Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Job that’s Moved Me

A Guest Blog Post by Marianne Kunkel

author photo Marianne Kunkel

Who am I to write about the benefits of global-mindedness? The last time I stepped out of America was to buy Cadbury chocolate in Canada. Before that, my parents moved our family to Merida, Mexico, on the Yucatan peninsula. I was three at the time and, without putting much thought into it, enjoyed our house on the beach, daily swims, all that fresh fish. I was a purposeless traveler. I was, like most children, a freeloader.

Now that I have my own source of income and keep my own schedule, why does it feel so difficult to travel outside the country? I have a passport…somewhere. I have the necessary vacation time…almost. I’d like to visit…someplace. It doesn’t help that as an American I am constantly validated for my attention inward; it’s enough that I speak English, I’m told, that I can discuss U.S. politics at parties, that I have a solid knowledge of contemporary American poetry. Having a passion for global issues can feel a little like owning a motorcycle; people definitely think it’s cool that you have it, but no one’s expecting it of you.

In the summer of 2011, my curiosity about the world was an endangered animal heading toward extinction. That’s when I got my job as managing editor of Prairie Schooner, whose tagline at the time was “writing that moves you.” Cute, I remember thinking, studying the logo of reading glasses with bicycle wheels for lenses. I began taking direction from the journal’s new editor-in-chief, Kwame Dawes, running our Nebraska office while he occasionally flew to Scotland, Haiti, or Hong Kong to promote his new book. Kwame travels as casually as other people eat sandwiches.

Even from my office chair, quickly—and I mean quickly—my awareness of the world sputtered to life. I fell in love with poems sent to us by Marilyn Hacker, poems by Jean-Paul de Dadelson that she translated from French into English (these appear in Prairie Schooner’s Spring 2012 issue). I rang up Irish bookstore owners to ask if they’d carry our Winter 2011 Special Irish Issue. I co-curated a womb-themed issue of FUSION, the journal’s new international poetry/art e-zine, with poet TJ Dema from Botswana. I was just doing my job, but Prairie Schooner was doing something important, necessary, and exciting: this 87-year-old journal nestled deep in the heart of American literature was calling and being called into the world.

The next spring, at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in Chicago, I took a break from worrying if in twenty years I’d be the successful poet I longed to be and sank briefly into memories of kindergarten. Wasn’t it great to spin a globe and skid my finger along the surface? Wasn’t that how I learned the intricacies of the Asian continent? This became the basic design for Prairie Schooner’s new mobile app for smartphones, “Global Schooner,” which launched this month: a spin-able globe mapping the homes of every author we publish each year. There are pinpoints for Nikola Madzirov in Strumica, Macedonia; Meena Alexander in Kerala, South India; Sherman Alexie in Seattle, Washington; and so on. Some pinpoints come loaded with audio, video, and text excerpts of published work. And a separate globe called “Guide to Customs” offers something especially cool: international authors answering the question, “What makes you hopeful or fearful about the world today?”

When I get to Japan, which I planned to do this summer for my 30th birthday but which I had to postpone because of my acceptance into a summer writers’ conference, my friend there promises to introduce me to many foods, historic landmarks, and clothing stores. I will take hundreds of photos but probably feel too busy to seriously read or write. Writing is not un-conducive to travel, but there’s a funny relationship between the two activities. The writing often happens after leaving a place and having time to reflect. This is why literature about countries beyond our own can add so much meaning—emotional, political, environmental, etc.—to these places, even ones we’ve already visited. Prairie Schooner’s newest FUSION presents Iranian poetry through the theme of “secrets” and, wow, I promise you you’ve never experienced the country like this before.

To download Global Schooner on your iOS device, click here. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/global-schooner/id612496796?mt=8)

To explore Prairie Schooner’s secrets-themed FUSION with Iran, click here. (http://www.prairieschooner.unl.edu/?q=fusion/secrets)

About the Author

Marianne Kunkel’s poems have appeared in Cimarron Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the Susan Atefat-Peckham Fellowship and author of The Laughing Game (Finishing Line Press). She is the managing editor of Prairie Schooner.

