SIX by Julie Marie Wade
Aug07

SIX by Julie Marie Wade

  SIX, winner of the 2014 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize. Judge: C.D. Wright Buy this Book    Search for a Reading of SIX Near You “I call six times just to be sure you heard,” this speaker announces on the first page. These poems are also the six calls—calls to attention, calls to action, calls to account for something of our own. The speaker in SIX is insistent, scrupulous, and unflinching as she plumbs six essential aspects of human experience that have shaped us all: art, language, desire, vocation, faith, and life-changing love.   I chose SIX not in spite of but because of its discursiveness, its willingness to wander through the poem with technique at hand, but also a permit to allow both substantive and ephemeral material to wander into the field of the poem and exit without a conclusive goal in mind. It’s an accumulative project, inclusive, and busy about the business of sifting and sorting through this thing we call life that we carry out in this creation we call a body on this tumultuous blue orb we call earth. —C.D. Wright Julie Marie Wade is the author of four collections of poetry, including When I Was Straight (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014) and Postage Due (White Pine Press, 2010), and four collections of lyric nonfiction, including Catechism: A Love Story (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Bywater Books, 2014; Colgate University Press, 2010). She has received an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir. She teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University...

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2016 Orlando Prize Winners & Finalists
Apr02

2016 Orlando Prize Winners & Finalists

2016 Orlando Prize Winners & Finalists It was a privilege to read the work of so many talented women. We hope you will join us in celebrating the success of the selected winners and finalists, chosen anonymously by our extraordinary Orlando finalist judge and editor of the upcoming Waves publication, Diane Gilliam! POETRY WINNER: “MOORING THE BOAT TO THE DOCK” by Sarah Black [Birmingham, AL] “Mooring the Boat to the Dock” holds the brutality of history in one hand the work of life in the other. It testifies to the enduring power of the archetypal feminine, ancient and still yet with us “On every given morning.”—Diane Gilliam, Orlando Finalist Judge Poetry Finalists: Mary Salisbury, “Welsh Mare Corralled” Nicole Pekarske, “Aubade” FLASH FICTION WINNER: “REGINA” by Valerie Speedwell [San Francisco, CA] “Regina” creates an unstoppable presence and voice, in a rush of language and rhythm that admits no argument or challenge, despite the obstacles it names. The sheer energy and vitality of the piece is absolutely commanding.—Diane Gilliam, Orlando Finalist Judge Flash Fiction Finalists: Maija Devine, “Ggoma” Meghan Thomas, “The Old Man in the Elevator” SHORT FICTION WINNER: “THOSE EBOLA BURNERS THEM” by Tessa Lunney [Sydney, AUSTRALIA] “Those Ebola Burners Them” takes us into a place of life and death, where heroic choices are made that will never be able to be brought back to the village. The ravages are told in a language stark and poetic, powerful enough to redefine heroism and redemption. —Diane Gilliam, Orlando Finalist Judge Short Fiction Finalists: Lauren Mouat, “I, me, you, she” Carmiel Banasky, “Casements” CREATIVE NONFICTION WINNER: “KEEP CALLING MY NAME: Frogs, circles and climate change” by Jocelyn Edelstein [Milwaukie, OR] “Keep Calling My Name: Frogs, circles and climate change” looks for ways in which some things in the world might still be made right, and finds models in dance, physics, children and frogs. All these are wreathed together through the essay, deftly enacting the kinds of connection and flexibility that just might save us. —Diane Gilliam, Orlando Finalist Judge Creative Nonfiction Finalists: Kelly Jeske, “Burial” Chauna Craig, “A Glittering of Hummingbirds, a Charm”     Each winner will receive $1,000 and publication of her winning piece in Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, Featuring Maxine Hong...

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AROHO Literary Thumbprint
Jan13

