First, I'm excited to announce that Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé's interview with me has just been released on Luna Park Review. Desmond made the interview really interesting by posing questions around his own narrative of his return to Singapore. I enjoyed engaging with him in these questions, and hope you enjoy reading it.
Next up: a rundown of some books to put on your wish lists. Versal assistant poetry editor and past contributor Matthew Sadler just found out that his first collection, The Much Love Sad Dawg Trio, is coming out with March Street Press. Versal 5 contributor Joe Hall is getting ready for his upcoming launch at AWP of his first book Pigafeta is My Wife. Versal 8 contributor Neil de la Flor also has his first book of poetry coming out, Almost Dorothy, which won the 2009 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize. He and fellow Versal 8 contributor Maureen Seaton just won the Sentence Book Award for their manuscript, Sinead O'Connor and her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds, forthcoming from Firewheel Editions in 2011. Versal 6 contributor Derek Henderson and co-author Derek Pollard have their book Inconsequentia coming out with BlazeVox this week. And another one that's just hit the shelves is Versal 8 contributor Kevin McLellan's chapbook Round Trip, a collaborative series with numerous women poets. All titles to add to your collections!
There's plenty of activity on the journal and anthology fronts as well. Versal editor Megan M. Garr has new work coming out in The St. Petersburg Review, Tuesday: An Art Journal and Sand out of Berlin. She and assistant fiction editor BJ Hollars were both finalists in the 2009 Black Lawrence River Chapbook Competition. Fiction editor Robert Glick has a story forthcoming in Fourteen Hills and a poem in Blue Earth Review. Assistant poetry editor Jennifer K. Dick has poetry, translations, reviews, and articles published or forthcoming in numerous publications: Tears in the Fence, Trans-, Ekleksographia, Big City Lit, Lungfull! Magazine, Voi(es)x (an anthology), New Pony: a horse less anthology and Action, Yes! And Matt has a short story coming out in this summer's Indiana Review. Versal 6 contributor Dawn Lonsinger was a recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize this year, and has poems forthcoming in Post Road, Sycamore Review, Southeast Review, Cave Wall, Barn Owl Review, and in the anthologies A Generation Defining Itself: In Our Own Words and I.O.U.--New Writing On Money. Versal 7 contributor Lehua M. Taitano has stories coming out in The Anthology of Indigenous Writers from Micronesia and The Fiction at Work Bi-Annual Report, a Green Lantern Press Anthology. Her essay "Reticulation" is forthcoming from dislocate journal, and was the winner of The Contaminated Essay Contest, judged by Lia Purpura. Lehua is also the University of Montana's Merriam-Frontier 2010 winner, with her chapbook appalachiapacific coming out this summer. And Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, also from Versal 7, has work forthcoming in Blackbird, Breadcrumb Scabs, Copper Nickel, Ganymede, Pank, and Spilt Milk. His sequence “When Dada Rewrote Koans” was selected by Mary Jo Bang as one of six finalists in the Noemi Press Poetry Chapbook Award.
In other news, 2010 looks to be a busy year for Versal 5 contributor Helen Burke. She's reading poetry and exhibiting art at the upcoming Scarborough Literature Festival, and also reading at the Leeds Literature and Manchester Festivals. You can also see her later this year at the Viennese evening of poetry and music at Schubertiad in Suffolk and the Whitby Folk Festival. Helen is currently preparing a new collection of poems and writing a play, as well as being mentored by the BBC for radio plays. Versal 6 contributor Mark Wisniewski tells us that he recently finished a novel, Straightaway, in which the main character in his Best American Short Stories 2008 piece dishes out some no-bull truths about desperate crime, betrayal, and genuine love in the Bronx. Mark also has a new agent, Seth Fishman at Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
And if you're in Berkeley, CA: Versal 8 contributor Dan Thomas-Glass is launching the 4th issue of his journal With + Stand this Sunday, with readings from Lisa Robertson, Stephanie Young, Anne Lesley Selcer, Melissa Mack, Brian Ang and more. Check out the journal's blog for complete details.
If you're looking for online reading material, check our Versal 1 contributor Amatoritsero Ede's Maple Tree Literary Supplement. And upcoming Versal 8 contributor Karen An-Hwei Lee has a brand new blog!
Finally, if you want a taste of Versal 8's cover, check out artist Kerri Rosenstein's installation in the Trickhouse backroom.
Congratulations to everyone. Though we're not sure how many people will read every word of this little (?) news reel, it's super exciting to see such great work happening on so many levels, with so many folks who have filled Versal's pages since 2003.