Sunday, March 30, 2008

Contest -- Cherry Pie Poem BakeOff Contest

To celebrate Poetry Month and the three chapbooks forthcoming from Cherry Pie in 2008, we're announcing the first annual Cherry Pie Press Poem BakeOff Contest.

1st Prize: Free copies of each of the three chapbooks to be published in 2008 (by Erin M. Bertram, Niki Nymark, and Mary Ruth Donnelly). Even better, the winner's poem will be published here on the Cherry Pie Press blog.

Rules: Contest is open now through the end of April 2008. To enter, write an original poem in any style or format using all five of the words listed below (one word selected from each of the published Cherry Pie chapbooks). You can see this contest will increase in difficulty each year as the list of publications grows, so enter now while it's still easy!!!

Words to use: brine, half-life, knife, proportion, opera

brine is from Colleen McKee's My Hot Little Tomato.
half-life is from Helen Eisen's The Permeability of Memory.
knife is from Donna Biffar's Kiss Me Cold.
proportion is from Nan Sweet's Rotogravure.
opera is from Martha Ficklen's The Palm Leaf Fan.

Submission of entries: Send your poem in an email by midnight April 30, 2008 to Please put "Poem BakeOff" in the subject line, and include your name with the entry. Submission of a poem for the contest implies permission to publish the winning poem on the Cherry Pie Press blog.

Eligibility and Judging: Poets previously published by Cherry Pie, or scheduled for publication in 2008, are not eligible to enter. Judging, due to the perennially low budget here, will be done solely by the Editor (me).

Review -- In Mi'kmaq Country

In Mi'kmaq Country: Selected Poems & Stories is a new book by Alice M. Azure. I was delighted to be gifted a review copy from Alice, who is a solid and enlightening presence in two of the local writing groups I participate in.

Alice Azure's poems have previously appeared in publications such as Shenandoah, The Cream City Review, and Eating Fire, Tasting Blood: An Anthology of the American Indian Holocaust. I'm excited to see her work now collected in her own book.

I'll excerpt two poems that I think convey the flavor and some of the range in her book.

Northwoods Haiku

Spring was cold that year,
the trillium wouldn't open.
Then you came to me.

Gisoolg a verb, an action. When we say "Gisoolg," it means that you have been created, and you are being created. Stephen Augustine, Mi'kmaq Elder

a voice
pulses above
above in the stars
they pulse
like the voice
early early
this winter day
listen listen
Paradise pulses
Paradise participates
at times
times like this
with thee
thee listen
Paradise participates
for thee
listen listen listen
thee listen
with thee

The book is beautifully produced by Albatross Press, with a striking woodcut by the author as the cover image. It is available locally from Left Bank Books, which is always glad to handle mail orders, and is also available from the author (

Friday, March 21, 2008

Colleen McKee -- news and publications

News about Colleen McKee (author of My Hot Little Tomato) --

Are We Feeling Better Yet?, an anthology of personal narratives about women and U.S. health care, co-edited by Colleen McKee and Amanda Crowell Stiebel, will be published by Penultimate Press in October 2008.

Colleen McKee also recently won a Poetry in Motion Award from Metro St. Louis. She will receive a $50 mystery gift certificate, a subscription to Poetry, and her poem "Dream of the Enchanted Supermarket" will appear on local trains and buses. Additionally, she won Third Prize (and a certain sum of money) in the Wednesday Club's Annual Poetry Contest for her poem "Terminals and Gates." Another recent prize was First Place in the River Styx Nanofiction Contest for her story "Piss and Vinegar, or, The Decision," which garnered no publication or money, just glory and a six-pack of Schlafly Ale.

Her poem "Grand Station" will appear in qarrtsiluni's "Nature in the Cracks" issue in March or April.

Local poet Jane Ellen Ibur honored by 2008 Visionary Award

Grand Center, St. Louis’ premier Arts and Entertainment District, announced the honorees of the Sixth Annual Visionary Awards, which recognizes women for their contributions to the St. Louis arts and culture community.

Jane Ellen Ibur, poet, writer, and teacher was chosen as Outstanding Arts Educator.

Grand Center created the Visionary Awards to highlight the wide-ranging work of women artists and arts leaders in the community. The Visionary Awards will take place on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at the Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Ave in Grand Center.

For other honorees visit

Niki Nymark poem to appear in Lilith Magazine

Niki Nymark, with a chapbook forthcoming later this year from Cherry Pie Press, has received a letter from Marge Piercy that her poem, "Chava," is accepted for publication in Lilith Magazine.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Women Writers for Women's History Month

Slate magazine has put up a wonderful photo essay on women writers, including Maya Angelou who hails from these parts. See how many you recognize without looking at the captions....