AROHO Literary Thumbprint

AROHO has inspired and supported countless women, women whose works have gone on to inspire and change the lives of so many others. This thumbprint is a representation of the mark AROHO has made on the literary world. Our thanks to all of the women who took part in making this gift possible.   Title Sponsored by 67 Ways to Save the Animals Anna Sequoia A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain Robin Vidimos A Room of One’s Own Lauren Baldwin A Writer’s Diary An Unquenchable Thirst Mary Johnson Angels Make Their Hope Here Breena Clarke Blackbirds in the Pomegranate Tree Mary Ellen Sanger Blood Desert Renny Golden Body on the Wall Michelle Wing Brown Girl, Brown Stones Cassandra Lane Carpentaria Gillian Barlow Ceremony Ramona Reeves Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence Michelle Wing Difficult Fruit Lauren K. Alleyne Dress Her in Silk Martha Andrews Donovan Eat Less Water Florencia Ramirez Fear of Flying Lisa Estus H&G Housekeeping Robin Vidimos i built a boat with all the towels in your closet I’m Getting older Esther Cohen In the Circus of You Nicelle Davis in the ice house Genevieve Kaplan Interrobang Later, Knives & Trees Alaina Bixon Lost Houses Maura MacNeil Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness Miraculum Monstrum Moments of Being Elisa Kay Sparks Mono Lake Elizabeth Kenneday More of This World or Maybe Another Barb Johnson Mother Tongue Tisha Reichle Mrs. Dalloway Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West Alaina Bixon Nightingale’s Nest Nikki Loftin November Butterfly Tania Pryputniewicz On the Bus With Rosa Parks Ordinary Angels Bridget Birdsall Orlando Kumkum Pareek Malik Paint It Black Pictures in the Firestorm Lauren Rusk Raising Wrecker Summer Wood River Electric with Light Sarah Wetzel River, Cross My Heart Breena Clarke She Had Some Horses Stefani Lipsey Six Slice of Moon Kim Dower Somebody’s Someone Regina Louise Spells: New and Selected Poems Annie Finch Spiders from Heaven Ann Carter Spoke & Dark Stand The Storm Breena Clarke Stepdog Nicole Galland Still Alive Lucas Z. Lund Sting and Nest Barbara Rockman Taste Life Twice Marsha Perlman The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women Gail McMeekin The Ambassador’s Wife Jennifer Steil The Goldilocks Zone Kate Gale The Greek Plays Ellen McLaughlin The Last of the Menu Girls The Memory Palace The New Black The Seamstress: A Memoir of Survival Marlene B. Samuels The Tattoo’s Artist Kristi Crutchfield Cox The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers Bhanu Kapil The Wave in the Mind Jane Schulman The Waves The Widows’ Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival Tammi J. Truax To the Lighthouse Virgin-Martyr Patricia Dreyfus Waiting Marya...

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Fall 2015 Orlando Prize Winners & Finalists
Oct01

Fall 2015 Orlando Prize Winners & Finalists

Fall 2015 Orlando Prize Winners & Finalists It was a privilege to read the work of one-thousand twenty-four talented women. We hope you will join us in celebrating the success of the selected winners and finalists, chosen anonymously by our extraordinary panel of finalist judges! POETRY WINNER: “FLIGHT THEORY” by Allison Adair [Brookline, MA] “The poem pulled me into the poet’s experience from the first two lines: ‘You turn off the lights this time and lie still, a body shifting from its country.’ The writer builds the images and follows them to one surprising, frightful, gorgeous conclusion.”—Poetry Finalist Judge Cheryl Boyce-Taylor Poetry Finalists: Holly Norton, “Tijuana” Emily Cole, “All I Wanted” Elizabeth Hoover, “Resurrection After Hours” FLASH FICTION WINNER: “THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY/STEEL CITY, 1910” by Ingrid Jendrzejewski [Cambridge, UK] “The author…manages to evoke the grittiness and toil of early twentieth century immigrant life and the complexities of gender and desire in a piece filled with magic, lust, and despair. This story won my (far from immaculate) heart.”—Flash Fiction Finalist Judge, Anne Finger Flash Fiction Finalists: Mira Dougherty-Johnson, “The Uncertainty Principle” Elizabeth Turner, “Smalldom” Ona Mirkinson, “Back and Fill”   SHORT FICTION WINNER: “GROW HEAVY” by Leigh Claire Schmidli [Berea, KY] “Subtle, tender, poignant, this story delivers an emotional wallop in just a few pages. A gorgeous evocation of loneliness, of the delicate yearning for connection, for contact, at the same time as it pursues larger notions of manhood. Lovely and deeply memorable.”—Short Fiction Finalist Judge Megan Abbott Short Fiction Finalists: Ellen Perry, “Derby Day” Tracey Taylor, “How the Light Gets In” CREATIVE NONFICTION WINNER: “GONER” by Beth Ann Fennelly [Oxford, MS] “‘Goner’ seamlessly twines together themes of sexual abuse and gender politics. Within these themes, [the author] also uses irony to great effect. This is a winning essay!”—Creative Nonfiction Finalist Judge Sue William Silverman Creative Nonfiction Finalists: Marya Hornbacher, “Rebecca” Holly Stone-Cabe, “Long Days Forgotten and Remembered” Each winner will receive $1,000 and publication of her winning piece in Issue No. 19 of The Los Angeles Review. The next Orlando Prize Competition Deadline is January 31,...

