Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Send Giants: Maurice Sendak Left Today

Photo by Michael M. HughesAll Rights Reserved ,
used with photographer's permission

Send Giants:
An Elegy in 2012

May 8, 2012

Dear Mr. Sendak:

Please tell the lion that you care (even if you don't), and it will maybe let you come back. Speak very loudly because it's dark in there, and according to the newspapers, its mouth is shut tight. And this lion never gets sick when it eats. 

Or maybe we can send giants. They can shake you out. 

Then the newspapers can print a correction tomorrow, like they do and nobody catches the correction because they're not looking or don't even get the paper the next day and so they keep thinking the wrong thing the reporter wrote.  But I'll look for it. 

Your Friend,
Erin, age 5 30


Picture from Pierre of lion sick in bed, having eaten Pierre, and now Pierre's parents are hitting the lion with a folding chair.
From Pierre by
Maurice Sendak (June 10, 1928-May 8, 2012)
"I have nothing now but praise for my life. I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more. ... What I dread is the isolation. ... There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready." 

Short-Story Month 2012: Day 8, Roots by Chadwick Redden

Photograph in black-and-white of tree roots under cirrus sky
"Ghost Trees" by Rosino,
Used under a CC license
Welcome to Tuesday, the eighth day of National Short Story Month.  Today's selection was recently published in the literary journal red lightbulbs, an increasingly exciting location for new and interesting poetry and fiction:

"We drove ninety miles south to watch the lunar eclipse. Light pollution and cloud cover all the way down. In a field your shoelaces forgot their knots . . ."

by Chadwick Redden

Monday, May 7, 2012

Short-Story Month 2012: Day 7, All the Anne Franks by Erik Hoel

Photograph of child's bear looking out window in empty room
"Lone Russian Bear" by jzool,
Used under CC license
She found today's selection for National Short Story Month a few years ago when she decided to nominate a story for the annual Million Writers Award and ran across this story in Strange Horizons:

"When the aliens came and cut the sky up into golden ribbons Dan Milestone ran inside to get his daughter Margaret and put her up on his shoulders in the front yard and told her that this was history and she told him to put her down because he was embarrassing her."

by Erik Hoel

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Short-Story Month 2012: Day 6, The Juniper Tree

The Juniper Tree
by Paleontour,
Used under CC license
My Mama She Kil't Me
My Father He Ate Me
Oh, What a Good Boy Am I!

It's Day 6 of National Short Story month, and today's selection is the folk-story, 
"The Juniper Tree"

A long while ago, perhaps as much as two thousand years, there was a rich man who had a wife of whom he was very fond; but they had no children. Now in the garden before the house where they lived, there stood a juniper tree; and one winter's day as the lady was standing under the juniper tree, paring an apple, she cut her finger, and the drops of blood trickled down upon the snow. "Ah!" said she, sighing deeply and looking down upon the blood, "how happy should I be if I had a little child as white as snow and as red as blood!" And as she was saying this, she grew quite cheerful, and was sure her wish would be fulfilled. And after a little time the snow went away, and soon afterwards the fields began to look green. Next the spring came, and the meadows were dressed with flowers; the trees put forth their green leaves; the young branches shed their blossoms upon the ground; and the little birds sung through the groves.  And then came summer, and the sweet smelling flowers of the juniper tree began to unfold; and the lady's heart heaped within her, and she fell on her knees for joy. But when autumn drew near, the fruit was thick upon the trees. Then the lady plucked the red berries from the juniper tree, and looked sad and sorrowful; and she called her husband to her, and said, "If I die, bury me under the juniper trees." Not long after this a pretty little child was born; it was, as the lady wished, as red as blood, and as
The following version is from the 1875 collection, German Popular Stories, edited by Edgar Taylor.

Click to 
The Juniper Tree! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Short-Story Month 2012: Day 5, The Brewsters by Laura Ellen Scott

Metal shed overlooking waterfront
Room with a View by Rick Kempel,
Used under CC license
"We always called that rusty metal shack the Brewster house."

