VALLUM CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!

evolution

Image: Budi Satria Kwan

 

14:1 –  “EVOLUTION

Evolution has been instrumental to developments in science, industry, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, posthuman and technological advances, spirituality, relationships, and even the historical progression of “mind.” How does the idea of evolving, in its many possible forms, translate into poetry?

Send us your best poems!
DEADLINE: November 20, 2016

 

http://www.vallummag.com/submission.html

 

Vallum Poem of the Week: “ALEMBIC” by Elana Wolff

elana

 

ALEMBIC

 

Memory sticks to syllables, as if in poems

float human faces: here Emanuel, here Elyse—

in shield and cone, and cypress. Marion in snowy

air, Phineas in fortress. Hear them in association

speak. Loquaciously in company and scrying

into I. Memory sticks to syllables—like scent

to soul, art to illness, alchemy to metal,

blood and roses. Image the alembic.

 

Snowy air, meet shield and cone, be fortress now

for one another; cypress. Here I am in cell

and pinnate—sticky to the touch, attar to taste.

Invisible, except to keen observers. The colors

of the spectrum blend in indigo, through blue.

They could have stopped at soul alone, yet moved to

cross the benedictory threshold: don’t you know—

the smallest act contains a whole world view.

 

Elana Wolff—writer, editor, and therapeutic art facilitator—is the author of three collections of poetry with Guernica Editions: Birdheart (2001), Mask (2003), and You Speak to Me in Trees (2006)—winner of the 2008 F.G. Bressani Prize for Poetry. A fourth collection, Startled Night, is forthcoming in Fall 2011.

 

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Featured Interview: George Elliott Clarke

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George Elliott Clarke (Part 1)

by Henry Kronk

 

The 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and the 7th Parliamentary [National] Poet Laureate (2016-17), George Elliott Clarke is an Africadian (African-Nova Scotian). A prized poet, his 14th work is Extra Illicit Sonnets (Exile, 2015), an erotic verse narrative. Now teaching African-Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto, Clarke has also taught at Duke, McGill, the University of British Columbia, and Harvard. He holds eight honorary doctorates, plus appointments to the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer.

 

This interview is part 1 of 3, to listen to the whole interview please download the FREE APP and get the latest issue of Vallum on your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum magazine is available as a digital feature with additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Snow Bed” by Daniel Tobin

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Snow Bed

 
(after Celan)

 
Eyes, ice globes
in the grave’s cleft:
so I happen to be,
callous bud in my heart,
so I happen to be.

Moon-reflecting mirror.
Whorled precipice. Descend.
(Brilliant lichens of breath.
Bloodlines streaking.
The soul at its core
in bore-clouds almost
fussing itself whole again.
The ten fingered shadow. Fisted.)

Eyes, ice globes
in the grave’s cleft.
Eyes. Eyes.

And the snow bed
under us both, the snow bed…
Crystal after crystal
across each other grated
through cavernous time.
We fall. We fall
And lie here and fall.

And fall.
We were. We are.
We are one flesh
with the night
in the passageways,
passageways.
 

Daniel Tobin is the author of five books of poems, most recently Second Things (2008) and Belated Heavens (Four Way Books 20100, as well as numerous critical works. His awards include fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He is currently Chair of the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Back-To-School & Fall Subscription 45% off

Get publishing!

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This sale is for ALL poetry lovers, avid readers, and writers alike! For new writers, we offer some friendly & writerly advice: As you launch your new writing career, it is important to publish your poems in excellent journals, but also to tailor your submissions to the aesthetic of each specific journal. To help you achieve your literary goals, Vallum: Contemporary Poetry magazine is running a back-to-school & fall subscription sale, offering two beautiful issues at a 45% discounted rate of only $17 CAD / $21 USD! This amazing deal includes both the print and digital versions of the magazine!

In every issue of Vallum: Contemporary Poetry magazine, you can expect groundbreaking new poems, essays on literary craft, interviews with established writers, reviews of exciting new books, and more. Forthcoming in issue 13:2 “The Wild” are feral poems by Jan Zwicky, Evelyn Lau, Peter Dale Scott, Cassidy McFadzean, Yusuf Saadi, Richard Sanger, among others.

