A major injustice is unfolding in Jena, LA as six black young men are railroaded in a case that reads like one straight from the era of Jim Crow. Read up and take action, now. If you think this is wrong, the least you can do is sign the petition. Click here to read more about this dire situation for African Americans that has, of course, remained largely unpublicized.
A couple of years ago I had a flash fiction piece entitled A Version of Karma that appeared in the online journal HeavyGlow. It was a dark piece that abstractly described the impacts of a child abuse in a single parent household, and how that abuse manifested itself into a twisted act committed by one brother to another. I am happy to announce that "A Version of Karma" has been included in HeavyGlow's first print anthology, HeavyGlow Flash Fiction: Two Years Burning Brightly.
The anthology is packed full of flash fiction pieces written by contributors of the web magazine, HeavyGlow Journal of Flash Fiction. This book holds an eclectic amalgamate of sadness, death, surrealism, joy and humor. Often lyrical in style, these worlds of 750 words or less will introduce readers to exquisite extremes and leave them wanting more. Other noted authors who contribued to this great anthology include Anna McDougall and J.D. Riso. Click here to learn more about the book and/or purchase it - I am confident that you would find this book to be a solid addition to your personal library.
Pop Quiz, my experimental prose piece that appeared in the 2006 edition of Colere, can be found online now. Colere is a cultural journal of prose, poetry and art produced and edited by students of Coe College. I had the honor of having my work appear in the 2004, 2005, and 2006 editions of the journal.
Pop Quiz is a short prose piece that attempts to explore racial and cultural stereotypes using a multiple choice test format. Click here to read and "take" the test - your answers just might surprise you.
I sometimes find myself waiting for someone to write a particular type of story, or maybe pen a poem about a certain subject I care deeply about. Or maybe I’m waiting for someone to produce a type of writing that would simply be exciting to me. But while I wait, nobody ever does it. I eventually get sick of waiting, so I get off my butt and write that poem or story myself. That’s how my best work as an author and poet has come about; it’s the point where I stop being content and start becoming creative. I believe that’s what a writer – or singer, artist, photographer, rapper, etc. – should be looking for. An opportunity to do something truly different. If you’re constantly waiting for someone to come up with a certain piece of art or literature that sings to you, and yet you find that nobody does it, then go and figure it out for yourself. Then you are really inspired, and you’ll produce something that is exciting to you, and hopefully in the process something that will be exciting to the world.
Well it is my goal to write and publish 100 things this year. Let's check my list to see where I am at right now...1. A Love Supreme - short story - needs editing, serious revisions
2. Meditation on Meditation - poem - Honorable Mention in the Poetry Society of New Hampshire May 2007 National Contest
3. Simple Needs - micro-fiction - to be published in The Binnacle
4. Discussing Temptation - poem - needs editing
5. False Hope - micro-fiction - under consideration by publisher(s)
6. I Hate Poetry - poem - under consideration by publisher(s)
7. My Own Brand of Blues - memoir manuscript - final edits done, waiting on production galleys
8. Survival Notes - fiction chapbook manuscript - final edits done, waiting on production galleys
9. So Cool - poem - to be published online in Death Metal Poetry (08/26/07)
10. wedding song - poem - to be published in Talking Stick 16
11. How the Blues Can Bruise - poem - to be published in Cuivre River Anthology, First Place in the Saturday Writer's One-Page Poem Contest 2007
12. Protocol - poem - published in The Crazy Child Scribbler, Issue 5.1, April 2007
13. Urban Seduction - poem - to be published in poeticdiversity, August 2007
14. What the Dealer Didn't Tell You About Heroin - poem - under consideration by publisher(s)
15. The Weight of Grief - poem- needs editing, serous revisions
16. Of Truth, Words, and Lies - poem - under consideration by publisher(s)
17. Observations at a Downtown Starbucks - poem - under consideration by publisher(s)
18. Minnesota - poem - under consideration by publisher(s)
19. Birthday Wishes - poem - under consideration by publisher(s)
20. Urban Seduction - poetry chapbook manuscript - under consideration by publisher(s)
21. Suspended Animation - prose- under consideration by publisher(s)
22. The Ex-Girlfriend Paradox - micro-fiction - needs editing
23. Friday Night Survival Guide - micro-fiction - needs editing
24. Combustible Elements - poem - under consideration by publisher(s)
25. Down But Not Out - poem - under consideration by publisher(s), needs editing
26. Last Call Testimonial - poem - under consideration by publisher(s), needs editing
27. Stand Up and Sing - poem - under consideration by publisher(s)
28. When I Speak of Life - poem - under consideration by publisher(s)
There are good and bad things with this list...
Bad = I only have 28 things written, and since the year is more than halfway done, it is looking like I won't come close to my lofty goal.
Good = a lot of the things on the list have been accepted and will be published, and some have even earned awards. So I will keep plugging away with this goal in mind, even if I am doomed to fail.
