Ouliposter-Badge-Plum-300x300As a kind of farewell and wrapup, we’ve been asked to post an exit interview, discussing the Oulipost experience. It will take awhile still to absorb and understand Oulipo, I think, but that’s why I purchased the Oulipo Compendium. That will keep me going forever! And thanks so much to the Found Poetry Review, for pulling this all together! What a ride, as one of my fellow Ouliposters said!

So, what now and what’s next? Herewith:


Oulipost Exit Interview: Oulipost Ends Where the Work Begins

Question 1:

What happened during Oulipost that you didn’t expect? What are the best (or worst) moments for you?

Well, going in, I didn’t know a lot about Oulipo experimental writing, although I’d had a bit of an intro while taking Modern & Contemporary American Poetry with Al Filreis UPenn, through Coursera.

Some of the scariest sounding prompts turned out to be the most fun. And often the ones that sounded really quite straightforward turned out to be anything but.  And I never expected ever to write a poem with zombies in it, much less a zombie sonnet on a day that was not a sonnet prompt. It was Day 9, create a poem from headlines. Zombies just jumped out from the page and off I went. And I found the hardest ones were the ones with selected letters to be used or to be avoided. 

I also enjoyed the discussions with the other Ouliposters and their ideas, which often helped me get started in the mornings.

Question 3:

What does your street look like?

Aha! We encounter Oulipo even in the questions. Ok, I will do Q3 next then about something totally off-track.  My street is a cornucopia of cars and kids cavorting. No, actually it often looks like a parking lot. Mostly townhomes, and a bedroom community for Ottawa.  Everyone has more vehicles than their driveways and single garages will hold. But lovely in spring and fall when the trees, now nearly 20 years old, are either in blossom or in full fall colour.

Question 4:

Who is your spirit Oulipostian?  Portrait of Tristan Tzara I didn’t have one going in, and I am not sure I have one coming out. On occasion, John Beryman, on others Christian Bök, a Canadian poet who wrote Eunoia, which won the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, which had 5 chapters, each using a single vowel.  Interesting concept, read more about him here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_B%C3%B6k Perhaps also Tristan Tzara, although not an Oulipolian, did create Dadaist poetry.


English: tristan Tzara Español: Tristan Tzara ...

English: tristan Tzara Español: Tristan Tzara pero en Español (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Question 5:

What are the top three poems you wrote during this project?

English: Photograph of Parliament Hill, Ottawa...

Ooh, not fair! I’m not sure I can narrow down to three. Day 7’s N+7 poem, Behind Closed Doors on Parliament Hill is one. Strangely enough, Day 19’s sestina poem, Zoo Variations. Of course, thanks are due again to Doug Luman and his wonderful tools, which made this a whole lot easier, and actually do-able in a single day. Probably the last one would be the Patchwork Quilt, In a Vacant Lounge in Canada, I Too sat Dowse and Wept,taking lines from all the poems written over the 30 days, simply because it does revisit some of the best lines from all the poems, but then again, there are the two Antonymy poems from April 22, Buy the Pigeon, Sell Carnivores and A Silence Out of Mid-Summer. Both these have a combination of sensical lines and nonsense. I think overall, I liked the ones that had interesting and startling juxtapositions, and were a bit or a lot outside my usual “coherence.”


A city pigeon

A city pigeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Question 2:

What questions do you have for your teaspoons? What questions do your teaspoons have for you?

Questions for my teaspoons:



Teaspoons (Photo credit: eltpics)

Why don’t you hold more sugar?

Why is there only one of you in a set of measuring spoons, at least one for wet and another for dry?
Why are you almost always heaping when you are not scant?



Questions my teaspoons have for me: 

Why do you scoop around the slice of stale bread, the clay honeybear and the measuring scoop instead of moving them out of the way first?
Why don’t you use more jam and less oil, since we all have a sweet-tooth too?
Why do you keep us here in the dark when we really want to watch Big Bang Theory?


Teaspoon… (Photo credit: vanherdehaage)

Question 6:

What will you do next? 

Hoping to put together a regular submission plan (and implement it!) and to work on the three chapbooks/collections I have in process, including, now, the Oulipo ones. My title for that so far is Newspaper Clippings. And definitely, definitely doing more Oulipo! 

One of several versions of the painting "...

One of several versions of the painting “The Scream”. The National Gallery, Oslo, Norway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Quillfyre’s #Oulipost 2 Lipogram

Ouliposter-Badge-Plum-300x300Oulipost #2: Lipogram (Newspaper Titles)

A lipogram is a text that excludes one or more letters of the alphabet. The ingenuity demanded by the restriction varies in proportion to the frequency of the letter or letters excluded. For this initial exercise, you will compose a poem using only words that can be formed from letters that are NOT found in the title of your newspaper. For example, if you are working with the Washington Post, you must avoid using words that contain the letters A, G, H, I, N, O, P, S, T and W. Le-Lionnais-300x300

Why oh why, did I choose The Ottawa Citizen?  I have only one vowel, the u, available, and perhaps y.  Fortunately, one of the participants is a whiz at building word compiler tools, but not sure this prompt is workable with so few vowels. Need Christian Bök just now… However, I gave myself the luxury of titling without constraint

Senator Goes to Market


Buy funds
Run up, up, up, up–


Surplus jump:
Up up up.
Fully fund

Carol A. Stephen


SOURCES: Ottawa Citizen Digital April 2, 2014

  • Press, Jordan, Harper-appointed senator argues against his plan for elected chamber
  • Berthiaume, Lee & Press, Jordan, Investigation report clears Sen. Colin Kenny of harassment
  • Shecter, Barbara Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan posts first surplus in 10 years
  • Quebec’s forgotten region, By Ottawa Citizen Editorial, Ottawa Citizen

·         Reevely, David Provincial Tories blow lid off Liberals’ budget plans


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CAA-NCR Weekly Notices June 16 to 23, 2013


Weekly Notices for the week of June 17 to June 23, 2013

 11 items: 5 NEW EVENTS 1 NEW CALL

Please send all submission & event notices to Carol Stephen at cstephen0@gmail.com 

####Find writing-related services offered by our members at our CAA-NCR website   http://www.canauthors-ottawa.org/hire-a-member.shtml



DATES: Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21, 2013

LOCATION: Heagle Country Residence, Osgoode, Ontariochairs fixed

bARBARA KYLEFEATURING Workshop Leader – BARBARA KYLE- Over 450,000 copies of her books have been sold in seven countries.

