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2015 curt johnson prose awards winners

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december in may – st. louis launch

decinmayDid you miss our launch event for issue 26.1?  If so, you can watch now and see Marvin Bell, Steven Schreiner, and Sally Van Doren share their poems from our recent issues.  December Vol. 26.1 Event – Reading.  Like what you hear? Subscribe or order a back issue of december here.

Select “Playlist” in the top left corner of the video below to select the video you want to watch.  Watch one or all.

 

2015 jeff marks memorial poetry prize winners

december is proud to present audio recordings of our winner Chelsea Jennings reading her poem “Heirloom”
Processed with Moldiv

HEIRLOOM

As close to the past as maps can get to rivers
A boat full of stones     A handful of water

*

This is the dressmaker’s frame
where we hang our fear of the dark

Again and again we thread it
though the eye of sleep is small
*

It could have been a locket with a lock of hair inside
It could have been a mirror     A set of silver     A coin
*

There was a pewter cup and a patron saint
for each of the children who lived

They kept their records in the Bible
They shared a single bridal dress

*

This is the watchmaker’s shop
where the balance wheel can be fixed

*

We wear their scrimshaw earrings
and are called by their given names

We dream that we’re drowning   We dream that
we wake     And we eat our meals from their plates


and Sam Roxas-Chua, our honorable mention, reading his poem “A Beast in the Chapel.”
Processed with Moldiv

A BEAST IN THE CHAPEL

Several times I asked my father
to pull on my ears
until my feet were lifted off the ground.

Several times I asked him
to look into my eyes
and blow out the red lanterns—

those soft pendulums
that keep me up at night,
twin stars of vermillion arias.

Several times I placed my hand
inside his mouth and fished for summer,
moon, winter, and tow.

Several times I hid my name
behind my ears
when he called me Bakla!

Several times my hands shimmied
under the breakfast table
where my mother sat me down

and said he wasn’t coming home—
it was Christmas, I wore a red tie.
And on that same day,

a man was found in the river,
his face eaten by fish. Several
times I asked Who was he?

Who was he? Several times
I sucked on plums to think of him.
Several times I dreamt I had gills.

 

Pushcart Nominations

2015CoverHomedecember is proud to announce its nominations for the 2015 Pushcart Prize. These works appeared in december Vol. 25.1 and 25.2 in 2014.

NQR, nonfiction by Garet Lahvis (25.1)

Paper Lantern, fiction by Anna Boorstin (25.2)

Natal Assignments of the Zodiac, a poem by Michael Harper

Sutures, a poem by Karen Holman (25.2)

For the Want of a Shoe, a poem by Colleen McElroy (25.2)

The karma of heredity,  a poem by Marge Piercy

In addition, the following works were independently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Pushcart Press Contributing Editors.  All nominations are from Vol. 25.2.

Want, a poem by Emily Bobo

Since So Many People Don’t Seem to Know what No Soliciting Means…, a poem by David Clewell

A Portable Wife, a poem by Abby Murray

Natal Assignments of the Zodiac, a poem by Michael Harper

Ghost Town Scavengers, a poem by David Salner

december featured in St. Louis Magazine

StLouisMAGWe love sharing stories … We’re humbled to be featured in St. Louis Magazine–they did a beautiful job of sharing ours! Thanks for the great article, A december to Remember.

december in December

decindec2Special thanks to the Missouri Arts Council for their support of this event.

 

december heads to the nation’s capital

DCFlyer

Stephen Berg August 2, 1934 – June 12, 2014

december acknowledges with great sadness the loss of poet Stephen Berg. In addition to founding The American Poetry Review, he was our advisory editor, a contributor since 1959, judge of our first poetry prize, and, most important, our friend.

december returns to Chicago

Images from our May release event at the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery celebrating Vol. 25.1 and december‘s colorful history in the Windy City.

Recalling Vern Rutsala

december acknowledges with sadness the passing of Vern Rutsala in April. Referred to as “the gentle giant of Oregon poetry” and author of more than a dozen books, Vern Rutsala was poetry editor of december for four issues, and his own poetry appeared in Vols. 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, and 24.

Many of december’s advisory editors went way back with Vern Rutsala — some to their time attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop together — and have written poems in tribute to Rutsala’s life.  Following are a couple of them.

 

Bell-tribute-to-Rutsala Harper-tribute-to-Rutsala2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEJA-VU

On four lines by Vern Rutsala

 

The evening is carved of light.

One has watched here before, the view

of this bracken-edged meadow, the heather

lofting plumes into dusklight out of shadows.

 

One wonders what he has sought

in the meadows of deja-vu,

and on what occasions he has weathered

these asides of recall — and were there others?

 

For here an uncertain sleight

of sunlight settles itself like vows —

in the broken fields of sons and fathers —

taken, broken, retaken.  Darkness stammers,

 

the linnet has gone to flight;

hours have fallen to clay review

and have sprung again.  Out of ashen feathers

ancient summer uncovers ancient summers.

 

The evening is carved of light.

In the meadows of deja-vu,

in the broken fields of sons and fathers,

ancient summer uncovers ancient summers.

by Lewis Turco