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Writeliving Interview – Rick Moody

Ricky_Moody_credit_Thatcher_Keats

Rick Moody has enjoyed something of a rock star status in my old writer’s group, and is one of our most influential writers. I’m thrilled he took the time to share his writing life with us.

Martin Ott

Who has been a major influence on your writing?

James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Virginia Woolf, Herman Melville, Thomas Bernhard, Stanley Elkin, Lydia Davis, Don DeLillo.

Can you give us insight into your creative process?

It changes a lot. The insight I offer you is this: there’s no one process, and as soon as I imagine some approach to generating work is foolproof, it becomes suddenly worthless to me, and I have to start all over again. Which is disappointing in a way. I feel as though I have to keep inventing the wheel.

How old where you when you first started writing?

Well, I started a few things in the 11-12 range, but I would say I didn’t really finish a story that was recognizably my own until 16.

Can you share an example of overcoming adversity to keep your writing dream alive?

My first novel was rejected something like 18-20 times before it finally found a home.

What project(s) are you working on now?

A new novel, a book of short stories, more essays on music, some poems about American presidents, maybe even a play . . .

What is something about you that writers and readers may not know?

I have a sideline as a not terribly effective songwriter and musician.

About the Author

Rick Moody is the author of five novels, three collections of stories, a memoir, and, most recently, a collection of essays entitled ON CELESTIAL MUSIC. He also plays in The Wingdale Community Singers, whose recently released album is entitled NIGHT, SLEEP, DEATH.

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Best Movie List – By Year It Was Set

On May 15, my friend writer/producer Eric Bauer placed a challenge on a Straight Dope board asking for people to list the best movie set in every year…not in the year it was made, but in the year it was set. Below, see how far they’ve gotten in just over a week. What fun. Makes me wonder what the novel list would look like.