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t’ai freedom ford Awarded 2015 To the Lighthouse Prize
Jul01

t’ai freedom ford Awarded 2015 To the Lighthouse Prize

t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher, Cave Canem Fellow, and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Sinister Wisdom, No, Dear, The African American Review, Vinyl, Nepantla, Poetry and others. Her work has also been featured in several anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. In 2012 and 2013, she completed two multi-city tours as a part of a queer women of color literary salon, The Revival. In 2014, she was the winner of The Feminist Wire’s inaugural poetry contest judged by Evie Shockley. She is currently a 2015 Center for Fiction Fellow. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn, but hangs out digitally at: https://taifreedomford.com/ “how to get over,” t’ai freedom ford’s electric, rhythmic manuscript, is AROHO’s 2015 To the Lighthouse Poetry Book Prize winner   Finalist Judge Alicia Stallings writes:  “I was struck by two seemingly opposite qualities of this book—its electricity (charged by the poles of Strife and Love), and its containment and mastery, words that might seem at first at odds with the poet’s concerns with racial oppression and sexual identity.  Yet in these poems, full of jostling rhymes, elaborate rhythms, well-weighed syllabics, received and invented forms, deft improvisations, sonnets and bops, the poet confronts public tragedies and private trauma with craft and music, subverting and incorporating tradition. Take “ode to an African urn:  for Trayvon and them/ after Keats” in which the poet responds to the interrogation of Keats’ cold pastoral by questioning the premature death of another young man, in three taut triolets, the first of which goes:   what men or gods are these? what mad pursuit? what sin or odd odds are these? what men and gods are these what unarmed boys down on bruised knees? what mad blue suits? what men or gods are these? what mad pursuit? Keats’ urn tells us beauty is truth, truth beauty:  that’s all we need to know.  This vessel also has an unstoppered mouth, other things to say.” Special congratulations also to Finalist Joni Wallace, for her manuscript, “Kingdom Come Radio Show,” to Finalist Gillian Cummings, for her manuscript, “A Woman of Water,” to Finalist E.C. Belli, for her manuscript, “Wick Effect,” and to the three-hundred and seventy authors whose top-notch manuscripts we had the pleasure of...

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Kathline Carr Awarded 2015 Clarissa Dalloway Prize
Jul01

Kathline Carr Awarded 2015 Clarissa Dalloway Prize

Kathline Carr, writer and visual artist, earned her BFA in Creative Writing with concentrations in visual art and feminist philosophy from Goddard College, VT and holds an MFA in Visual Arts from The Art Institute of Boston. Her writing/art has appeared in Calyx, Earth’s Daughters, Hawaii Review, CT Review, Alexandria Quarterly and elsewhere; recently, she has exhibited in the Berkshires, NYC, Boston, Toronto, and artSTRAND Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Carr lives in North Adams, Massachusetts with her husband and sometimes-collaborator, figurative painter Jim Peters, and her daughter Mercedes.   “Miraculum Monstrum,” Kathline Carr’s astonishing manuscript, is AROHO’s 2015 Clarissa Dalloway “everything but poetry” Book Prize winner. Finalist Judge Kate Gale writes:  If we look inside ourselves we might find we’re dirty, restless, scared, a bit rotten. What if we brought all that monster out into the open, misshapen as a child’s play sand castle and started stacking story pieces there, disturbing the layers where we’d been colonized and making a new story that could bear up under sunlight. We don’t have to be crazy. Or maybe we can be crazy and still be outside. This is the quaking beauty of ‘Miraculum Monstrum.’   AROHO loves big aching stories that start inside the woman, move out into the community where bits of the story crackle off and meet the sky.  This book with its marriage of art and soul is everything we ever dreamed of in a Dalloway winner.  It is big life stained on paper.   Special congratulations also to Finalist Jennifer Natalya Fink, for her manuscript, “Bhopal Dance,” to Finalist Julie Schlack, for her manuscript, “This All-at-Onceness: Linked Essays,” to Finalist Carol Spaulding, for her manuscript, “Navelencia: 1910,” and to the two-hundred and thirty-two authors whose top-notch manuscripts we had the pleasure of...

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Submit Smart, Submit Relentlessly
Mar18