In the coming months I will be switching primarily to fiction - I want to work on a chapbook manuscript of short-short fiction pieces for a contest. I also will be dedicating the entire month of November to Nanowrimo, the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. People all over the world try this, some succeeding, while others fail. I hope to man up and do it. I have no clue what this novel will be about, but I think I will be ready to try this when November arrives.
All right, I am already behind enough on my writing goals - time to stop blogging and start writing. Later...
My short-short story Simple Needs will appear in the 2007 Ultra-short edition of The Binnacle, the literary journal of The University of Maine at Machias. The piece was chosen as one of the 60 finalists, which were determined from the 600 entries. This is the second time in the past three years I've been able to contribute to this unique publication; the Ultra-short edition features only prose and poety pieces that are 150 words or less. Thanks to the staff at The Binnacle for this great opportunity.
Another acceptance. My poem So Cool, a satire piece that subliminally disses the whole “Hollywood starlet gone wild" syndrome (think the three headed monster of Lohan-Spears-Hilton), will be published later this summer online in Death Metal Poetry. DMP is a new online journal based out of Athens, GA. Check out the journal - there are a lot of unconventional and quirky poems (I just read one that mentions Shaquille O'Neal running for president, for example). Don’t let the headbanging name fool you – there is no death metal music – only edgy poetry, which is why I'll be able to contribute. Much thanks to editor Ryan Downey for selecting my work.
Good news! My poem wedding song just got accepted for the upcoming edition of The Talking Stick, is a ten year old publication of the Jackpine Writers' Bloc. Showcasing some of the best to be found poetry, prose, fiction and creative nonfiction, The Talking Stick is an honest glimpse into the eyes of writers. Proud to be written and entirely produced by writers and artists of Minnesota, The Talking Stick is a northern treasure. I've been blessed to be part of three of the last four editions, and I'm happy to have a chance to contribute again. Big thanks to the editor of this publication, Sharon Harris, for appreciating my writing yet again.
There was a time when it seemed every magazine wanted an Adrian S. Potter poem or short story. I rarely got rejected. And then there was a period when it felt all I was getting was rejected. I much prefer the yeses. Hopefully, I've turned a corner and will be getting a lot more positive feedback.
Being a writer, you get accustomed to rejection. Seriously. I estimate on average that I get at least 20-25 rejection notices before I get a contest win or accepted to a publication. But you get pretty thick skinned and you never take it personally. I'm really not the one to complain about getting rejected. But when an editor sends me a rejection notice addressed to "Adam"...well I start to second guess if they carefully they read my work and cover letter. Seriously, how the hell does Adam = Adrian? I just can't figure that equation out. Oh well, I'll do what I always do, dust myself off and keep writing and submitting. I'm putting the finishing touches on a new poetry manuscript I plan on sending out to a couple of contests, so I'll be busy with that this weekend. I'll post up here again soon...just had to get that bit of frustration off my chest.
Adam S. Potter
Just found out that my poem Meditation on Meditation earned Honorable Mention in the Poetry Society of New Hampshire's May 2007 National Contest. I'm going to try to use that as inspiration to write - I have several contests I want to enter that have deadlines on June 15th. I'm working hard to keep my name out there, trying to keep getting publication credits under my belt. I'll post again soon; until then, be good...
What could be cooler than having a poem featured on the website for The Wandering Hermit Review, an international journal of arts and literature? Street Corner Blues, a poem that will be in my upcoming book My Own Brand of Blues, appeared in the second issue of this journal. Thanks to the editor, Steve Potter (no relation), for including this poem in his journal and for using it as a preview poem online. You can click here to check it out...
The Cuivre River Anthology takes its name from a river that flows through a six-county region in eastern Missouri, a land settled by Germans and French, rich in stories and tradition. This collection reflects the voices of those who live there today, as well as voices from around the country and even abroad. From Lincoln County, Missouri, to Lincolnshire, England, these stories gather us together, bridging the distance. And like the steady, enduring rhythm of the river, these stories travel the places we live and call us home.
My award winning short story, Fighting Instinct, is among the many fine stories and poems that are included in this collection. Fighting Instinct is a tale that on the surface is about a bar fight and the fallout from it, but underneath makes a subtle commentary about violence, manhood, and being the better man.
My poem How the Blues Can Bruise just won the Saturday Writers 2007 One Page Poem Contest. A little bit of notoriety, a little bit of cash - score. This poem is a testament to the writing craft, because I have edited and rewritten it no less that twenty times trying to find the absolute right words. Guess I finally found them. I definitely want to thank the judges and the Saturday Writers for this great opportunity.
...just been busy. "The job" has been dominating my time, keeping me from my work: writing, reading, shameless self-promotion. Hope to find some free moments to write and blog soon. This honest job stuff is really cutting into my free time. Later...
