Here’s another poem from Jessica Poli, winner of our 2013 poetry contest. Enjoy! For Rubies To Erupt From Soil I won’t be scared of my teeth. Of those horses shifting through the corn rows. Of the world, old and full of snow. Going slowly, I feel for rubies in the pasture but only find bits of glass which I never know how to handle. And there is clay, too, forming half- letters that once made a sign advertising fresh milk at varying prices. The ground smells like crying. I come across a neighborhood boy lighting matches to throw at my skin as he screams to no one: nothing. He screams and screams as I sit and sift. Jessica Poli’s heart belongs to Pittsburgh. She is currently an MFA student at Syracuse University, Editor of Birdfeast Magazine, and Poetry Editor for Salt Hill. Her first chapbook, The Egg Mistress, was published by Gold Line Press in 2013.
H.O.W. received hundreds of submission to our 2013 poetry contest. Thanks to all who entered: the work was excellent and many fine poems passed through our offices. Special note is given to two fine writers — Pat Hale and Simon Perchik– who were runners up. But, in the end, there could only be one winner. . . . Congratulations to Jessica Poli, winner of H.O.W’s 2013 Poetry Contest, judged by author Ben Mirov! Here’s what Ben had to say: “I like poems that zone me out. Poems that bring me into their time stream and hold me in the light of their weirdness and the purity of their singularity. Jessica Poli’s poems do this to me. They allow me to inhabit a world that is more real than the one in which I live. . . .” And here is one of Ben’s selections from Jessica’s work, the first of three: The Future Will Be As Lonely As the Present The labyrinth’s electricity shivers See the crow tangled in the wire? Here— Open up the sky See where lightning connects to the machine Jessica Poli’s heart belongs to Pittsburgh. She is currently an MFA student at Syracuse University, Editor of Birdfeast Magazine, and Poetry Editor for Salt Hill. Her first chapbook, The Egg Mistress, was published by Gold Line Press in 2013. Congratulations Jessica!
H.O.W. Journal is thrilled to publish our SIXTH selection of younger poets, curated by Catherine Pond. Enjoy, and scroll down to read earlier selections. Marina Blitshteyn: ‘My Heart’s Structure is Sound’ hums out the relationship between love and violence, between grace and wildness. It is not only a song, steady and pervasive, but also the anatomy of a conflicted heart. Marina Blitshteyn is the author of Russian for Lovers (Argos Books, 2011) and is currently an adjunct instructor at Fordham and Pace Universities. * Victoria Bay: With elegance, painful candor, and an alluring surrealism, Bay’s poems ‘Agnosognosia’ and ‘A Burr is a Seed or Dry Fruit in which the Seeds Bear Hooks or Teeth’ embody a fractured psychology and reveal one daughter’s relationship to her mother. Victoria Bay received her BA from Smith College. She is currently an MFA candidate and a Research Arts student at Columbia University. * William Fargason: For the narrator in Fargason’s heart-breaking poem, ‘Sour Wine,’ love is intrinsically linked to guilt, whose ‘poplar yoke wore my shoulders raw.’ William Fargason is a graduate of Auburn University. He is currently a poetry M.F.A. candidate at the University of Maryland. His previous work has appeared in Eclectica Magazine. * Elizabeth Metzger: Metzger’s voice gently scythes in ‘Boy with Barn Owl,’ a tenderly fatal rendering of time and the pastoral. Elizabeth Metzger is an MFA student at Columbia University. She currently works at Parnassus: Poetry in Review. * Shelley Wong: ‘Fidelity’ handles the subject of desire with fluidity and poise, speaking to the feelings of inadequacy that desire brings to light within each of us. Shelley Wong is an MFA candidate at Ohio State University and Associate Poetry Editor for The Journal.
H.O.W. Journal is thrilled to publish our FIFTH selection of younger poets, curated by Catherine Pond. Enjoy, and scroll down to read earlier selections. Jay Deshpande: Deshpande’s mastery and ease is on full display in his poems ‘After the Child Fell’ & ‘Landing in St. Petersburg, Florida.’ The first is all the more powerful for its reserved, spare description of trauma. The second recounts a lover’s journey, both physical and emotional. Jay Deshpande’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Washington Square, La Petite Zine, Narrative, Handsome, Shampoo, Spork, and elsewhere. He is the former poetry editor of AGNI and he curates the Metro Rhythm Reading Series in Brooklyn. * Megan Fernandes: ‘Spectral’ & ‘South Philly’ are that rare breed of lyricism and intellectualism which thrills and delights in every sense. Humble yet powerful, their separate landscapes (one rural, one urban) both exude the sinister with ‘sodium lamps scanning the fog’ and ‘Quinceñara dresses hung dead-like on headless mannequins.’ Megan Fernandes is a PhD candidate in English at the University of California, Santa Barbara and holds an MFA in Poetry from Boston University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Rattle, Guernica, Redivider, Memorious, and the California Journal of Poetics. * Lucy King: Landscape is very much a character in ‘Adore’ & ‘Lake Baikal,’ two poems that plunge through longing and solitude with both reticence and intimacy. One foot in the natural world, they impress with their assured knowledge, their sense of abandonment, and their imagination. Lucy King received her BA in English from Skidmore College. She works in child psychology research in Boston. She grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. * Laura Marris: In ‘The Telling’ & ‘Piñon’ fossils are ‘curled segments like fingers after a slap,’ while pinecones are ‘the fists of a child pounding the earth.’ In these poems, Marris portrays troubled domestic scenarios with remarkable originality and language of a particularly rare beauty. Laura Marris is an MFA candidate and Teaching Fellow at Boston University. Her work has been published in many journals, performed around the country, and featured on NPR as a winner of the Hillstead Museum’s Connecticut Fresh Voices Contest. * Josh Schneider: ‘Wasting Honey on Mummies’ is a brief but startlingly imaginative take on contemporary values, exploring what it means to be ‘clean,’ while driving us to a dark conclusion about our own significance. Josh Schneider is a marketer living in Brooklyn. His writing has previously appeared in FUN, Fawlt, Short Fast and Deadly, VICE, Leveler, Noisey, and Thought Catalog. He is a Pisces and enjoys archery, skiing, and tennis.
