by Win Bassett
In an effort to be a charitable citizen of the independent publishing community, we’d like to give a little love to our contributors, friends, and fellow members each week!
* Emilia Phillips, whose forthcoming chapbook Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike will be published by Bull City Press, has two poems up at West Branch Wired.
* We are thrilled to see North Carolina’s Dorianne Laux interviewed at the new website divedapper:
Well, when I was first coming into the world of poetry I saw how important it was that small magazines and presses accepted and supported my poetry, as well as the poetry of others I admired. Early on I worked with a small magazine as an editor and saw that it is really a occupation of the heart. Long hours, no pay, sitting on the floor in someone’s living room behind a box of envelopes stuffed with poems looking for a reader. I also sat around tables in kitchens with a motley crew and hand bound chapbooks, by staple or needle and thread, hour after hour until they were all finished and stacked back to back in a box or slipped one by one into envelopes and addressed. Years later, I visited the offices of APR in Philadelphia. I imagined it would be a far cry from those small living rooms and kitchens, some shining palace of poetry, and I was so surprised to walk up a flight of worn stairs to a small office packed end to end with old issues stacked against the walls, books in every cubby hole, two desks shoved into a dark space in the corner, some sickly potted plant balanced on a ledge, under watered, ill-fed, and two guys in shirt sleeves, shuffling through the envelopes on their desks, and propped on a stool, one ringing phone. It’s all work of the heart.
* Amy Woolard published some of her out-of-print poems at Ink Node last week. Check them out!
* The new issue of Drunken Boat is out!
* William Wright is San Pedro River Review‘s first featured poet, debuted in the Fall 2014 issue.
* Be on the lookout for Salt Hill Journal #33. Matt Bell has four of poems in the forthcoming issue, and they are his first poems in print.
* Erica Wright’s “Spontaneous Human Combustion” from Gulf Coast was featured at Verse Daily.
* Bull City Press’s Rebecca Hazelton published a resourceful essay at the Poetry Foundation this week for poetry teachers about how line breaks shape meaning:
The relationship between the poetic line (including its length and positioning and how it fits into other lines) and the content of a poem is a major aspect of poetry. Some critics go so far as to say that lineation is the defining characteristic of poetry, and many would say it’s certainly one major difference between most poetry and prose. In A Poetry Handbook, poet Mary Oliver says, “prose is printed (or written) within the confines of margins, while poetry is written in lines that do not necessarily pay any attention to the margins, especially the right margin.” Critic and poet James Longenbach, in his preface to The Art of the Poetic Line, also links the definition of poetry to lineation: “Poetry is the sound of language organized in lines.” But the line can be difficult to talk about because it doesn’t operate independently of other poetic elements, as sense, syntax, sound, and rhythm can. Instead, it is a modifier or an amplifier of sense, syntax, sound, and rhythm—which is precisely why an exploration of line can so illuminate poetry as a whole.
* Congratulations to Laura van den Berg for being among the winners of the 2014 O. Henry Prize for short fiction!
Win Bassett‘s nonfiction has been published online in The Atlantic, the Paris Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Guernica. His fiction and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Image, PANK, and Pea River Journal. He’s a former assistant district attorney and serves on the PEN Prison Writing Program Fiction Committee and as Legal Advisor for Asymptote. Follow him on Twitter @winbassett.