Able Muse 2022 Contest Winners

Brian Brodeur headshot winner of the Able Muse Poetry Prize 2022

Able Muse: A Review of Poetry Prose and Art has announced the winners of the Write Prize for Poetry and Fiction, judged anonymously throughout by the Able Muse Contest Committee and the final judges, Dennis Must for fiction, and Aaron Poochigian or poetry. The winning writer and the winning poet each receive a $500 prize.

FICTION WINNER: Lorna Brown – “Looking for Anna”

Here is what Dennis Must has to say about Lorna Brown’s winning story: “‘Fiction is the art form of human yearning . . . absolutely essential to any work of fictional narrative art—a character who yearns. And that is not the same as a character who simply has problems . . .’—Robert Olen Butler. Lorna Brown’s ‘Looking For Anna’ embodies the lifeblood of those stories that endure in our memory stream long after they have been read.”

POETRY WINNER: Brian Brodeur [pictured] – “On Mistaking a Stranger for a Dead Friend”

Here is what Aaron Poochigian has to say about Brian Brodeur’s winning poem: “‘On Mistaking a Stranger for a Dead Friend’ has it all—the sounds, the psychology (a whole theory of memory) and, most important of all, playfulness even when the subject is tragic. Bird, riverbank, and a random encounter all blend into a perfect representation of a human mind at work. Bravo!”

Visit the Able Muse blog for a full list of finalists and honorable mentions. Winners and finalists will be published in the Winter 2022/23 issue.

New Lit on the Block :: Gleam

Gleam Journal of the Cadralor online literary magazine logo image

In conversation with Jonathan Bate about Stephan Fry’s book The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within and the value of poetic form, Stephan Fry encouraged writers to “Just try out writing in that form. I think people will amaze themselves when they do that.” For writers willing to explore new forms and challenge their development of craft, and for readers who appreciate seeing the variety of poetic expertise that a single form can produce, Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor is your next stop.

Developed in August 2020, the cadralor is a portmanteau of the names of the two co-creators of this poetic form, Christopher Cadra and Lori Howe. The rules of the form are explained on Gleam’s website, but in brief, this is a five-stanza poem with each stanza containing a consistent number of lines, up to ten, and each stanza able to stand alone as a complete poem. It cannot be narrative, though the stanzas should be contextually related. They must be imagist, vivid poems without cliché that are “a feast for the senses.” The fifth stanza acts as the crucible “illuminating the gleaming thread (Thus, the ‘gleam’ in the name.) that runs through the entire poem,” pulling the poem “into a coherence as a kind of love poem,” and answering the compelling question, “for what do you yearn?” The poem does not need to be a traditional love poem, as the editors explain, “Yearning takes many forms,” but it is characteristic that a “successful cadralor end on a note of hope rather than hopelessness.”

Poets ready to tackle the form can expect their work to be well received by seasoned writers who want to engage the community in a supportive way. Editor in Chief Lori Howe is author of two books of poetry, Cloudshade, Poems of the High Plains, and Voices at Twilight, was Executive Editor of Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers, and formerly Editor in Chief of Clerestory: Poems of the Mountain West, and Open Window Review. She holds an MFA in Poetry from University of Wyoming, where she is also Professor. Founding Editor, Christopher Cadra is a poet/writer whose work has appeared in The Cimarron Review and elsewhere. His criticism has appeared in Basalt and a journal he edited, The Literati Quarterly.

Publishing two to three issues per year, Gleam accepts submissions via email, and, as Howe points out, “We offer a great deal of feedback on submissions, and often offer ‘revise and resubmit’ options, which we believe is somewhat rare among poetry journals. We do this because the form is both new and especially challenging to embody. We like to encourage poets to keep working on cadralor until they get there.”

There is a growing list of contributors whose cadralor have arrived to provide readers “the finest examples of this form anywhere in the world,” including Louise Barden, Rachel Barton, Robert Beveridge, Susan Cole, Kate Copeland, Jane Dougherty:, Scott Ferry, Malcolm Glass, Joanna Grisham, Georgia Hertz, Marie Marchand, Bob McAfee, Julia Paul, Charlotte Porter, Nick Reeves, Michelle Rochniak, Anastasia Vassos, Sherre Vernon, Sterling Warner, Ingrid Wilson, and Jonathan Yungkans.