Workshop Title – Master Class Plus: Shaping Your Story With a Pro

In Saturday’s all-day workshop Barbara covers five essential aspects of craft used by successful authors – Hooks, The Inciting Incident, Conflict and Reversals, Deep Character, Dialogue

In Sunday’s half day workshop Barbara focuses on “Getting Published” including the world of self-publishing with e-books. You’ll leave Barbara Kyle’s “Master Class Plus” empowered to shape your story into a captivating, memorable read.

CAA members $250, Non-members $275. The fee is all inclusive – dorm style accommodations plus lunch and dinner on Saturday, full breakfast on Sunday. Plenty of free time for hiking or relaxation in a peaceful country environment.  For full details and registration information see our website www.canauthors-ottawa.org  Registration is limited to 10 attendees. Early registration is advised.

 Please Note: There is limited space available for day registrants if anyone prefers to commute daily and not stay overnight. The registration fee will remain the same since no charge for accommodations has been included. Please signify your intentions when registering.



The Canadian Authors Association (CAA) continued its long-held tradition of writers honouring writers and announced the winners of its 2013 Literary Awards competition during its annual CanWrite! conference.

Michael S. Cross of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was awarded the Lela Common Award for Canadian History for A Biography of Robert Baldwin: The Morning-Star of Memory (Oxford University Press). The shortlist for this award included Tim Cook (Warlord: Borden, MacKenzie King, and Canada’s World Wars) and Barry Gough (Juan de Fuca’s Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams).

Christopher Meades was named the recipient of the CAA Award for Fiction for his novel The Last Hiccup (ECW Press). This year’s fiction shortlist included Tricia Dower (Stony River) and Vincent Lam (The Headmaster’s Wager).

Don McKay won the CAA Poetry Award for Paradoxides (McClelland & Stewart). The 2013 poetry shortlist also included Julie Bruck (Monkey Ranch) and Emily McGiffin (Between Dusk and Night).

All three award recipients receive a silver medal and a $2000 cash prize.

Earlier this week, two young authors were named as co-recipients of the 2013 Emerging Writer Awards: Claire Battershill and Jay Bahadur. They share a $500 prize.

Introduced in 1975, the CAA Literary Awards honour Canadian writers who achieve excellence without sacrificing popular appeal – a tradition originally begun in 1937 with the creation of the Governor General’s medals for literature (now overseen by the Canada Council of the Arts). The competition is open to all writers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Founded by Stephen Leacock and several other prominent Canadian writers in 1921, the Canadian Authors Association has continued to maintain a focus on “writers helping writers” since its inception.




Submissions must be sent in by October 4th, 2013 Dawson City, Yukon Territory

English: A photo of historic buildings in down...

English: A photo of historic buildings in downtown Dawson City, Yukon, taken at 11pm on June 11, 2007 by Michael Edwards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Professional Canadian writers who have one published book and are established in any creative literary discipline(s) in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, journalism — are all encouraged to apply. The Berton House Writers’ Retreat is held once a month, located in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.

For more information please visit www.bertonhouse.ca/retreat.html or email jdavies@writerstrust.com.



 DATES: September 23-28, 2013

LOCATION: Kilmory Resort, Swift Current, NL

Piper’s Frith in Newfoundland is now accepting applications.

The 5th Piper’s Frith happens September 23-28, 2013 at Kilmory Resort in Swift Current, Newfoundland. Emerging and established adult writers are invited to join mentors Joan Clark, Jessica Grant and Don McKay for group workshops and one-on-one explorations of your creative work.  Social evenings and a spectacular setting enhance this intense, inspirational experience. The cost of $690 includes program fees, meals, five nights’ accommodations and social events (air/ground transportation is not included).

The application deadline is August 2, 2013. Learn more and apply at Details: www.literaryartsnl.com/pipersfrith.htm




DEADLINE:  The 15th of every month for the following month’s issue

Bywords.ca considers previously unpublished poetry from emerging and established poets for our online monthly magazine. We consider work by current and former residents, students and workers of Ottawa. We also publish poems by contributors to our predecessor, the Bywords Monthly Magazine.  FOR SUBMISSION INFORMATION VISIT www.bywords.ca and click on Guidelines.  Amanda Earl, Managing Editor.  Check out Bywords.ca’s literary events calendar here: http://www.bywords.ca/calendar/index.php, with up-to-date info on NCR readings, book signings, writers’ circles, literary festivals, spoken word showcases & slams. Event submissions can be sent to events@bywords.ca.


 Thomas Rose of Wilfid Laurier University, journalism educator and former journalist is seeking participants for a new study into journalism independence in Canadian newsrooms.

If you are a traditional or non-traditional journalist or are working in any phase of the journalistic process, and if you have experienced or know of anyone who has experienced any interference with the content of the journalism produced, I would like to hear from you.

This project will assess the state of journalistic independence according to the basic provisions of the firewall principle.  Under this principle, a key measure of journalistic independence and integrity is freedom from interference by business, political, or other interests.

A breach in the firewall might for example, cause a journalist to alter details of a story, to ignore a developing story, or even to kill a story altogether.

Strict confidentiality guaranteed.  Reply to trose@wlu.ca

Mr. Rose is an investigator and editor at J-Source. Respondents will receive a comprehensive form that outlines the process in detail.



 DATE: Monday 17 June 2013 Readings at 8:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Raw Sugar Cafe (692 Somerset St. W.)

No Cover

 Apt. 9 Press is thrilled to announce three new titles: Stephen Brockwell’s Excerpts from Improbable Books: The Apt. 9 Installment,  Christine McNair’s pleasantries and other misdemeanours  and Jeff Blackman’s So Long As The People Are People.

Books will be available for purchase at the reading. More info on the event and the readers:


ITEM 8: OIW MEMBERS’ READING NIGHT                      NEW!

 DATE: Thursday, June 20 6:30 P.M.

LOCATION: Library And Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St. Room 156

 Socializing starts 6:30 p.m. and the program gets rolling at 7:00 p.m. Guests are welcome and must pay a fee of $10, which is deducted from the annual membership fee should they join OIW.

 Members will read short pieces of work. This will be the last general meeting until September. Contact Susan Jennings to get on the list. This event is free to the general public. Contact: email: sajennings@sympatico.ca

 Please visit the Library’s web site for parking and accessibility information (www.lac-bac.gc.ca/visit-us/). Attendees with accessibility or hearing issues are encouraged to inform members of the OIW executive upon arrival at the meeting room. We will be glad to provide you with a seat at the front of the room and request our speakers to accommodate your needs as well.