Visit www.vallummag.com/backtoschool.html to subscribe now!

Offer expires October 15th, 2016

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Triptych” by Waqas Khwaja

kwaja

 

Triptych

I

At fifteen I had not yet seen the sea:

driving toward the beach I picked up first

the smell of fish and salt strong in the air,

then particles of sand against my face,

the sea itself, scalloped, and crested with

tufts of brushwork foam, dirty white atop

pale green, and blue-black waves, rang with sounds

of far off lands, a subterranean roar

that called and promised much but never quite

revealed its source, soft wet sands subsided

beneath the foot before they held, then gave

again as wave after rolling wave dashed

against my body, leapt, shattered, and swept

back again, the next one taller, stronger

than before, its whip and splash curling on

itself, sands splitting to reveal molluscs

and shells of fervid colors and shapes, each

a treasure that eagerly I gathered:

flat fan shapes, crowned whorls, and tiny spotted

shells pulsing with life behind serrated

lips—and creatures of the sea crawled between

my toes and through them tickled their way

across my foot and up my leg, before

another gathering wave crashed and washed

them away, even as I stepped upon

yet another embedded shell and curled

my toes to pick it up and add to my

growing collection—and ever after

enticed by what till then I had not known

I have yearned for the sea, coast, beach and all,

the hollow boom and crash from distant shores,

the yielding wet slate sand beneath my feet,

the smell of fish, salt particles in the breeze—

 

II

 

and hills till I was twelve, when dry heat drove

us north, traveling by train, my first, and all

the way wandering dreamscapes of boyhood years

with an imaginary friend, before

transferring to a bus that dragged itself

groaning over a steep hill road, climbing

higher with each tiered and winding groove

precariously in narrowing rounds right up

the mountain’s side—a new perspective

opening up, houses seen on level ground

now far below, nestled in what revealed

itself as valley, the fertile lap, hill

upon hill, mountain peaked by higher mountains,

endlessly offered to habitation,

and a dazzling mercury vein I knew

as streamlet at the bridge an hour ago,

amidst it all, threading its path past field,

forest, and grove, and over pebbled bed—

through tiny street-wide towns and villages

with all their wares spilled out beside the road,

their fruits, and wicker crafts, and nuts, and shawls,

till in the middle of nowhere, the air

already chill, brook water spilling freely

down the metalled road, we stopped to cool

the engine and drink our fill—beyond this

clouds drifted across streets, and muslin mists

slipped through forests of pine and spruce,

slid around cottages far below, ran

through walnut leaves and sprouting foliage—

another hairpin turn, another stiff climb,

and with a final heave and stammer the bus

arrived, and at that instant tarnished the dream

with diesel fumes and honking cars, the growl

and grumble of buses and trucks, their brakes

squealing, the noise all at once of crying

porters, hotel touts, street venders, beggars,

shoe shines, helpers, the site transformed

to a trading station on an ancient

route—a new kind of magic cast its spell,

a new sorcery of din and chatter—

but in the night when from a cottage window

I glanced below, my heart forgot a moment

how to beat, then came alive suddenly

entranced like a paper kite in the wind—

down in the darkness the valley was aglow

with firefly lights waving their trifling flames,

and a cool breeze from some deep dark hollow

revived with it a dreamscape memory:

a timid absent hand and a promise

of love’s first blossoms on the lips.

