Tag Archives: poetry

Nicholas Christian, ‘A Wassail in Ink’

We are delighted to publish Nicholas Christian’s poem ‘A Wassail in Ink’ in Issue 15 of Pulp Literature.  We are even more delighted that he has provided another version of the poem, which he has agreed to publish here on the website.

A Wassail in Ink

by Nicholas Christian

Here is one beginning: an Ocean of Vietnam;
bottom rim stiff with starch grinding like rough glass
against an old belt buckle, eyes sweeping and moving
in rhythm through the dark of a stone spiral street.

And there the cavalier waited, iron-red mouth brushing
your waist and Avery Colt laughed into beer with October
promises before the night church of Kansas knew even spoiled honey
is sweet in black heels high under sconces of electric tallow.

Our canoe was carved for sinking, certain your wet shoes remember
how to walk into the dusk of an old stranger’s bread, and gun-fire
has come to mean tasting the vanilla whorl of water lilies.

And some braveries are the old tears stranded and hungry
given to island sand, words taken by the wind returned possessions
with the rain, grown thick and resonant as stretching pelicans—
we’ve landed on Bluebeard’s birch table, sure in opening one more door

the joys of hearing Rumi ask what have I ever lost by dying?
What choice but to sentence shining with fat our piles of bones

to the burning wood; now there is space for the tapestry of your back
to fit into my hand—this learning language through the body
sits so close to the future there is only the dance of it.

Which is all to say: these places are maps black from all this spilled ink
collecting in my cup full of little crows I’ve brought to your lips,
meaning nothing more than we are seven words written when not looking.

We think the poem is superb in both its forms.  What do you think?  You can find Issue 15 here if you don’t already have it.  We’d love to hear from you.

Nicholas Christian lives in St Louis with his stuffed sea lion Gerald and his coyote Loki who believes she is a cat.  He studies at the University of Missouri-St Louis. Find more of his poetry at Off the Coast, Poetry Quarterly,  Dămfīno,  Panoply, Gravel and the Lindenwood Review.

 

FJ Bergmann, Winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Contest

Congratulations to poet and short fiction author FJ Bergmann, winner of the 2017 Gold Line Press chapbook contest for her collection A Catalog of the Further Suns.

Judge Sarah Vap had the following to say about the winning manuscript:  “As I moved through A Catalog of the Further Suns I found myself, as a member of the human species, alien-ized. I found myself alien-ating. I found myself in a labyrinth of mirrors that reflected back and forth among the histories of colonization and mass extinction, and the futures of colonization and mass extinction. While reading these poems I slipped, for fractions of fractions of moments, just the tiniest distance outside of my human brain… Read more here .

FJ Bergmann is the author of  the intriguing short stories ‘Opening Doors’, Issue 6, ‘How to Lose a Week’, Issue 13, and ‘For your Convenience,’ upcoming in Issue 16.

How to Lose a Week

From Issue 13, a taste of FJ Bergmann’s storytelling flair:

After accidentally pouring reconstituted orange juice instead of milk into the remaining half-cup of coffee, you make a snap decision that it’s okay to go to the art museum instead of work, since you are late to work anyway. When your car won’t start because someone who shall not be named left the interior light on, you decide to hitchhike downtown. The eighteen-wheeler that picks you up is going to Florida; you decide that’s even more okay. You spend the rest of the day travelling south and taking notes for future use in a roman-à-clef while the trucker tells you his very interesting life story. He talks a lot faster than you are used to.

Tuesday
In the wee hours, somewhere near Atlanta, Georgia, the trucker, who has become progressively more wild-eyed and chatty and for some reason hasn’t needed to stop for anything but gas, informs you that an alien spaceship is landing on the road ahead 

Find the rest of Issue 13 here.

More about FJ Bergmann

FJ is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets who also writes speculative fiction and is a web designer and artist.  She maintains madpoetry.org, a local poetry website, as well as the WFoP site, bookthatpoet.com, and others.  Her personal site is fibitz.com. She also offers a poetry submission service, PoemFactotum.com. She has had poems in the Beloit Poetry Journal, North American Review, Rosebud, Southern Poetry Review, Tattoo Highway, and Weird Tales… Read more here  

We look forward to reading A Catalog of Further Suns when it comes off the press.