Readings by Christian Bok (Eunoia) and Caroline Bergvall

The Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay West

8:00 p.m., free

thepowerplant.org for more information



Readings and talks by Tamara Faith Berger, Heather Birrell, Kyle Buckley, Andrew Faulkner, Spencer Gordon, Mathew Henderson, Andrew Kaufman, Edward Keenan, David Seymour, Matthew Tierney, Jessica Westhead and dozens more. Part of a week-long festival in various Toronto locations.

Trinity Bellwoods Park, 155 Crawford Street

12:00  p.m. to 4:00 p.m., free

luminatofestival.com for more information


 Kenneth Goldsmith (Fidget) and Christian Bok (Eunoia) talk conceptual writing in conjunction with the Power Plant show Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art co-presented with The Power Plant

Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West

Studio Room

7:30 p.m., $15

readings.org for more information

 NOTE: POSTSCRIPT: WRITING AFTER CONCEPTUAL ART IS A SUMMER-LONG SERIES OF paintings, sculpture, installation, video and works on paper from the 1960s to the present by over fifty artists and writers exploring the artistic possibilities of language.


 The Ottawa Public Library is hosting a series of five programs at multiple branches in June to celebrate National Aboriginal History Month. Programs are free to attend.

Ottawa Public Library's Main Branch, designed ...

Ottawa Public Library’s Main Branch, designed by Bemi & Associates Architects (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Governor General Literary award-winning Ojibway author and artist, Leo Yerxa, will discuss his art and books at the Rockcliffe Park and Rosemount branches.
  • Chad Solomon will present the `Council of the Animals´ puppet show about friendship and unconditional love at the Carlingwood, Orléans and Vanier branches.
  • The Ottawa Inuit Children´s Centre will present Inuit storytelling, culture and music at the Alta Vista and North Gloucester branches.
  • Aboriginal Experiences will explore their connection to the “heartbeat of Mother Earth”: the drum, at the Greenboro, Greely, Main, Rideau and Stittsville branches.
  • Pinock, an Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Nation, will explain the importance of the birch canoe and demonstrate how they´re built at the Vanier branch.

For a listing of these special programs, visit http://www.BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca/programs.

Online registration is required for the program offered by Pinock. For more information, contact InfoService at 613-580-2940 or mailto: InfoService@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca


ITEM 11: FOR KIDS: GO! TO THE OTTAWA PUBLIC LIBRARY THIS SUMMER                                                                                  NEW!




The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) invites kids to participate in the TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC) this summer. This year´s theme is Go! Kids can set their imaginations free this summer with books and programs about travel adventures near or far.

Children participating in TDSRC will receive a passport and a pre-reading activity book or school-age magazine, and stickers with secret codes that unlock rewards online. The illustrator of this year´s TD SRC is Matt James, award-winning illustrator, painter and musician.

Registration for TDSRC and all other children´s summer programs starts Wednesday, June 19.

During the summer, branches across the city will offer programming featuring trains, voyageurs, travel journals, Mount Everest, movie-making, global instruments, Victorian times, puppets, Bollywood dancing, and more!  For more info, visit http://kids.BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca or contact InfoService at 613-580-2940 or InfoService@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca




Ploughshares’ reading period is now open! We’re accepting submissions for Ploughshares literary magazine and for our Ploughshares Solos series of long stories and essays. You can now submit all those poems, essays, and stories that you’ve been working on and saving up since January. For guidelines and to submit, visit our website. http://www.pshares.org/submit/index.cfm

Dead Beats (Sheffield, UK), a student-run publishing and live poetry organization, seeks submissions. Accepting poems, short stories (max. 2000 words) and experimental pieces from everyone, regardless of experience. Seeks to “share inspired and inspiring works from around the globe.” No deadline. Guidelines: http://www.deadbeats.eu/submission


Independent hybrid lit mag The Holler Box accepts submissions of poetry, fiction, lyric essays, nonfiction, and artwork year-round. Each issue is published online and in the form of a limited release handmade chapbook. Welcomes the alternative and experimental, as well as new and unpublished writers. Length: 5000 words max (prose) and poetry (up to 3). Guidelines: https://thehollerbox.submittable.com/submit

Online arts review magazine The Coastal Spectator (Victoria, BC) seeks reviews of theatre, books, music, film, visual arts, and other cultural happenings around coastal BC specifically (but not exclusively). Submit pieces that are “short and sharp.” Length: 300-500 words. Payment: stipend of $25. Partial to views that reflect a coastal slant on things. Query the editor at lvluven@uvic.ca.


Quarterly journal Squalorly (US) welcomes submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, illustration, and photography. Submit story/essay (5000 words max), flash pieces (up to 3), and poems (up to 5). Appreciates work with emphasis on emotion: “Move, amaze, horrify, and educate.” http://www.squalorly.com/submit


Gervais Advertising is looking for short articles on a wide variety of subjects for their small shopping/tourism guides available at locations throughout central Ontario. Articles do not need to be location-specific and should have a casual slant based on fun, personal experience. Payment: $0.12 per word for accepted articles/stories. Contact Editor, Cyndy Gervais: syndy@bmts.com.

The Mackinac is accepting poetry submissions. Details at: http://www.themackinacmagazine.com/submit.html.

Running out of Ink, a new webzine, is accepting short stories of all genres. For more information, visit: www.runningoutofink.com.

Riddle Fence is currently accepting submissions for its spring issue. The publisher is looking for poetry, fiction, non-fiction and visual art. Info please visit http://www.riddlefence.com.

Fierce Ink Press Co-op Ltd. is currently open for submissions. The publisher is looking for books between 50,000 and 80,000 words long in all young adult genres.  For more information, please visit http://fierceinkpress.com/submissions/.

Decoded Past is looking for writers with expertise in history and/or prehistory. This internet site will showcase articles written by experts for the general reader: new interpretations of past events, new developments or theories, the past in the context of the present. Writers must hold a degree in the social sciences or historical sciences and be writing in an area of personal expertise, or have an established platform in professional historical writing. Contact Rosemary Drisdelle at info@rosemarydrisdelle.com.

CIRCA: A Journal of Historical Fiction is accepting submissions. Details are available at: http://circajournal.com/submissions/.

Dragon Ink Press is accepting submissions from comic artists, fantasy writers and poets for their new comics and literary anthology. Guidelines: http://dragoninkpress.tumblr.com/.

From the Well House is accepting fiction, scholarly essays and poetry. Details can be found at: http://fromthewellhouse.org/?bu0Dd7M9.

Ruminate Magazine is now accepting submissions. Guidelines and deadlines are available at: http://www.ruminatemagazine.com/submit/submission-guidelines/.

