Monday Morning Markets/Jobs/Opportunities

Attention, New York writers! “Artists’ Fellowships are $7,000 cash awards made to individual originating artists living and working in the state of New York for unrestricted use.” For the current grant cycle, applications are welcome in the fields of fiction, playwriting/screenwriting, and other (visual/performing) art fields. The application deadline is October 3, and there’s no application fee. There are, however, several eligibility criteria (for example, I am not yet eligible to apply because I have not lived in New York long enough). Check the NYFA site for more information and application materials.

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And here’s something for writers in Washington, D.C.: “Poets & Writers, Inc. is pleased to invite you to apply for the 2008 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.” This award is open to writers in different states each year. This year Washington D.C. resident poets and fiction writers who have a) never published published a book, or b) have published (self-published books do not count) no more than one full-length book in the genre in which they are applying, and c) have resided in D.C. for at least two years prior to manuscript submission are eligible. Prize in each genre includes $500; a trip to New York City in October 2008 to meet with editors, agents, publishers, and other writers; and an optional one-month residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming. There’s no application fee. Deadline: December 1, 2007. Details and entry form here.

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Crab Orchard Review is looking for submissions (fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction) for a special issue on “‘The In-Between Age: Writers on Adolescence.'” Pays: $20/published magazine page ($50 minimum for poetry, $100 minimum for prose). Submission deadline: October 31. Guidelines here. (via CRWROPPS)

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If you’re planning to pitch Fit Pregnancy, you may find this profile of new Associate Editor Jennifer Carofano helpful.

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Thinking of pitching ELDR, a new publication whose tagline is “Celebrate Aging”? Read this column about the magazine for more information about its focus and editorial interests.

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Received an announcement last week from A Midsummer Night’s Press about two new annual anthologies: Best Gay Poetry and Best Lesbian Poetry. For the 2008 editions, they’re looking for poetry published during 2007. “Poems can have appeared in print or online magazines, journals, or anthologies; we are also willing to consider poems from books or chapbooks first published in 2007, even if the poem was originally published previously in periodicals, so long as the poet has the right to reprint the poem.” The publisher tells me that compensation will be determined once the final number of contributors is known (dividing up a small budget). Deadline: December 1, 2007. Submission information here.

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The University of the Arts (Philadelphia) is looking for an “established poet/teacher…to teach one or two sections of Poetry Writing Workshop at The University of the Arts.” See the announcement at HigherEdJobs.com.

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The State University of New York at Buffalo is searching for an associate/full professor of English. Specifically, they seek a “Prestigious poet committed to the innovative traditions of modernist and contemporary poetry. Candidates must currently hold the rank of associate professor or professor and/or have an extensive and distinguished record of publication. Candidates must demonstrate an ability to teach solid and inventive undergraduate courses, and bring fresh perspectives to the study of poetry and poetics as demonstrated by a record of writing and teaching interests appropriate to seminars in large M.A./Ph.D program.” Application deadline: October 15, 2007. More information at HigherEdJobs.com.

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The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Boston) is calling for adjunct faculty to teach Expository Writing. See the announcement at HigherEdJobs.com.

No-Cost Contest Update

It wasn’t easy (mostly because of a troublesome technical glitch), but the job is complete: The latest version of our famous Guide to No-Cost Literary Contests and Competitions has been uploaded and is ready for you! As always, “dead” programs have been removed; new opportunities have been added; and all links have been checked (and updated as appropriate). The result of this semi-yearly update: 266 competition possibilities for your writing, not one of which requires entry or processing or application or reading fees. Read more about this fabulous guide (and download a free preview with several sample listings) right here.

"Rappelle"-ing Prévert’s "Barbara"

Despite what some people out there may believe, it really doesn’t take much to make me happy!

Take, for example, how delighted I’ve been all this week by the discovery of a single Guardian Unlimited Books Blog “Poem of the Week” post.

I’ve written here before about my (limited) experience with memorized poems. Maybe one reason I didn’t include Jacques Prévert’s “Barbara” in that post is that, like someone referenced in the Guardian’s post, I first encountered “Barbara” as a song, chanted, unforgettably, by Yves Montand.

That introduction took place when I was enrolled in a phonetics class in Paris during my junior spring abroad. My teacher (who, by the way, identified herself as the real-life mother of the [then] young French boy who played Julien in one of my favorite movies, Louis Malle’s 1987 Au revoir, les enfants) played a Montand recording before requiring us to memorize the poem for the next class.