 

 

 

Mary Rykov’s Poetry to be Published in 2019

Congratulations to Issue 2 and Issue 9 poet, essayist, and fiction writer, Mary H. Auerbach Rykov, poet.  Mary recently signed with Inanna Publications and Education to launch her debut poetry collection, *some conditions apply*.  A Fall 2019 release is planned for this book.  The acceptance follows hard on the heels of the publication of several of her essays, as well as exciting forays into flash fiction.

On her website Mary writes encouraging words for poets everywhere:

Just Keep Writing and Sending Them Out

When the prolific poet, David W. McFadden, won the 2014 Giller Prize for Excellence in Poetry for What’s the Score? (Mansfield, 2013), my first poetry manuscript was still seeking a literary home.

“David,” I asked, “what advice can you give me?”

“Just keep writing and sending them out.”

David was right. I kept writing and sending them out. Eventually I scored. Seven years, twelve manuscript submissions (six full manuscripts, six manuscript excepts), and three title changes later, my debut poetry collection, some conditions apply, will hatch with Inanna Publications and Education Inc. in 2019. Thank you, Luciana Ricciutelli, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. What seems like a long two-year wait is the necessary production schedule of most small presses that work with minimal staff on shoestring budgets for the love of literature. After seven long years wafting in the ethers of Submissionland, these two years will pass quickly.

I share with you what I learned… Read more here

My First Job

Mary’s funny and beautiful essay “My First Job” appears in Numero Cinq Magazine

By the time I was seventeen, I was a singer-songwriter—a tumbleweed riding the wind, barely making ends meet. I sang a lunch set at the Penny Farthing coffee house for my lunch and dinner. And I lived in a downtown Toronto rooming house across the hall from Murray the Speed Freak who, according to the Addiction and Research Foundation, should have been dead six months ago… Read more

About the author:

Puerto Rico-born Mary Rykov is a Toronto music therapist-researcher, editor, educator, and writer.  She holds a PhD in Adult Education (OISE/UT, 2006) and an MA in Music Therapy (NYU, 1995).  Her songs, fiction, poetry, and nonfiction appear in various venues.  She freelances as a writing mentor and editor in multiple genres and serves as proofreader for Pulp Literature Press.

 

Poet Daniel Cowper, Chapbook Contest Winner

Congratulations to poet Daniel Cowper. He is a co-winner of Frog Hollow Press’s second Chapbook Contest. The God of Doors is out now, and you can order your copy here.

Daniel has been our expert and valued poetry editor since the inception of Pulp Literature Press in July 2013.  Like Pulp Literature, he is from Bowen Island, BC.  After studying mediaeval literature, philosophy, and law in Vancouver, Manhattan, and Toronto, Daniel returned to Bowen Island, where he is finishing his cabin with an eye to his wife’s comfort.

Daniel’s poetry has appeared in Arc Poetry, the Literary Review of Canada, Prairie Fire, Vallum, CV2, Dalhousie Review, Freefall, the Hart House Review, and is forthcoming in Noise Anthology. His non-fiction has appeared at the Puritan’s Town Crier, and you can read his article on conceptual poetry here.

 

 

Introducing Renée Saklikar, the Magpie Award Judge

It is our pleasure to introduce the judge for this year’s Magpie Award for Poetry, Surrey BC’s Poet Laureate Renée Sarojini Saklikar.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle.  Work from the project appears in journals, anthologies and chapbooks.  Renée’s first book, children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections, (Nightwood Editions, 2013) won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry and was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award.

Renée is currently a mentor and instructor for Simon Fraser University, and co-founder of the poetry reading series, Lunch Poems at SFU.  With Wayde Compton, Renée co-edited The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press/SFU Public Square, 2015).  She is currently at work on the long poem, “Thot-J-Bap”, excerpts of which can be found in Eleven Eleven, The Capilano Review, DUSIE and The Rusty Toque, as well as in chapbooks published by Nous-Zot and above/ground presses.

Renée is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey and the 2017 UBC Okanagan Writer in Residence.  She collects poems about bees.

We are delighted to have Renée onboard as the Magpie Award judge. Thank you, Renée!

The 4th annual Magpie Award for Poetry is open until April 15th.  Contest guidelines  here.

Congratulations to Dr Mary Rykov!

twofish2 smallReaders of Pulp Literature will know the high standards of quality that go into every page.  That attention to detail is the result of hard effort from many talented people, including our proofreader, Dr Mary Rykov.  We became friends with Mary in Issue 2, when we printed her wonderful poem, “A Siren’s Tale.”  Since then, Mary has done the final polish on each issue and we only wish she lived closer!