In continuing the celebration of National Short Story Month, today's selected story is this linguistic beauty:

by Laura Ellen Scott
from her collection Curio

Friday, May 4, 2012

Short-Story Month 2012: Day 4, Diagnostic Drift by Michael Martone

Photograph of girl under autumn umbrella
Transparent by Kasia,
used under CC license
Since 1996, April has belonged to the poets.  But it has only been a few years, at least in her memory, that May has been unofficially officially declared National Short Story Month.

So, to celebrate the art of the short story, each day of May a story will be selected and posted at What She Might Think.

Since we're four days in, rather than catch up with four different stories, here's a lyrical short story in four parts:

 "Diagnostic Drift" by Michael Martone  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The End of National Poetry Month, 2012

Photograph of pink hyacinths
Hyacinth Happiness by Lachlan Rogers. (CC)
We are at nearly the end of April, which means it's the end of this year's National Poetry Month.  

And, so, a bit of a medley to celebrate poetry month in a single shot, if you haven't already been celebrating. 

One passage like a poem, one poem, one poet, one excerpt.

A passage like a poem:
1) “Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”    —Maurice Sendak

A poem:
2) Eating Poetry by Mark Strand 

A poet:
3) Also, if you haven't read the Interview with Laura Read, a poet, then there's this, too.

An excerpt from a poem.
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;  35
They called me the hyacinth girl.”
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,  40
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

                                             (from The Wasteland by our man T.S. Eliot)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How the Sun Burns: Forthcoming in The Minnesota Review

Photograph of stone quarry near nightfall
Rock Quarry
by paparutzi (CC)
 The minnesota review has just accepted her story "How the Sun Burns Among Hills of Rock and Pebble", which will be a story in her next book Midwest in Memoriam. 

The story is slated for Spring 2013 publication.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

To Shift & Grit: New Review of The Floating Order

"It’s Pringle’s ability to get inside the mind of a child and see the adult world from their perspective that is the real strength of this collection. Another is the shifting nature of reality from this perspective."

Photograph through a green bottle
Faye Through Glass
by Aislinn Ritchie (cc)

~writes John Kenny, in a new review of The Floating Order. Kenny is a writer, and co-editor of Dublin's Albedo One and Aeon Press. Please find the full review at his website.

Monday, April 16, 2012

One Bull-Running Over: 2012 Pulitzer-Prize Winners Announced

Image of 1970 Pulitzer Prize medal
Pulitzer Prize Medal
All those running in fiction were trampled, no one survived.

The announcements might get a bit more press this year since, of the list of winners, the winning work of fiction is a blank space--the committee decided that none of the finalist-books in the fiction section merited the Pulitzer.  Finalists, but not fine enough, evidently for more than that.

According to the administrator of the prizes (via the L.A. Times), This isn't the first, but eleventh, time to happen in the fiction side of the Pulitzers.

No doubt this decision will raise a flurry of discussion in the fiction world--among writers, editors, publishers, and readers.  For, while we've gotten the memo that there was no prize, now it's time to decide, or consider, what the memo means in terms of what the committee is suggesting about quality.

Photograph of Picasso drawing a bull in light
Picasso and the Bull Out of Light, in Life
And, perhaps, another sort of discussion will occur from this in regards to the $50 "handling" fee that must accompany each work (and four copies of each book) submitted into the running for the Pulitzers.  A $50 fee that is hardly a scratch on the bucket for the large presses, but the weight of a brick in the bucket for small presses.

For a list of all the winners, visit the Pulitzer website.

The next running of the writers is for The National Book Award. Deadline for submission is June 15, 2012 (postmark date).  Works published between December 1, 2011 and November 30, 2012 are eligible . . . but with eligibility also must come a publisher who can afford these conditions (among others) of the prize:

All publishers submitting books for the National Book Award must agree to:
  • Contribute $1,000 toward a promotional campaign if a submitted book becomes a Finalist.
  • Image of National Book Award MedalInform authors of submitted books that, if selected as Finalists, they must be present at the National Book Awards Ceremony and at related events in New York City.
  • Cover all travel and accommodation costs for Finalists and provide them with seats at the Awards Ceremony.
  • Purchase from the National Book Foundation, when appropriate, medallions to be affixed to the covers of Finalist and Winning books. [bold, mine] The Foundation will also license the medallion image artwork for reproduction on the covers of Finalist and Winning books.
  • Inform authors that, if selected as Finalists, they must agree to participate in the Foundation's website-related publicity.