– Martin Ott

BC One Zillion BC, October 9th – Caveman
BC 66 million Dinosaur
BC 1,000,000 One Million BC
BC 10,000 10,000 BC
BC 4000 The Lord of the Rings
BC 1200 Troy
BC 480 300
BC 326 Sikandar (1941)
BC 261 Asoka
BC 227 The Emperor and the Assassin
BC 216 Hannibal
BC 72 Spartacus
BC 48 Caesar and Cleopatra
BC 44 Julius Caesar
BC 30 Cleopatra
33 Life of Brian / The Passion of the Christ
40 Caligula
68 Quo Vadis
70 The Last Days of Pompeii
140 The Eagle
180 Gladiator
208 Red Cliff
450 Attila
460 The Last Legion
467 King Arthur
528 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
709 Outlander
778 Orlando and the Knights of France
859 House of Flying Daggers
922 The Thirteenth Warrior
932 Monty Python and the Holy Grail
984 Dragonheart
1000 Valhalla Rising
1057 Macbeth
1099 El Cid
1170 Becket
1183 The Lion in Winter
1187 Kingdom of Heaven
1194 Ivanhoe
1199 Robin Hood (2010)
1210 Brother Sun Sister Moon
1215 Ironclad
1242 Alexander Nevsky
1298 Braveheart
1327 The Name of the Rose
1344 Season of the Witch
1348 Black Death
1349 The Seventh Seal
1389 Battle of Kosovo
1415 Henry V
1424 Andrei Rublev
1431 The Passion of Joan of Arc
1448 The Divine Weapon
1482 The Hunchback of Notre Dame
1485 Richard III
1492 1492: Conquest of Paradise
1517 Apocalypto
1533 The Royal Hunt of the Sun
1535 A Man for All Seasons
1536 Anne of the Thousand Days
1547 Crossed Swords
1553 Lady Jane
1558 Elizabeth (1998)
1560 Aguirre: The Wrath of God
1575 Kagemusha
1588 Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
1594 How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman
1597 Shakespeare in Love
1601 The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
1607 The New World
1616 Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World
1625 The Three Musketeers
1630 Hara-kiri
1634 Black Robe / The Devils
1665 Girl with a Pearl Earring
1667 The Scarlet Letter
1685 Lorna Doone / Captain Blood
1692 The Crucible
1699 Captain Kidd
1712 Rob Roy
1718 Swashbuckler
1756 The Mission
1757 The Last of the Mohicans
1776 1776
1779 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
1787 Robinson Crusoe
1788 The Madness of King George
1789 Mutiny on the Bounty
1791 That Night in Varennes
1792 A Tale of Two Cities
1793 Marie Antoinette
1794 Danton
1798 The Wild Child
1799 The Marquise of O / Sleepy Hollow
1805 Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
1808 The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade
1813 Swiss Family Robinson
1815 Waterloo
1816 Gothic
1827 Children of Paradise
1828 The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
1829 The Count of Monte Cristo
1831 Under Capricorn
1832 Les Miserables
1836 The Alamo
1841 Amistad
1854 The Charge of the Light Brigade
1856 The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khilari)
1857 Mangal Pandey: The Rising
1858 Django Unchained
1860 The Pony Express
1862 The General
1863 Gettysburg / Glory / Her MajestyMrs. Brown
1864 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / Cold Mountain
1865 Lincoln
1866 Red River
1867 Juarez
1868 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
1869 Union Pacific
1871 In Old Chicago / La commune
1872 Around the World in 80 Days
1873 Cowboys and Aliens
1874 Blazing Saddles
1875 The Story of Alexander Graham Bell
1876 She Wore a Yellow Ribbon / The Molly Maguires
1877 The Last Samurai
1878 Cheyenne Autumn
1879 Zulu
1880 Stagecoach / True Grit (2012)
1881 Tombstone
1882 The Man Who Would Be King
1883 Krakatoa, East of Java
1884 3:10 to Yuma
1885 Topsy Turvy / Back to the Future III / The Oxbow Incident
1886 Geronimo: An American Legend
1888 From Hell
1889 Mayerling
1890 Hello, Dolly!
1891 Sherlock Holmes (2009)
1892 Heaven’s Gate
1893 Far and Away / Lagaan
1895 The Four Feathers
1896 The Far Country
1897 The Gold Rush
1898 A Message to Garcia
1899 The Prestige / Newsies
1900 Picnic at Hanging Rock
1901 The Shootist
1902 Breaker Morant
1903 Tom Horn
1904 Meet Me in St. Louis
1905 Battleship Potemkin
1906 Ragtime
1907 Viva Maria!
1908 Take Me Out To The Ball Game / The Great Race
1909 Fanny and Alexander
1910 Mary Poppins
1911 1911
1912 Titanic
1913 The Wild Bunch
1914 The African Queen
1915 Gallipoli
1916 Paths of Glory
1917 Lawrence of Arabia
1918 War Horse / 1918: All Quiet On the Western Front (1930)
1919 Eight Men Out
1920 Matewan
1921 Sunrise at Campobello
1922 The Great Gatsby / Thoroughly Modern Millie
1923: The Hours
1924 Chariots of Fire
1925 Inherit the Wind
1926 The Sand Pebbles
1927 Singin’ in the Rain
