Saturday, December 12, 2009

Horrocks and the O'Henry

Congratulations from all of us at Third Coast to Caitlin Horrocks, whose short story, "This is Not Your City," originally published in our Fall 2007 issue, has won a 2009 PEN/O'Henry Prize. You can read more about the O'Henry Prizes and this year's other winners here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Visiting with Alicia Ostriker

Western Michigan University was fortunate to have poet, critic and midrashist Alicia Suskin Ostriker visit our campus this past week. On Tuesday she gave a lecture on contemporary midrash, and on Wednesday a reading which featured poems from her new volume The Book of Seventy, published just last month.

Poetry Editors Natalie Giarratano and Beth Marzoni will be conducting an interview with Ms. Ostriker, which we're excited to have slated for an upcoming issue of the journal.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stuart Dybek Reading at WMU Tonight

Thursday, November 19 at 8:00 p.m., award winning writing Stuart Dybek will read on Western Michigan University's campus.

Stuart Dybek is the author of numerous books, including I Sailed With Magellan,The Coast of Chicago, and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. Among Dybek’s numerous awards are a $500,000 2007 MacArthur Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Prize, a Lannan Award, aWhiting Writers Award, an Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, several O.Henry Prizes, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University and a member of the permanent faculty for Western Michigan University’s Prague Summer Program.

Dybek was also the judge for Third Coast's 2009 fiction contest. Stu's selection "Winter-Over," by Ashley Shelbey, can be found in the Fall 2009 issue out now. Remember there's still time to enter this year's fiction and poetry contests!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Weeks Till Contest Deadline

Just a reminder that Third Coast's Poetry and Fiction Contest deadline is fast approaching! Our December 1 deadline is now a postmark deadline, which means you've got exactly two weeks left to polish your poems and stories and send them our way.

Contest winners receive $1000 and publication in Third Coast's 15th anniversary issue (which is already looking sharp, we must say).

The illustrious Ann Beattie will be judging our fiction contest, with David Wojahn judging poetry. Check out the full contest guidelines here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What the Editors Are Reading

This month our editors are reading:

  • Interview with a Ghost, Tom Sleigh
  • Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road
  • Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup
  • Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory
  • A Fans Notes - Frederick Exley
  • Losing Season, by Jack Ridl (poems)
  • Without End: New and Selected Poems by Adam Zagajewski
  • Stupid Hope by Jason Shinder
  • Versed by Rae Armantrout
  • Special Orders by Ed Hirsch
  • Black Sabbatical by Brett Eugene Ralph
  • Warhorses by Yusef Komunyakaa
  • Oranges and Peanuts for Sale by Eliot Weinberger
  • The Book of Seventy by Alicia Ostriker
  • Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • It is Daylight by Arda Collins
  • All-American Poem by Matthew Dickman
  • Derek Walcott's "Omeros"
  • "Ali & Nino"
  • Kiterunner
  • This is Not a Book, Keri Smith
  • Alice Hoffman, "The Witch of Turo"
  • Plays: David Ives's Sure Thing
  • Shakespeare's Othello
  • A Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds, adapted by Tony Kushner, originally by S. Ansky
  • The Tenth Man, Paddy Chayefsky
  • plus an assortment of Arthur Miller and Tony Kushner plays.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Top 10 Books of the Year

Earlier this month, Publisher's Weekly posted their picks for Top 100 books this year in several categories, as well as a new feature to this year's list: their Top 10 picks that stood out from the rest.

As Alicia Suskin Ostriker points out on She Writes, every single title chosen for the Top 10 was written by a man. Perhaps the thing that is of even more interest than the gender of the writers is the similarities of their subjects (and in turn the subject's genders). Ostriker writes:
It was a little dismaying to read the descriptions of the books, which you can do at, and realize how very much it was shaped by "boy" subjects. "Gritty, mostly honest-hearted ex-heroin addict protagonist Ricky Rice!...Rebellious Yankee son of a father who fell victim to the Depression!...[T]he men who built America’s intercontinental ballistic missile program in the 1950s and ‘60s!...Two 40-ish men seeking love and existential meaning!...Grann’s vigorous research mirrors Fawcett’s obsession with uncovering the mysteries of the jungle!...Philosopher and motorcycle repair-shop owner Crawford extols the value of making and fixing things in this masterful paean to what he calls manual competence!..." That's six of the ten.
Read Ostriker's full article "Publishers Weekly Versus the Rest of Us" here.

Over on the Editorial Ass(istant) blog, Moonrat, herself an editor states that she sees this all male top ten list as indicative of two factors in publishing:
1) Not enough books by women are being published relative to the total number being published
2) The books by women that are published are getting less marketing money relative to their counterparts by men, and are therefore catching fewer people's eyes
Read full article here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Planting Words, Harvesting Snow: A book release celebration

On November 10, at 7:00 p.m. in the Kalamazoo Public Library (Central), Jennifer K. Sweeney, winner of the 2009 James Laughlin Award for the most outstanding second book by an American poet, and Chad Sweeney will read from their newest books. Event open to the public.