Submit Smart, Submit Relentlessly

April 1st To the Lighthouse Poetry and Clarissa Dalloway “everything but poetry” Book Prize Deadline AROHO asked past To the Lighthouse Winners Julie Marie Wade, Leia Penina Wilson, and Carolyn Guinzio, and Clarissa Dalloway winner Anna Maria Hong, about what winning the TTL and CD Book Prizes has meant to their lives and careers, and about what it took to get there. And now we’re asking you… Have you stopped too soon? JMW: I submitted SIX well over a hundred times to various poetry book contests, and in its eight years of circulation, the book was a finalist 36 times. … You must be relentless. You must not be dissuaded or discouraged. When you have written and revised each piece of work or compilation to its fullest potential, it’s time to send it out into the world and keep sending it out into the world for as long as it takes. This can be years. Don’t give up. If you give up and take yourself out of the game all together, you’ll never have a chance to win. And sometimes, as was my experience with AROHO, you get close, but you don’t hit the bull’s eye right away. All the more reason to submit again and again. Pay attention to those loving rejections, those almost-not-quites, and use them as a guide. Consider everything a possibility, but watch for the clues that suggest what might be especially probable. A past commendation or invitation to submit again should never be overlooked. (Julie Marie Wade’s Full Interview) Do you believe in the “thingness” of your work? LPW: There’s something real and true about holding something. I saw a jackrabbit for the first time last fall and I went towards it to hold because it was the strangest creature and I wanted to affirm its adorable reality—that’s what holding the book was like. The book was a little ephemeral before that for me—having it in my hands for the first time made it more than an idea. To hold my book as an artifact of everybody’s effort and support (AROHO, Red Hen, my friends who put up with reading those poems in or listening at readings or sitting around drinking and playing games, Professors that were generous enough to set me back on course when I needed that poetic compass, my family for their support when I told them I was going to school for words, to maybe be that thing called author (such an imaginary bird!)) was a moment I will not soon forget. (Leia Penina Wilson’s Full Interview)  Are you smart about submitting? (Brave…but smart?) CG: Submit your work, women writers! To the Orlando Prize, to the To...

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AROHO’s “Night of  Glittering, Vocal Expansiveness”
Mar04

AROHO’s “Night of Glittering, Vocal Expansiveness”

at the Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater Wednesday, April 8. Doors open at 6 PM. Curtain at 7 PM. Tickets $6. The first 20 listeners to arrive get a free drink, courtesy of Virginia! Seats are limited: Pre-Purchase Tickets Here AROHO is kicking off AWP Minneapolis with a “Night of Glittering, Vocal Expansiveness:” a reading of women writers from far and wide who have all left the quiet of desks, kitchen tables, and lonely laptops to attend the buzzing hive of AWP. Janet Fitch, Susan Straight, Joy Castro, Aimee Liu, Sue William Silverman, Jill Bialosky, and many more will read from their latest work. Scheduled readings will be followed by an open mic. Spend your extroverted time wisely; spend it with AROHO. Come be “visible to other,” and expansive and vocal, for a bit, and get here early for a drink on us. “All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to other.”–Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse Event Info...

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2015 Retreat Program Sampler
Jan06

2015 Retreat Program Sampler

2015 Retreat & Waves Discussion Series: Writing Against the Current Following is a sample of the 2015 Retreat Program, still a work in progress. In abundance but unlisted are the echoing canyons, laughter, inspiration, and galaxies of fearless words and stories. The application deadline is January 15, so apply today! Learn more about AROHO Retreats here.   Our intention is to make room for women’s creative, unguarded responses to each other’s voices and concerns. Inspired by the groundbreaking work of AROHO’s 2015 Fellow of Distinction, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Virginia Woolf, The Waves Discussion Series will facilitate a “letting go” of preconceived notions of public sharing. Not only those listed below, but every woman at the retreat will have a variety of opportunities to freely express what they think in a genre or medium that best suits the way they think. Not only will The Waves explore issues of vital importance to women writers today, the discussion will also lead to new work and new perspective. FEATURING MAXINE HONG KINGSTON, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, LAUREN RUSK, MODERATOR, KATE GALE & A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO WRITE, BRIDGET BIRDSALL BENDING NARRATIVE: MATTER-OF-FACT TRANSFORMATIONS, LUKE DANI BLUE BELOVED-WAR WOMEN: WHY GHIGAU SPEAKS TO US AS WRITERS, SUNNY COOPER AN EXERCISE IN OSTRANENIE/DEFAMILIARIZATION, KATIE FARRIS CO-CREATIVITY: VISION, PRACTICE, POWER, MARNI GAUTHIER AND/OR/AGAINST/FOR, VERO GONZALEZ UNMAKING THE FORM, MARYA HORNBACHER AM I EXPERIMENTAL (OR JUST PSYCHOTIC)? BRIANNA JOHNSON WHAT TO HOLD ON TO IN CASE OF TSUNAMIS AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS, SUSAN KANGA IDENTITY AS AN ACT OF IMAGINATION, JILLIAN LAUREN A WOMAN IS A WARRIOR MOVING BODY AND BREATH, ALEXA MERGEN RE-INTERPRETING THE CARVED REVENGE ON YOUR BACK, SHAUNA OSBORN KEEPING YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER: WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY? AIMEE PERKINS THE MOST ORDINARY MOVEMENT IN THE WORLD, DEBORAH POLIKOFF MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS: SECRET CATHARSIS IN WOMAN WARRIOR, TANIA PRYPUTNIEWICZ IF YOU WERE A TREE…, MARGUERITE MARIA RIVAS KEEP THE DRAMA IN THE DRAMA: SOBRIETY AND THE WRITING LIFE, JAMIE ROSE A HOMELESS ‘OUTSIDER’ IN AMERICA: IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE, LISE ST. AMANT I DIDN’T REALIZE I’D GET HATE MAIL: PREPARING TO PUBLISH A MEMOIR, JENNIFER STEIL GOING TO DARK PLACES: WRITING ABOUT ABUSE, KELLY SUNDBERG WOMEN WARRIORS: WRITING OUR NEW MYTHS, AIMEE SUZARA EXPLORING PASTS UNWRITTEN, DARLENE TAYLOR A PLACE AT THE TABLE, MICHELLE WING CONTRIBUTIONS ALSO ANTICIPATED FROM: JOY CASTRO, ESTHER COHEN, JANET FITCH, DIANE GILLIAM, SUSAN GOLOMB, DIPIKA GUHA, TAYARI JONES, BHANU KAPIL, CYNTHIA LEITICH SMITH, KUMKUM PAREEK MALIK, AND ELISA KAY SPARKS Led by seasoned writers and industry gurus, these small group sessions bring the same group of nine women together each day, providing an opportunity to gain a richer understanding...

