Spring is here and this illustration by Jade Purple Brown is everything. As I write this, it has just stopped raining. I won an award from Woven Tale Press and the prize was a week in the Hamptons. (Submissions open 8/15 to 1015!) I'm sleeping 8 hours a night, avoiding work emails, and catching up on overdue books from the library. Idris Elba is officially married (cue tears) and Game of Thrones is ending but poetry remains. I heard that people are reading more poetry than ever and as we react to the world around us, don't forget to write about flowers, the way the wind moves, and how big a smile can get. Poetry is more than a collection of sad tidings. If we only write about what hurts us, we'll forget to fight for what loves us. xoxo, Cynthia https://tinyurl.com/y4mnbypj
SUMMARY: Judge A. Van Jordan selects winners for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize.
The annual Furious Flower Poetry Prize is given in honor of Gwendolyn Brooks' sprit of nurturing emerging poets. Carrying on Brooks' legacy, Furious Flower shines light on up-and-coming poets and supports them with a monetary award, a reading at James Madison University, and publication in the renowned literary journal, Obsidian: Literature and Art in the African Diaspora. This year, Judge A. Van Jordan, a distinguished poet with four poetry collections and professor at the University of Michigan, selected Rachelle Parker as the 2019 winner of the Furious Flower Poetry Prize, and Cynthia Manick as the honorable mention.
Rachelle Parker is a writer and editor whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tupelo Quarterly, The Adirondack Review, Paterson Review, Lips, Creations Magazine, The New Jersey Council of Teachers of English Journal, as well as the following anthologies: The BreakBeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic and Poeming Pigeons: Poems From The Garden. She won the Fourth Annual Pat Schneider Poetry Contest and earned honorable mention in the Allen Ginsburg Poetry Contest and the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award. She is a fellow of the Tin House Summer Workshop Poetry, Willow Arts Alliance, and Callaloo Creative Writing at Brown University. In his remarks, A. Van Jordan writes about Parker's poem, "I Was a Monsoon Just Once": "This poet's line and syntax intersect to bring a surprise with the turning of the mind in the poem. The figurative language never feels forced, and the formal gestures- the control of the line, the music of the line- feel as natural as the spoken word."
Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press 2016) She received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, the MacDowell Colony, Poets House, and the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, among others, and won the 2016 Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry and the 2018 Elizabeth Sloan Tyler Memorial Award. Manick is founder and curator of the reading series Soul Sister Revue.
A. Van Jordan also selected Zakia Henderson-Brown, Kimberly Reyes, Nia June, Jordan Franklin, and Azia Armstead as finalists, and they will each have one poem published in Obsidian as well.
Furious Flower celebrates Rachelle and Cynthia with an award ceremony and reading with A. Van Jordan on April 17th at 4pm in the Highlands Room in the Festival Building on JMU's campus. A light reception will follow. This event is free and open to the public. Vist http://www.jmu.edu/furiousflower/ for more information
Cynthia Manick has won Third Place at Frontier Poetry Award For New Poets for "Self-Portrait No.5 (Phoenix and Lullabies," December 2018, Selected by Victoria Chang https://www.frontierpoetry.com/2018/12/04/winners-award-for-new-poets-2018/
Cynthia Manick has been awarded First Place in the Woven Tale Press Literary Award which includes publication in Woven Tale Press Magazine and a one-week retreat in Elizabeth Sloan’s Hamptons house on Long Island one block from the ocean, beach, and town. https://www.thewoventalepress.net/2018/10/17/wtp-2018-first-place-literary-winner/
The open reading period for The Adirondack Review on the theme "imagining tomorrow" is now open. Guest edited by Cynthia Manick, this issue will feature poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translation, and hybrid works that imagine the future. We are looking for variety in vision including works that address afrofuturism, joy, the political, the cosmic, the apocalyptic, family relationships, the dystopian, and slices of everyday life. Submit here!
I'm pleased to announce that Underwater NY will be selling my broadside, Requiem for Sea and Chains, based on a Chester Higgins photograph and the Middle Passage, to benefit immigrant communities through Aug. 1. All proceeds will go to Make the Road New York. If you love poetry and want to give back, consider this $15 purchase http://underwaternewyork.com/shop-1/broadside-maafa-rebirth-requiem-for-sea-and-chains
THE FOLLOWING IS one of six pieces by former Emerging Poets fellows at Poets House in New York City. Each of the pieces engages with the Poetry Coalition’s 2018 initiative, “Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body.” Poets House invited the fellows to select five items from the House’s 70,000-volume library that address the theme of the body, and to write a paragraph or two on each of these items. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/where-my-dreaming-and-my-loving-live-poetry-the-body-part-iii-dreaming-and-loving-through-poetry-and-the-body/#!
This year's winner for the Phillip McMath Post Publication Book Award is the story collection Heirlooms by Rachel Hall. Judge Phillip McMath made this selection from the following finalists:
Only More So by Millicent Borges Accardi
Love is a Stone Endlessly in Flight by Dante Di Stefano
Whiskey, Etc. by Sherrie Flick
Heirlooms by Rachel Hall
Blue Hallelujahs by Cynthia Manick
Don't Moan So Much (Stevie): A Poetry Musiquarium by Curtis L. Crisler
A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice A Memoir in Four Meditations by Christine Hale