Carousel is accepting submissions. Info: http://www.carouselmagazine.ca/submit.html.

Antiphon: accepting poetry submissions. Info: http://antiphon.org.uk/index.php/submissions.

Convert Publishing, a new digital publisher, is accepting manuscript submissions. For more details, visit: http://convertpublishing.com/?page_id=19.


Neon: A Literary Magazine accepting submissions, info: http://www.neonmagazine.co.uk/


Queen’s Quarterly is accepting articles, reviews, short stories and poetry. Details can be found here: http://www.queensu.ca/quarterly/correspondencesubmissions.html.

Event Poetry and Prose is accepting submissions. Guidelines are available at: http://eventmags.com/about-2/submission-guidelines/fiction-poetry/.


The Ottawa Arts Review seeks prose submissions (including short fiction, personal essays, reviews, and interviews) relating to literary and visual arts, poetry, drama, and visual art. oar.uesa.ca/submissions/submission-guidelines/


Sweptmedia.ca, an online youth-culture magazine based in Toronto/GTA, is looking for original contributions in all print mediums: journalism, short fiction, poetry, etc. Also willing to consider other forms of visual communication modes: photography, painting, comic strips, etc. info: sweptmedia.ca/index.php/contact-us


New online magazine The Island Review (international) seeks submissions of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, photography and art from islanders, island-lovers, and those whose work is influenced by islands, or explores ideas of islandness. http://www.theislandreview.com/submissions/ 


The recently-launched Northern Cardinal Review (Canada) is seeking creative and vivid poetry, non-fiction essays, and book reviews. Open to writers living in Canada, Alaska, or the northern border states of the U.S. http://northerncardinalreview.wordpress.com/submissions/

Comedy website The Higgs Weldon (US) seeks forms of writing (1000 words max.) and cartoons. Deadline: Ongoing: http://thehiggsweldon.com/submit/

Kolaj (Montreal, QC) is a quarterly, print magazine about contemporary collage. Seeks critical reviews and essays, artist profiles, event highlights, articles on collage making, collecting, and exhibiting, and other contributions. Pays. kolajmagazine.com/content/submissions


Formalist poetry review The Rotary Dial (Canada) seeks poetry from Canadian and international writers. Looking for work that rhymes and/or scans but isn’t too versey: blank verse, syllabic verse, etc. Response within two weeks. http://therotarydial.ca/submissions/


Garbanzo Literary Journal (US) is published in limited-run copies as part of a hand-created series of chapbooks. Seeks stories (1172 words max.) poems (43 lines max.), micro-fiction, macro-faction, creative nonfiction, and a variety of verse forms. Appreciates writing that disregards the rules: http://www.garbanzoliteraryjournal.org/Submission_Guidelines.html


BareBacklit is an online bi-monthly magazine seeking poetry, prose, and visual art. Accepts poetry (4 poems max.), fiction (2500 words max.), and flash fiction (1000 words max.). Prefers work that is “unpretentious, minimalist… entertains first, and provokes thought later.” http://www.barebacklit.com/Submissions.html


LWOT (Lies With Occasional Truth) seeks fiction from writers in Canada “(and sometimes by Americans who pretend, in their cover letters, to be Canadian)”. The term fiction is open to interpretation.  : http://lwot.net/submission.htm


Online journal Pithead Chapel seeks fiction (short and flash) and nonfiction (experimental, personal, lyric essays) “that moves toward something bigger… takes chances.” Accepts stories and essays 4000 words max. Reads year-round.  : http://pitheadchapel.com/submission-guidelines/


The New Inquiry welcomes short- and long-form pieces “from anyone who wants to write.” Looks for well-written, original posts on ideas, books, art, culture, and more. No fiction or poetry.  : http://thenewinquiry.com/submit-to-tni/


Literary journal Revolver (US) seeks “short range” (up to 1000 words), “long range” (1000-5000 words), and art for its next issue. Welcomes fiction, poetry, essays, lists, and art. Also accepting bar stories for “Shots with Strangers”.  : http://www.around-around.com/submit/


Website strange bOUnce accepts short stories, satire, and poetry, that have been “lightly brushed with sport.” Send work to IWantToWrite@strangebOUnce.com. No payment. http://strangebounce.com/





Asian ChaCha: An Asian Literary Journal (UK and China) is accepting submissions for its next issue. Theme: The Ancient Asia Issue: an edition of the journal devoted exclusively to work from and about Asia before the mid-nineteenth century. Accepting translations and original works of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and visual art. Deadline: June 20, 2013.   Guidelines: http://asiancha.blogspot.hk/2013/03/all-for-submissions-ancient-asia-issue.html

Stained Pages Press New Canadian literary food quarterly Beer and Butter Tarts seeks essays, profiles, short fiction, poetry, and artwork. Submissions must be food-related and Canadian in topic (Halifax donairs, story of red fife wheat, etc.) and timeless. No recipes, events, news, etc. Payment: Copy and small stipend (TBD). Deadline: June 30, 2013. http://www.stainedpagespress.com/publications/beer-and-butter-tarts/




queer arts and literary journal Plenitude Magazine (Canada) seeks literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and graphic narrative for Issue #3. Payment: $10-$25. Deadline: July 5, 2013.

    Guidelines: plenitudemagazine.ca/submit


Room would love to consider your writing or art for our upcoming Spring 2014 issue, 37.1 The Fashionable. What is fashion? Who decides? And how does fashion figure in our lives?

Embrace it, fight it, define it, laugh at it, whatever. The Fashionable editors want only your best for Room’s Spring 2014 issue. Send us your best work before July 31, 2013. Check out our guidelines at http://www.roommagazine.com/submit to find out more

Independent, biannual print magazine Passion: Poetry is seeking submissions for its inaugural issue (scheduled for September 2013). Accepting poetry, short creative pieces (1 page or less), photographs, and artistic images. Looking for passionate words and imagery that inspire and motivate. Deadline: July 31, 2013  http://passionpoetrymag.com/#/submissions/4575830200


NEW! Independent art and poetry zine Nickel95 Zine (London, ON) seeks submissions of poetry about mental illness for their third issue. Theme: “Blown a Fuse.” Write about other people, yourself, meds, doctors, insanity, hospital visits, etc. Submit 5-7 poems. Payment: Copy of the handmade zine. Deadline: August 12, 2013. Guidelines: sanriapress.wix.com/nickel95zine#!submissions/c1w1e

DESCANT ARTS AND LETTERS FOUNDATION  CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: BERLIN. “I still keep a suitcase in Berlin” – Marlene Dietrich.  “”It’s a city that’s so easy to ‘get lost’ in – and to ‘find’ oneself, too.” – David Bowie, on his “Berlin Years”  Submission deadline for this issue: August 16, 2013. http://www.descant.ca/submit


Hagios Press Call for Submissions for their Strike Fire New Author Series. Details are available at: http://www.hagiospress.com/?s=submissions. Deadline August 31.


