Poetry, asters to zeppelins

I started to comment on Tyler’s post, “Preach on, Sister Meyer.  Preach On.” But–look out–the comment mushroomed.  Adam G’s comment especially caught my attention. His question seems to be, is it possible to talk about poetry–especially in terms of hierarchies and other high-falutin’ standards for determining a poem’s worthiness–with language that doesn’t float above us like a leviathan, bomb-totin’, gas-filled bag of pretension?

If that’s his question, I think it’s a good one. Continue reading “Poetry, asters to zeppelins”

Call for submissions at WIZ

AMV’s sister site Wilderness Interface Zone is searching for longer forms.

While WIZ loves poetry and heartily encourages poets to continue sending their nature-romancing verse, it’s perhaps time to follow nature’s own example of protean morphologies and bring more rhetorical diversity to WIZ’s environs.  WIZ is issuing a call for short, creative non-fiction and fiction pieces for publication on its site.   If you have a nature-oriented essay or field notes that run between 500 and 1300 words, please consider sending them to WIZ.  Longer essays will be considered if they can be divided into parts.

Nature-based flash fiction or short stories running between 100 and 1300 words are also welcome; longer pieces that can be serialized up to four or five parts will be considered also.  Excerpts from longer stories or novels up to 1300 words are encouraged”“though pieces may run longer if they can be broken into multiple parts.

If you have written up adventures in the garden or the wilds or have a story that features a scary white whale or incorrigible pocket gopher, or even bees sleeping on flowers in a garden, please consider sending it. Fiction not directly about nature but whose drama unfolds against nature’s backdrop are encouraged.  Please read WIZ’s submissions guide before sending your work.  Then electronically submit your work either to wilderness@motleyvision.org or to pk.wizadmin@gmail.com.  International submissions and submissions from nature writers who are not Mormon but are comfortable interfacing with Mormons are welcome.

Voting begins for WIZ’s 2011 Spring Runoff Most Popular Poem Award

Over at AMV’s companion blog Wilderness Interface Zone, our 6 and 1/2 weeks of Spring Poetry Runoff have finished.  The last poems have posted and voting to decide which one wins the 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff’s Most Popular Poem Award runs through Saturday, May 14th.  Participating poets, please come vote, and let your friends and family members know about the voting, too.  Everyone is invited to participate in choosing the Spring Runoff’s Most Popular Poem Award winner.

Profuse thanks to all the fine poets who contributed to the Spring Poetry Runoff, not only for participating beautifully but also for exceeding (once again) my expectations for the number, quality, and wide-ranging nature of poems submitted.    There really was a great turnout of celebrants and a beguiling show of high-quality verse.  And a shout out to Carla Martin-Wood and my son Saul, who provided pix to brighten up the site for everyone.

The poll to determine the winner of the Spring Poetry Runoff Popular Poem Award will close Saturday, May 14, but winners of both the popular vote and the Admin Award will be announced on or around Monday, May 16th.   So keep an eye on WIZ to see how matters settle out.  Also, grab your fav’rit munchies.  Twenty-five poems qualified for the voting, any one of which can cause you to linger longer.   Also: To ease the discomfort of exercising your agency in  a veritable candy store of choices, each voter can vote for his or her three favorite poems!  Instructions on how to access the poems are available in the post”“please read all instructions carefully.

To vote, click here.

The winner of the Most Popular Poem Award and the winner of the Admin Award will receive their choices of  Mark Bennion’s Song and Selah: A Poetic Journey Through The Book Of Mormon (Bentley Enterprises 2009), A Metaphorical God: Poems ( Persea 2008) by Kimberly Johnson, or The Clearing (Texas Tech University Press 2007) by Philip White.

WIZ’s 2nd Annual Spring Poetry Runoff opens for submissions

The Vernal Equinox arrives Sunday, March 20.  To celebrate spring’s arrival last year, Wilderness Interface Zone ran a Spring Poetry Runoff Contest and Celebration that had fantastic participation–a veritable cascade of sparkling poesy–and was lots of fun, too.  So beginning March 20, WIZ is running its Second Annual Spring Poetry Runoff Contest and Celebration!

