Poem: At Least

Poem: At Least. By Ha Jin. Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. New York Times Magazine.

In a wry poem of direct counsel, Ha Jin dismisses obligatory mingling and networking. He’s talking to himself or to any of us, as the poem quietly advises and reasons. “A Distant Center,” Ha Jin’s profoundly appealing collection of poems written in Chinese, then translated by the author into English, contains so many breathtaking cleanses-of-spirit — begone bombast and posturing! Reading it is better than going to a spa. The title of this poem adds another encouraging nod to the topic. We may not know everything, but “at least” this.

“…Look, this skyful of stars,
which one of them
doesn’t shine or die alone?
Their light also comes
from a deep indifference.”

Call :: The MacGuffin Volume 36 Number 3

The MacGuffin is featuring formal poetical works in Volume 36, No. 3! We’ll take a look at any poem in an established metrical form, but save any free or blank verse for a different issue. Send up to five poems, listing their titles and forms in an email cover letter, using “Form Issue” in the subject line. Submissions also considered via post and Submittable (themacguffin.submittable.com/submit). Please send all work by April 1, 2020. Prose is still being considered for general publication in this issue. For more information, please see our website at www.schoolcraft.edu/macguffin or send us an email at macguffin@schoolcraft.edu.

‘Real censorship’: Roxane Gay responds to American Dirt death threat row

Roxane Gay jpg‘Real censorship’: Roxane Gay responds to American Dirt death threat row. The Guardian.

The author argues the debate around Jeanine Cummins’ controversial novel shows how people are threatened for ‘daring to have opinions’

Gay, who explained that she receives death threats every week, and pays for a security service to monitor and protect her, said that it was “important to acknowledge the death threats people receive for daring to have opinions, for daring to be black or brown or queer or disabled or women or trans or any marginalised identity”.

“People need to realise what real censorship looks like. They need to understand how unsafe it can be to challenge authority and the status quo,” she said. “These are not things that should be taken lightly, nor should this level of harassment be dismissed as mere trolling. You never know when one of those so-called trolls is going to take his rage from the internet into the physical world.”

How to Raise a Reader

How to Raise a Reader jpgHow to Raise a Reader (Does Anyone Actually Know?) BookRiot.

From what I can tell, the advice from these books can be distilled into three main points. One, read to your children, all the time, for as long as you can (even after they can read for themselves). Two, surround them with books and make books easily accessible. Borrow books from the library, buy books new, buy books secondhand, whatever it is — just have books at home. And three, model reading to them. One of the best ways to raise readers is to be a reader yourself, and let your child see that.

But thinking about these tips and advice also made me wonder: how effective are these tips? Can readers be made or are they born? The rest of these musings are exactly that: musings based on anecdotes and in no way on rigorous scientific research but it’s interesting to ponder.

NewPages February 2020 Digital eLitPak

NewPages has sent out our monthly digital eLitPak to current newsletter subscribers yesterday afternoon. Not a subscriber yet? Sign up here: npofficespace.com/newpages-newsletter/.

Besides our monthly eLitPak featuring fliers from literary magazines, independent presses, and creative writing programs and events, we have a weekly newsletter filled with submission opportunities, literary magazines, new titles, reviews, and more.

Check out the current eLitPak below. You can view the original newsletter email here. Continue reading “NewPages February 2020 Digital eLitPak”