I first had the pleasure of encountering Valyntina Grenier’s work through Sunspot Literary Journal’s Single Word contest. Since then, this talented artist was picked up by Cathexis North West Press.
Fever Dream / Take Heart is a doubled poetry book. Two chapbooks have been produced in a flip-book format. Bound in the tête-bêche style, Fever Dream and Take Heart provide two forays through this poet’s feverishly delicious style.
Lifting off from nature, Grenier leaps intuitively between images that comment on humanity’s impact on the climate, corrosive politics, and all that is ferociously feminine.
Leap anywhere into these works and emerge with your senses swollen and your will to enact change fortified with iron.
Valyntina Grenier is a poet and visual artist living in Tucson, Arizona. She was born in Lancaster, California, and educated at The University of California, Berkeley, and St. Mary’s College, Moraga. Graduating with an MFA in poetry, she is self-taught as a painter, installation and Neon artist. In both language and visual art, she pushes the boundaries of representation and abstraction to create a vantage from which to view violence and prejudice. An LGBTQIA artist and activist, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lana Turner, High Shelf Press, JuxtaProse, Sunspot Lit, Bat City Review and The Impossible Beast: Poems of Queer Eroticism. Find her at valyntinagrenier.com or Insta @valyntinagrenier.
Since launching in January of 2019, Sunspot has amplified multinational voices from around the world. The publication is accepting fiction, poetry, nonfiction, scripts, screenplays, photography, and art until November 30. Translations and extremely long-form pieces are accepted. Submit here or visit the website here.
For the 2020 edition of the Single Word contest, Sunspot is handing the megaphone over to you. Submit the single word you feel is the most important in today’s world.
You’ll have 1,000 words to describe why using any form of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. If you feel the word speaks for itself, your description can simply state that fact.
Since English doesn’t always convey exact shades of meaning, the word you select can be in any language. A definition written in English will be required, and the definition will count toward the total word count of the description. The description must also be in English.
For the first edition of this contest in 2019, the prize was $50. In 2020, the prize is being increased to $500.
In addition to receiving the cash prize, the winner will be published. Select finalists will have the chance to be published.
Enter as many times as you like. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please withdraw your piece if it is published elsewhere before the winner is selected. Deadline is March 31, 2020.
June of 2019 will see the last Tin House literary magazine roll off the presses. After twenty years publishing original fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Tin House is saying goodbye.
The move was done in the face of mounting costs associated with print publishing. Rob Spillman, the co-founder and editor, is moving on to other areas. The closing brings an end to a very long stretch of quality contributions to the literary arena.
While some new works will still be published on Tin House’s website, the loss of yet another print publication is difficult for writers. Much of the industry still gives more weight to credits in print publications, so the loss of even one magazine can be bad news.
There is a bright spot, however. Sunspot Literary Magazine is launching in January of 2019. For the first year, one print edition will be published. The magazine hopes to add additional print editions in subsequent years.
Meanwhile, digital editions are scheduled for every quarter. The founder is also considering adding frequent special editions that focus on a single author or a single category.
The magazine’s mission is to “change the world through words,” and is open to new and established authors and artists. Submissions of short stories, flash fiction, poetry, essays, art, interviews, and reviews of books, movies and galleries are being accepted through Sunspot’s Submittable portal.
This is an excellent opportunity to be heard and to enact the change you want to see.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been enrolled in workshops through the Summer Literary Seminars (SLS) out of Montreal, Canada. Morning workshops run for the entire two weeks, while afternoon workshops run one week each.
The program is hosted by the Writer’s House of Georgia. Located in Tbilisi, the building was completed in 1905. The Art Nouveau architecture blends Georgian and European influences, and the building has witnessed many important historic events, particularly in the political realm.
Although the building is in the heart of the city, the Writer’s House is a quiet sanctuary in the city. The central courtyard hosts a lush garden that stays cool even on the hottest days.
Stop by when you are in Tbilisi, or consider writing and learning with the SLS programs.
On Friday, I took advantage of a fourteen-hour layover in Paris, France. With so much time to spend, I headed into the city for a quick look around.
The indie bookstore Shakespeare and Company was on my list. The shop is on a street known for the vendors who set up book stalls along the Seine River. Their location is near Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Louvre.
Shakespeare and Company is an English-language bookstore in the heart of Paris. The building was originally constructed as a monastery. An old tradition held that one monk was assigned the duty of lighting the lamps at nightfall. The bookstore’s founder, George Whitman, cast himself as that monk when he began operating a store that would provide light through literature.