Well, as you’ll see from the Guardian blog post, “Barbara” is one long poem! Even more challenging, from my perspective, is its reliance on the letter “r.” Let’s just say that despite all my practice with this poem, not to mention all the language lab time I was assigned in college to ameliorate my terrible accent by reading “r” words aloud from the French dictionary in the company of a native speaker, I still preface every first conversation with a French speaker, as apologetically and yet as reassuringly as I can, with this line: “Je comprends mieux que je parle” (“I understand better than I speak”).

Rereading the poem this week I am amazed that I ever knew it par coeur. But I did! I can still recite/hum chunks of it (believe me, though, I’m no Yves Montand).

(The Guardian post also provoked quite a thread of commentary about the poem, including much translation-related discussion.)

(Re)discovering “Barbara” reminded me that for that phonetics class we had to memorize another poem, too. (Click here to hear a remarkable recording–from 1913!–of its creator, Guillaume Apollinaire, reading it aloud!)

And rediscovering “Barbara” just put me in a mellow, nostalgic mood. And it helped inspire me as my new poetry class continues. (That’s going well, so far. I’ll probably post more about that sometime soon.)

My Poetic Past (and Present)

Something not too many people know about me is that my publication history began with poetry. As a teenager, I saw my poems published not only in my high school’s literary magazine, but also in journals I found–yes, that’s right–in Writer’s Market. (Clearly my odd passion for literary market research started early!)

But I didn’t sense that poetry was where my future rested. I loved prose. I wanted to write prose. I was writing prose. Poetry receded, except in the college classes where I read (and wrote academic essays [prose!] about) Blake and Baudelaire.

As an MFA student I read a lot more poetry (and met a few very talented practicing poets). I still didn’t think poetry was my “thing,” but after awhile I started to wonder. A bit.

And now, occupied all day with my full-time university office job, maintaining a semblance of a freelance life with a few article and review assignments and waiting for a couple of accepted stories to appear in print (or online), I am turning to poetry. I am trying to shake things up, especially where my fiction writing is concerned (to say that new work has plateaued is to be too kind to myself). I am trying to learn some new skills that I may apply elsewhere.

I am taking a poetry class. Online. My first homework assignment is due by July 17.

So I am trying to benefit from the structure and inspiration of a class and from the skills and expertise of the instructor who is leading us. I am trying, still, to grow as a writer.

Even if, in a way, I’m going back twenty-something years, all the way to my bylines’ beginnings.

Wish me luck.

Book Reviewing Kudos

I have permission to offer these public congratulations to Laura Polley, one of the writers in the Lesley University MFA program who took my online book reviewing course this past semester. Laura has recently seen several reviews published, including this one in Buffalo’s alternative newsweekly, Artvoice, and two litmag reviews over at NewPages.com. Nice work, Laura!

Monday Morning Markets/Jobs

Newbury College (Brookline, Mass.) is looking for part-time composition faculty. See the announcement at HigherEdJobs.com.

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“Yoga Journal.com is seeking a locally-connected yogi/yogini-writer to cover the local yoga scene in the form of a weekly blog. Candidates must be Chicago residents, experienced yoga practitioners, and professional writers. Yoga junkies and yoga teachers are encouraged to apply.” See the craigslist announcement here.

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If you’re considering pitching Merge magazine you’ll doubtless find this profile of the publication helpful.

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INTHEFRAY magazine is planning an issue that will “explore religion in contemporary society” and is open to relevant submissions. See the announcement here. (Note that this magazine pays only for selected sections.)

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InTheKnowTraveler.com pays $10 for stories 450-600 words long. “First and foremost we aim to celebrate world travel by promoting its many fantastic destinations and to appreciate and accept all of its unique cultures. We present positive stories about our real travel experience. The stuff we loved and the things we want you to know before hitting the road. Please note, we are not investigative journalists. If a destination is not to our liking then we simply will not write about it.” More information here.

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“The publishers of Providence Monthly [Rhode Island] are starting a new monthly lifestyle magazine in South County this fall. We are looking for freelance writers to cover all subjects. Please email a writing sample and area of interest by July 15.” See the craigslist announcement here.

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Attention, Virginia poets! The application deadline for fellowships from the Virginia Commission of the Arts is August 1. You’ll find the application here.