March 29, 2010

Versal rough guide to AWP 2010

To start, here are three things that Versal has organized for AWP: a table, a reading, and a borrel (aka the three essentials).

And if you want to hear me speak about starting Versal, check out Poets&Writers Magazine's panel on Friday: Open for Submissions (see event listing below for details).

Versal at the Bookfair
Versal has a table in the Bookfair, table M3. Please drop by, we can't wait to meet you!

Orbiting Salt: A Quarterly West/Western Humanities Review/Versal/Barrelhouse Reading
Thursday, April 8 4:30-5:45pm
Room 111, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
This reading features writers recently published in Quarterly West, Western Humanities Review, Barrelhouse, and Versal. Spanning the traditional and the experimental, the regional and the global, it celebrates the diverse and powerful work of four journals with editors currently studying creative writing at the University of Utah.
Check out the event on Facebook, and RSVP.

Versal borrel: Going Dutch in Denver
You are all invited to the Versal borrel on Saturday, April 10 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Strata Bar in the Hyatt. It's a completely informal borrel (Dutch for "drinks"), open to contributors past and present, subscribers, and friends of Versal.
Check out the event on Facebook, and RSVP.

Our past and present contributors also sent us info on panels, tables and the like. I've listed these below, along with some panels you'll find us on. Info's been taken off the AWP site so apologies for any errors, panelist changes or omissions.


Hsahta/Omnidawn reading
Wednesday, April 7 7-10pm
The Magnolia Hotel Ballroom, 17th & Stout
With Versal contributors Ben Doller, Noah Eli Gordon

Diode Poetry Journal / Makeout Creek reading
Wednesday, April 7 7pm
Jones Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1101 13th Street
With Versal contributors Joshua Marie Wilkinson and Cynthia Lotze


The Long and Short of it: The Evolving Shapes of Creative Nonfiction
Thursday, April 8 9-10:15am
Room 110, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal assistant fiction editor B.J. Hollars

Sarabande Book Signing
Thursday, April 8 1-2pm
With Versal contributor Karen An-hwei Lee

Goodbye to All That: Coming of Age in the Personal Essay
Thursday, April 8 3-4:15pm
Room 201, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal contributor Nicole Walker

Queering Desire: Queer Poets' Aesthetic Libidos
Thursday, April 8 4:30-5:45pm
Room 110, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal contributor Maureen Seaton

Rare Breed: A Reading with the Black Goat Poets
Thursday, April 8 4:30-5:45pm
Room 201, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal contributor Amatoritsero Ede

Writing in More than one Language: Significance, Opportunities, Challenges, and Audiences
Thursday, April 8 4:30-5:45pm
Room 207, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal assistant poetry editor Jennifer K. Dick

Colorado Writers Reading
Thursday, April 8 5:30-7:30pm
Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St.
With Versal contributor Noah Eli Gordon

Prairie Schooner "Baby Boomer" reading
Thursday, April 8 5:30-7:30pm
Common Grounds Downtown Coffee, 1550 17th St.
With Versal contributor Maureen Seaton

Wild Lives, Raucous Pens
Thursday, April 8 8-9:30pm
Adirondacks Room, The Tivoli at Auraria Campus
With Versal contributor Simmons B. Buntin


Thin Air Book Signing: This Noisy Egg by Nicole Walker
Thursday, April 8
With Versal contributor Nicole Walker

Beyond the "First Compliment, then Criticize" Method: Teaching Students How To Be Better Workshoppers
Friday, April 9 1:30-2:45pm
Room 207, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal fiction editor Robert Glick, Versal contributors Kathryn Cowles, Rachel Marston and Alissa Nutting

Immigrant Poetry: Aesthetics of Displacement
Friday, April 9 3-4:15pm
Room 110, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal contributor Uche Nduka

University of Denver Faculty Fiction Reading
Friday, April 9 3-4:15pm
Room 201, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal contributor Selah Saterstrom

Open For Submissions: Starting Your Own Literary Magazine or Small Press
Friday, April 9 4:30-5:45pm
Room 109, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal editor Megan M. Garr

