I haven’t posted in a long while. We experienced some flooding in the early morning of April 18 and, at first, that took up all my time, then it compromised my Internet connection, and finally it left me a little overwhelmed, not because of loss of property or anything like that, but because I sometimes feel we are already flooded with messages, posts and updates, etc., and I wonder what value comes from another dribble in the stream. But now I am feeling less underwater and a little more buoyant, and able to share what’s current in my world.
On Sunday April 14, I attended the Pop-Up Book Fair at The Empty Bottle in Chicago, and once again, it was a hoot. Big thanks to the hosts: Curbside Splendor and The Chicago Writers House.
I shared a table with Cyndi Fehr and Brian J. Solem from Graze magazine, which is a newer literary magazine about food. Based in Logan Square, Graze just came out with its third issue and describes itself as “a food-oriented lit mag dedicated to the food on your mind and the thoughts on your plate.” Check out the Graze website to learn more and order your copy.
At the table next to me was Randy Richardson who serves as president of the 400-member group, Chicago Writers Association and is the author of two novels, Lost in the Ivy and Cheeseland. Chicago Writers Association is an organization you might want to investigate. I haven’t started reading Cheeseland yet but I look forward to it as it is set in my era and is about something many of us flatlanders used to do when were teenagers, which is drive up to Wisconsin (where the drinking age limits are lower) to drink.
The other publication that caught my attention is an annual journal called The Labletter. Perfect-bound and printed on heavyweight stock, the journal features all types of writing (poetry, plays, essays, fiction) as well as art. I haven’t started reading it yet, but it is beautiful and looks interesting. You can find out more about The Labletter by visiting its website.
Also I got to catch up with Jason Pettus of Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (CCLaP) and hear more about Historia, Historia, one of the latest books from CCLaP which is getting a lot of attention. It is a memoir by Eleanor Stanford about her time in the Peace Corps in Cape Verde. Jason is doing so many great things and it amazes me how much he gets done. Make sure you check out the CCLaP website to find out about its many projects. He updates the site often and posts reviews, shows you the process of how he hand-makes the books and their covers, and features photographs.
Two other amazing people in Chicago publishing are Victor David Giron and Jacob Knabb of Curbside Splendor, the publishing company that keeps expanding its catalog, adding imprints, and scheduling great events. Curbside publishes journals and books, and has a number of imprints (Another Chicago Magazine, Artifice, Concepcion Press and Dark House Press) all doing interesting stuff. If you haven’t already, you should check out the Curbside Splendor website so you can keep up with the news and new titles and read its blog, which features graphic art as well as written posts.
Calls for submissions
Two of my Facebook contacts have posted calls for submissions.
For the Fall, 2013 issue, a special themed issue of Hobble Creek Review will be guest edited by Collin Kelley. Hobble Creek Review is a journal of contemporary poetry and creative non-fiction. Collin is looking for poems which hinge on pop culture. The poems you submit should be inspired by or include references to literature, film, television, music, comics, historical events, sports or moments from the news headlines. Submissions will be taken from June 15 to August 1. To learn more, visit the Hobble Creek Review website.
Michael Czyzniejewski wants you to know that submissions of poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, translations and book reviews are sought for 2014 issue of Moon City Review. There is no specific theme for the 2014 issue. Although Moon City Press publishes writing about the Ozarks, the press does not limit itself to Ozarks-only writing. Moon City Review is seeking submissions on all topics, with no Ozarks slant or bias. For more information, consult the Moon City Review website.