Mary RykovToday we’d like to congratulate Mary on her full scholarship to Sage Hill, where she will enjoy a 10-day poetry residency with Steven Heighton. This is an honour and congratulations are in order! To find our more about Mary and her work as a poet, editor, or music therapist, visit maryrykov.com.

George McWhirter, Judge of the Second Annual Magpie Award for Poetry

george mcWe are thrilled that George McWhirter, Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate, has agreed to judge Pulp Literature’s Magpie Award for Poetry for a second time.

Last year’s finalists received not only his approbation, but in-depth and often extensive comments from a leader in the world of Canadian Literature.

We are most grateful and honoured to BC’s much-honoured poet, novelist, editor, and translator for saying yes to year 2 of the contest.

The closing date for entries to the Magpie Award for Poetry is April 15.


Here you will find an excerpt of George McWhirter’s  superb translation of “Solar Poems” by Homero Aridjis, at blogcitylights.

And here you will find a copy of his stunning poem “My Mother’s Red Shawl” on Alex Waterhouse Hayward’s blog.

 

Poetic Inspiration

The deadline for Magpie Poetry Award entries is this coming Sunday, June 15th.  With the pressure now on, we’d like to offer you this poetic gift from contest judge George McWhirter:

On the Globe Maple

Our globe put on such a leaf-dress, such puffy pantaloons,
only for those clothes to fall, get gathered up and put away
by us autumn widows and widowers, no longer allowed
to burn organic garments,
and with no compost room left to let them rot.

Easier to give them away to the city
in a bin — glad to do so, despite that blinding blur
the globe wore with its full jewelry of September sunlight
(no summer modesty of limbs, clothed in green anonymity, then —
or the tight taciturnity of young spring bud). Patiently
we packed away those arboreal duds, waiting for the next discards
on our boulevard – espoused
as we were to a globe maple the city shot-gunned
us into accepting and slowly, reluctantly loving
to live in its shade and shelter, held up politely
like an umbrella whenever we got in or out of the car.

But I’m not sure we ever looked forward to its coming out,
the Persephone performance, each year, after the spell
of its sap’s cessation in hell. Especially after its lopsided
growth, too oblong for its roots and hefty trousseaux of snow,
piled on (to have us recant our wanting a cherry tree instead),
which broke it down to a crescent, an icing-coated croissant,
a third of its former self. The rest lay, distressing us in the gutter,
a gowling globe till the city came and chain-sawed
a final separation for us, leaving the bulk of the wood.

We will bask soon in that settlement, by the fire,
after giving ourselves a little space — on the boulevard.

George McWhirter

George McWhirter to judge the Magpie Poetry Award

George McWhirterWho better to judge our inaugural Magpie Award for Poetry, than Vancouver’s inaugural Poet Laureate, George McWhirter?

The much-lauded poet, novelist, translator and editor has been instrumental in the development of BC’s literary scene, both as a long-time editor and advisor at PRISM international, and as a well-loved professor and Head of the Creative Writing department at UBC.  He has been awarded too many prizes for writing and teaching to list here, and we are thrilled and honoured that he has agreed to judge our first ever contest.

For a small sample of his vast body of work see this poem on the blog of Alex-Waterhouse Hayward (whom we have to thank for putting us in touch).

The closing date for entries for the Magpie Award for Poetry is 15 June 2014.  Contest guidelines are here.

 

 

Trust Your Reader

To celebrate the start of our first Magpie Award poetry contest, let me honour Max Plater, a poet from my very first writer’s group who passed along the best writing advice I ever received: trust your reader. As I continue to work through the submissions pile in our inbox, it is clear in the first paragraph which writers have learned to trust and respect their audience’s ability to perceive and follow the delicate rabbit trail. The writers with a true voice, that elusive quality so much sought and praised, reveal an intense intimacy and vulnerability (even if it is only leaked through the cracks.) Lesser writers smack of explanation, of grand action spelled with capital letters, and leave no room for lingering footnotes in the reader’s mind. The Golden Rule of Writing is this: trust your reader as you trust yourself. A writer must dig inside his own soul, wrestle with his art, and dare to go all the way down the rabbit hole. Because if he does, we’ll follow.

Between Us 

Above dry canyons where our worlds meet

not one word is lost between us

We step across them on a string bridge.

–Max Plater, Winter Fires (1998, Exile Editions)