H.O.W. Journal is thrilled to publish the fourth part of our selection of poems by younger poets, curated by Catherine Pond. Enjoy! Lauren Clark: Intimate, poignant, sometimes ferocious, the clear voices in ‘You Write to Me’ and ‘Meditation’ occupy the dark imaginative space between want and need. Lauren Clark is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan and serves as an editorial intern at the Michigan Quarterly Review. She is most famous for her enduring love of Beyoncé. Soren Stockman: ‘The Bigger Fire’ and ‘Permission’ are statuesque, chiseled down to a fine, bright logic. Soren Stockman is Program Coordinator for the Summer Literary Seminars program in Vilnius, Lithuania. He is currently an MFA candidate at New York University. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Playboy, Narrative Magazine, Tiferet Journal, and La Fovea. K.T. Billey: Atmosphere transforms the speakers in ‘Wind’ and ‘Wild Thing Worn Thin,’ two poems that gracefully depict the unraveling world. Hailing from Alberta, Canada, K.T. Billey now lives in New York City. Billey’s poetry has appeared in Other Voices and Blue Stockings Magazine. Marc Jaffee: ‘Blues in the Night’ and ‘Frescoes at Noon’ proceed as part dream-scape, part confession as they bring to light the unendurable with gentle candor. Marc Jaffee is a founding editor of Box of Jars, an online journal of art and literature. He currently lives in Brooklyn. His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, The St. Petersburg Review, and others. .
H.O.W. Journal is thrilled to publish the third part of our selection of poems by younger poets, curated by Catherine Pond. Enjoy! Austen Rosenfeld: Alienation finds a new form in ‘Codicil,’ a fastidious monologue which spirals into the surreal. Austen Rosenfeld is a poet and freelance writer from Los Angeles who works at a literary agency and lives in Brooklyn. Amy Silbergeld: ‘New England Gothic’ is at once fierce and timid, disturbing and lucid. In plain-spoken language, this narrative poem exposes the psychology of abuse. Amy Silbergeld’s work has appeared or is upcoming in Fence, NAP, The Rumpus, metazen, No, Dear, and elsewhere. Heather Sommer: With chilling control, ‘Black Box’ & ‘Eulogy’ embody the horrific and indescribable nature of trauma. Heather Sommer is an MFA candidate at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She grew up in Wisconsin. Alexandra Zelman-Doring: Mythic and entrancing, ‘Hebrew Melody’ is an empathetic song of longing and of loss. Alexandra Zelman-Doring is co-founder of Throes Theater.
H.O.W. Journal is thrilled to publish the second part of our selection of younger poets. Click on each name to read their poems. Enjoy! EJ Koh: ‘Beyoncé’s Quadruple Platinum Single’ explodes the scope of America’s most famous pop lyrics to encompass the darker, more complex sensations which pulse beneath the mundane. EJ Koh blogs at angelaejkoh.com and she tumbles poetry at ejkoh.tumblr.com. Dan Kraines: In the poems ‘Licht’ and ‘Next Door,’ Kraines creates, with frightening clarity and precision, an atmosphere which enacts the speaker’s fractured psychology. Dan Kraines teaches in Maryland and is a Masters candidate in Social Thought and Modernism at NYU. Julia Anna Morrison: With characteristic eloquence and startling emotional power, ‘Primary’ and ‘Normal-Sized Stars’ submerge the reader in Morrison’s realm of longing and loss, in which tragedies are mirrored by the natural world and time itself cannot be held accountable. Julia Anna Morrison is a second year MFA candidate at the University of Iowa. She is from Alpharetta, Georgia. June Rockefeller: ‘When the River Freezes’ is an oneiric vision in which Rockefeller’s gentle voice examines, with quietude, the mortality we all must come to terms with. June Rockefeller is pursuing an MFA at Emerson College where she serves as the Poetry Editor of Redivider. She is also the Editorial Assistant for the online journal Memorious.