Canadian Literature call for papers: Science & Canadian Literature is a special issue dedicated to the subject in/and Canadian poetry and prose. Details are available at: http://canlit.ca/submissions/cfp/19. Deadline: September 1.


The Midwest Prairie Review journal will be accepting submissions for the 2014 issue from June 13 to September 13, 2013. Who is eligible to submit material?

A writer or artist born and raised and continuing to live in the Madison area.

A writer or artist born and raised and continuing to live in Wisconsin.

A writer or artist born and raised and living in any of Wisconsin’s neighboring states.

A writer or artist born and raised in Madison or Wisconsin and now lives elsewhere.

A writer or artist born and raised elsewhere and now lives in Madison or Wisconsin

A writer or artist who is not a native of Wisconsin or neighboring states and admires the Midwest Prairielands and the energy that lives here

A writer or artist who has visited Madison and/or Wisconsin and/or her neighboring states and finds inspiration here.

In other words, any writer or artist that wishes to celebrate the imagination, energy, and human spirit of the Midwest Prairielands. We want to hear from you. Submit your work between June 13th and September 13th, 2013. Click for complete submission guidelines» http://continuingstudies.wisc.edu/lsa/writing/mpr/email/mpr_submissions_13.pdf

Due to the overwhelming response to our first edition, we will only be accepting the first 600 submissions.

The Dreadful Cafe (US) is looking for submissions for the inaugural anthology of independent fiction, Membrane. Seeking fiction of the strange and bizarre from 2,000 to 30,000 words. No restrictions on genre. Payment: $125 for short stories, $250 for novelettes, and $500 for novellas. Deadline: October 1, 2013.     Guidelines: http://dreadfulcafe.com/active-projects

Bones – a journal for contemporary haiku: Send a maximum of 5 single haiku and/or 1 series/sequence of maximum 10 haiku. Submission deadlines are October 15 – November 15 for the December issue & April 15 – May 15 for the June issue. Submissions: submission (at) bonesjournal (dot) com. with “Submission to bones” in the subject line. Please include the works in the body of the email AND as an attached file (doc, docx, odt, rtf)


NOTE: MSLEXIA, A U.K.-BASED MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN WHO WRITE, has posted links to numerous contests coming up, with deadlines from February through June. Includes youth, short story, poetry, plays, etc. Take a look here: http://www.mslexia.co.uk/whatson/listings/master.php?listing=2      

Darker Times Fiction, a monthly short story competition for stories of 3,000 words and less in the horror genre or on the subject of ‘darker times’. All of the information can be found on the website – www.darkertimes.co.uk . It’s open to UK and international writers and ends on the last day of each month.



Scribendi.com is hosting a weekly writing contest that I think would be of interest to your audience. How it Works: The first day of every month at 11 AM, we will announce the topic. Entrants must write a 140-character-or-less tweet, mention @Scribendi_Inc, and summarize the topic. The contest closes the last day of the month at 11 AM. Summarize This! promotes concise and precise writing skills in a fresh, fun way (http://www.scribendi.com/summarize_this). Prizes range from free editing to Scribendi.com swag.


  1. POETRY COMPETITION: first prize is £2,000 – a substantial prize that also includes two optional extras: a week at the idyllic poets’ retreat of Cove Park, and a mentoring session with the editor of Poetry Review. Other winners will receive a share of the remaining £1,100 prize pot, and all winning poems will be published in the September 2013 issue of Mslexia. Click here for more information: http://www.mslexia.co.uk/whatson/msbusiness/pcomp_active.php
  1. POETRY PAMPHLET COMPETITION:  For collections of 20-24 pages of 18-20 poems. the first prize is the publication of the pamphlet by Seren Books, plus £250, 25 complimentary copies of the pamphlet and royalties from all subsequent sales. If you’ve never had a full-length collection published and want to take your work to the next level, this could be the competition for you… DETAILS are on our website at http://www.mslexia.co.uk/whatson/msbusiness/pamcomp_active.php
  • gritLIT Writing Competition. There will be three innovative works of short fiction and three fabulous collections of poems chosen as winners. Entrants are asked to be entertaining, edgy, and outstanding. The top three of both fiction and poetry entries will be published in next year’s handsome gritLIT literary chapbook. Deadline: June 30, 2013 Fee: $20 Prize: First prize: $200, Second prize: $100, Third prize: $50 Details: www.gritlit.ca/pages/2013-writing-competition


  • Second Annual Walrus Poetry Prize. The Walrus Foundation and the Hal Jackman Foundation are proud to announce the return of the Walrus Poetry Prize. On September 1, the five finalists’ poems will be posted online at thewalrus.ca/poetryprize, where readers can vote until September 30 for the $2500 Readers’ Choice Award. Winners will be announced in October.  Deadline: June 30, 2013 Prize: $2500 + Published in The Walrus. Entry fee:$25 Details: thewalrus.ca/poetryprize


  • Pop Montreal and Matrix Magazine: Lit POP is back! Eileen Myles and Sheila Heti confirmed as the 2013 judges! DEADLINE June 30, 2013. POETRY AND SHORT FICTION. Winners, one from each category,  receive a round-trip ticket to POP Montreal from September 25 – 29, 2013, VIP pass to the Pop Montreal Festival, free accommodation at a bed and breakfast, fall publication in Matrix Magazine with full honorarium, and presentation at a special Matrix Lit POP event during the festival. Open to residents of Canada and the United States.  Winners notified in August. Poets are asked to send no more than 5 poems; fiction and non-fiction writers should send stories of no more than 3000 words. Each entry is 25$. Entries and entry fees should be mailed to Matrix Publications, 1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd W., LB 658, Montreal QC, H3G 1M8. Please include your email address. Cheques or money orders should be made out to “Matrix Publications.” PayPal is also available. Multiple entries are welcome. Entries can also be emailed to Litpop2013@gmail.com and will be considered valid once payment is verified. http://www.matrixmagazine.org/litpop




  • The New Measure Poetry Prize: Parlor Press will award $1 000 and publication of an original, unpublished manuscript of poems. Up to four other manuscripts may be accepted for publication. Entry fee $25; deadline June 30.  http://www.parlorpress.com/newmeasureprize