"Jennifer K. Sweeney's How to Live on Bread and Music is a remarkable achievement from the hand of a poet with a subtle and compassionate mindfulness."
— Afaa Michael Weaver

"The poetry of Chad Sweeney is exuberant, imagistic, and prophetic. . . . a poetry of awakening, of coming into knowledge."
—Paul Hoover

Jennifer K. Sweeney is the author of How to Live on Bread and Music, winner of the 2009 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and the Perugia Press Prize. She is also the author of Salt Memory, which received the Main Street Rag Poetry Award. Nominated
four times for a Pushcart Prize, her poems have appeared in Southern Review, Spoon River, Crab Orchard, Hunger Mountain and Passages North where she won the 2009 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize. She teaches poetry and writing privately, serves as assistant editor for DMQ Review and lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Chad Sweeney is the author of three books of poetry: Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James, 2010), Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga, 2009), and An Architecture (BlazeVox, 2007). He is the editor of Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds (City Lights, 2009) and coeditor of the literary journal Parthenon West Review. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Verse Daily and elsewhere. He is working toward a Ph.D. in literature/creative writing at WMU where he teaches poetry and serves as assistant editor of New Issues Press.

Read the article here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Issue 29 is Here!

The Fall 2009 issue of Third Coast is hot off the presses and flying straight into your mailboxes.

The issue features beautiful cover art by Sally Grizzell Larson and many literary goodies inside.

Copies are available for $9 starting immediately. See the subscription page for information on how to get one.

There are only a few copies of Issue 28, Spring 2009 still left.

Friday, October 16, 2009

National Book Award Finalist

Congratulations to Bonnie Jo Campbell, who has just been named a National Book Award Finalist for American Salvage. We published a new story by Campbell, "Somewhere Warm," in the Spring 2009 issue of Third Coast.

You can check out our review of American Salvage in our soon-to-be-mailed Fall 2009 issue.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What the Editors Are Reading

We read all the time. When it comes to submissions to the magazine, we only read certain months of the year (see website), but on a day to day basis, the editors are constantly reading published work. Some of it's new, some of it's classic, some fiction, some theory, some poetry and some of it blogs.

Here's what we're currently reading:
  • Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky
  • White Noise, Don DeLillo
  • Save the Last Dance, Gerald Stern
  • I Served the King of England and Too Loud A Solitude, Bohumil Hrabal
  • Patricia Smith's poetry collection Blood Dazzler
  • Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson, edited by Madeleine Grynsztejn, (essays, etc., about the work of Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson)
  • Dobby Gibson's poetry collection Skirmish
  • Planets on Tables: Poetry, Still Life, and the Turning World, Bonnie Costello
  • Burn This Book, edited by Toni Morrison
  • For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book, Alicia Ostriker
  • In a World of Ideas, I Feel No Particular Loyalty (chapbook), Adam Clay
  • City Poems (chapbook), Cindy St. John
  • The Liar's Club (memoir), Mary Karr
  • "One Reader's Digest: Toward a Gastronomic Theory of Literature," Brad Kessler
  • the poetry of Wallace Stevens
  • Harley Erdman's Staging the Jew: The Performance of an American Ethnicity, 1860-1920
  • Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen, Henry Bial
  • Clifford Odets' play Awake and Sing!
  • Elmer Rice's play Counsellor-at-Law.
  • Paradise Lost, Milton
  • The Kite Runner
  • Til We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis

In addition to that list are assorted short stories by Rick Bass, Flannery O'Connor, and T.C. Boyle. And (for those of us who also teach) a flurry of student papers as it's just about that time of year when composition students finish up their first project.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rybicki in Best American Poetry

John Rybicki's poem, "This Tape Measure Made of Light," which originally appeared in the Fall 2007 issue of Third Coast, was selected by David Wagoner for inclusion in The Best American Poetry 2009. We couldn't be happier for him. Congratulations, too, to our past poetry editors Elizabeth Knapp and Kim Kolbe on a job well done.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The "Vanity" Search

Do you Google yourself? We do.

I'm happy to say that when I type in "Third Coast" to that ubiquitous search engine Third Coast Literary Magazine was the first entry to appear.

The journal comes in ahead of Third Coast International Audio Festival, Third Coast Guitar Repair, Third Coast Rubber Stamps, and even the Wikipedia article that takes a stab at defining just what a third coast is:
an American colloquialism used to describe several (usually coastal) regions distinct from the West Coast and the East Coast of the United States ... most often used to refer to the Great Lakes region.

We're pretty darn proud of our search placement even if it is only a matter of algorithms. But you don't have to Google us to find our information; Third Coast is listed with all of the major directories of literary journals.