In starting this new form as well as taking it onto a public platform, Howe shares, “My greatest joy is in reading submissions of cadralor from all over the world and discovering that this form is being taught in MFA poetry workshops around the country.”

As Cadra and Howe state, Gleam is THE flagship journal for the new poetic form, the cadralor, and the plan is for it to continue to hold that well-deserved place in our literary community.

New Lit on the Block :: Clover + Bee

Clover + Bee digital literary art magazine April 2022 cover image

Clover + Bee Magazine is – can I just say this? – a GORGEOUS digital publication of fictional prose (in all genres), narrative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. Clover + Bee Magazine has been publishing at a rate of 3-4 issues per year, with “no set-in-stone schedule as of yet,” according to Editors Alex Campbell and Cara Copeland.

At its inception, Campbell and Copeland say they found themselves at “the perfect intersection of our own creative journeys, our places within our respective online literary and art communities, and our desire to create a platform for emerging and established creators to showcase their work. A literary and visual art magazine just made sense as something that we could do to contribute to the larger creative ecosystem.”

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Clover + Bee”

Mag News :: Portrait of New England Ends Hiatus

Portrait of New English online literary magazine issue 1 cover image

I recently heard from Matthew Johnson, managing editor of Portrait of New England online literary journal, that the publication was coming back from hiatus. Truth be told: we see a lot of magazines go on “hiatus” never to be heard from again, so I took this opportunity to talk with Matthew and his colleagues about what happened and how they bounced back. Portrait of New England publishes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction from writers who are residents, former residents, or have connections (e.g., attended college in the region) to New England.

Origin Story and Hiatus

Matthew: “The original team for Portrait of New England was Brett Murphy Hunt, Jon Bishop, and Smrithi Eswar, who are all based in Massachusetts. They published the first issue of the magazine in 2019, of which I was originally a part of, as they accepted two of my poems.”

I am originally from New Rochelle, NY, but spent the majority of my childhood in Stratford, Connecticut, of which I have fond memories. I moved down to North Carolina in high school, and outside of a year stint in upstate New York as a sports journalist and editor after my undergrad, I’ve been based in North Carolina for close to 13 years now. Though I have not lived in New England for many years, I’ve visited Connecticut since moving to North Carolina, and it has always been a special place for me.”

Brett: “Basically, the idea of a literary magazine is something we fully support, but it’s incredibly labor-intensive! The amount of hours spent setting everything up compounded with the reading and vetting of submissions, and I think it was hard to think about the next issue. I personally own two businesses and teach at two universities, so my day-to-day is already task-saturated. Plus, I think we were incredibly proud of the first one, so trying to top that felt impossible! Nevertheless, we kept our website active because we definitely had the idea to continue SOMEDAY.”

Jon: “I second everything Brett said! This was a passion project, but it was one that was becoming a full-time thing, and because of our schedules, we found it hard to think about what was next. We sort of put everything into issue one.”

Continue reading “Mag News :: Portrait of New England Ends Hiatus”

2022 Raymond Carver Contest Winners

Carve Magazine Raymond Carver Short Story Contest logo image

Carve Magazine recently announced the winners of the 2022 Raymond Carver Contest judged by Dariel Suarez:

FIRST PLACE: Brandon J. Choi for “To Love a Stranger is Certain Death”

SECOND PLACE: Candice May for “A Rugged Border”

THIRD PLACE: Megan Callahan for “Don’t Speak”

EDITORS CHOICE: Abby Provenzano for “Birdsong” and Ned Carter Miles for “–K”

Winners will be published in the Fall 2022 Issue, which is currently in production. The contest runs annually from April 1 — mid-May.