  • The Scotiabank Giller Prize is fast approaching. Books are to be received no later than June 15 for titles published between April 1 and June 30, 2013. If you wish to include an e-book with your submission, kindly send as a PDF file, along with the electronic author photo and bio, to Michellek@raisingreaders.ca.  Deadline: June 15, 2013  Fee: See website  Prize: See website Details: www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca


  • Write About Mother Earth: 18 years or older writers are invited for the Emergence International Literature Competition. Mother Earth – environmentalism, spirituality, wellness, cultural unity and responsibility. Entries may include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories and other written explorations (up to 500 words). Deadline: June 30, 2013  Fee: $7. Prize: $50 + featured in ArtAscent magazine, x2 honourable mentions featured in ArtAscent magazine. Details: http://artascent.com/call-for-writers/ 


  • Lightship Short Story Prize 2013. The winner and nine runners-up will be published in the Lightship anthology by Lightship Publishing Ltd and Alma Books and will be invited to read from their work at an awards ceremony in Kingston-upon-Hull UK in November 2013. Deadline: June 30, 2013 Fee: £12 Prize: £1000 / US$1600 Details: www.lightshippublishing.co.uk/competition/lightship_short_story_competition_1


  • Lightship Flash Fiction Prize 2013. The winner and nine runners-up will be published in the Lightship paperback anthology to be printed by Lightship Publishing Ltd and Alma Books and will be invited to read from their work at an awards ceremony in Hull UK in 2013.  Deadline: June 30, 2013 Fee: £10 Prize: £500 / US$800 Details: www.lightshippublishing.co.uk/competition/lightship_flash_fiction_competition_2



  •   Lightship Short Memoir Prize 2013. Do you want to tell your own story, or an episode of it; write from your own life experiences and get published? A short memoir is not fact-based autobiography. It is pure storytelling and as such, allows writers license to make sense of a part of life, to fashion it into a story that readers can learn from and be entertained by. The inaugural Lightship Short Memoir Competition will be judged by Rachel Cusk. The winning entry will be awarded £1,000 and be published in Lightship Anthology 3.  Deadline: June 30, 2013 Fee: £12 Prize: £1000 / US$1600* Details: www.lightshippublishing.co.uk/competitio/the_lightship_short_memoir_contest


  • Lightship First Poetry Book Prize 2013. Are you an aspiring poet who wants to write a full collection of poems and get published? Write the first 20 pages of poems and enter Lightship Publishing’s latest competition, First Poetry Book, for a chance to win the dream prize of every poet – to be discovered, and then mentored for a year to produce a full book of 50 poems. Deadline: June 30, 2013 Fee: £20 Prize: Expert Mentoring Details:  www.lightshippublishing.co.uk/competition/lightship_first_poetry_book_competition    





  •   The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Write a bad opening line to a novel. The sentence shouldn’t be longer than 50 – 60 words. All genres accepted. Multiple entries accepted. All original and unpublished. Deadline: June 30, 2013 Prize: a pittance Fee: none Details: www.bulwer-lytton.com/



  •   Richard J. Margolis Award  Award for promising new journalist or essayist whose work contains warmth, humor, wisdom and social justice. Submit two samples of your writing (published or unpublished) 30 pages max. Deadline: July 1, 2013 Prize: $5000 and one month residency at Blue Mountain Center. Fee: none Details: http://award.margolis.com/


  •   Lightship First Chapter Prize 2013.  Do you have a literary novel in you? Have you written the first chapter and a synopsis? Enter Lightship Publishing’s flagship contest, First Chapter, for a chance to win the dream prize of every aspiring novelist. Deadline: July 1, 2013. Fee: £16 Prize: Expert Mentoring / Possible Publication Details: www.lightshippublishing.co.uk/competition/lightship_first_chapter_competition
    •   Lightship Poetry Prize 2013. The winner and nine runners-up will be published in Lightship Anthology 3 and will be invited to read from their work at an awards ceremony in November 2013.   Deadline: July 1, 2013 Fee: £8 Prize: £1000 / US$1600 Details:  www.lightshippublishing.co.uk/competition/lightship_poetry_prize_1


  •   The John Glassco Translation Prize. The John Glassco Prize recognizes excellence in literary translation and the talent and dedication of the next generation of literary translators. It is aimed at building greater awareness in the publishing world and in the general public by promoting a literary translator’s first published work which demonstrates extraordinary talent and literary excellence. Deadline: July 1, 2013 Fee: None  Prize: $1000 Details: http://attlc-ltac.org/?q=node/78


  • Bellevue Literary Review Literary Prizes: The BLR Prizes award outstanding writing related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. First prize is $1 000 (each genre) and publication in the Spring 2014 edition of BLR. Entry fee is $15; deadline is July 1, 2013. http://blr.med.nyu.edu/submissions/BLRPrizes
  • Bucket List Bikers (US) is sponsoring a writing contest for the best submission about motorcycle destinations. Destinations should be in the United States, and be accessible by motorcycle. Entries will be evaluated for creativity, style, and relevance. First prize: $300. Length: 500-1000 words. Deadline: July 1, 2013 http://bucketlistbikers.com/Contest.html


  • Room Magazine (Vancouver, BC) invites entries from all women writers for their annual contest. Categories: fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. First prize in each category: $500 plus publication. Winners will be published in a 2014 issue. Entry fee: $30 (includes subscription). Deadline: July 15, 2013.     Guidelines: http://www.roommagazine.com/contest-2013


  • VALLUM AWARD FOR POETRY 2013.  MAX. 3 POEMS, UP TO 60 LINES PER POEM. Entry fee $20 includes 1 yr. subscription. 1st prize $750. 2nd prize $250. Plus publication in Vallum. Mail to Vallum Poetry Contest, PO Box 598, Victoria Station, Montreal, PQ H3Z 2Y6 DEADLINE JULY 15, 2013. (online link not available yet)



  •   NARRATIVE MAGAZINE Fifth Annual Poetry Contest is open to all writers, and all entries will be considered for publication. • 1,500 First Prize • $750 Second Prize • $300 Third Prize • Ten finalists receive $75 each. See the Guidelines. http://www.narrativemagazine.com/node/207341


  • Literal Latté Poetry Award. Deadline: July 15, 2013 Entry Fee: $10. A prize of $1,000 and publication in Literal Latté is given annually for a poem. Submit up to six poems of no more than 2,000 words each with a $10 entry fee ($15 for up to 10 poems) by July 15. Call, e-mail, or visit the website for complete guidelines. http://www.literal-latte.com.. E-mail address: litlatte@aol.com


