Sunday, 3 November 2013

Oblong III

Oblong Magazine's third issue is out, and I'm delighted to have a story, "Insurance," therein. A mere £3 will also bring you a nicely printed magazine of flash fictions by Alan Beard, Ric Carter, Margaret Eaton, Rhoda Greaves, Chad Greene, B. J. Jones, Nicole Matos, J. J. Steinfeld and Jon Steinhagen, as well as my own contribution. Many thanks to editor Jo Beckett King.

Fellow Sudden Prose writers may be interested to know that Oblong has just reopened for flash fiction submissions for its website, as they take a short hiatus from print issues.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

New magazine, The Irish Literary Review, seeking flash fiction

The Irish Literary Review is seeking flash fiction submissions of 300 to 1000 words. You can learn more here.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

New online magazine seeking flash fiction

Deep South, a new online journal from the University of New Zealand at Otago, seeks submissions of creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry and flash fiction up to 500 words. Find out more details on their website.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Sudden Prose Reprints: Meryl DePasquale's "On Parting"

On Parting

In that print two kids in kimonos slip sake to a rooster, trying to purchase a few more moments alone. Reverently, they stoop over a big orange bird. Lovely drooping tail feathers. Without horn-blast, the dawn creeps in fire and cream.

The same hour, he and I argue the entire way to the airport. Fat flakes fall against the windshield. No one can accuse us of graceful morning behavior. Once the weather clears my plane is in the air. Cottony clumps still hang around the mountain ranges. The woman beside me cries softly.

Passengers do not look to each other for sympathy. I want his hand cupped on the back of my neck. I imagine him saying I want you with bare sincerity. That sureness is enough to make a woman quiver all over, to cause her to crow. 

Meryl DePasquale lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a letterpress printer and participates in a collaborative mail art project called Four-Letter Press. Her chapbook Dream of a Perfect Interface is forthcoming with Dancing Girl Press. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Interim Magazine, Paper Darts and The Offending Adam, among other places. Meryl teaches at Saint Catherine University and the Loft Literary Center.

I originally read this poem in Handsome.  

Friday, 26 April 2013

Sudden Prose Reprints: Lucy Hamilton's "The Compulsion"

The Compulsion

To emerge from my hideout and stagger to the mirror. To face the stranger in my face. Who is she in the white of her face, like the white of Robert Wyman’s Twin? Is it this white that fills the stalker’s dreams and fuels his nightly propulsion to the one-way mirror? The reflection is distorted. If I break the mirror I’m done for.

 Lucy Hamilton

"The Compulsion" comes from Lucy Hamilton's Stalker (Shearsman, 2012),  shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. More information as well as multiple purchasing options are available on the publisher's website.

Monday, 22 April 2013

FlashFlood and "Dreams He Can't Remember"

On Friday, 19 April, the people behind National Flash Fiction Day run FlashFlood, where flash fictions are posted online regularly throughout the day. My own story, "Dreams He Can't Remember," went up at 6 a.m. (no, I didn't get up early to check) and can be read here. Comments most welcome!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Sudden Prose Reprints: "Wish You Were Here" by Sandra Lim

"Wish You Were Here"

There is the ground between loving and being pleased. See, it is a city unto itself. Assess the points of entry, encampment, and escape. Level your eyes on the jagged horizon before your thoughts begin to scale. The mythological expressions that you feel coming on are merely exquisite irritations, curling routes that overrun the cityscape. The language never flies straight to the meaning, but in the meantime the sunsets here are quite resplendent.

Sandra Lim
Loveliest Grotesque
Kore Press, 2006

Sandra Lim is the author of a book of poems, Loveliest Grotesque, published by Kore Press in 2006. Her second book, The Wilderness, received the 2013 Barnard Women Poets Prize and is forthcoming from W.W. Norton in 2014. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In the UK, Loveliest Grotesque is available from Foyle's.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Sudden Prose Reprints: Jennifer Militello's 'Autobiography Toward a Study of the Thousand Wounds'

Today we're fortunate to have a prose poem from Jennifer Militello's new volume, Body Thesaurus, published by Tupelo Press:

Autobiography Toward a Study of the Thousand Wounds

Doctor, this is my diary. It begins with my confession to you.

