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The Talking Stick Volume 24

I wanted to mention that my poem "On the Occasion of My Untimely Demise" has been published in this year’s volume of The Talking Stick. I was also blessed that this piece won first prize in the poetry category this year. Many thanks to the staff of The Talking Stick and also to judge Laura Hansen for this treasured opportunity.

Published by The Jackpine Writers’ Bloc, The Talking Stick is a Minnesotan collaboration of poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction and awards a cash prize in each category. It is written and entirely produced by writers who at least have close ties to Minnesota.

Also included in this volume of The Talking Stick is my short story called "Brandy and Merlot." I'm proud of this piece because it's a big departure from what I usually do in fiction. The story is primarily dialogue driven and is much quirkier than my usual...especially since it features a talking pet as a major character.

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend The Talking Stick 24 book release party on September 19, 2015 near Park Rapids, MN. I enjoyed the energy of the sixty or so people there and the chance to read my prizewinning poem, as well as listen to all the great work of the diverse contributors to the journal.

It doesn’t look like Volume 24 is available yet for purchase online, but it will likely be soon. If you are looking for a good read, it would be worth checking out.

http://thetalkingstick.com/

http://www.jackpinewriters.com/

Some things I forgot to blog about…

(1) I will have two prose poems in “World’s End”, which will be the inaugural edition of The End Times. The End Times is a student run publication from the University of Illinois Springfield. Per their mission statement, it’s a literary magazine with a focus on distributing literature in a post-apocalyptic Midwest; a collection of poetry and prose signifying the challenges of maintaining humanity in the end of the world. I’m excited to contribute– thanks to the editors for choosing my work.

(2) The results of the 2013 Annual Whispering Prairie Press Writers’ Contest came out in early August 2013, and I was ecstatic to find out my poem Bad Luck Sings the Blues took third place. No publication, but cash and encouragement are positive things. Big thanks to the judges for deeming my work worthy of commendation.

(3) I’ve got a lot of love for Whispering Prairie Press this year.  In addition to the aforementioned 3rd place contest finish, their periodical Kansas City Voices published my poem How to Sing Under the Influence. Kansas City Voices’ mission is to discover, encourage, and promote creativity and communication through literature, art, and other forms of cultural expression. I am happy to be a part of Issue 11 of Kansas City Voices. If you get a chance to check out this periodical, I’d suggest it – the poetry, pictures, and fiction are all very engaging.

(4) Since I am behind in mentioning publications, I will play catch up on my year in print by mentioning that I had poetry and fiction included in Talking Stick Volume 22, two poems in the Vermillion Literary Project, and a prose poem featured in the Bare Root Review.

That’s all for now. Be good.

It’s been awhile since I posted, or 5 things that I want you to know

(1) My poem Excerpts from the Guide to Modern Survival has gathered some praise. It was a runner-up in the 2010 Princemere Poetry Contest, and earned honorable mention in the 9th Annual Saturday Writers One Page Poem Contest. I appreciate the love.

(2) My flash fiction piece Hush and poems Waning and Life is a Series of One-Hit Wonders will appear in Talking Stick 20. The Talking Stickis a Minnesotan collaboration of poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction, and is a publication of the nonprofit organization, The Jackpine Writers' Bloc. You can go to their website to find out more about how the Talking Stick started and what the group does. In addition, Hush received an honorable mention nod amongst the fiction entries this year, and Waning earned first place honors in poetry. I am flattered by all this; big thanks to the judges and editors.

(3) So far my full-length poetry manuscript, The Blues Almanac, has been rejected by no less than twenty publishers. I am hopeful though. This is a good book & I believe in it.

(4) I wrote two prose poems last week, and created some random scribbled thoughts this week. I think my writer’s block might be over. My work rate was almost nil since mid-January, so my creative side was struggling. Glad to be back on the horse.

(5) The weather in Minnesota stinks, except for today, but I am working too hard at the day job to enjoy the rare occurrence of sunshine outside. My inner Florida Evans is screaming, “Damn, damn, damn.”

Update.

Still on my grind.

My poem Innovations in Violence earned Honorable Mention in the August 2010 Poetry Society of New Hampshire National Contest. Big thanks to Betsy Snider and all involved in this contest.

My poem The Intervention Soliloquy appears in the nineteenth edition of The Talking Stick, a Minnesota based literary journal that has been published yearly since 1995.

Finally, the online .pdf literary journal A Handful of Dust has published my poem Hello, My Name Is in its latest issue. You can check out the issue, which includes work by Louie Crew, Doug Holder, Michael Lee Johnson, and many other talented writers by clicking here.

Redemption.

My poem Redemption recently won the 2010 Southern Illinois Writers Guild National Contest (Poetry Division)!  Big thanks to Roger Poppen (the Contest Chair) and anyone else involved in with this wonderful contest opportunity. My poem Education also earned a tie for third place.

I am both happy and humbled that my work has been received this positively. Redemption especially was an experiment of sorts for me, a venture into a different style of poetry than I usually write, so I am encouraged by its victory.

To see a complete list of the contest winners, you can click here.

Since Redemption garnered first place, it will be published in an anthology – I’ll pass along those details later.

Finalist.

Just found out that my poetry manuscript The Blues Almanac was a finalist in the first-ever Smalls Book Poetry Book Contest.  Although it didn't win and it won't get published (yet), it feels good to know my manuscript was able to hang around until the end of the competition - it is an honor.  Thanks to judge Gerry LaFemina and to senior editor George Guida for the opportunity to compete.