1928 The Artist / Bullets Over Broadway
1929 Some Like It Hot
1930 Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale
1931 Cabaret
1932 They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
1933 Sounder
1934 Pennies from Heaven / Bonnie and Clyde / Victor Victoria
1935 The King’s Speech / To Kill a Mockingbird
1936 Raiders of the Lost Ark / The Sting
1937 Chinatown / Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?
1938 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade / Seabiscuit
1939 To Be or Not to Be (the original) / The Natural / Hyde Park on Hudson
1940 The Spirit of the Beehive / The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe / Atonement
1941 Tora! Tora! Tora! / From Here toEternity
1942 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo / Summer of ’42
1943 Come and See / A League of Their Own / The Guns of Navarone
1944 Saving Private Ryan / A Bridge Too Far / Pan’s Labyrinth / The Longest Day / Au Revoir Les Enfants /
Inglorious Basterds
1945 Schindler’s List / Empire of Sun / Downfall
1946 The Godfather / The Black Stallion
1947 42 / Tucker: A Man and His Dream / Judgement at Nuremburg
1948 Devil in a Blue Dress / Exodus
1949 The Man Who Wasn’t There
1950 Men in War / Snow Falling on Cedars
1951 The Last Picture Show / Mash
1952 Hoosiers
1953 L.A. Confidential / Heavenly Creatures
1954 My Favorite Year / Heavenly Creatures
1955 Back to the Future
1956 The Polar Express
1957 The Battle of Algiers / Far From Heaven
1958 The Godfather Part II / Lords of Flatbush
1959 Diner / Stand By Me / Dead Poets Society
1960 Grease
1961 61*
1962 American Graffiti / Animal House / Thirteen Days
1963 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1964 Mississippi Burning
1965 Moonrise Kingdom / The Outsiders / Year of Living Dangerously
1966 JFK / Casualties of War / The Hurricane
1967 Platoon
1968 The Unbearable Lightness of Being / A Bronx Tale
1969 Taking Woodstock / Awakenings
1970 Apollo 13 / Apocalypse Now
1971 Remember the Titans
1972 All the President’s Men / Dog Day Afternoon
1973 Ratcatcher / Almost Famous / The Lovely Bones / Secretariat / The Ice Storm
1974 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy / Dick
1975 The Deer Hunter
1976 Dazed and Confused
1977 Summer of Sam
1978 Lords of Dogtown
1979 Argo / Super 8
1980 No Country for Old Men
1981 Wet Hot American Summer / Let the Right One In
1982 Waltz with Bashir / Son of Rambow
1983 Stand and Deliver / This Is England
1984 1984 / Billy Elliot
1985 The Wedding Singer / SLC Punk!
1986 The Squid and the Whale
1987 Fargo
1988 Donnie Darko / For Queen and Country
1989 Buffalo Soldiers
1990 Rent
1991 The Big Lebowski / Courage Under Fire / Three Kings
1992 Primary Colors
1993 Black Hawk Down
1994 Hotel Rwanda
1995 Invictus / The Insider
1996 Spinning Boris
1997 Amélie
1998 Escape from New York
1999 Strange Days
2000 Death Race 2000
2001 2001: A Space Odyssey / World Trade Center / Flight 93
2002 Moneyball
2003 127 Hours
2004 The Hurt Locker
2005 Transformers: the Movie (1986)
2006 Slumdog Millionaire
2007 Double Dragon
2008 Game Change
2009 Freejack
2010 2010: The Year We Make Contact
2011 Zero Dark Thirty
2012 I Am Legend
2013 The Postman
2015 Back to the Future
II / Robocop
2018 Rollerball (1975)
2019 Blade Runner
2020 V for Vendetta
2022 Soylent Green
2025 Repo Men
2026 Metropolis
2027 Children of Men
2032 Demolition Man
2035 I, Robot / Twelve Monkeys
2044 Looper
2054 Minority Report
2056 Red Planet
2057 Sunshine
2063 Star Trek: First Contact
2078 Screamers
2084 Total Recall (the original)
2093 Prometheus
2122 Alien
2139 Judge Dredd
2150 Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.
2151 Vanilla Sky
2160 Avatar
2173 Sleeper
2179 Aliens
2199 The Matrix
2214 The Fifth Element
2220 Forbidden Planet
2259 Star Trek: Into Darkness
2274 Logan’s Run
2279 Star Trek: The Motion Picture
2285 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan / Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
2287 Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
2293 Zardoz / Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
2371 Star Trek Generations
2373 Star Trek: First Contact
2375 Star Trek: Insurrection
2379 Star Trek: Nemesis
2491 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
2500 Waterworld
2505 Idiocracy
2517 Serenity
2592 Riddick
2805 Wall-E
3000 3000 A.D. (aka Captive Women)
3978 Planet of the Apes (1968)
5021 Planet of the Apes (2001)
12090 Vampire Hunter D
40000 Barbarella
802,701 The Time Machine (2002)