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Be an AROHO Booth Host at AWP
Jan05

Be an AROHO Booth Host at AWP

Do you want to get to know other AROHO women and introduce new women to the possibility and opportunity of AROHO? Support AROHO staff by joining our effort to welcome, get to know, and spread the word to new faces at the AWP Bookfair! Volunteer hosts are welcome to bring their own books to sell/sign during their shifts and may sign up for as many time slots as they like. (One hour slots are scheduled between 9 and 5 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.) Email Carolyn at awp2015@aroho.org if you’re interested. …or simply stop by booth #1414! There are over 13,000 women on this email list, but we’ve only met a small fraction of you! Please stop by and change that. Meet our fabulous signers and table hosts, purchase raffle tickets for our “7 Gifts” drawings (one gift being the final GO-Retreat Pass to the 2015 Retreat), and be at home with us for a bit amidst the frenzy of the conference. We hope to see you! Stay tuned for our exciting lineup of author...

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Announcing the 7th Gift of Freedom
Dec01

Announcing the 7th Gift of Freedom

“The Gift of Freedom is one of the heftiest grants available to writers anywhere and is the largest open solely to women in the United States.”—Poets & Writers   The 7th Gift of Freedom application is now open Deadline: November 2,...

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Where Robindale Meets Woolf
Nov28

Where Robindale Meets Woolf

  I was writing my application for the Gift of Freedom about this time of year in 2012, just as I expect hundreds of women writers will be doing in coming weeks. I was going on faith, I was remembering an entry from Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary in which she’s considering Byron—how as a young man he never believed in his poetry and so became “Byronic.” On the other hand, she says, “The Wordsworths and the Keatses believe in that as much as they believe in anything.” I do believe in poetry as much as I believe in any human practice or path toward what’s beyond us, toward what Stanley Kunitz has called “the dear, inviolable mysteries.” I waited for my deepest answers to rise—sometimes I wasn’t even sure that the answers I was giving followed from the questions, but I knew they were my answers, so I sent them. I sat quietly, for days on end, with each of the questions that the essays posed. I didn’t let myself think about right answers, or about what the grantors might want to hear. (Though I couldn’t help noticing every time I drove down my street, Robindale, that I crossed paths with Woolf—maybe that was a bit of mystery, is what I came to think.) I waited for my deepest answers to rise—sometimes I wasn’t even sure that the answers I was giving followed from the questions, but I knew they were my answers, so I sent them. “I was writing for my life as I knew it could be” as poet Irene McKinney said. I didn’t hold back, I told every story that mattered about my writing life and choices I had made to protect it. I told them as truly as I could. I was writing toward my own understanding of my life every bit as much as I was writing for the application at hand. I used all my powers as a writer at every turn for the sake of that understanding and so that I would know I was doing all I could to preserve my writing life. With regard to my financial story, I also told it all. When it came to a budget for the grant amount, I said very plainly what I would use the money for: bills, groceries, gas, all the ordinary expenses a person has. I laid out my monthly budget, yearly expenses. By the time I put my stack of pages into an envelope and said my little prayer to the goddess of the mailbox, I had told all my business and all my stories and I felt that no...

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Shakespeare’s Sister Fellow, Dipika Guha
Nov01