  • The Ontario Poetry Society is accepting contest entries for The Golden Grassroots Chapbook Award. Prize: $50 and 50 chapbooks. Submit manuscripts of 24 poems or one long poem. Poems may be previously published. Open to Canadian residents. Deadline: July 31, 2013. Entry fee: $15. http://www.theontariopoetrysociety.ca/Grassrootscontest%202013.htm



  •   Robert Bateman Get To Know Contest. The Contest invites you to get outside and create original works of art, writing, photography, videography and music inspired by nature. Get outdoors and “Get to Know Your Wild Neighbours”. Open to all Canadian residents 19 and under. (Don’t live in Canada? Don’t worry. The Video Category is open to youth in all countries! No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this contest. You may enter as many categories as you want! Deadline: August 1, 2013  Fee: None Prize: Publication Details: www.get-to-know.org/contest/canada/contact/ 
  • Quattro Books logoQuattro Books (Toronto) is accepting novella manuscript submissions for the Ken Klonsky Novella Contest. Prize: Publication. Submit literary fiction (no science fiction or romance), 15000-42000 words. Looks for work that “reflects the unique cultural character and dynamism of Canada today,” past and future. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: August 1, 2013.  Guidelines: http://www.quattrobooks.ca/submissions/


  • Entries are invited for the Alice Munro Writers & Readers Festival Short Story Contest. Submit short fiction, 5000 words max. Two categories: Teen (age 13-19 as of August 1) and Adult. First prize in each category: $500. Selected authors will be invited to read during the festival Weekend: September 27-29. Entry fee: $25 (adult) and $10 (teen). Deadline: August 1, 2013     Guidelines: http://alicemunrofestival.ca/?page_id=306


  • The St. Lawrence Book Award. Awarded annually for any unpublished collection of poetry or short stories. Prize includes book publication, $1,000 cash award, and ten author copies of the book. Deadline: August 31, 2013. Entry Period: July 1- August 31   http://www.blacklawrence.com/stlawrence_1.html
  • Gemini MAGAZINE Fifth Annual Gemini Magazine Flash Fiction Contest. GRAND PRIZE: $1,000. Second place wins $100 and four honorable mentions each receive $25. All six finalists will be published online in the October 2013 issue of Gemini. Maximum length: 1,000 words. Deadline: August 31, 2013. Open to ANY subject, style or genre. Both new and established writers are welcome. ENTRY FEE: just $4 ($3 for each additional flash). Enter by email or snail mail. www.gemini-magazine.com/contest.html.


  • Win £500 and publication with the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition. Two categories for entry: Poetry and Short Fiction. Deadline for entries: 31 August 2013. Finalists will be announced on the 31 October 2013. Winners will be announced on the 1 December 2013. Prizes: There will be two winners; one Poetry winner and one Short Fiction winner. Each winner will receive £500.  Each winner will receive a selection of books from our competition partners. Winners and finalists will be published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual. Winners and shortlisted finalists will receive a complimentary copy of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual. http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/creativewriting


  • Asian ChaCha: An Asian Literary Journal (UK and China) is accepting entries for the Cha “Void” Poetry Contest. First prize: £50; additional prizes available. Winning poems published in a special section in the 6th anniversary issue (November 2013). Submit up to two poems (80 lines max). Theme: Void. No entry fee. Deadline: September 15, 2013. Guidelines: http://asiancha.blogspot.hk/2013/03/cha-void-poetry-contest.html
  • DEADLINE SEPT. 15, 2013. The 2013 Red Mountain Prize for Poetry will award publication of a full-length book of poetry. The most important criterion is that the manuscript manifests significant themes in beautiful, strong and evocative language. The winner will receive publication with our standard contract and a $1000 award. All entries may be considered for future publication. SEE WEBSITE FOR FULL SUBMISSION DETAILS: http://redmountainpress.us/poetry-prize/ SUBMIT through the electronic submission manager https://redmountainpress.submittable.com/submit


  • The Second Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence recognizes the best in fiction and poetry received in 2013. Fiction: $900 / Poetry: $600      Publication in The Puritan (Issue XXIII: Fall 2013).  Prize Pack of titles from 12 Canadian publishers, each worth approximately $600! So far, publishers include Coach House Books, House of Anansi, ECW Press, The Porcupine’s Quill, Freehand Books, Goose Lane Editions, Cormorant Books, Brick Books, Mansfield Press, Pedlar Press, Chaudiere Books, and Tightrope Books! Cost per submission: $10 via PayPal Fiction up to 12,000 words / Poetry up to 3 pages. Multiple submissions accepted! Deadline: Sept. 30, 2013. See full details: http://www.puritan-magazine.com/submissions.php





  • The Black River Chapbook Competition (Fall) Awarded twice annually for a chapbook (16-36 pages) of poetry or short stories. Beginning with the Fall 2009 competition, winner receives $500 and 25 copies of chapbook. Entry Period: September 1 – October 31. Deadline: October 31, 2013.   http://www.blacklawrence.com/BRCCContestPage.html



  • Prairie Fire’s Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award, Short Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction Contests. Deadline is November 30, (postmarked). http://www.prairiefire.ca/contests.
  • Bottle Tree Productions One Act Play Competition for Writers 2013. DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 30, 2013. Go online at http://www.bottletreeinc.com/script_contest.html.  First Prize $1,000, Second Prize $250, Third Prize $100. Top ten entries are posted on our site. The entry fee for each submission is $25. One Act Plays of from 10 minutes to 70 minutes may be submitted by mail or email. By mail to Bottle Tree Productions, 445 Southwood Drive, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7M-5P8. Please make cheque payable to Bottle Tree Productions. For environmental and storage reasons email submissions are preferred. By email to contest (at) bottletreeinc (dot) com. Go online at http://www.bottletreeinc.com/script_contest.html
  • FREEFALL MAGAZINE Just for fun we’ve added a new contest: “The Corner of 13th and 13th” Flash Fiction. Write a story in 500 words or less about what happened on Friday September the 13th 2013 at one of the 13th Avenue and 13th Street intersections in the photos found at: http://www.freefallmagazine.ca/flash-fiction-contest.html. Entry Fee: $13.00. First Prize: $130.00. Deadline to enter is: Friday Dec 13th 2013



  • 2013 annual FreeFall Prose and Poetry Contest is now open! Contain your joy as we let you know that we’ve doubled the first place prize money from $300 to $600. Deadline to enter is: December 31, 2013. For current contest info visit: http://www.freefallmagazine.ca/contest.html.