New Book :: A Woman Somehow Dead

A Woman Somehow Dead poetry by Amy Locklin published by David Robert Books book cover image

A Woman Somehow Dead
Poetry by Amy Locklin
David Robert Books, March 2022

In this first full collection by Amy Locklin, the whirl of life and death, the rhythm of rot and rebirth, permeates these striking poems. Locklin has previously edited two print fiction anthologies, Altered States and Law and Disorder. She was a managing editor for the cross-genre anthology A Year in Ink, and her poetry chapbook, The Secondary Burial, was a finalist for the San Diego Book Awards. She earned her MFA in Poetry Writing and MA in 20th Century Literature from Indiana University Bloomington and currently teaches writing across the disciplines in online accelerated terms at Southern New Hampshire University. Sample poems are available to read here.

Summer Playlist :: CHILLFILTR Radio


The CHILLFILTER Review is an online publication of stories, essays, poems, and music with the mission to spotlight independent artists from around the world. Editor Krister Axel has an eclectic and discerning taste for sharing what’s new with readers and listeners alike. “One of my favorite things in life is curating for CHILLFILTR Radio,” Axel shares. “so I hope our listeners can appreciate the time that is spent continuing to add new and exciting music. Since April, the list of new adds is absolutely monstrous.” Indeed, full playlists can be found here. And while artists are encouraged to submit their works, Axel is clear that this is not a “pay-to-play” venue: “I think buying your way onto a playlist, and on the flipside, charging for features on a playlist under your control, completely undermines the fragile ecosystem that we have in place with regard to personal curation.” Check out CHILLFILTR Radio for yourself – there’s still plenty of summer left for enjoying these jammin’ playlists!

New Digs :: Alice James Books

Alice James Books new office door

Congratulations to Alice James Books who, after nearly 30 years of programming with the University of Maine at Farmington has relocated to an independent office in New Glouster, Maine. [Video of new office space.] “This is a major breakthrough for the press!” say Carey Salerno, Executive Director & Editor, and Anne Marie Macari, President. “Our team is excited to concentrate our focus more fully on AJB’s core values and mission-driven work. The move comes at the moment we are about to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2023, highlighting what’s always been important to us: publishing books that matter by poets who have something important to say.” Founded as a feminist press, Alice James Books is “committed to collaborating with literary artists of excellence who might otherwise go unheard by producing, promoting, and distributing their work which often engages the public on important social issues.” Visit their website for more information.

New Book :: Midstream

Midstream A Novel by Lynn Sloan book cover image

Fiction by Lynn Sloan
Fomite Press, August 2022

In Midstream, Lynn Sloan’s second novel, it’s 1974, and America is restless, with the Vietnam War winding to a close, and feminists marching in the streets. Polly Wainwright respects the protesters’ demands for equal pay, but now nearing middle age, won’t risk her security. Her job, being a picture editor at a prestigious publisher, is enviable and too good to lose. Polly is comfortable with her life—her homey Chicago apartment, her war-correspondent boyfriend with the dangerous job that everyone admires, the steady paycheck. Still, she’d once dreamed of making documentary films. When suddenly her life is thrown off-course, Polly slowly begins to view things differently and with growing dissatisfaction. But she can’t shift gears to imagine a different future—until a mysterious letter arrives, changing how she views the one moment in her past when she might have achieved her dreams.

New Lit on the Block :: Chicago Young Writers Review

Chicago Young Writers Review literary magazine Winter 2022 cover image

NewPages welcomes Chicago Young Writers Review to the scene, “a space uniquely created with the K-8 students in mind” says founder Daria Volkova. A native Chicagoan, Volkova wanted to preserve Chicago’s influence on her as a dynamic, diverse, multiethnic and multicultural city in their organization’s name. “We encourage young authors from all backgrounds to submit their work. In fact, we’ve had the most enthusiastic response from the communities of color and immigrant communities in and around Chicago. We also wanted the name to speak to our mission. There is an abundance of literary magazines for older writers, but there are less accessible spaces for the younger kids with whom we work. By including the ‘young writers’ within our name, we are stating exactly what we are and who we were made for. We are a playground (forgive the pun) for young creators to gain confidence in their work and blossom into stronger readers, thinkers, and writers.”

Continue reading “New Lit on the Block :: Chicago Young Writers Review”