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So You Have a Poetry Manuscript…

Guest Post by M.E. Silverman

Silly Isabel with Dad

So you have a poetry manuscript – now what? This is a question I have been wrestling with like Jacob with his angel since 1994 when I entered graduate school at McNeese State to study with John Wood and Robert Olen Butler. One would think it should be much easier, now more so than ever before! There are 4500 magazines according to Duotrope and so many presses, both independent small presses, bigger presses and the university affiliated ones, yet it is not uncommon for a poetry manuscript contest (really the only way to get published) to have 500 to 900 manuscripts to read and judge. Recently, I won 2nd place in a chapbook contest with a new press called Emerging Literary Journal. Before that, my manuscript, which has been constantly changing over the years as new poems get added and old ones get edited or even removed from it, was a semi-finalist in 3 or 4 contests.

So you too have a “good” manuscript, ready for publication with a large number of them published in poetry journals (more print than online) and in anthologies. How does one get to the published stage without going the self-published route? How to become the bride and not a bride’s maid? Here are some things to think about:

Get as many eyes on it as possible. Go to conferences, apply to writing colonies, be a part of reading and workshop groups, anything that could be helpful. Meet editors, writers, publishers and be open to suggestions and critiques. A good place to look is The Shaw Guide or Newpages (Writing Conferences Page) for more information on these places. There are a growing number of online workshops too which I really like including Gotham Writers’ Workshop and the Writers Studio. Some writers even have online writing workshops like Kim Addonizio, Deborah Ager, and Susan Browne. I personally have never taken any of these but have heard good things from others. Also, it is important to have a solid group of constant, reliable and trustworthy readers. If you don’t, go to the local college and see if you can form one by talking to the campus magazine or the writing professors.

Living in rural Georgia, none of these things are easy to do. After earning my MFA in 1997, I sort of walked away from it, stopped writing, and became disinterested in the whole process. So I know first-hand what to do to get back into it. First, I took some writing workshops online. There are several affiliated with magazines and for a small fee ($200 to 400), I got to work with an instructor for a few weeks and to hear feedback from a small group. I also looked for writers with several books published who critique manuscripts for a fee ($300 to 500) by searching through Google and looking up writers I have read. This really helped me to see what others see who might be contest judges and have experience in the field as not only writers but instructors. I had not had a line by line and page by page critique since I was a graduate student, and my writing (and my “voice”) had definitely changed. Then I contacted my local college and found a few professors who write poetry. I formed a Poetry Party Group to meet at a coffee shop once a month to talk and edit each other’s poems. I also subscribed to AWP’s magazine (The Writer’s Chronicle), which is such a great resource for interesting articles and their section on latest submission calls, conference calls, and grant opportunities. Yes, Newpages is helpful too but I find The Writer’s Chronicle to be my primary source for this information. I used to also regularly check Duotrope as a source of information but now they are subscription based and I do not wish to pay to participate for this information.

One final thought: I also read, read, and read some more. I mean I read a lot! I try to pay the presses directly by ordering through them to support the presses, especially the smaller ones, and the authors. If I couldn’t afford the books, I used the library.

Here are a few sites that might be helpful that I recommend:

Some Ideas on Order & Creation:  http://jeffreyelevine.com/2011/10/12/on-making-the-poetry-manuscript/

Manuscript Tips: http://winningwriters.com/resources/advice/ura_tips.php#.UZDRGrXvt8E

Thinking Like an Editor: http://www.pw.org/content/thinking_like_an_editor_how_to_order_your_poetry_manuscript_0?cmnt_all=1

Two manuscript conferences I highly recommend: Colrain and Tupelo

About the Author

M. E. Silverman is editor of Blue Lyra Review. His chapbook, The Breath before Birds Fly (ELJ Press, 2013), is available. His poems have appeared in over 70 journals, including: Crab Orchard Review, 32 Poems, December, Chicago Quarterly Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, The Los Angeles Review, Mizmor L’David Anthology: The Shoah, Cloudbank, Neon, Many Mountains Moving, Pacific Review, Because I Said So Anthology, Sugar House Review, and other magazines. M. E. Silverman was a finalist for the 2008 New Letters Poetry Award, the 2008 DeNovo Contest and the 2009 Naugatuck River Review Contest. He is working on editing a contemporary Jewish anthology with Deborah Ager forthcoming in 2013 from Bloomsbury.

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