H.O.W. Journal would like to welcome Catherine Pond as our new associate poetry editor. By way of introduction, she has curated a selection of younger poets. Here is the first part of that selection. —Honor Moore, poetry editor Kirsten Abel: In her poems ‘To the Puget Sound’ and ‘Returning to New York City from Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i,’ Abel copes with memory and the transition between states, both physical and mental, with formidable grace. Kirsten Abel graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle. She lives in Connecticut with her husband. P. Scott Cunningham: In this new translation of ‘Exile,’ originally written in the Spanish by revolutionary Argentinian poet and feminist Alejandra Pizarnik, Cunningham elucidates the dreams and visions of one haunted, and haunting, female voice. P. Scott Cunningham lives in Miami, FL, where he is the director of the O, Miami Poetry Festival. Liz Dosta: ‘Nimble Cumulonimbus’ and ‘Bald and Wild’ resound with music, warbling forward on their own mysterious logic. Liz Dosta is a Teaching Fellow and MFA candidate in Poetry at Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn. MK Foster: MK Foster’s tour-de-force ‘Nocturne for the Eleventh Hour’ is a recursive nocturne that explores the phenomenology of the elements in relation to psychological trauma and personal identity. Foster currently lives in Washington D.C. and studies poetry in the M.F.A. program at the University of Maryland at College Park. Amber Galeo: With curious verve and deeply felt longing, Galeo exposes the darker side of devotion in her poem ‘Hibernaculum.’ Amber Galeo is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Columbia University and works at the Academy of American Poets.
HOW is pleased to announce its 2013 Poetry Contest judged by Ben Mirov! We are looking for new poetry with an edge — poetry that is uncomfortable with the world and rearranges the landscape of today. Ben Mirov is the author of Hider Roser, Ghost Machine and the chapbooks I is to Vorticism and Collected Ghost. He is an editor of PEN’s poetry series. Deadline is May 1st and a winner will be announced early summer of 2013. First place will receive a $100 prize. Up to three unpublished, original poems may be submitted. Send a cover letter in the body of an email and attach your poems: mail to the editors: submit (at) howjournal (dot) com. For full details, click here.
HOW is proud to present the winners of our 2011 fiction contest. All winners’ work will appear in Issue #9 of HOW. The fiction contest was judged by award winning author Mary Gaitskill. For our first place prize, she chose the story “The Repository Emporium” by Gloria Beth Amodeo. THE REPOSITORY EMPORIUM PROPS The Repository Emporium sold cedar blocks, too. They were available individually on an end-cap in the closet section, with lavender sachets and little balls that absorbed moisture. After her training was complete, Daisy often turned the cameras on them. People liked to slip them in their pockets. “Every item matters!” Ivan insisted during training, when Daisy was a newbie and going through the month long “Principles Program”. It took her that first month to retain one-fourth of the information, watching Ivan’s eyes tear up behind his glasses as he spoke of the “register pod area” and the “suction cup attachment guide”. He taught her about the grippy glass jars in Kitchen and the expandable file folders in Office and the bamboo clothes folding carts in Laundry, all the things that held things, but weren’t the actual things. Daisy noticed the display items. A red dress, hanging in a display window garment bag. A mountain bike, resting on the claws of a bike hanger across from the eco-friendly trash cans. “Do people ever steal those?” she joked. Ivan’s head twitched towards her, his eyes drying as he looked from her face to her feet, then back to her face. “You’ve been hired to catch the most powerful thief in retail history,” he said. “Keep this in mind: There’s nothing funny about stealing the props.” CARLA Daisy followed me to the one-dollar pizza stand on our first day of training. Ivan told us to take an hour break and she watched me with this white face. Her eyes shook, like water when something’s swimming in it. I felt like I should give her a bottle or else she would cry. She was so skinny. She had no ass, like maybe when she sat down her bones scraped against the chair. I tore my nametag off and stuffed it in my pocket. The bank never gave me a nametag that fancy. The retail job I took because I was out of work was acting better than the real job that fired me. Daisy’s face was in the corner of my eye. You know when you’re being watched. I left with a dollar in my hand. She came to my bench with a piece of pepperoni and sat down, like the sidewalk was kindergarten and teachers told us where to sit. “Sucks being here for eight hours,” she said. “This place is intense.” I took a bite of pizza. “Why, you got something better to do?” I said, my mouth full of hotness. “No. I guess.” “You never got something better to do than work, girl. City‘s expensive. Everyone wants to live here. Complainers never prosper.” “I’ve only been here a month,” she said. “I don’t really know what’s going on yet.” “Well, wake up. You’re gonna be behind the cameras, right? You’ve got some big thief on your hands?” Ivan spent an hour at training on the guy. He had been stealing from the store for two years, and his theft alone was the reason for 40% of our shrink. He wore the same thing every time. This faded pair of jeans and a giant orange t-shirt, no…