How Poetry Saved My Life, because I want to incorporate something like a cascade effect into my poems: the four lines I chose from “The Revered Femme Bottom” include a line from the original Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha poem onto-which Amber Dawn built her own piece, and the title of her book echos a poem (“Summer : or, I want the rage of poets to bleed guns, speechless with words”) by femme poet Anurima Banerji. I love this book because it’s a story, told in stand-alone poems, about lineage. Lineage in Kathryn Payne’s “Whores and Bitches Who Sleep With Women”[3] sense of the word; in the “What kind of ancestor do you want to be?”[2] sense of the word. One more map showing where we came from, helping us chart where we go.
 
Which poem I chose to gloss and why: So far, I’ve written glosas riffing on both “Dirt Bag Love Affair” and “The Revered Femme Bottom”, though the one I wrote for Dirt Bag doesn’t really count – I don’t think – because it’s not actually a response to the poem, just a poem of mine written around the bones of four lines from hers. I love that poem because it is, itself, a gloss of another femme’s poem (Chandra Mayor’s “Winter Night”, from August Witch, iirc), and for it’s putting on and taking off of city & university layered over rural & poor, neither of those identities false or complete on their own. I love the other – and my gloss of “Femme Bottom” is a response, as a sometimes-stone femme top dreaming her way[3] back into her body and her desires – because it speaks to learning to recognize and name desire, and for the truth of “no-one could have told you the dearest souls roll rough trade”. My dearest souls so often do. I don’t know which, if either, of the poems I wrote on these pieces will end up in the final manuscript. Solid chance I’ll write at least one more on Amber Dawn’s work. But here we are.
 
 
Cheers,
A.
 
 
[1] You can find this essay, and Anurima Banerji’s above-mentioned poem, in Brazen Femme (Arsenal Pulp, 2002).
 
[2] Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Bodymap (Mawenzi House, 2015).
 
[3] As Amber L Hollibaugh and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha would both say, and have.

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INTERVIEW WITH AMELINDA BÉRUBÉ

Go read this interview with YA author Amelinda Berube!

Amelia Denyven Ross

This summer I participated in Pitch Wars—a competitive author mentorship program, which concludes with an agent showcase—and I was fortunate enough to work with Amelinda Bérubé as my mentor. Amelinda has a flair for crafting creepy stories and characters that will haunt your memory. She was kind enough to discuss a little about her writing process with me.

What is your favorite stage of writing, and why? Research? Brainstorming? First drafts? Revising?

Revising, absolutely. It’s so much less excruciating when the words are out there on the page and all you have to do is make them better! Research is a close second, though; it never fails to get me excited and lit up about a project, no matter how frustrated or stuck I am.

Are you a plotter, pantster, or both? Or does it vary throughout the creative process?

I’m an unhappy hybrid of the two, I think. Plantser?…

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iskwew

This is a lovely poem by Samantha Nock. Go forth and check her out.

my kokum used to tell me:

“if you wear your shoes on the wrong feet

a bear will eat you.”

when i moved to the city

my kokum cried

because cities have never been kind to us

and there are threats bigger than

bears chasing a toddler

with her left shoe on her right foot.

she calls me to say:

“don’t leave your drink unattended”

“don’t walk alone at night, my girl”

she taught me how to knead bannock

and how to say the lords prayer

she showed me where she saw

hungry spirits at the lake

she taught me how to say “i love you” in our way

she taught me how to

be scared of the dark

when you’re a lone woman

walking from the bus stop to

your front door.

my mother taught me

that no man is anything to you

and that you can pick up…

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WE WON’T BECOME SEA FOAM IN THIS ONE by SHIRLEY WANG

Just… Just go read this poem by Shirley Wang. ❤

VAGABOND CITY

your hair’s wet because we went night swimming
the mothlight furring my forehead
together and pulsing with the spectral heave of the moon
these tides knowing me the way i know myself
pensive and cold and slick along the insides.
hoarse siren song and the fuzzy swan-curve of my neck
the waves carving me into the rind of your back
the shell of something once living hot in your mouth
sunbathing in the dark, smashing sea glass with so much
care and wearing it in the dips of our fishbone bodies
drinking warm soda with our flapping caved-in lungs,
kissing the water and capsizing in our own holiness
sheeted over with salt, dissonant with our hands,
pruned and pink and tender from years on the sand
conscious that i love you like a skin-psych
these rough and seismic things only making us softer.

__

Shirley Wang is a Chinese poet…

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Poem – Shiver

Originally posted this on Syrens, but figured I should stick it up here as well. 😉

syrens

My skin is
hungry flutter in
my chest
aching for touch
smooth my hands over
thighs
hips
neck
cheek
fingers trace the line
of lip and collarbone craving
hot shower
hot chocolate
burn my tongue on the absence
of a lover’s mouth
lonely body
longing for all that
heat
enough
to make me
shiver

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