An extra day—

Like the painting’s fifth cow,
who looks out directly,
straight toward you,
from inside her black and white spots.

An extra day—

Accidental, surely:
the made calendar stumbling over the real
as a drunk trips over a threshold
too low to see.

An extra day—

With a second cup of black coffee.

“February 29” Jane Hirshfield1953

Welcome to the Leap Day edition of the Bull Pen, where each week we round up good news, including links to new poems, essays, and stories from the literary citizens of the larger Bull City!  —Noah Stetzer

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Mahogany L. Browne

Mahogany L. Browne

Stop the world and watch this now: participant in the Daily Grind Writing Series, Mahogany L. Browne on “Black Girl Magic” at the PBS Newshour website.

Before the war leaned in and blew out the candles, there were many long days
where lovers called themselves lovers
and a house was a dream but also
four walls, a roof. —from BCP’s very own associate editor, Rebecca Hazleton’sThe Good in the Evil World” featured with the star studded line-up of the March 2016 issue of Poetry Magazine.

The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse

We are proud to announce that Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet, author of The Greenhouse (Bull City Press), has been shortlisted for the 2016 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. The Porter Prize is one of Australia’s most lucrative and respected awards for poetry. It honours the life and work of the great Australian poet Peter Porter (1929–2010).

What if instead of charting those hours that tangibly resulted in the creation of articles, stories, chapters, essays, what if instead it was more accurate to keep track of the types of writing I do that you will never see but are nonetheless necessary to produce the work that you do see? Ingrid Rojas Contreras “On Not Writing” at Electric Literature

Congratulations go out to Tarfia Faizullah, and her book, Seam (Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry)winner of the Emerging Writer Contest from The Susan Glaspell Writers and Critics Series at Drake University.



PRE-ORDER ANNA ROSS’ FIGURING FOR $10! Editor’s Selection in the 2015 Frost Place Chapbook Competition.  Coming soon! ORDER NOW.

Every girl who was any girl left school early that year to get her hair done for prom, even crippled Charlie Todd, whose hair had finally grown back after that car accident. Read “The Ones We Turned Into Queens” by one of our favorites, K.K. Fox at Tupelo Quarterly.

2015 Frost Place Chapbook Contest finalist Philip Schaefer, co-author along with Jeff Whitney, has a new book out: Radio Silence from Black Lawrence Press.

Finalists have been announced for the 2016 L.A. Times Book Prizes and plenty of our favorites are there including Rick Barot, Chord (Sarabande Books) and Jean Valentine, Shirt in Heaven (Copper Canyon Press).

Cb_An8pVIAEO5kfLook soon for the release of Emilia Phillips’ (Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alikean editors’ selection from the 2014 Frost Place Chapbook Competition) new book, Groundspeed (University of Akron Press) coming in March!  And for those in New Jersey make plans to join the release party on March 16!

My original mission was to create a place where poets from the slam community were featured next to poets from academia (although, I’m glad to see some of those distinctions slipping more and more). Listen in on this conversation between Stevie Edwards (participant in the Daily Grind Writing Series) and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib as they discuss at the Columbia Poetry Review their journal Muzzle Magazine.

“a fierceless and tender poet who always brings into view what’s strange and unusual and critical for our survival.” Dara Weir says about Arisa White, contributor to Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series, who has a new chapbook due out:  Black Pearl from Nomadic Press.



APPLY  Penn State will be reviewing applications for a one-semester teaching residency in both poetry and playwriting/screenwriting Candidates should have credentials in both genres. The program is targeted at early-career writers, preferably without a published book.

SUBMIT  Copper Nickel is excited to announce the Jake Adam York Prize for a first or second poetry collection.The inaugural judge will be Ross GayThe prize-winning poet will receive $2,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions in April, 2018, under a standard royalty contract. CN will begin accepting online submissions of book-length poetry manuscripts in July, 2016. The final due date for submission will be October 15, 2016.

SUBMIT  Ninth Letter will be accepting submissions of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from immigrant writers for a special online edition to be published at in Summer 2016. Submissions will be open from January 27 to April 15. 

APRIL 14-16: Through an exciting line-up of writing workshops, panel discussions, and readings, Writing from the Margins connects writers and readers in a dynamic exploration of the power and potential of literature representing the diversity of human experience. Bloomfield NJ. SIGN-UP