In keeping with WIZ’s mission to help develop, inspire, and promote literary nature and science writing in the Mormon writing community, we encourage poets to help call an end to winter and sing up a season of flower and vegetable gardens, returning flocks, and light that takes the tarnish off the blood.

To view contest rules and submission deadlines, go here.

The contest will run from March 20 through April 8 or longer, if enough poems come in to warrant extending the contest. All submissions will be published on the blog, where they’ll become automatically eligible for competition as well as open to readers’ informal feedback in post comments. Authors retain all rights to their work.

Following the contest’s closing, readers will vote on WIZ to choose the winning poem in the Most Popular Vote Award category.  We will also offer an Admin Award to a second poet whose poem is chosen by blog administrators.

Winners will be announced within a week after the last poem has been posted and all votes have been cast.  The winners of the Most Popular Vote Award and the Admin Award will be given his or her choice of   Mark Bennion’s Psalm and Selah: A Poetic Journey Through The Book Of Mormon (Bentley Enterprises 2009), A Metaphorical God: Poems ( Persea 2008) by Kimberly Johnson, or The Clearing (Texas Tech University Press 2007) by Philip White.

So, if you have written a poem which mentions spring or one in which spring figures prominently and that fits WIZ’s themes and content, e-mail it to us at wilderness@motleyvision.org or pk.wizadmin@gmail.com.  Please review our submissions guide before submitting.

February is Love of Nature, Nature of Love Month on WIZ

Valentines1-0296

For the second year, we’re making February “Love of Nature, Nature of Love” month over at Wilderness Interface Zone.  To celebrate Valentine’s Day, all month long we’ll publish poetry, essays, blocks of fiction, art, music (mp3s), video or other media that address the subject of love while making references to nature.  Or it could go the other way around: We’ll publish work about nature that also happens to give a nod to love.  That presents a wide field of possibilities.  We’re seeking submissions of original work or you can also send favorite works by other artists that have entered public domain.

Compare someone to a summer’s day.  Or maybe you’ve never seen a sight so lovely as a tree.  If you have a sonnet you’ve written to someone dear to your heart”“even and perhaps especially your dog”“please consider sending it to WIZ.  See our submissions guidelines.

Also, February 24th is WIZ’s birthday.  We’ll be two years old–we’ve made it to toddlerhood without doing something unfortunate like sticking our tongues into electrical outlets.  To celebrate, a couple of posts will offer presents to our readers.  Because without you, dear readers, where would we be?

There’s more than a slight hint of thaw in the air.  The light is growing longer.  The first waves  of migrating Canadian geese have begun rolling through San Juan County.  Hen-and-chicks and stork’s bill are beginning to preen.  The coyotes are pairing off.  February is a good month to warm things up.  Come over and toss a log of love on the fire at WIZ.

Wilderness Interface Zone seeks submissions

A Motley Vision’s sister blog Wilderness Interface Zone seeks submissions of poetry, prose, fiction”“any of the kinds of nature writing listed in its submission guidelines.  If you’re interested in submitting work, please glance at our About page, too.  Photographs that take  nature as subject matter are also welcomed.  WIZ finds especially interesting works that illustrate creative, productive human relationships with the natural world (and vice versa).  Mormon nature writers and non-Mormon nature writers alike are encouraged to submit work.  So if you have literary nature or science writing looking for room to roam, please consider sending it our way.

Please submit your nature poetry, prose, or pix to wilderness@motleyvision.org or pk.wizadmin@gmail.com.  Please allow two weeks for response.

Mormon Artist Magazine interview–three cut Qs & As

Mormon Artist Magazine interviewed me for their latest issue (Issue 10).  You can find my interview here.

Mormon Artist Magazine Literature editor and fellow AMVer Katherine Morris suggested I post here at AMV questions and answers cut from the interview.   So, for your reading pleasure:

There also seems to be an underlying theme of agency in your writing: “[I]t enables those who read or hear it to create choices for themselves”. How does the concept of agency inform your writing?

The “It” here refers to “sustainable language.”  Sustainable language is creative, proactive, productive language that effectively sparks others to create their own risk-choice spectrums and generate possibilities for themselves.  It’s the language of life. Sustainable language goes out on its faith in others’ creativity, creative drive being a far more commonplace phenomenon in all levels of society than is popularly supposed. Good language–sustainable language–allows for that creativity and invigorates human agency. Continue reading “Mormon Artist Magazine interview–three cut Qs & As”

WIZ kids: Call for nature writing by children

AMV’s companion blog Wilderness Interface Zone is on the search for an endangered species: children who spend time in nature and are willing to write about it.

Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods makes the case that a beautiful, ages old relationship is on the rocks: children and nature have fallen out of love.  Say it isn’t so.  There must be some kids still getting out there, developing lightning-fast reflexes from chasing lizards, solving the whole-body puzzle of climbing a tree, honing their future driving skills by walking on logs across creeks, etc.

It’s in the hope that nature children still exist somewhere that Wilderness Interface Zone is issuing a call for nature poems and short essays written by children.  The works may address any aspect of nature and the child’s relationship to it.  Poems should be 50 lines or under and essays 150-1000 words.  If you have a budding nature photojournalist in your family, we’ll consider posting his or her photos.  Children ages 6-18 are invited to submit work to pk.wizadmin@gmail.com from July 6, 2010 to July 31, 2010.  Depending on how many submissions we get, we’ll post them in batches off and on July-August.  Parents and kids: Please review submission guidelines here before submitting.

Vote for WIZ’s Spring Poetry Runoff Popular Vote Award

Over at AMV’s companion blog Wilderness Interface Zone, our nearly six-week flood of verse has finished.  The last poems have posted, and voting to decide which one wins the Spring Poetry Runoff Popular Vote Award begins today, Monday, May 3rd,  and runs through Friday, May 7th.  Poets, please come vote, and let your friends and family members know about the voting, too.  Everyone is invited to participate in choosing the Spring Poetry Runoff Contest Popular Vote Award winner.

I’d like the thank all the gracious poets who contributed to the Spring Poetry Runoff not only for participating beautifully but also for exceeding my expectations for the number of poems submitted.    There really was a great turnout of celebrants and a good show of high-quality poetry.

The poll to determine the winner of the Spring Poetry Runoff Popular Poem Award will close Friday. May 7, but winners of both the popular vote and the Admin Award will be announced Monday, May 10th.   So keep an eye on WIZ to see how matters settle out.  Also, clean off your reading glasses.  Twenty-one poems qualified for the voting, any one of which can cause you to linger.   Another matter to consider: Each voter can vote for his or her three favorite poems!  Instructions on how to access each poem are available in the post–please read instructions there carefully.

To vote, click here.

The winner of the Popular Vote Award and the winner of the Admin Award will receive as prize his or her choice of either Lance Larsen’s Backyard Alchemy or Warren Hatch’s Mapping the Bones of the World.

WIZ’s Spring Poetry Runoff Contest has sprung!

Wilderness Interface Zone’s Spring Poetry Runoff has begun.  It’s packed with festivities, including, of course, the Spring Poetry Runoff Contest, a haiku chain in which anybody may participate, music, and non-competing guest posts.  This week we have scheduled poetry by Davey Morrison, Karen Kelsay, Gabriel Aresti Jr., and Mary-Celeste Lewis–all very vernal in nature and quite engaging.  On Tuesday, March 23, an mp3 of Arthur Hatton’s song “You’re Better Than That” will post–well worth hearing.

Poets: there’s still plenty of time to enter the Spring Poetry Runoff Contest.  Entries will be accepted until March 31, and each poet may submit up to three poems.  All poems should have at their heart thoughts of spring, or they should at least mention spring among other musings about the human/nature story.  The winner will be determined by readers’ choice and he or she will receive as a prize his or her choice of Lance Larson’s Backyard Alchemy or Scott Hatch’s Mapping the Bones of the World. Entries will post until all poems have been posted.  Following that, a poll that will go up on WIZ to allow readers to vote for their favorite poem.

Beside the Readers’ Choice prize, we at WIZ have decided to add a second prize”“the Admin Award, for the poem we like best.  The winner of the Admin Award will receive the same prize as the Readers’ Choice Award winner”“his or her choice of the aforementioned books of verse.

As mentioned before, non-competing poems and other verse-oriented submissions are welcomed during the Spring Poetry Runoff.  So please come by WIZ and join the fire ring.  Tell a story, sing a song, comment, or just read and wander off into the nearest park, canyon, or garden.