I was hung before my throat could cry the rivers. I was hung like an animal and the rope had a bite: when I touch, I touch a razor of teeth, an amen on the edge of each of them. I am adrift. I can see the pier with the loose rope fallen. I can see the fog and the oars that will not last. I have eyes that are lanterns so I will not wreck. And yet I cannot steer myself toward land. I am at the end of risk. I am at the end of my fragmenting hands. I only have nerves to tell me how far. I only have nerves; the rest of me is ill. What I twist into rears toward frost. I twist into the immigrant rain. I am again at sea, made sick with floating. As it is, I am rich with different versions of myself, and I do not know an antidote for me.

I am an impossible equation proven to exist. With the ache of layers yet to peel off, made of features and a clockwork heart whose mechanism breaks as death sits, wreckage in the face, smells foul, and is blackened. Accidental fracture is a gift.

What I see is not so much a lost figure as an arch of rain, so many windows, and an expression like wool. What I see is not so much the fields of me as the silver beneath, the skeleton, its trace elements, as one falls to the hands and knees. What I see is not so much the childhood collapse or the stories the sea-branches cherish and break, or the way I move air in front of me from its delicate weave. What I see is a child’s breath at the shoulder like a thief. A chemistry of sin that earns our keep. That makes of me an enemy when the enemy is scarce.

I cannot remember my guilt, my personal plague is one of indifference: my house is built of ill dreams, a desire to do harm, the sick art of the act. The struggle is a thing I scrape free: random cloaks or shadows across my lips that keep what I say as the oath I have sworn. What I would have said terrifies the masses. What I would have said threatens with the large hand, with planets askew, with what I knew was wrong from the moment I thought it.

Doctor, there are too many nests for me. To list. To sit and see. To frequent. To invent. I count them out, sticks and rakes, ribs and rags, a fathom I can wreck. To sense. To taste. These are the prophecies where the whisperings can live. I sift them and wait. I shake them and end. I am the land. By the flesh of the world, I crush and flee. I seize and cry. I am the mind of me. I singe and crave. The nothing of me crude. I am soothed from it. 
Learn more about Militello and her work from her website, and read more by purchasing Body Thesaurus. At the time of posting, Body Thesaurus is available in the UK at Foyle's for 35% off, so take advantage while it's on!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Two Flash Fiction Competitions

The organization Chalk the Sun is holding a 200-word flash fiction competition, on the theme of discovery, in conjunction with the Wandsworth Arts Festival. Full details are available here.

The Chorlton Arts Festival is holding its annual Flashtag competition, with a 400-word limit. You can read more about it here. Happily, it looks like there isn't an entry fee for this one.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Flash in the Pen Microfiction Competition

To celebrate its hundredth issue, New Welsh Review is holding a microfiction competition for stories of maximum 100 words (including the words in the title), and there is no entry fee. Cynan Jones will judge. Full details are available here.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Sudden Prose Reprints: "Coke and Other Lies" by Shazea Quraishi

Coke and Other Lies

When I look in the mirror I see the wrong face. 

My sister’s hair shines like a summer lake with swans.  And when she speaks, it’s like those gusts of air you get in the spring, smelling of green.

Since he left, Mom’s lips have no colour and she reminds me of that albino kid who packs groceries at Doug’s Mini Mart.  She cries on the foldout couch.  I stroke her hair.  There, there. 

My sister wraps her hair around Coke cans when it’s wet, so when she takes it out, it looks like in the movies.  Mom says she’s wasting her time. 

You know the man who sweeps up after the show?  He said my eyes were the green of the pond at the end of his garden.  He said, Come, see.

Shazea Quraishi
first published in Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics

Shazea Quraishi is a poet, translator and creative writing tutor whose poems have appeared in The Financial Times, Poetry Review, and Modern Poetry in Translation, among others. She works with English PEN's Readers & Writers programme in refugee centres and prisons, and also teaches Improving English through Creativity at a refuge for south Asian women. Quraishi is presently adapting The Courtesans Reply, a long poem sequence published as pamphlet by flipped eye publishing in 2012, as a play.