ice cream photo With apologies to George “My Sweet Lord” Harrison (RIP), Silver Birch Press announces the MY SWEET WORD call for submissions of poetry and flash fiction. For many of us, some of our most significant memories (pleasant or otherwise) involve sweets and treats — running to catch up with the Good Humor truck, baking cookies during the holidays, trick or treating, visiting the corner candy store, making a trip to Dairy Queen, learning to share our goodies, and so much more. We want to hear all about your sweet (or bittersweet) memories in a poem, prose poem, or flash fiction. Please send a photo of yourself at any age to accompany the writing.

PROMPT: Tell us your recollections about sweets in a poem (any reasonable length) or prose poem/flash fiction piece (200 words or less). For the series, you can also submit found or erasure poems based on a “sweet” recipe or article from a cookbook or magazine (please cite source).

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems or flash fiction. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish on social media and in a potential print edition.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems/flash fiction during the Silver Birch Press MY SWEET WORD Poetry/Flash Fiction Series starting in September (actual dates to be determined, based on number of submissions).

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem or prose poem/flash fiction to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, contact info (including email address), one-paragraph author’s bio (written in third person), and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about your piece. Please put all this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name (and only your last name). Write”Sweet” in subject line of email. Please send a photo of yourself — at any age — to accompany the poem, and provide a caption for the photo (when, where). (We’d love to see Halloween photos, ice cream eating photos, kids with cookies photos — but will accept photos sans sweets.)

SUBMISSION CHECKLIST To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, mailing address, email address).

3. In the same MS Word document, include an author’s bio, written in the third person (e.g., Mary Anderson has been writing since age eight…”).

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem/flash fiction or creative process (this is optional).

5. In the same MS Word document, include a caption for your photo (including where, when and/or date taken).

6. Send a photo of yourself at any age as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). Title the photo with your last name (e.g., Jones.jpg).

7. Email to SBPSUBMISSIONS@gmail.com — and put SWEET in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Tuesday, September 30, 2015

IMAGE: Found photograph from 1970 purchased on ebay.

campbell1
Summer Dears
by Don Kingfisher Campbell

1

I’m driving us
Around Crater Lake
We’re surprised to see
Small banks of snow

Daughter Emily yells
“Stop, there’s a beer”
I pull over
We stumble out

She stealthily steps
On soft white slush
There it is… a deer
All shoot…pictures

2

As we leave
The road starts winding
Again, this time
I spot a doe

On the driver’s side
We don’t even get
Out of the car
My cell phone is dead

My wife leans over me
Gets several shots
With her digital camera
Before the hind crosses

3

Now the Cube is rolling
On Highway 62
Starting to make minutes
Doing 45 miles an hour

Jenny completes
The lucky trio
Screams and pinches my arm
I stomp on the brakes

A mother and two fawns
Split up across
The shady asphalt
Six hearts beating fast

deer oregon

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: During our 2012 trip to Crater Lake in Oregon, we were very surprised to find some snow in August, but then again, we’re talking an elevation of 7,000 feet here. And she did actually say “beer.” She’s my stepdaughter and had just arrived from China.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Don Kingfisher Campbell, MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, has been a coach and judge for Poetry Out Loud, a performing poet/teacher for Red Hen Press Youth Writing Workshops, Los Angeles Area Coordinator and Board Member of California Poets In The Schools, publisher of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, leader of the Emerging Urban Poets writing and Deep Critique workshops, organizer of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, and host of the Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading series in Pasadena, California. For publication credits, please go to: http://dkc1031.blogspot.com

whitehouse photo

Honeymoon at Voy (Tsavo East, Kenya)
by Lin Whitehouse

The day began before sunup with an early morning bush walk, legs covered to protect from ticks and being careful not to startle a wounded hippopotamus; in the afternoon heat a jeep safari tracking elephant, lion, giraffe, and more. After a hot shower, an evening meal of ADT (any damn thing) accompanied by wine. Later, alongside a lake where hippos splashed and cranes and storks fished for supper, a party of strangers sat on logs around a campfire, nightcaps in hands, recounting interesting stories while wildlife roamed in the darkness. Finally our camp-beds didn’t seem uncomfortable as we embraced sleep.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: ‘Maisha’ (means Life in Swahili) – my new husband and I (Kenya, 1992).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Having just celebrated 23 years of marriage I thought it was apt to write about my honeymoon! We actually got married outside Baden Powell’s house, ‘Paxtu’ in Nyeri, Central Kenya, having spent the night before at Treetops. My poem relates to a luxury tented safari we took in Tsavo East at Voy on land belonging to Kenyatta. I don’t do camping, luxury or not, and despite there being no plug socket for my hairdryer, it was the most wonderful holiday.

lin-whitehouse

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lin Whitehouse lives in an idyllic East Yorkshire Village in the United Kingdom and writes as often as her day job and family life give her time for. Scripts are her favourite writing genre and she has had several short plays performed in theatres around the North of England.