 

III

 

How strange, that none of this compares

with the city I have lost, the city

that first gave me life, whose air I inhaled

with my first breath, where I grew up and went

first to school—the site of my first transgression,

the city where I loved, and lost, and won,

in that order and no order at all,

separately and all together, at the same time—

dearer to me are its streets and lanes, its

dying sacred river, its flat terrain,

where everything once came without seeking,

as mulberry suddenly on spring trees,

its dust more precious than dreams and promises

of glittering lands and seas, mountains and rivers—

dearer to me is the city I have lost,

dearer all friends and foes of my youth

and years of early maturity and disaffection,

dearest the absent ones—

helpless before the dust of my birth land

whose pores and particles are my pores and cells,

whose undistinguished grey and brown birds,

now on a ledge, now at the window sill,

homely and familiar, now fluttering in the branches

of a thick-leaved pipal or a stately sheesham,

all settle to comfort in some city that grows

and pulsates within, in its dusty streets

and cool lanes, in its crowded, noisy places—

O’ ruined city!, except in memory,

except in these inadequate words I write,

the shades and colors of your passing seasons,

the creeks that sluiced water from the canal

feeding nurseries of garden plants, flowers, and trees

on its way beyond to fields washing stations in the suburbs,

the open sewage with its foul, damp, smells in the evening,

running by the walls of gated mansions,

your gardens and parks

a refuge for young and old

for poor and rich alike

the lighted amaltas, the flowering kikar,

gul mohur, sumbal, gul-e-nishtar,

your fruit trees

mango and guava, the favorite haunts of parrots,

the implanted lichi,

bounteous in its foreign soil,

the native jaman fattening in summer rain,

helpless before your abundance

helpless before your contradictions

helpless before your dust

O’ my city!

 

A professor of English at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Waqas Khwaja has published three collections of his poetry, a literary travelogue about his experiences with the International Writers Program, University of Iowa, and two anthologies of Pakistani literature in translation. He is the translation editor of Modern Poetry of Pakistan (2011).

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “In Those Days Father Repaired the Clock” by Yi Lu; Translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain

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Yi Lu (Photo Credit: Zheng Zhixin)

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Fiona Sze-Lorrain (Photo Credit: Dominique Nabokov)

Original:

(Audio Credit: Zheng Yikan)

Translation:

父亲当年修钟

父亲说
他的钟又会走了
父亲的脸上有奇异的光
父亲是用了什么办法
坚决不让那只小钟死去的
疲惫的父亲
从茶山的小路
回到他的小屋时
有一只活的钟陪着是不一样的
父亲当年修钟
一定比为病人做手术的大夫还揪着心
毕竟在那沉寂的茶山中
只有那只钟
像他身边的一个生命

In Those Days Father Repaired the Clock

Father said
his clock could walk again
Father’s face had a strange light
what did he do
not to let the little clock die
when weary Father
returned to his hut
by a path in the tea mountain
things felt different with a clock alive
in those days Father repaired the clock
he must have been more anxious than a surgeon
after all in that silent tea mountain
only that clock
was like a life by his side

“In Those Days Father Repaired the Clock” from Sea Summit by Yi Lu, translated by Fiona SzeLorrain (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Yi Lu and Fiona SzeLorrain. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions. www.milkweed.org

Yi Lu ( 伊路 ) is a theater scenographer who leads a parallel life as a poet. Born in 1956, she is the author of five books of poetry, including the award-winning titles, See (2004) and Using Two Seas (2009). Her fifth volume, Forever Lingering (2011), was published by Culture and Art Press in Beijing. Yi is known for her elegant and distilled lyrical voice, as well as her ecological awareness. Her honors include the Hundred Flowers Award for Literature and other distinguished literary prizes from Fujian province. A theatrical stage and set designer at the People’s Art Theatre in Fujian, she lives in the southern coastal city of Fuzhou. Sea Summit, a bilingual edition of Yi Lu’s selected poems (translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain), is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2015.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes and translates in English, French, and Chinese. Her new poetry collection, The Ruined Elegance (2016), is forthcoming from Princeton University Press (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets). The author of two previous titles, My Funeral Gondola (2013) and Water the Moon (2010), as well as several translations of contemporary Chinese, French, and American poets, she is a zheng harpist and an editor at Vif Éditions. She lives in Paris, France.

