3Quarks Finalists Are In

For those of you following the 3Quarks Arts & Literature prize, the finalists are in! Congratulations to the authors of the blog posts that made the grade. You can check them out here:


  1. 3 Quarks Daily: Joothan: A Dalit’s Life
  2. Accidental Blogger: The Leopard _ Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa
  3. Chapati Mystery: The Stay-at-Home Man
  4. Jadaliyya: The Poetry of Revolt
  5. Millicent and Carla Fran: Why Don’t Women Submit?
  6. Sepia Mutiny: Letter to a Young Islamophobe
  7. The Millions: Her Story Next to His: Beloved and The Odyssey
  8. The Millions: Reading and Race: On Slavery in Fiction
  9. Writing Without Paper: Consider the Pomegranate

Oxford Conference for the Book: Call for Submissions

If you’re planning to attend the Oxford Conference for the Book later this month, this call may be of interest. Here are the details:

Poets interested in participating in the Community Poetry Workshop led by poet Richard Tillinghast should send 3 to 5 poems for consideration to joshua.davis28@gmail.com

In the subject line, please type: OCB Poetry Workshop. The workshop is open to all ages and the deadline for submissions is March 12, 2011.  The workshop will be held at the Overby Center on the Ole Miss campus, room 206, on Saturday, March 26th at 9 a.m.

Please direct all questions to joshua.davis28@gmail.com

The New Radiation Recipe Book & Other Oddities

The shortlist has been released for The Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of 2010.  What is perhaps the oddest thing about the list is how, well, normal most of the titles seem:

  • 8th International Friction Stir Welding Symposium Proceedings, Various authors (TWI)
  • The Generosity of the Dead, Graciela Nowenstein (Ashgate)
  • The Italian’s One-night Love Child, Cathy Williams (Mills & Boon)
  • Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way, Michael R Young (Radcliffe)
  • Myth of the Social Volcano, Martin King Whyte (Stanford University Press)
  • What Color Is Your Dog?, Joel Silverman (Kennel Club)

Granted, there are a couple of pretty good exceptions. But, really…ho hum!

Forget 2010, what are the oddest book titles you’ve ever encountered?

Playing for Keeps: Intensity and Creativity in the Lyric Essay

Reporting from the 2011 AWP conference in Washington, D.C., I’ll be posting notes and tidbits from panels on writing, editing and publishing; news from the book room; and the thoughts that hit me late in the night.

Tonight’s post comes from the Playing for Keeps: Intensity and Creativity in the Lyric Essay panel. Here’s the description:

The lyric essay gives writers the license to experiment–to play with language in fresh and surprising ways–but if this playfulness lacks intensity the lyric essay can become a game, or worse, an idle exercise. What do writers do to animate the form so that it not only enjoys the freedom to explore but achieves the level of passion and intelligence we expect from all great writing? A panel of writers will consider the question and offer concrete suggestions.

Rebecca McClanahan started us off with her 13 Ways of Looking at Lyric Essay in 15 Minutes. Here they are in bold with my own notes following:

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National Book Critics Circle Picks

In case you need yet another list of books to read before March (see the other list HERE, 4 books actually make both lists), the NBCC announced the shortlist for this year’s awards on January 22. Taken from the always awesome Poets & Writers magazine, here’s what the critics were saying about these finalists before they were, well, finalists:

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AWP, A Day in the Conference (Thursday)

For those of you who have never experienced the awesomeness that is the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference, below is how I’ve tentatively planned my first full day at the conference. I haven’t concocted this plan because I’m obsessive/compulsive or an extremely rigid and planned individual. I’ve done it out of sheer necessity. You see, going to AWP without some sort of plan already in place is like deciding to go to the Smithsonian without a some sort of plan. You get there and realize that, whoa! This thing is a hell of a lot bigger than I thought! And then you spend the day wandering around, unfocused, seeing – granted – some really cool shit, but what you don’t realize until after you get home and look through the information you had on hand before you left is that the Smithsonian has dinosaurs. Continue reading

I’ve Always Wanted a Rooster

It’s funny.  But if you have the time to actually read all the stuff you ask to be sent to your inbox, you’ll discover there’s a whole world of literary activity taking place out there.  I have, for years now, been getting the Times in my inbox.  Unless the headline was really something spectacular, the vast majority of those emails went directly into the trash, unread.  Lately, I’ve been reading it instead.  And, surprise of all surprises, there’s interesting stuff going on in the world.  Imagine that.  Since I have a little more time than usual these days, I’ve also been reading The Millions pretty religiously.  And I’ve discovered that I’m a new convert to a very old, very established movement.  Okay.  So I’m late to the party.  What of it?  Just in case some of you are also late the party (or missed the party altogether), I like to include some of the more interesting information gleaned from my reading here.  Today’s tidbit involves a rooster.

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