FOUND & LOST cov

Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce the August 1, 2015 publication of Found & Lost: Found Poetry and Visual Poetry by George McKim. The 52-page collection includes 14 full-color visual poems in the author/artist’s engaging, one-of-a-kind style.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Found & Lost is a collection of repurposed and remixed Found Poetry and Visual Poetry. George McKim has repurposed and remixed the work of poets ranging from Tristan Tzara to Lyn Hejinian and has transformed their words into a fascinating collection of strangely haunting Found Poems. Augmenting these poems are fourteen vintage dictionary pages that have metamorphosed into full color Visual Poems.

Praise for Found & Lost by George McKim: 

“Using poetic trinkets from its own ancestry, McKim’s Found & Lost builds us a reconstruction fit for 21st century literary exploits. McKim’s poems stir up and resettle our generation’s shared modern heritage with a subtlety and grace fit for veneration while opening itself to a playful audience in the way an old familiar playground greets a neighborhood child. These poems are true pleasures.” J.D. Mitchell-Lumsden, Editor, Cricket Online Review Poetry Journal

“George McKim’s poems are always on the verge of happening, in that happysad place just short of sense, where pure sonic energy spins its truest and most absurd shapes. Found and Lost is a homecoming to the bottomless, where you left your clouds and the keys. It is an impossible space that I don’t want to leave.” Peter Cole Friedman, Poet

“There can be no quibbling over the delight that George McKim’s Found & Lost, with its artful assemblage of pre-existing text, provides. The poems are fresh, revitalize the words of others through juxtaposition, incision, and new ‘sharp eyes,’ to use an included phrase from Tristan Tzara; and the most apt word to describe the visuals, a series of augmented dictionary pages, is ‘wonderful.’” Mark Young, Editor, Otoliths Poetry Journal

GeorgeMcKim

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: George McKim, resident of Raleigh, North Carolina, has a BFA in Painting from VCU and an MFA in Painting from ECU and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the Southeast region in various group exhibitions. At the age of 56, George began writing poetry. His poetry has been published and e-published or is forthcoming in Diagram, The Found Poetry Review, Otoliths, Shampoo, GlitterMob, Dear Sir, elimae, Ditch, Cricket Online Review, Blaze Vox, Poets and Artists Magazine, and other journals.

Found & Lost by George McKim is available at Amazon.com.

Cover art by George McKim. 

Marybeth Rosecliff2

PHOTOGRAPH: Although poet Marybeth Rua-Larsen lives on the South Coast of Massachusetts, she’s a stone’s throw away from Rhode Island. In fact, she crisscrosses the state line on a daily basis, including this recent visit to Rosecliff, in Newport, to snap a picture at the key location where the 1974 movie version of The Great Gatsby was filmed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Marybeth Rua-Larsen teaches at Bristol Community College. Her poems, essays, flash fiction, and reviews have appeared in American Arts Quarterly, The Raintown Review, Cleaver, Measure, Literary Orphans, and Unsplendid, among others. She won the 2011 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition in Poetry in Galway, Ireland, and her chapbook Nothing In-Between was published by Barefoot Muse Press. Her poem “The Letter G Confiscates the Typewriter to Assert Its POV,” riffing on her favorite character in the novel, Nick Carraway, is featured in The Great Gatsby Anthology.

corey
Sturbridge, Massachusetts
by Joanne Corey

people envision honeymoons
in romantic cities
             Paris
             Rome
tropical islands
             Caribbean
             Hawaiian
wonder-of-the-world-and-traditional-honeymoon-capital
             Niagara Falls

we chose an 1830’s living-history museum
             village green with church and general store
             blacksmith, cobbler, potter
             draft horses pulling a hay wagon through a covered bridge
             water-powered sawmill, grist mill, carding mill
             pastures, fields, barns
             farmhouse kitchen with creamery attached

perfect for a pair of New England history buffs
with limited time and budget
on their first-ever vacation together

PHOTOGRAPH: The bride and groom cutting the cake, shortly before leaving for Sturbridge Smith College Alumnae House, Northampton, Massachusetts (June 1982).

jcorey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanne Corey lives and writes in Vestal, New York, where she is active with the Binghamton Poetry Project. Her 2015 publications include the spring 2015 anthology of the Binghamton Poetry Project, Candles of Hope anthology (GWL Publishing, U.K.), the “All About My Name” poetry series from Silver Birch Press, and Wilderness House Literary Review fall quarterly. She invites you to visit her eclectic blog at topofjcsmind.wordpress.com.

cimera
Valentine to Ogunquit
by Tricia Marcella Cimera

I love you,
     O-gunquit by the o-cean,
place of my heart.
     The moment I leave you,
I want to return.
     On this last day,
saying goodbye again,
     I wish a great wave
would rise up
     and pull me in,
pull me under.
     I wish time would stop
and let me stay.
     I would sing
as a Siren
     in the bottomless sea.
I would swim
     as a ghost fish
through the primal blue.
     I would float
on the ancient waves
     as a glass bottle,
with a message inside
     that would say,
Ogunquit, I love you.
      I love you.
      I love you.