Shakespeare’s Sister Fellow, Dipika Guha

Dipika Guha of New York, NY, is the recipient of A Room of Her Own Foundation’s first Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship, a partnership joining A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO), Hedgebrook, and The Lark together with award-winning actress, playwright, and author Ellen McLaughlin. This gestational, communal, and developmental fellowship is the trifecta of playwriting opportunities for a female playwright, offering a $10,000 prize and unique experiences with the three partnering organizations. “It’s such a rare and incredible opportunity, inviting the creation of something that maybe hasn’t even been dreamt of yet,” Guha said of the fellowship. “Our intention for the Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship is to reward a playwright whose level of excellence and rich, diverse voice challenges literary and cultural traditions. Dipika Guha is such a playwright. We see Guha’s great talent poised to join great opportunity and expect she will continue to push the boundaries of the merely domestic to the language of big ideas and big stories.” Darlene Chandler Bassett, Founder and President of AROHO Get to know more about Dipika Guha, her work, and her story on her Shakespeare’s Sister page here. The fellow and finalists were discovered through a blind, two-round process. The pool of 957 first-round submissions was winnowed down to 40 semi-finalists by Ellen McLaughlin. These 40 semi-finalists were in turn judged by teams of readers from the national theatre community  to reveal five finalists. Final deliberations for the fellow were made by representatives of AROHO, Hedgebrook, and The Lark. “We now know so much more about the vast, varied and remarkable community of women playwrights and are more determined than ever to find ways to serve it,” said Ellen McLaughlin the partnership’s visionary and mentor. “Dipika Guha’s work is fresh as paint, vibrant with authority and originality. It is a joy to acknowledge such a unique talent with the first Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship. We are so excited to see what she will bring into the world as a result of it.” “Dipika Guha is a writer of breathtaking vision and voice, and Hedgebrook is thrilled to join with our partners in awarding her this fellowship. The quality and calibre of our four finalists is truly extraordinary. We were blown away by the dazzling theatrical worlds these writers are creating, and the global scope of their stories. Their subject matter is urgent, their voices raise a call to action.” Amy Wheeler, Hedgebrook Executive Director and playwright   “The Lark is honored to join with our partners in awarding this fellowship to Dipika Guha. Her unique and powerful voice made a deep impression on the entire selection committee. All four finalists also deserve commendation for their extraordinary submissions....

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Anna Maria Hong Awarded 2014 Clarissa Dalloway Prize
Oct15

Anna Maria Hong Awarded 2014 Clarissa Dalloway Prize

“H & G,” a fantastical and fantastic re-imagining of the story of Hansel and Gretel by Anna Maria Hong, is the winner of AROHO’s inaugural Clarissa Dalloway “everything but poetry” Book Prize.  Finalist Judge Kate Gale wrote: “H & G represents the AROHO story.  Big myth collides with all of our personal narratives:  the witch, the oven, the fire.  As women, we write our way out of that story and then back in.”   Anna Maria Hong is the Visiting Creative Writer at Ursinus College and was the 2010-11 Bunting Fellow in Poetry at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The recipient of Poetry magazine’s 2013 Frederick Bock Prize, she has poems recently published and forthcoming in publications including Boston Review, Green Mountains Review, The Nation, Verse Daily, Mandorla, jubilat, The Volta, Drunken Boat, Fence, Fairy Tale Review, Bone Bouquet, Unsplendid, POOL, Beloit Poetry Journal, Southwest Review, Best New Poets, 250 Poems: A Portable Anthology, and The Best American Poetry. Her chapbook Hello, virtuoso! was recently published by Belladonna* Collaborative. Hong earned a B.A. in philosophy at Yale University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Texas’ Michener Center for Writers. She is the editor of Growing Up Asian American, an anthology of fiction and memoir. A five-time Pushcart Fellowship nominee, she has received residencies from Yaddo, Djerassi, Valparaiso, and Kunstnarhuset Messen and teaches creative writing at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She recently completed a collection titled The Glass Age: Sonnets.   Special congratulations also to Finalist Christina Milletti for her manuscript, “Choke Box,” Finalist Andrea Witzke Slot for her manuscript, “The Cartography of Flesh: in the silence of Ella Mendelssohn,” and to the two-hundred and seventy-five authors whose top-notch manuscripts we had the pleasure of reviewing....

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Julie Marie Wade Awarded 2014 To the Lighthouse Prize
Oct15

Julie Marie Wade Awarded 2014 To the Lighthouse Prize

“SIX,” Julie Marie Wade’s breathtaking manuscript, is the winner of AROHO’s 2014 To the Lighthouse Poetry Publication Prize.   Finalist Judge C.D. Wright wrote: “I chose SIX not in spite of but because of its discursiveness, its willingness to wander through the poem with technique at hand, but also a permit to allow both substantive and ephemeral material to wander into the field of the poem and exit without a conclusive goal in mind. It’s an accumulative project, inclusive, and busy about the business of sifting and sorting through this thing we call life that we carry out in this creation we call a body on this tumultuous blue orb we call earth.”            Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University in 2003, a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of Louisville in 2012. She is the author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Colgate University Press, 2010), winner of the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Memoir; Without: Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2010), selected for the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Series; Small Fires; Essays (Sarabande Books, 2011), selected for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature; Postage Due: Poems & Prose Poems (White Pine Press, 2013), winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series; Tremolo: An Essay (Bloom Books, 2013), winner of the Bloom Nonfiction Chapbook Prize; When I Was Straight: Poems (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014); and the forthcoming Catechism: A Love Story (Noctuary Press, 2016). A regular book reviewer for The Rumpus and Lambda Literary Review, Wade teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University.  She is married to Angie Griffin and lives in Dania Beach.   Special congratulations also to Finalist BT Shaw for her manuscript, “The Manual of Small Wars,” Finalist Stephanie Adams-Santos for her manuscript, “Swarm Queen’s Crown,” and to the four-hundred and fifty authors whose top-notch manuscripts we had the pleasure of...