My poem Protocol was just accepted for publication in the Spring issue of The Crazy Child Scribbler, a quarterly publication of poetry, fiction, and essays, published by Clive Matson. It is an 8-page hard-copy journal for writers dedicated to writing from the core and keeping the pen moving. I would like to thank Clive Matson as well as Oceana Lott, this issue's editor, for this opportunity.
Here's some of the history of National Poetry Month...figured I'd post it on here for your knowledge...
National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. It is celebrated every April.
National Poetry Month was inspired by the success of Black History Month, held each February, and Women's History Month, held in March. In 1995, The Academy of American Poets convened a group of publishers, booksellers, librarians, literary organizations, poets, and teachers to discuss the need and usefulness of a similar month long holiday to celebrate poetry. The first National Poetry Month was held in 1996.
In 1998, the Academy joined the American Poetry & Literacy Project to distribute 100,000 free books of poetry from New York to California during National Poetry Month. On April 22, President Clinton and the First Lady hosted a gala at the White House which featured Poets Laureate Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, and Rita Dove.
For National Poetry Month in 2001, the Academy invited people to "vote" for poets they most wanted to have a postage stamp. More than 10,000 people cast ballots, with Langston Hughes receiving the most votes. The vote tally was sent to the United States Postal Service, which issued a Langston Hughes stamp in January 2002.
On April 5, 2005 the Empire State Building was illuminated with blue lights to mark the 10th anniversary of National Poetry Month.
Each year, a special poster is commissioned by the Academy of American Poets for National Poetry Month, with almost 200,000 copies distributed for free. In the past, posters have been designed by noted graphic designers such as Chip Kidd and Milton Glaser. The 2007 poster was designed by Christoph Niemann.
Like Black History Month, the celebration of poetry each April has grown and established itself organically, in both official and unofficial ways. Each year, publishers, booksellers, educators, and literary organizations use April to promote poetry: publishers often release and publicize their poetry titles in April, teachers and librarians focus on poetry units during the month; and bookstores and reading series frequently hold special readings.
In a proclamation issued on April 1, 1996, President Bill Clinton declared: "National Poetry Month offers us a welcome opportunity to celebrate not only the unsurpassed body of literature produced by our poets in the past, but also the vitality and diversity of voices reflected in the works of today's American poetry….Their creativity and wealth of language enrich our culture and inspire a new generation of Americans to learn the power of reading and writing at its best." In addition, similar official National Poetry Month proclamation have been issued by mayors from towns and cities across the country, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.
In 2002, the Academy organized the first Poetry & the Creative Mind gala to raise funds in support of National Poetry Month, and it has become an annual event. Each year the Academy invites some of America’s leading artists, scholars, and public figures to read favorite, canonical poems. Hosted each year by the two-time Academy Award winning actress Meryl Streep, the event has featured readings by Liam Neeson, Tony Kushner, Maya Lin, Sam Waterston, Suzan-Lori Parks, Minnie Driver, Dan Rather, Agnes Gund, Frank Rich, Diane von Furstenberg, Wynton Marsalis, Alan Alda, Wendy Whelan, Mike Wallace, Dianne Wiest, Oliver Sacks, Gloria Vanderbilt, William Wegman, and Christopher Durang, among others.
National Poetry Month has also sparked some debate among writers, most notably from poets such as Charles Bernstein and Richard Howard. Critics suggest that National Poetry Month trivializes the art form and floods the market with books in a matter of just a few weeks, overwhelming readers.
Since 1999, National Poetry Month has been celebrated each April in Canada, where it is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and organized around a different annual theme. In England, National Poetry Day is celebrated on the first Thursday of October, since. It has been organized since 1994 by the Poetry Society in England who choose a different theme each year to highlight particular poets and styles of poetry. In 1999, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared March 21 to be World Poetry Day. The purpose of the day is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world and, as the UNESCO session declaring the day says, to "give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements."
...in an editing and proofreading groove (if there is such a thing), I went on and finished my final edits and checks on my upcoming fiction chapbook, Survival Notes. This chapbook, which will contain nine of my short stories, will be published by Cervena Barva Press as part of winning the 2006 Cervena Barva Press Short Story Prize. It will be out later this year. I'll keep you posted on its availability and let you know more about it as I learn more. It's my first fiction chapbook, so I am excited about it - it is a pretty big milestone for me to have a chapbook publication in a genre other than poetry (my primary literary device of choice), so hopefully this will gateway into many other opportunities in writing. Now that I've done all the proofreading I had piled up, I have no excuse for not writing some new material. So I better get to it...
...editing my book manuscript. Just emailed it to the publisher this morning. That took way more time than I thought it would, but I am glad that I've finished it. Now I maybe I can get back to writing some new stuff. Be good...
The latest edition of the journal MO: Writings from the River is out and within its covers are two of my poems, Night Shift Revelations and How the Fittest Actually Survive. This is the second volume of this journal of literature and art, and I've been lucky enough to contribute to both of them. Check it out if you get a chance...