PEN America has announced the longlists for the 2019 PEN America Literary Awards, including 10 semi-finalists for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation (judged by Sinan Antoon, Ewa Chrusciel, Peter Filkins, Katrine Øgaard Jensen).

The finalists for all book awards will be announced in January 2019. The winners will be celebrated at the 2019 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on February 26 at the NYU Skirball Center in NYC.

Founded in 1922, PEN America is the largest of the more than 100 centers worldwide that make up the PEN International network. PEN America works to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others.


for your poetry radar

December 13, 2018

Okay, this sounds downright peculiar, but in our commitment to all-things-poetry, we feel it’s only fair to warn you that Apple is currently casting a 10-episode TV series called “Dickinson.” Written by Alena Smith and starring Hailee Steinfeld (as Dickinson) and Jane Krakowski (as Mrs. Dickinson), the series is described by Deadline Hollywood as a comedy “with a modern sensibility and tone. It takes viewers into the world of Emily (Steinfeld), audaciously exploring the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of a budding writer who doesn’t fit in to her own time through her imaginative point of view. Dickinson is Emily’s coming-of-age story — one woman’s fight to get her voice heard.” Release date 2019.

erase for justice

December 12, 2018

We’ve mentioned erasure projects, books, and exhibits a number of times, but this one has escaped our notice. Until now. The University of Arizona Poetry Center Art for Justice project offers ten source texts and an erasure engine you can use without cost. If you’d prefer, you can make erasures of your own text. If you want to save your work, simply turn it into a PDF. Give it a try.

Plath’s letters, graphically

December 11, 2018

Cartoonist/illustrator/writer Summer Pierre has been reading the collected letters of Sylvia Plath. Read her illustrated review in The New Yorker.

raise your hand

December 10, 2018

We were happy to discover the The Book Lover’s Guide to Volunteering (‘Tis the Season To Think About Helping Others) in Friday’s Literary Hub. It didn’t take more than a few minutes to come up with a lively list of Cascadia-region literary volunteer opportunities:

Didn’t find the opportunity you’re looking for? Search online by city or county using the words literacy, volunteer, or books, or check your local volunteer clearinghouse in person or online.


December 9, 2018

2018 Merit Award
By Allie Haugen, grade 10

i will write words you do not like
i will write words you do not agree with
& i will write the words i am afraid to say aloud

but i am not you.
you see, we do not have the same mind

we must disagree
but i will not be made small.

do not misunderstand,
listen closely

my voice is just as valid as yours
i will not be a duplicated version of you

i do not want to be you.
i want to be me

. . . . .
Allie Haugen has never published or even thought of writing poetry until now. The first poem she wrote won this contest. She currently lives with her parents in the county, cheering for the Meridian Trojans and writing whenever she gets a chance.

“underestimated” was inspired by everything that I have yet to write. Reading Rupi Kaur and R.H. Sin made me realize that poetry did not have to be boring and complicated. Poetry did not have to be like what we read in school. I could write something of my own. This is the beginning of everything to come.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2018 by Allie Haugen. Broadside illustrated by Angela Boyle.

round two

December 8, 2018

Okay, here’s the next set of bests:

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