PHOTOGRAPH:  The author on Ogunquit Beach, Maine (2011).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have been visiting Ogunquit, a little town and artist’s colony on the Southern coast of Maine, since 2004. Words really can’t express how much I love this “place of my heart,” but I tried.

tricia-marcella-cimera1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Marcella Cimera is an obsessed reader and lover of words. Her work has appeared in Silver Birch Press, Reverie Fair, Prairie Light Review, and Downtown Auroran Magazine.  She volunteers, believes strongly in the ideology of Think Globally, Act Locally, and wants you to Support Local Art. If you find yourself in Ogunquit, Maine, she highly recommends visiting the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, a gem of a museum overlooking the ocean. Tricia lives with Rob, her husband, Sinder the Cat, and Gray the African Gray parrot in St. Charles, Illinois.

mankerian

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: This is Confucius, not the man with the red shirt and glasses, but the eroded one in the back. The man with the red shirt and glasses is the poet Shahé Mankerian whose poem “Hallowed Books” appears in that golden anthology about Gatsby. The photograph is taken at California State University, Los Angeles. The quote on the statue reads: “Among truly educated persons there is no discrimination.” In a strange way, the quote reminds me of the exchange between Jordan and Tom.

“…I said I’d been making a small investigation of his past.”

“And you found he was an Oxford man,” said Jordan helpfully.

“An Oxford man!” He was incredulous. “Like hell he is! He wears a pink suit.”

“Nevertheless he’s an Oxford man.”

“Oxford, New Mexico,” snorted Tom contemptuously, “or something like that.”

“Listen, Tom. If you’re such a snob, why did you invite him to lunch?” demanded Jordan crossly.

“Daisy invited him; she knew him before we were married – God knows where!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shahé Mankerian‘s manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at four prestigious competitions: the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the 2013 Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press, Fall Poetry Book Award (2013), and the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize. Shahé serves as the principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena and co-directs the Los Angeles Writing Project. He has been honored with the Los Angeles Music Center’s BRAVO Award, which recognizes teachers for innovation and excellence in arts education.

DIXON3
Days Inn
by Jeremy Dixon

He didn’t take to Pittsburgh.
It was Labour Day Sunday
and everywhere seemed shut,
apart from a deserted Macy’s,
where he used the restroom.

He surprised himself, stayed
three hours at the Warhol,
watched a film of Veruschka
running New York traffic
for an Interview shoot.

The driver used a stylus to text
as they bumped to the motel
opposite a K-Mart parking lot.
What he saw from his room
was a sky of impossible blue.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author’s self-portrait at The Warhol in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is about a one-night stopover in Pittsburgh that came right in the middle of my dream holiday to the USA, when I visited Emily Dickinson’s home in Amherst and toured as many Frank Lloyd Wright buildings as I could cram into three weeks.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeremy Dixon lives in South Wales and makes Artist’s Books that combine poetry and photography. His poems have appeared in The Found Poetry Review, Really System, Riptide Journal, Roundyhouse, and other online and print magazines. Find out more at www.hazardpress.co.uk, or follow him on Twitter @HazardPressUK.

Giverny
by Elaine Mintzer

Monet in his garden pressed his cataract vision against the blues and greens, broke each leaf and lily pad, each flower and petal into components to reveal their cellular designs, to render by paint and brush lattice and ladder, macro and micro in the same lens, general and specific, so when a woman came to visit, and passed other nameless visitors, and saw the shape of the place with the clarity of her own eyes, she was at once apart and part of the landscape, a mote of dust on the water’s surface.

IMAGE: “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet (1915).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’d always thought of Monet’s paintings as examples of nature run rampant. In reality, he had his crews dust foliage as well as the surface of the water. It is that sense of wildness I think we attempt in poetry, all the while controlling for the “dust” we edit away.

Version 2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elaine Mintzer has a BA from UCLA in Creative Writing and an MS in Education from USC. She has written poetry for Ballet Randolph in Miami Beach, has been published in print journals and online, and was anthologized in 13 Los Angeles Poets. Elaine’s first collection, Natural Selections, was published by Bombshelter Press in 2005.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author in Giverny, France (June 2010).

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