Lots of celebration on Facebook and twitter of my Pushcart nomination and of Steve's two Pushcart nominations, from CHICAGO QUARTERLY REVIEW and THE NASIONA. And everyone's Pushcart nominations, for that matter. In the meantime, more rejections. I'm not sure whether I should just retire some of these flash, or keep plugging away. The acceptance at THE MINNESOTA REVIEW suggests that I should keep plugging away.
A solicitation from F(R)ICTION, which is very cool. (Solicitations, however, haven't always resulted in publication for me.) What's especially cool is that it motivated me to return to an essay I've been meaning to revise and work through a substantial revision. At this point in the semester I seem to have time to write. Classes end next week, and I'll have a ton of grading after that. But then a month off with our new switch from quarters to semesters. Hooray!
Totally floored to come home to an e-mail from Meg Pokrass at NEW FLASH FICTION REVIEW telling me that they've nominated "Pretty Girl" for a Pushcart Prize! They publish SUCH good flash, and the issue I was in was full of amazing flash by amazing, well-known writers. I'm so honored.
After what felt like a season of rejections, this feels like a season of acceptances. My flash "Butterfly" was really hard to place. The first rejection was particularly crushing, from an editor who's written about her admiration of my work, and then when I started racking up more, I thought, maybe she's right. I'm glad I stuck with it. THE MINNESOTA REVIEW is a very cool, very prestigious print journal, a mix of creative and critical work. (With great covers; I can't wait to see it.)
Thrilled that my weird lyric essay "Visitations" (segmented, almost short enough to be a flash) has been accepted by GHOST PROPOSAL, the perfect magazine for it. Love their genre-crossing experimental aesthetic.
The editor-in-chief Naomi Washer did a post at ESSAY DAILY reflecting on the magazine after the publication of the fifth issue. Their mission:
"Proposal: an offering; a possibility; a conjecture; a guess; a hypothesis; a thing-to-be-explored.
Ghost: a shadow on the sleeve of your sweater; a rhythm returning from lifetimes before; the meandering suggestion of a river on an ancient, yellowed map.
We want to publish your strange objects. The whispers sitting in between your shoulder blades."
They've published beautiful essays by Jill Talbot, B.J. Hollars, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Brian Doyle, Brian Oliu Emma Bolden, many others.
Here's one of their covers that I particularly like (issue 4, I don't see a photographer listed):
Some of the same obsessions that I explore in one of my recent Lunatics flash (when I discovered that Madeline, one of the mental patients in Jon Crispin's "Willard Suitcases" photo installation, lived just 30 miles away from me when I was in grad school at Cornell) and in the flash essay coming out in SWEET, make their appearance in "Visitations" as well: the T.S. Eliot postcard from Margate that I looked at in the Rare Book Room at Cornell, lines from "The Waste Land" that continue to haunt me, and the connections between Poe and Eliot (half of my 600-page dissertation really, but in particular lines from the wife in "The Waste Land" and the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart"). It will be weird if the essays in SWEET and GHOST PROPOSAL come out at the same time, which they might.
I've only sent a handful of submissions to GHOST PROPOSAL in the past, but "Little Colored Pills," the fractured lyric flash coming out in SWEET, is one that they rejected!
I'm forging ahead, writing more flash for the Lunatics project, but feeling very ambivalent about the incoherence of marrying fiction, nonfiction, and autobiography. This was supposed to be a chapbook, but it's turning into something bigger, a mess right now. Rebecca Makaii just posted something on twitter that sums up my feelings: "The two biggest problems with starting a new book are that either you can see the platonic ideal whole so perfectly that you don't want to mess it up by beginning, or that you CAN'T see the whole thing, so you don't believe in it enough to begin."
Tommy Dean does this great series of mini-interviews with flash writers, and one of the questions he asks is what flash the writer recommends. Was thrilled to see that Jan Stinchcomb, whose flash I love, recommended THE MISSING GIRL in her interview today. "I’d also like to mention two flash collections, which are very different from each other: Jacqueline Doyle’s The Missing Girl (Black Lawrence) is pure danger and urgency, while Leanne Radojkovich’s First Fox (The Emma Press) relies on gentle description and understatement."
My microfiction "Leftovers" was so tiny and I almost gave up on placing it anywhere. I tacked it onto a submission to ATTICUS REVIEW because they allow three flash in a submission and I only had two. I was surprised when the fiction editor Michelle Ross wrote back and said she loved it and wanted to publish it.
I'm grateful, honored, and even more surprised that "Leftovers" has been nominated by ATTICUS REVIEW for BEST MICROFICTION 2018! Best Microfiction is a relatively new annual anthology of microfictions under 400 words, edited by Meg Pokrass and Gary Fincke (this year the final judge will be Dan Chaon). I write a lot of micros (my favorite is "Little Darling" in WIGLEAF), but this is the first time I’ve been nominated, so I’m particularly pleased. And there are flash friends whose work I follow and love on the list: Claire Polders, Tara Isabel Zambrano, Benjamin Woodard, Leonora Desar. All of the micros on the list are amazing. See the link to the announcement above for links to the stories.
Hooray! LOVE this journal, which also pays $50 for flash. The first and only place I sent my nonfiction micro "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," also exciting. And they've published so many flash greats (with flash upcoming from Christopher James, Kim Magowan, Paul Crenshaw). Mine will be published on March 11.
Waiting for my copy of the print journal OCEAN STATE REVIEW. Love the cover, which I'll save until it lands in my mailbox.
Just found out that Steve and I will be in the offsite AWP reading that Black Lawrence Press is putting together for the great anthology of collaborative writing THEY SAID. In Portland, in March. We're going anyway, Steve is on a panel, can't wait.
A very slow time for publications, or so it feels to me. I have a few coming out in the next couple of months, but not many.
Always love Poe. In fact my 600-page PhD dissertation was on Poe and the American modernists (how they remade him in their own image to define different brands of modernism in the 1920s). I found this great picture of a Poe boxcar online on the poet Todd Smith's site. I don't know where he got it, and when someone on Facebook asked him about the sources of the pictures on his new site, he wrote: "No, they aren't my pics - they're all cropped from random online sources (images that are labeled for reuse - someone please let me know if that doesn't make it OK!)"