The annual BLR Prizes award outstanding writing related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. Winners are published in the spring issue of BLR. For each genre, first prize is $1000 and honorable mention is $250. Submit your best poetry, fiction, and nonfiction through July 1. Visit website.
Featured in Issue 42 of Bellevue Literary Review are the winners and honorable mentions for the John & Eileen Allman Prize for Poetry judged by Crystal Valentine, the Goldberg Prize for Fiction judged by Amy Hempel, and the Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction judged by Michele Harper. Contributors include fiction by Nitin K. Ahuja (Winner with “Step-Down”), Angie Sijun Lou (Honorable Mention with “Pale Unappy Dog”), C.C. Reid, Rachel Hall, Cécile Barlier, Jon Cohn, Madeline Haze Curtis, AJ Cameron, C.J. Hribal, Sofi Stambo; nonfiction by Avra Aron (Winner with “In My Head”), Emily Carter (Honorable Mention with “Casualty”), Lindsay Starck, Mallika Sekhar, Barbara West; poetry by Michael M. Weinstein (Winner with “Drought Pastoral”), Laura Paul Watson (Honorable Mention with “Six Weeks Into Chemotherapy”), Judith Fox, R.J. Petteway, John Kneisley, Jessica Yuan, Melissa J. Varnavas, Katherine Gaffney, Kan Ren Jie, Connemara Wadsworth, Esther Abisola Omole, Suzanne Manizza Roszak, T. Le, Stubbs, Charlene Fix, and Rachel S. Brooks.
Bellevue Literary Review is celebrating 20 years of publication with Issue 41, the 20th Anniversary Issue! Founding Editor Danielle Ofri opens the issue with a foreword that details the journal’s beginnings.
“Pulling together an inaugural issue during the summer of 2001 was both heady and nerve-wracking, as we trod uncharted territory in everything from poetic sensibility and creative-nonfiction definition to font size and paper weight. We packed the first issue off to press in the first week of September and then the attacks of 9/11 occurred. Everything ground to a halt in New York City, logistically and emotionally. Not only could we not get our print run delivered, but we could hardly muster the spirit to find joy in any accomplishment. In the heavy pall of grief, everything else seemed inconsequential.”
Ofri goes on to recount how they moved forward and what happened in the wake of the tragedy of 9/11. In the following pages, readers can check out a 20th Anniversary Editorial Roundtable where “editors past and present, plus our founding publisher, [ . . . ] offer reflections on the BLR‘s founding and its evolution over two decades of publishing.” Check out the issue here.
In this issue: fiction by Rosaleen Bertolino, Tim Erwin, Ryan Pollard, Duke Stewart, Shelby Kinney-Lang, S.L. Wisenberg, Ivan Prashker, and more; nonfiction by Estee Ward, Elizabeth Brogden, Jena Martin, Alanna Weissman, Chip Brown, Zoe Fowler, and others. See poetry contributors at the Bellevue Literary Review website.
Did you know Bellevue Literary Review has an “Our Picks” section? Here, the editors have compiled the pieces of writing that have stuck with them and remain vivid years later. They say, “These stories, essays, and poems are particularly engaging and thought-provoking—the writing smart and alive—and deserving of another turn in the spotlight.”
The picks are introduced by the editor who explains what it is that spoke to them, and the pieces are linked in full. If you want to read the whole issue, no worries—the issue numbers are given as well.
Bellevue Literary Review annually hosts the BLR Prizes for “writing related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body.” The winner of each genre receives $1000, the honorable mention receives $250, and all are published in the spring issue. This year’s spring issue was recently released featuring the 2021 winners.
Winners “Tattoos” by Galen Schram (Fiction)
“The Tapeworm” by Amy V. Blakemore (Nonfiction)
“Never the Less” by Saleem Hue Penny (Poetry)
Honorable Mentions “Admonition” by Benjamin Kessler (Fiction)
“Viable” by Justine Feron (Nonfiction)
“Yellowthroat” by Eileen Elizabeth Waggoner (Poetry)
Submissions for this year’s prizes are currently open until July 15. Visit the journal’s website to learn more.
In this issue, find poetry by contest winners Saleem Hue Penny and Eileen Elizabeth Waggoner, as well as Stephanie Berger, Joanne Godley, Haolun Xu, Kwame Dawes, Chelsea Bunn, Kai Coggin, Pooja Mittal Biswas, and more; fiction contest winners Galen Schram and Benjamin Kessler as well as James Prier, Douglas Fenn Wilson, Jacob R. Weber, Emily Saso, Hadley Leggett, Moshe Zvi Marvit, and David Allan Cates. Read more at the Bellevue Literary Review website.
The “Reading the Body” issue is out. Fiction by Emma Pattee, Jonathan Penner, Michele Suzann, Lauren Green, Mahak Jain, and more; nonfiction by Jeremy Griffin, Wyatt Bandt, Jack Lancaster, and others; and poetry by Jacob Boyd, Gina Ferrari, Cynthia Parker-Ohene, Sanjana Nair, Thomas Dooley, Beth Suter, and many more. Read more at the Bellevue Literary Review website.
From Issue 38 of Bellevue Literary Review, Kathi Hansen’s “We the Mothers” (honorable mention in the 2020 BLR Prize) imagines the mothers of boys who have been accused of sexual assault. They meet together in book-club-like fashion, able to speak freely with one another when no one else understands.
Hansen writes of them in a collective. They speak of their sons as one being as they look back to their childhoods, their teenage years, and the ways their boys were raised in their homes. Only when one woman begins to question her son’s innocence does the story diverge, separating her from the rest of the group, finally naming her apart from the others. I found this to be a cool, well done device for this piece, and a unique point of view to have on these now familiar stories.
Despite focusing on this side of the story, Hansen does a good job of avoiding too much sentimentality. The mothers tell their collective story without demanding understanding or sympathy from the reader. After all, as they point out, only those in their group can truly understand.
Issue 38 of the Bellevue Literary Review (BLR) came together just as NYC and Bellevue Hospital were in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the BLR staff were alternating N95 masks with red pens, balancing patient-care with literary work. But the issue made it to the presses and is packed with good reads. It features the winners of the 2020 BLR Literary Prizes. The poems, essays, and stories in this issue travel from China to Texas to Tehran, from small town to big city, from World War I-era to the present. Stay tuned for Issue 39, coming in the fall, whose theme is “Reading the Body.” Read more at the Bellevue Literary Review website.