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Announcing 2015 AROHO Retreat Program Contributors, Fellows, and Artists in Residence
Oct01

Announcing 2015 AROHO Retreat Program Contributors, Fellows, and Artists in Residence

From the 2015 Retreat Committee Congratulations to all who applied to contribute as a Program Contributor, Artist in Residence, or Fellow at the 2015 AROHO Retreat. Your generosity and the excellence of your craft are what make the AROHO community so uniquely transformative. When the application window for proposals and fellowships for the 2015 AROHO Retreat closed on August 31, we were overcome with gratitude and pride. The proposals were almost universally smart, creative, and engaging. However, with 184 exceptional women applying for so few coveted spots, we became increasingly aware that while we were assembling a truly remarkable group, we would ultimately be forced to turn away just as many qualified and extraordinary applicants, women we would truly love to have at Ghost Ranch with us. To honor the breadth and caliber of the 2015 Retreat applications, we have chosen to additionally acknowledge a handful of women whose applications deeply impressed us but whose proposals, for lack of available space, we were not able to accommodate. The spirit of generosity and depth of engagement contained within their applications will be essential to the retreat experience. For that reason, these women have been invited to participate in the retreat as honorary contributors and, if they accept, will join the list of Participating Writers on the AROHO website later this month. Meanwhile, the process of assembling the entire retreat group continues. The window for general applicants will open on October 31 and close on January 15. Access the application here. We encourage new general applications, as well as additional applications to attend as a Retreat intern. We will thoughtfully consider each and every application in competition for all remaining spaces, and will make our decisions in February. We are excited for this final phase in building a spectacular 2015 Retreat group. Special congratulations to the 2015 AROHO Retreat Fellows, Artists in Residence, and Program Contributors, listed below and on the Participating Writers page. With your active participation, we look forward to a truly collaborative and transformational experience at Ghost Ranch in 2015. Mary, Tracey, and everyone at A Room of Her...

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Fall 2014 Orlando Winners & Finalists
Sep24

Fall 2014 Orlando Winners & Finalists

Congratulations to our Winners & Finalists, and thank you to all who submitted! It was a privilege to read the audacious, compelling, and beautiful work of so many talented women. We hope you will join us in celebrating the success of the selected winners and finalists, chosen by an extraordinary panel of finalist judges! Each winner will receive $1,000 and publication of her winning piece in Issue No. 17 of The Los Angeles Review. POETRY WINNER: DENISE LETO, “LAKE AS BODY” “I love the play of the biological, anatomical, and marine references and the mixed references to geography and Christianity with the most subtle eroticism, ‘writing notes with her other hand: desire.’  For the poem is desire, and is sometimes the fulfillment of desire.   But also end, loss, death as the body gives itself back to where it was born–perhaps.”–Poetry Finalist Judge Cheryl Clark Poetry Finalists: Emily Cole, “Allegheny County, 1888, Ava Remembers Her Canaries” Marjorie Weinman, “Untitled” (“At the sandbox or the Gotham…”) Christine Larusso, “Purlsprung” SHORT FICTION  WINNER: MICHELLE WRIGHT, “MOON SHINY NIGHT” “It’s so hard to create a world and draw living characters and make the reader feel something, all in just a few short pages–“Moon Shiny Night” did all of this beautifully.”–Short Fiction Finalist Judge Vanessa Diffenbaugh Short Fiction Finalist: Ashley Hutson, “Child’s Play on a Summer Afternoon” FLASH FICTION WINNER: LISA NIKOLIDAKIS, “THE SPINNING FIELD” “‘The Spinning Field’ brings the reader immediately and viscerally into the world of the alien among us – the outsider, the immigrant, the ostracized…For its pitch-perfect voice, succinct yet compelling details, and total honesty (even when it ain’t pretty), ‘The Spinning Field’ has the mark of a writer to watch!”–Flash Fiction Finalist Judge Kristen Wolf Flash Fiction Finalist: Ann Lightcap Bruno: “Apocalypse 1983” CREATIVE NONFICTION WINNER: JULIA LAXER: “LETTER TO MY SISTER IN A MENTAL HOSPITAL” “I was deeply impressed by the author’s assured and skillful combination of poetry and prose to convey a lifetime of emotions into a concise, densely packed narrative structure.”–CNF Finalist Judge Deborah Feldman Creative Nonfiction Finalists: “Rain Wright Cannon, “A Way with Water” Kathryn Winograd, “Confessions of a Memoirist”   The next Orlando Prize Competition Deadline is January 31, 2015.  Finalist judges will be Aimee Liu (Short Fiction), Joni B. Cole (Flash Fiction), Camille Dungy (Poetry), and Pam Houston (Creative...