Colorado's Innovative Writers Past and Present
Friday, April 9 4:30-5:45pm
Rooms 301, 302, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal contributor Noah Eli Gordon

Astrophil Press Off Site Party
Friday, April 9 7pm
7 South Broadway (Hi-Dive)
With Versal contributors Selah Saterstrom and Sandy Florian


Tupelo Book Signing
Saturday, April 10 11:30-12:30am
With Versal contributor Karen An-hwei Lee

Tupelo Press 10th Anniversary Poetry Reading
Saturday, April 10 3-4:15pm
Room 207, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal contributors Karen An-hwei Lee and Joshua Marie Wilkinson

A Chorus of Hauntings: Giving Breath to Ghosts
Saturday, April 10 3-4:15pm
Rooms 301, 302, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
With Versal contributor Brandon Shimoda

Poets in the World: Building Diverse Communities through Independent Poetry Centers, Blogs, and Radio
Saturday, April 10 3-4:15pm
Granite Room, Hyatt Regency Denver, 3rd Floor
With Versal contributor Barbara Jane Reyes

FENCE & 1913: Off-Site Salon
Saturday, April 10 5-7pm
Mario's Double Daughter's Salotto, 1632 Market Street
With Versal contributor Ben Doller

Reading and Book Party for the Starting Today Anthology
Saturday, April 10 6pm
Paris on the Platte Cafe, 1553 Platte Street
With Versal contributor Joshua Marie Wilkinson

A Reading Hosted by Apostrophe Books with Action Books, Black Ocean Press, Slope Editions and Tarpaulin Sky Press
Saturday, April 10 7pm
Plus Gallery, 2501 Larimer Street
With Versal contributors Joe Hall and Julie Doxsee
(includes release of Joe's first book Pigafeta is My Wife)

March 16, 2010

A big March news reel

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.

March 15, 2010

Inside Eight

Admit it. You, we, all of us, when we pick a lit journal off the shelves, the first thing we normally do (sometimes the only thing we do) is scan the list of names in the TOC or on the back cover (or front cover in the odd case).

Versal Eight's not here yet, of course, so you can't inspect its pickings. But you can have some early scanning fun with this: the list of contributors to Versal Eight, coming in May. What this means is, when the issue's all done and printed and hanging out on some bookstore shelf, you can skip over the scanning and right on to the buying (cough, cough).

Congratulations to everyone:

Carlos Barbarito
Simmons B. Buntin
John Carroll
Chung Ho-seung
Stacy Elaine Dacheux
Neil de la Flor
Michael Genovese
June Glasson
Siân B. Griffiths
Sabrina Harri
Kim Holleman
Colleen Hollister
Bruce Humphries
Laurie Junkins
Lotte Klaver
Deanna Lee
Karen An-hwei Lee
Evi Lemberger
Paul Lisson
Norman Lock
Sarah-Jane Lynagh
Kuzhali Manickavel
Kevin McLellan
Amy McNamara
June Melby
Laura Mullen
Elizabeth O'Brien
Daniele Pantano
Carlos Pardo
Alex Piperno
Amy Purifoy Piazza
Carol Radsprecher
Jadon Rempel
Kerri Rosenstein
Selah Saterstrom
Maureen Seaton
Gregory Sherl
Brandon Shimoda
Brenda Sieczkowski
Kristine Snodgrass
Audri Sousa
Bianca Stewart
Lucas Stoessel
Stacey Swann
Dan Thomas-Glass
Bouke Verwijs
Siobhán Webb
Samuel Day Wharton
Mia You
Elizabeth Zuba

March 06, 2010

Nota bene

Versal Eight is being constructed amidst liters of mint&cinnamon tea, with episodes of The Universe on in the background.

It's that time of year when I dig a deep and quiet hole to "finish" Versal.

I think Robert has joined me, if his poem (below) can serve as evidence of protracted (status quo?) jet lag.

March 05, 2010

Cheesy Poem Gone Awry

A cat's paw
is a miracle
provided that
it is attached
to a cat