In Week 10, the final week of ModPo, we met Kenneth Goldsmith, Christian Bök, Erica Baum, Caroline Bergvall, Michael Magee, Rosemarie Waldrop, Jennifer Scappettone and Tracie Morris.

Kenneth Goldsmith

Kenneth Goldsmith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We started off with Goldsmith’s Soliloquy, a book transcribed from Goldsmith’s recordings of  himself for a one-week period. This includes only his side of conversations, and nothing has been edited out.  Goldsmith has also released a book that transcribes one entire day from the New York Times. It is 900 pages long. Goldsmith teaches a course about uncreative writing, where students are penalized for showing originality. Their work must be taken from other writers’ work, patchworked, cut-and-pasted, and thus repurposed. He has written that there is enough writing in the world already, that we should, in effect, re-use and recycle. But to make sure I am not misquoting, you can read for yourself here: http://chronicle.com/article/Uncreative-Writing/128908/

We then moved on to Canadian poet, Christian Bök‘s Eunoia, Chapter E. Eunoia is the shortest English word that contains all five main vowel graphemes, apparently. Bök‘s constraint was to write each chapter using one, and only one of the vowels in the chapter. This took him seven years to complete, and won the 2002 Griffin Prize for Poetry. A number of students made efforts to come up with poems, stanzas or phrases that used this constraint. In one student’s final essay, she did a remarkable job of using exactly this constraint.  Bök also created languages for both Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchley’s Amazon.

Erica Baum is a poet and photographer who has combined both in the visual poems we studied: Card Catalogues and Dog Ear. Interesting to note that some students tended to read the words or phrases from the card catalogue differently than the way they were put together by the teaching staff. I started from the front and worked backwards, while the video discussion started on the left hand side, which meant working from the back of the file to the front. While I don’t plan to become a visual poet myself, I can certainly see how this might work as a blogger about poetry.

We then moved on to Caroline Bergvall’s VIA. Her concept was to take the first stanza from Dante’s The Divine Comedy, and then she looked for all the different translations she could find in the library. (Here is an article about working with translations.)  She then stacked them in alphabetical order by the first line. She reads it here in a even tone, each stanza, then the translator’s name, then the year of publication. It is interesting to note the slight nuances of meaning as the translators interpret the original Italian.

After that, we looked at Michael Magee’s Pledge, stanza after stanza of riffs on the American Pledge of Allegiance. At first, I didn’t realize just from the title what it was, but finally clued in on how it might sound read aloud. This was a series of  homophonic translations of the Pledge. I found myself checking for the original words, as there were some differences from the Canadian pledge I remember from school, and which, apparently, no longer exists. At least, no pledge to the flag exists.

Then we studied Magee’s My Angie Dickinson. This takes Emily Dickinson poems, using Emily’s dashes and style. It is a disruptive parody that weaves in flarf (Google search results)  from various TV and movie roles that actress Angie Dickson played, and also honours Susan Howe’s My Emily Dickinson.

Cover of "My Emily Dickinson"

Cover of My Emily Dickinson

Rosemarie Waldrop’s concept for Shorter American Memory of the Declaration of Independence used the technique of collage, drawing from Henry Beston’s American Memory from the 1930’s which she then applied the N+7 constraint of taking every noun, and replacing it with the one that falls seven nouns after it in the dictionary.

Jennifer Scappettones Vase Poppies is a hark-back to H.D.’s Sea Poppies imagist poem, using the sound, rhyme, number of words per line and number of lines per stanza from H.D.s poem. Scappettone used rhyme as she called it, “schmaltzification”. During the video discussion the comparison was made that Cage’s Writing Through Howl  poem was to Ginsberg’s Howl what Scappettone’s Vase Poppies  is to H.D.’s poem.

The final poet on the final week was Tracie Morris, whose poem, Afrika (video of it is the third poem on the Pennsound page), is a spoken word/music poem which is very much influenced by the nuances of the individual sounds, repetitions and disruptive flow of words stopping, starting, restarting. There is also a version that is a collaboration, adding music to the composition.

The poem never really seems to get going, stuck as it is in its repetitions. It is a poem about slavery, the arrival in America, the history of America. And even in its disruption, still provides a coherent narrative if you consider the back story and how the inflections, tone, the words relate to that history.

The final video discussion for Week 10 examined the Morris poem, and then moved on to talk about how the course of study has brought us through the lineage of modern poetry to Morris, the reflection of Stein and Dickinson here, of Cage. Final words came from each of the TAs. Here are my impressions of what I took away from their comments:

Max: “Will we, over this century, come back to the “what”.

Molly: worries about experimentation for the sake of experimentation.

Kristin: sees the lineage of modern poetry, sees Stein, sees Dickinson in “it” and “this”.

Al: hears Cage breaking the language down.

Anna: is reminded that language is a living breathing organism. Making it new = remaking it new= making it newer.

Ali: finds it easy to marvel at Tracie’s voice, her presentation. Gets pleasure from engaging with it.

Dave: likes how the poem lets you know the delivery of the poem IS the poem. You miss most of the message if you concentrate on content.

Amaris: history embedded in each word. Language is a living thing, renewed consciousness.

Trend in poetry moving from the authority voice to learning voice.

AL: Model a collective, collaborative close reading. The crowd is wise. The crowd has more to say than one expert.

Goal metapedagogically: to model a kind of collective reading of the poems that gets better the more we say on it.

Emily: renewed consciousness. Likes Afrika and Via of this section, which are also some of her favourites from the whole course. Experimentation augments the content, confrontational but not dogmatic, polemic or proselytizing. Asking a deeply important question, how we share our life experience, formal way of asking a question.

The following Monday there was a live webcast of goodbyes from the teaching staff, from the ModPolians who travelled to Philadelphia for the dinner the night before and went to the Kelly Writers House to attend the final webcast, and from those who called in from around the globe. And those of us who shouted our farewells from the sidebar chat on YouTube as well as from the discussion forums.

Is it over? No. The site is available for a year for us to review and to catch the discussions and further readings that we didn’t manage to squeeze in, or to revisit the ones we did. There are new discussion forums set up for us to discuss new material, and a couple of FB groups. There is a new blog for alumni to join, which we hope will continue after the official site has been closed down. There is a committee working to put together an anthology of poems from the ModPolian students who are also poets, and perhaps essays from those who are not poets. One student has set up his own blog to include a blogroll of ModPolians. Did I say we had a good course? Must be so, because no-one wants to see it end!

P.S. I should have commented further about the final webcast. This is the only course I have ever taken where not only were the students teary-eyed over saying goodbye, but so were the teaching staff, including the professor, Al Filreis! That really says it all, doesn’t it?