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Working in Silence
Sep22

Working in Silence

Silence is your treasure. Do not exchange it for an easy life. This is my revision of a sentence by Zen-Getsu, which I came across as an epigraph and am keeping as my watchwords for these next few months up in my room. The original subject is poverty. What I understand to be at the heart of the counsel is the worth of the difficult thing. Difficult gifts–poverty or silence, possibilities for greatness, whatever your own opposites of easy may be—come to us all. We can try to get out of them, or we can try to live up to them, present, conscious, willing to be changed without even knowing what that means. Probably most things are as good a way out of your practice as a way in. Probably things that are not-writing can become writing. I’ve always known how much I need silence as part of my writing practice, and I’ve almost always found it very difficult to stay inside it. This quarter of the Gift of Freedom grant I’m writing about women’s work, which for me means work with needles. I’ve been quilting, knitting and crocheting since I was a girl. I have loved it all my life. There is something of feminine wisdom in this kind of work, or there can be. When I’m talking about quilting or knitting, often someone will say–Oh, I don’t have the patience for that. It’s not so simple as what we usually think of as patience. It’s not about looking for a logical balance of time put in versus what you end up with, the product not measuring up to the effort involved in the process. Maybe it’s like the task of sorting the seeds that comes up in the fairy tales—a slow, painstaking illogical labor in which marshalling attention for every nuance is both the process and the product–one of the yields of such a task being the ability to bring that quality of attention to bear on whatever is at hand. Marie-Louise von Franz says that the exercise of that kind of attention is the feminine heroic task. Or sometimes it’s the repetitiveness of the task that can conjure a kind of meditative state in which your internal chatter goes quiet and other things get a chance to rise up from the deeper places. When I look at this soft pile of quilts, I feel floating up from them the quiet hours of the women who made the tens of thousands of stitches that fastened their own quiet to the quiet of the cotton. Here’s the rub. Everything has its shadow side. Pick up your needles and...

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Shakespeare’s Sister, Round 1!
Aug08

Shakespeare’s Sister, Round 1!

Thank you to all who submitted to the inaugural Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship for Women Playwrights!  We received an amazing response, with almost 1,000 submissions. Semi-finalists will be notified on September 2nd and invited to submit to the second application round, due September 12th. Each semi-finalist will submit the full play from which her initial 30 page application was excerpted and her response to the following quote from Virginia Woolf’s 1929 essay, “A Room of One’s Own:” “…Shakespeare had a sister…She lives in you and in me…for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. …if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born.”   The winner will be announced November...

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Windows
Jun26

Windows

June 24, 2014 When I wrote my application for the Gift of Freedom, one of my essays followed some words from Virginia Woolf offered as a prompt.  The quote began like this: “Women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time, the very walls are permeated by their creative force…”  I’m now six months into my Gift of Freedom, six months in the room of myself.  If I were writing a poem about this, the walls would be thick because you need them thick for a long stay inside with yourself.  I would have the speaker’s way of looking go through the wall and make a window.  The windows would look like the windows in Georgia O’Keefe’s house, dug out of thick adobe wall.  It’s a way of looking out from the inside that opens such windows. We as writers—or just as people who pay attention—know that the world unexpectedly sends us people or places or stories electric with meaning, even glowing with holiness.  Sometimes we can say in the moment what the meaning is, sometimes not.  We carry such undeciphered messages for years, decades sometimes, and wait for the window onto the meaning to open. Some windows only open from the inside.  I think this is why sometimes we wait so long for the meanings to come through—we’re watching for the next numinous message to show up in the world and complete the one we’re carrying.  The time between messages is like line breaks in poems, but instead of white space the break is filled with clutter, with loud, ordinary busyness.  I’m not talking about the things we do to sustain our lives and loves. I’m talking about empty distractions, things we get talked into doing even though we know better, letting ourselves be occupied by what is properly someone else’s inner work—these have been some of my own versions of noise and clutter.  I’m sure you know what you’re up against. This is why I imagine the walls Woolf talks about as thick, to keep out that kind of noise.   Also, to give us a strong container in which to experience the numinous because sometimes—maybe always—the messages that we recognize as divine need only our own responses to them to be complete.  When we’re quiet and still and look long at the mysteries that have broken through into our world, those responses come from inside the rooms of ourselves and the meaning comes clear.  Our inner rooms nestle inside the room Virginia Woolf named as our right.  Their windows are our pages and they open us to ourselves, to the divine however...

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