June 13, 2017

Write More Poems This Summer & Pablo Neruda in Cool Shades

                                                     Green was the silence, wet was the light,
                                                    the month of June trembled like a butterfly.
                                                                                                   ~Pablo Neruda

Dear Friends, 

Happy End of Spring/Beginning of Summer! Kick off the warm weather by reading and writing some poetry outside! And enjoy the above photo of Pablo Neruda in his sunglasses shaped like dice. 

Due to popular demand, our Summer Online Poetry Retreat is back! Like last year, there are two sessions being offered in July and August. You can participate from the privacy of your own home or on the go. All you need is email access and a journal or laptop to write your poems!

The Two Sylvias Press Online Poetry Retreat will include:
  • Prompts, poetry exercises, and inspiration sent directly to your inbox (in a weekly digest form or once daily).
  • A print copy of a Two Sylvias poetry publication--you choose from a list of our books.
  • ‚ÄčA soft-cover journal designed specifically for the retreat.
  • Two of your poems will be read and critiqued by Two Sylvias Press editors (Kelli Russell Agodon & Annette Spaulding-Convy) at the end of the session.

    Because this retreat offers a personal response, there is limited space. To learn more and to read last year's testimonials, please visit our website: http://twosylviaspress.com/online-poetry-retreat.html


1) The Two Sylvias Press Full-Length Poetry Book Prize ends June 30, 2017!
Our contest is open to ALL poets (established or emerging poets, US or Int'l) and will be judged by poet Diane Seuss, whose book The Four-Legged Girl was short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize.  The winner of our contest will receive $1000, 20 contributor copies, and his/her book published in print and eBook format AND a vintage inkwell! Please visit our website to read the guidelines. Click here.

2) Australian Journal, Tincture, seeking submissions in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and even scripts! https://tincture-journal.submittable.com/submit

3) Heartwood, an online literary magazine in association with West Virginia Wesleyan's Low-Residency MFA program, publishes twice yearly, in April and October. Accepts submissions year round:  http://www.heartwoodlitmag.com/submit/

4) Through July 15th Heron Tree invites erasures/remixes/alterations of Kendrew’s Climates of the Continents or Lang’s Blue Fairy Book. Accepted pieces will be published online and collected in free downloadable e-pamphlets. We’re open to all techniques of found poetry construction and are excited to see how different people rework these texts in different ways. More information at the Heron Tree website: herontree.com/how

5) Mom Egg Review looking for work for their themed issue by mothers or those who write about motherhood. Mom Egg Review seeks your best poetry, fiction, and creative prose for its sixteenth annual print issue. This is a themed issue— MOTHERS PLAY/MOTHERS WORK. We publish work by writers who are mothers or by others about motherhood. The submissions period is May 15, 2017 to August 15, 2017.  

Please visit the Mom Egg Review website, www.momeggreview.com/submit for more info.


Need kindness, compassion, & creativity? Here are some things on our radar this week:

1) There are more PLATH poems in the world! Unseen Sylvia Plath poem found on carbon paper discovered by scholars while researching Plath's notebooks.

2) Who says poetry doesn't pay?  Alice Oswald just won the Griffin Prize worth $70,000 (£37,725) for her poems described as "breathtaking poetry."

3)  Maggie Smith on her poem, "Good Bones," says, "how strange it is that when my mentions start blowing up on social media, I know something bad has happened somewhere in the world"  

4) Harvard Review creates "Rengas for Obama" curated by Major Jackson to pay tribute to Barack Obama with short collaborative poems written by more than 200 poets. You can read the Washington Post article here and all the poems to date here on the Harvard Review  website.

5) What booksellers and customers do when they are bored at a bookstore in France. You may never look at book covers the same and may have to try this for yourself! 


To celebrate summer, we are offering you 20% off some of our best-selling books/creativity tools and our most recently published collections: The Daily Poet, The Poet Tarot, Fire On Her Tongue, Arab In Newsland, Mytheria, The Blue Black Wet of Wood, and Fire Girl. Enter the following coupon code to receive your discount: newslettervip (one word/all lowercase). Once your book(s) are in your cart and you hit checkout, you can add the coupon code on the left section of the checkout screen. Click here to visit our Online Bookstore: http://twosylviaspress.com/two-sylvias-store.html  Coupon is good through June 30th and you can use it more than once.

Thank you for supporting independent presses / small businesses!

Thank You!:

Thank you so much to those who contributed to our Pass It On! Kickstarter campaign. We surpassed our goal and will be publishing this inspirational children's book (by Gloria J. McEwen Burgess) in the late fall. Please visit our website to learn more about this project: http://twosylviaspress.com/pass-it-on-kickstarter.html


It Takes Two, Baby
Write a poem (or story) that uses wordplay & rhyme with pairs of words. (For example, salt and pepper becomes salt & dapper, sugar and spice becomes sugar & strife, milk and cookies becomes milk & rookeries...)  

To begin, make a list of common pairings. Some examples could be: cats and dogs, him and her, hot and cold, open and closed, rain or shine, hunt and gather, old and young, moon and stars, sun and moon, sister and brother, mom and dad, shave and a haircut, etc.

Now, rewrite your pairings: Instead of cats and dogs, write cats and fog. Or instead of husband and wife, write husband and knife.  Feel free to get even more creative, "moon and stars" could be moon and Oscar nominees, "old and young" could be old and Carl Jung. Let your imagination go, knowing there is no wrong way to do this.

Once you have a list of ten to twenty-five pairs of words, write a poem or story using as many of the pairs as you can. Feel free to make the poem or story as surreal as it needs to be!

If you need an opening line consider:  I thought it was...

Thank you for your ongoing support of Two Sylvias Press!

    Thank you for your support of Two Sylvias Press! 
    May you continue to find art & beauty in your everyday life.

     Kelli & Annette
     Cofounders of Two Sylvias Press


Visit our website to learn more about our publications and creativity tools: www.twosylviaspress.com

And please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends you think may be interested...