But when all is said and done, the one thing that surprised me in my search was the Third Coast Surf Shop in New Buffalo, Michigan. I've been a Michigander most of my life, and up until now I never thought you could "surf" the Great Lakes. Guess you learn something new every day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MacArthur Genius Awards

The new geniuses have been announced, and they include writers Heather McHugh, Edwidge Danticat, and Deborah Eisenberg. Asked about what she'd been up to since learning the news, McHugh replied that she'd "bought a pair of good walking shoes, a whole bag of used clothing at Value Village [thrift store], and a good gag" (LA Times "Jacket Copy"). I kind of love Ms. McHugh. She spoke more seriously, later, in this NPR interview , about wordplay, form, and pushing her writing further. We're pleased to see all three of these amazing women recognized.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Robbins & Best New Poets

All of us here at Third Coast send a big congratulations to Joshua Robbins on his inclusion in Best New Poets 2009. Robbins, winner of the 2008 James Wright Poetry Award, is the Alwin Thaler Fellow at the University of Tennessee where he is completing his PhD and serves as poetry editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers. His poem "Collateral" is forthcoming in our Spring 2010 issue.

Friday, September 11, 2009

KBAC - Poets in Print

The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (KBAC) is hosting a Poets in Print reading tomorrow, Sept 12, from 7:00-9:00pm. John Gallaher, Wayne Miller and Michael Robins will be reading. Broadsides featuring their work will be available at the event, along with "other book arts creations" made at the KBAC.

The KBAC is a non-profit organization housed in the Park Trades Center in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan (326 W Kalamazoo Ave)
. Their mission is "to become an educational resouce for the community, offer programs for people who enjoy reading and making books, and provide a working studio where visual artists, printers, paper makers, bookbinders, and writers can collaborate on creative projects."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jennifer K. Sweeney - James Laughlin Award Winner

Congratulations to friend of Third Coast Jennifer K. Sweeney for winning the 2009 James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poetry for her second book How to Live on Bread and Music. Jennifer's beautiful first book, Salt Memory, won the 2006 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and we here at Third Coast can't wait to read her new work.
Mark Irwin writes:
“In Jennifer K. Sweeney’s How to Live on Bread and Music we discover words that weigh the earth carefully and sing it into existence for this poet knows ‘song is the yeast / when the body wants.’ Her poetry is ‘pained with sensation’ and has the power to transform the reader, to resurrect dandelions from a field of armor.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer Reading (Presidential Style)

Thanks to Brian for pointing me towards Swampland Blog's report of President Obama's summer reading list, which includes the following:

  • The Way Home, by George Pelecanos
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded, by Tom Friedman
  • Lush Life, by Richard Price
  • Plainsong, by Kent Haruf
  • John Adams, by David McCullough
It makes me glad that our president reads.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize

See full size image

"The Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize (formerly the Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize) is a collaboration between Persea Books and The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Project. It sponsors the annual publication of a poetry collection by an American woman poet who has yet to publish a full-length book of poems. The winner receives an advance of $1,000.00 and publication of her collection by Persea.

In addition, beginning this year, the winner receives the option of an all-expenses-paid residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center, a renowned artists retreat housed in a fifteenth-century castle in Umbertide, Italy."

And really, who doesn't want to write at a castle in Italy?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Issues Summer's End Celebration

Third Coast will be heading over to Bell's Eccentric Cafe on Sunday, August 30th, from 2-6pm, for a Summer’s End Celebration & Gala Fundraiser hosted by New Issues Press.  Looks like a great way to soak up some late summer fun! As the New Issues blog notes:

"New Issues poets and Michigan writers John RybickiHeather Sellers,David Dodd LeeDiane Seuss, and Jamie D’Agostino will read briefly from their poetry. The inimitable Bonnie Jo Campbell will serve as auctioneer for a variety of excellent paintings, rarities, and hilarities.Whiskey Before Breakfast will perform traditional Irish dance music."

Copies of the latest issue of Third Coast, which includes new fiction by celebration auctioneer Bonnie Jo Campbell, will also be available. 

If you're in the Kalamazoo area, come on down to Bell's Eccentric Cafe, enjoying the readings, and be sure to introduce yourselves to our editors!  

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Announcing the 2010 Fiction and Poetry Contest

Third Coast is accepting work from now till December 1st, 2009 for our 2010 Fiction and Poetry Contest.  This years judges are Ann Beattie (Fiction) and David Wojahn (Poetry). 

All entrants receive a complimentary subscription to the journal.   Winners receive $1000 and publication in Third Coast.  To enter, send 1 short story or up to 3 poems with a $15 entry fee to: 

Third Coast 2010 Fiction or Poetry Contest

Department of English

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5331

Check out our contests page for complete details!