Her latest collection, The Ruined Elegance, published by Princeton University Press can be found here.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Page from a Lost Notebook” by Sarah White

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PAGE FROM A LOST NOTEBOOK

It wasn’t a comic rhyme for someone’s birthday, but a serious poem, my first…

………. … two major classes of cardiac fibrillation,

in praise of my brother—then young and strong—sitting hunkered,

……….  atrial and ventricular—

over a guitar, beside the campfire.……..

……….  the rapid, irregular, and unsynchronized contraction of muscle fibers—

 “Jumbled patterns of sparks rising…

……….  split or inflamed,

 into the lofty nocturnal curtain.”  “Lofty,” I wrote, when “high” would do,

……….  atrial fibrillation, if not controlled…,

“nocturnal,” rather than “night,”…

……….  causes a chaotic rhythm …

 I wanted a frame for the guitar,

……….  of the pulse, the blood pooling in the heart’s upper chambers,

the sublime string sounds, the summer’s end, the sparks that flew

……….  forming clots which can dislodge from the heart and travel to the brain

like crowds of stars.

Sarah White’s most recently published collections are The Unknowing Muse (Dos Madres, 2014) and Wars Don’t Happen Anymore (Deerbrook Editions, 2016). She is co-translator (with Matilda Bruckner and Laurie Shepard) of Songs of the Women Troubadours (Garland, 2000). She writes and paints in New York City.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Percentages” by Tom Prime

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PERCENTAGES

I’m 100% sure that I’m not 100% sure who I am. I’m 78% sure that I’m not a good person. I’m 75% sure that I’m not a bad person. I’m 82% sure that my favourite colour is blue. I’m 100% sure that I’ve never used needle drugs, but I’m 100% sure that I’ve thought about it.

I’m 67% sure that I’m friendly. I’m 72% sure that I’m hard to get to know. I’m 100% sure that I love my cat. I’m 84% sure that I no longer love my ex-wife. I’m 75% sure that I’ll never quit drinking coffee. I’m 99% sure that I will never be a homeless drug addict again. I’m 100% sure that the amount of acid I did damaged my brain; I’m 72% sure that I’ve almost completely recovered, but I’m 100% sure that the idea that I won’t be able to fully recover horrifies me. I’m 62% sure that I will never see some of the people that used to know me, back then, ever again; I’m 54% hopeful that I’ll never have to see them again.

I’m 99% sure that I was sexually abused as a child, and I’m 100% sure that two and a half years of therapy changed my life and helped me heal those wounds. I’m 92% sure that I will never try to kill myself again. I’m 58% sure that I won’t eventually become an alcoholic.

I’m 97% sure that this sounds really negative. I’m 78% sure that I will never hitchhike again. I’m 23% sure that I’ll never get in another fist fight. I’m 100% sure that I’m doing way better now than I’ve been doing since I was sixteen.

I’m 73% sure that I’ll never see someone catch a bigger fish than my dad did last summer. I’m 78% sure that I’ll wind up becoming a grumpy old man. I’m 100% sure that I’m afraid of people I love dying, and I’m 100% sure that I always will be. I’m 100% sure that I don’t like hugging people, except for my mom and dad, and even then I don’t really like to, I just do it because that’s what’s expected of me. I’m 99% sure that I don’t know what the future is, but I am 100% sure that I like to pretend to know.

I’m 100% sure that I’ll never get my innocence back.

Tom Prime is twenty-eight and attends Western University in London, Ontario for Creative Writing. He was born in British Columbia and moved to Ontario when he was ten. He spent many years hitchhiking and being a homeless vagrant; much of his writing steams from these experiences. He lives, in relative happiness, with his cat Jackson.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.

Vallum Poem of the Week: “Why We Cry on Planes” by Andy McGuire

MCGUIRE Author photo COLOUR

WHY WE CRY ON PLANES

Barred from our devices
It’s painfully apparent—
The world goes on without us.
Inhaling the stale air
Of many moods,
Our freedom to choose
Clooney or Witherspoon,
I bear the breakneck interval
Silently chanting
Cancun, Cancun, Cancun.

Andy McGuire releases music under the alias John Alice. His poems have appeared in Arc, Riddle Fence, CV2, and Hazlitt.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.